Val d'Isere and Tignes, France

Early Season All Mountain Coaching Tignes

The All Mountain Performance course is THE coaching course designed to kick start your season with the skills to take on the whole mountain and aimed at those who wish to focus on technical development in an instructional environment.

We have scheduled the course for early December, when we should have the potential of skiing in both Tignes and Val d’Isere as well as guaranteed snow on the Grand Motte glacier.

Conditions will guide us, but you can expect to be focussing on:

  • On piste skills – Working on the fundamentals of posture and balance to maximise the effectiveness of your ski movements. Developing control of speed and line taken in short and long turns and understanding how to adapt your technique for different snow and terrain
  • Bumps – Technical and tactical skills to make the moguls a happy place
  • Variables – Adapting on-piste technique to skillfully play in chopped up snow conditions
  • Off Piste – Not forgetting our roots, we will spend as much time as possible working on skills for off piste skiing. Conditions can be surprisingly good at this time of year with low temperatures giving great cold powder snow.

We will be providing video feedback either on the hill for immediate analysis or in the evening.

There will also be opportunities to work with and practice avalanche rescue skills. Whether you have used transceivers, shovels and probes or not, we will spend time going through the safe and effective use of this vital safety equipment.

Throughout each day you will be&guided in equal measure, focusing on technique but also using the oportunity to ski some of the classic routes the area is famous for.

We will run this course on a ratio of 1:6, maximizing your skiing time and giving the opportunity for plenty of individual feedback.

To make the most of this course, your skiing should be at a level where you can cope comfortably on tricky reds and the occasional black.

For this week we will be staying in the Auberge Sur La Montagne in Ste Foy. This has been our base in the Tarentaise Valley for many years and it remains one of our favourite chalets.


This is an extensive list of the recommended clothing and equipment you will need if you are coming on one of our Off-Piste Coaching courses.  On these courses you’ll be staying in a comfortable catered chalet or hotels. When skiing you need to carry just a small day pack, which contains your safety equipment and any personal items you may need.

  • This season, we’ve partnered with Ortovox to provide us with the very best safety kit and clothing. Our guides will all be decked out in the latest Ortovox jackets and trousers and will keep warm, dry and comfortable thanks to their technical wool base- and mid-layers. Our guides couldn’t recommend their kit more highly.
    • A good quality pair of ski trousers. They must be made from a waterproof and breathable fabric like Gore-Tex or similar. It’s useful to have some venting zips on the legs either inside or outside thigh or full-length side-zips. Integral snow gaiters and some pockets for handy items are good features.
    • An outer shell jacket made of waterproof and breathable material like Gore-Tex or similar with a built-in hood. We advocate the ‘layering principle’ and so a shell is recommended rather than an insulated jacket.
    • Comfortable underwear with good wicking properties. Very popular at the moment are the wool based layers from companies such as Ortovox. They are comfy, breathable, warm when needed and can be worn for days without your friends catching a whiff!
    • Several thin (rather than fewer thick) layers between your skin and the outer shell - an approach that gives better heat retention and good flexibility. These tops are known as ‘mid layers’.
    • Insulation layer like a down or primaloft jacket is a good item to have ready to wear in the event of cold weather, it can live in your rucksack as a spare layer and can come in very handy for sudden changes in the weather.
    • Roll neck rather than a scarf. We use and recommend the ‘Buff¹ ¬ a light, stretchable tube. Excellent despite the name! They do both a fleece/cotton version for warmth or just a cotton one (to keep the sun off).
    • Headwear to include warm hat and sun-cap or wide-brim hat for extra protection from the sun. Mountain Tracks fully supports the wearing of helmets for skiing, although not mandatory for any of our trips we do recommend them.
    • Good quality, ski gloves or mitts if you suffer from cold hands and 1 thinner pair of gloves made from a softshell or fleece material if the weather is warm. These are particularly useful if you do any ski touring or hiking on the trip as thick gloves quickly become too hot.
      Silk inner gloves can be useful if the weather is cold and you suffer from cold hands.
    • Technical Socks - Investing in good quality ski socks will improve fit, warmth and feel when skiing for long periods. Bring along a few pairs.
  • We continue to see big changes in ski, boot and binding design and technology, which make off-piste skiing and ski touring much more accessible.

    For our Off-Piste Coaching courses, good downhill ski and boot are required.


    This winter our lead guides are using Elan skis. Praised by magazine testers and professional skiers alike for its unique blend of lightweight performance, the Ripstick 96 is proven to be the ultimate freeride ski in all snow conditions. The Ripstick 106 is the ultimate freeride ski for any terrain. From boundary line to base lodge, peak to parking lot, and trailhead to tailgate this ski excels in all conditions. The new Ripstick Tour 94 is designed on a wider platform, enabling the skier to float better, ski faster, and turn easier in backcountry conditions.

    It is built to blend high performance at a low weight, for the perfect mix of freeride downhill performance and efficient ascending capability. With Ripstick Tour 94, the confidence to conquer long ascents and charge challenging descents is the name of the game.

    There are many ‘all-mountain/freeride’ skis to choose from and we also recommend skis from Salomon, Dynastar, Movement, Black Crows, Trab Skis, Scott and Volkl.  Look for a ski that is the right size for your height, typically the tip of the ski should be somewhere around your nose height.  As for the width of the ski or “side cut” a mid-fat ski – 90-110mm under the foot is a good place to start; this offers plenty of flotation off piste while remaining suitable for day tours and they should also handle reasonably well on piste and mixed terrain.

    Elan Skis:

    Dynastar Skis:

    Movement Skis:                                       

    Black Crows Skis:

    Trab Skis:

    Scott Skis:

    Volkl Skis:

    There are plenty of other great skis to choose from so if you’re planning on buying skis for ski touring or general skiing and have any questions do not hesitate to call us, or Lockwoods, to discuss the options available.

    For off-piste performance courses, standard downhill ski boots are ideal, they offer rigidity, responsiveness and flex depending on the snow conditions. If you have ski touring boots or a pair of the hybrid freeride/touring boots with a walk mode, then these are fine too, bring them with you. We do not recommend you come on a trip with brand new boots.

    Boot Liners
    These days many manufacturers offer ‘thermo-fit’ liners as standard equipment. You may also want to consider a custom liner. Heated and moulded to your foot and boot for a perfect fit, they can make all the difference especially if you have trouble finding really comfortable ‘off-the-shelf¹ boots. Zipfit liners are a great option for anyone seeking total customisation in fit and comfort. They will replace the original liner.

    Custom Footbeds
    Essential kit – to provide additional comfort and ski control. If you want to get footbeds made or a pair of new boots fitted then we suggest you visit somewhere like Profeet for a professional fitting. 

    Standard downhill bindings.

  • The “Safety Trilogy” - applicable for all our off-piste courses
    Avalanche Transceiver/Beacon 
    Snow shovel
    Avalanche probe

    We recommend Simple and intuitive ORTOVOX AVALANCHE RESCUE KIT 3+

    Avalanche airbags/rucksacks – if you wish to ski with one of these on our courses you are welcome to do so, they are not mandatory but we always support the use of available safety items.

    You can hire avalanche rucksacks in a lot of resorts, makes are usually Snowpulse/Mammut, ABS or Ortovox Avabag. Prices vary from shop to shop and resort to resort but a guide line price would be from €30 / CHF 35 per day 

    Remember it is not enough just to carry this equipment; you have to know how to use it.
    How about joining one of our specialist avalanche courses – check out

    • Good pair of ski goggles with a lens for low light is essential in the event of snow and poor visibility.
    • Good quality sunglasses with 100% UV protection
    • 25 – 30 litre rucksack with straps for carrying skis. If you wish to use an avalanche airbag/rucksack you are welcome to, you can now hire these in most resorts.
    • 1 – 1.5 litre water bottle – we don’t recommend hydration systems (e.g. camelbak) in winter as they can freeze.
    • Food – bring some of your favourite hill nibbles (chocolate, energy bars)*
    • Suncream and lip salve
Espace Killy.jpg

Val d'Isere and Tignes

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Tignes and Val d'Isère are served by the 300km of piste that make up the "Espace Killy", one of Europe’s premier ski areas. Val d’Isere is a thriving town in winter and has been popular with British holiday makers for many decades. Home to plenty of world class chalets and hotels and miles of pisted runs linked to Tignes there is skiing for every level.

Tignes itself is a purpose-built high altitude resort. It was built in the boom of the 1960s - you don't come here if you are looking for an authentic, traditional alpine ambience... But with an excellent snow record, fast, reliable lifts and some fantastic off-piste terrain, who cares about the decor! Tignes is the preferred destination for early season (November) skiing when you’ll share the pistes with most of the international race teams and groups of instructors preparing for the new season.

The ski area is known for its excellent off-piste most of which is accessible from the lift system. There are also some excellent day tours to neighbouring valleys and resorts including the twin resorts of Les Arcs and La Plagne. Together Val d'Isère and Tignes can be counted amongst the world's leading ski resorts.

Our top reasons for visiting Val d’Isere and Tignes:

  • Fast efficient lift system, well linked and access to world class terrain
  • Many wonderful off piste runs like Grand Vallon, Col du Pers, The Charvet Tour and Micky’s Ears can be accessed by the lift system or a short hike.
  • Good ski touring from the lift system and access into some quiet and wild terrain.
  • High skiing with glaciated terrain means guaranteed snow.
Resort height: 1850m Val d’Isere; 2100m Tignes

Highest lifts: 3456m Tignes.

Nearest Airport: Geneva or Chambery

Transfer Options: To get to Val d’Isere we recommend you book a seat with one of the transfer companies who offer shared minibus transfers to resort. There is a public bus option from the airport with Atli Bus. Transfer time is usually 3hrs. It’s also possible to travel from Chambery airport by road to the resort in about 2hrs. Car hire is also a good option and driving from either airport is relatively straight forward.

  • Insurance

    It is a condition of booking that you are insured for your chosen activity and the cover must include medical expenses, personal accident, personal liability, third party risks and rescue (including helicopter rescue). You are strongly advised also to take out cover against cancellation and curtailment.

    For UK residents Ski Club Travel Insurance may be a suitable option.

    For more details and to purchase a policy online visit
    If you need assistance arranging your personal insurance please let us know.

  • Off-Piste Coaching - Instructors
    This course will be led by our team of BASI Ski Instructors which includes Dave Meyer, Will Evans and Greg Jones. They are all extremely talented ski coaches who are passionate about off-piste skiing. Our instructors consistently prove they have the ability to teach skiers how to hone their technique and confidence in off-piste terrain.They'll ensure you have a fantastic week.
  • Accommodation Information
    For this week we will be staying in the Auberge Sur La Montagne in Ste Foy. This has been our base in the Tarentaise Valley for many years and it remains one of our favourite chalets.
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