photo: Phil Smith, director of Snoworks heading up to ski the forth couloir off the Saulire Courchevel.
Within 2 days of launching our Backcountry Access Ski Course in St Foy for 2013 all places had sold out. Due to unprecedented levels of demand we have now included one further Backcountry Access Course for 2013. Different venue, different time of year, 21 places available – amazing skiing.
THREE VALLEYS BACKCOUNTRY ACCESS
JANUARY 26TH – BRIDES-LES-BAINS
WHY BACKCOUNTRY ACCESS?
The Backcountry Access Course is the perfect extension from Snoworks Backcountry and Off-Piste courses. Backcountry Access is for skiers who are willing to put in a bit more work in order to access unbelievable off-piste with the use of touring skis and skins combined with use of the local lift system.
The whole purpose of the Backcountry Access Course is to use the lift system to gain as much height as possible then if necessary skin from there to open up a whole world of off-piste skiing where only those with skins can access. What does that get you? Fantastic off-piste skiing with little or no other skiers. Heaven!
Unlike most ‘ski touring’ trips Backcountry Access is all about the ‘downhill’ – The use of skins is to access great off-piste descents. Each ‘access’ with skins will last a maximum of 30 minutes to 1 hour with some of the bigger descents a 2 hour skin.
January 26th to Feb 2nd – Hotel Altis Val Vert
The Altis Val Vert is the perfect location. A short stroll from the hotel takes you to the Olympic telecabine with direct access into Meribel and the heart of The Three Valleys. In one direction Courchevel, Les Avals and all the possibilities surrounding the ‘Petit Mont Blanc’. In the other direction, Les Menuires, Val Thorens and all the possibilities of these sectors. This is truly a magnificent off-piste area and more or less completely untapped and unskied.
The Hotel Val Vert is a French run hotel with all the ambience of ‘le Français’ and wait for it SINGLE ROOMS at a very reasonable supplement. These are limited so if you want one, get in quickly – DON’T DELAY.
Like all itineraries of this nature flexibility will be maintained throughout to offer the best possible off-piste experience for the conditions at the time. This vast area can be split into three main valleys. To the east, Courchevel and Les Avals. Centrally, directly up from Brides-Les-Bain, the Les Allues Valley incompasing both right and left flanks all the way up to the Mont Vallon and the Tougnes areas. To the west the Belleville Valley encompassing St Martin de Bellville, Les Menuires, La Mass, Val Thorens and Cime de Caron.
Courchevel – Secteurs: Les Avals, Creux, Saulire and Loze
The easternmost secteur of The Three Valleys. A couple of lifts from Meribel and you have access into the whole of this area with great skinning routes into the Les Avals sectuer opening up unlimited off-piste potential with routes taking you into the quintessential village of Pralognan via the whole area surrounding the Petit Mont Blanc. Less skinning or none at all and you have easy access into all the off-piste of Creux, Loze and the steep couloirs of the Saulire.
Les Allues – Secteurs: Right Bank, Vallon, Tougne, Left Bank
The area heading up the cental part of the Three Valleys. Easy and quick access to a myriad of off-piste skiing. The valley stretches for over 20km and rises from Brides to over 3,000m at the Gebroulaz Glacier, the source of the rivers that wind their way down the valley. This is the heart of the Three Valleys and skiing at it’s best. You have access to all the Meribel side of Saulire and Fruit. You can access this secteur with a short hike from the top of Val Thorens to reach the Dome de Polset and access the Gebroulaz glacier and literally ski back to Meribel. From Vallon you have direct access to plenty of off-piste and a skin can take you to the Glacier du Borgne. Further around on the skiers left of this valley and you’re on to the tree laden slopes that take you down to Les Allues. Combine this with all the nooks and crannies and hidden gems of off-piste and you’re spoilt for choice.
Belleville – Secteurs: Right Bank, Val Thorens, Caron, Mass, Encombres, Left Bank
The westernmost part of the Three Valleys starting from St Martin de Belleville through Les Menuires and up to Val Thorens. Under 10% of this valley has been developed so you can imagine what’s left for those that are willing to search out the undeveloped areas – off-piste skiing at it’s best. Starting on the skiers right bank you have the whole side of the valley between Les Menuires and the Meribel secteur all the way up to Val Thorens. From here you can access the Gebroulaz Glacier or continue around to Caron. This area has easy access to a bounty of off-piste. Moving back around to skiers left of the valley and you’re between Caron and La Masse. Here there are endless off-piste trails leading back down to Les Menuires or further down the valley to St Martin. Drop over the other side and you’re into the Vallee des Encombres. A short taxi ride back up to Orelle and the Forth Valley with access back into the Belleville Valley.
• Touring skis with skins (can be hired locally)
• Backpack with carrying facilities for skis (available from Snoworks, included in price)
• Off-piste safety equipment comprising of shovel, probe and transceiver (available from Snoworks, included in price)
Get in quick. 21 persons, 3 groups of 7.