France, Europe

Off-Piste Coaching Intro Ste Foy

Off-piste skiing should be fun and exhilarating! If your off-piste skiing is currently more about burning muscles and face plants... well, then our instructors will transform your ability to access the extensive mountain terrain away from the pistes!

Sainte Foy is nestled in the French Alps close to Val d'Isère and offers superb skiing off the beaten track: it remains remarkably unspoiled - preserving its authentic charm and local architecture. Lifts take you up to 2,550 metres and the Col de l'Aiguille is the launchpad for much of the off-piste skiing for which Sainte Foy has earned its reputation. Superb off-piste descents in one of the world's premier ski regions!

This is an introductory course and is ideal for anyone looking for a new skiing challenge or if you want to get more of a whole mountain experience. At the end of the course, you will be able to ski confidently off-piste, have a range of skills for coping with a variety of snow conditions and will be aware of safety issues associated with the mountains in winter, including avalanches.

Our Off-Piste Coaching courses are intensive instructional ski courses aimed at helping you make the transition from piste to off-piste and teaching you the techniques to confidently ski the whole mountain. Each course blends off-piste instruction with sessions on mountain safety and awareness combined with excellent skiing that guarantees they are informative, educational and a lot of fun.

On our courses, you’ll never ski with more than 6 in a group so that everyone receives excellent individual attention as well as enjoying loads more skiing, minimal waiting and a safer experience on the mountain.

Our courses don’t just run for 6 hours during the day: we do our best to ensure that your group will really gel over the week. We use apartment-style accommodation with comfy areas to relax and all meals are taken as a group (including two evening meals out during the week). So even if you come on your own, you are sure to meet loads of like-minded skiers and have a great time. You’ll leave the course not only with new skills but with new friends and some wonderful memories!

Day Itinerary

  • Travel out day

    You should aim to arrive in Ste Foy by late afternoon. There will be a welcome meeting and briefing at 7pm

    We offer a group transfer to Ste Foy from Geneva airport (The group will meet at 2 pm for a 2:30 pm departure) or a pick-up from Bourg-st-Maurice for anyone travelling by train. 

  • The programme includes 5 full days of off-piste skiing instruction

    The course has been designed by our team and is concise, complete and unique. During the course, we use template analysis to give you a clear understanding of ski technique and ensure you know exactly what you need to focus on to improve - providing you with a precise roadmap relevant to your ambition.

    We include off-piste and mountain safety skills and depending on your previous knowledge and skill level, we ensure you understand and are practised in the use of transceivers as well as effective use of shovel and probe.

    The last day (Saturday) will be a non-guided free ski day. 

    In addition, our coaches will:

    • provide an informative talk on mountain awareness and avalanche safety
    • involve you in decision-making so that you can learn the craft of finding the best conditions on the mountain and where to avoid
    • create scenarios so that you can experience working as a team with your safety kit

    During the week we aim to do 2 sessions of video analysis:

    • the first to show areas where you can improve
    • the second to form goals for you to move forward at the end of the week

     

    We keep the exact itinerary flexible and it does vary depending on the composition of the group and the weather and snow conditions


    In addition our coaches will
  • Depart after breakfast

2024

Dates

Price

Sun 07 Jan
- Sun 14 Jan
£1585 Full
Sun 17 Mar
- Sun 24 Mar
£1585 Book
Flexible From £1,585 PRIVATE GROUP Enquire

The price includes:

  • 5 full days of guiding and instruction
  • 7 nights of half-board accommodation (5 evening meals) in a fully catered apartments
  • 1 evening meal in a restaurant (drinks are not included)
  • daily ski transfers in a private vehicle
  • group transfer from Geneva airport, pick-up/drop-off at Bourg St Maurice (for the ski train)

 

The price does not include:

  • lift pass
  • lunches
  • personal insurance
  • equipment hire
  • international travel
  • 1 evening meal

 

The supplement for a room on single occupancy is £295 and is subject to availability. Contact us for details.

 

 

 

We are proud to offer all of our returning customers and the Ski Club of Great Britain members a £50 discount.

The promotion is valid for qualifying bookings made before the end of October 2023.

 

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE

Your Financial Protection
ATOL
£2.50 per person of the cost of any air package is paid to the Civil Aviation Authority to provide ATOL Protection to you. This means the money paid for these arrangements is fully protected. Our ATOL number is ATOL 2911. For more information see our booking terms and conditions.
ABTOT
ABTOT provides protection for your booking as set out in Holiday Information.
Ski Club Winter Arrangements limited (trading as Mountain Tracks)
Registered in England No. 2099115. VAT No. GB 461 5692 34

ATOL        ABTOT

We accept the following payment methods

 

 

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.

    Skis

    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: www.elanskis.com

    Dynastar Skis:  www.dynastar.com

    Movement Skis: www.movementskis.com                                       

    Black Crows Skis: www.blackcrows-skis.com/

    Trab Skis: www.skitrab.com/en-us/

    Scott Skis: http://www.scott-sports.com

    Volkl Skis: http://www.voelkl.com

    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.


    Boots
    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. 

    Bindings
    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 http://mountaintracks.co.uk/discipline/winter-mountaincraft

    • 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
Ste Foy.jpg

Sainte Foy

View map

Sainte Foy-Tarentaise (to give it its full name) is a small village just off the main road up to Val d’Isère. The ski area and small resort is another 5 km away and boasts some of the best off-piste ski terrain in the Alps.

For years it has remained relatively unknown - particularly when compared to its more renowned neighbours of Tignes, Val d'Isère, Les Arcs & La Plagne. Its reputation as an off-piste ski area has grown and grown... what was just a Mountain Tracks secret for a while has started to leak out! That said, it remains unspoiled and still offers amazing skiing! Situated just below the famous Espace Killy (Tignes & Val d'Isère) in the heart of the Savoie region and fast building itself as a haven for off-piste skiers.

Sainte Foy boasts superb snow quality, unparalleled tree skiing and is never crowded. Groups will roam the terrain around Sainte Foy itself, Tignes, Val d'Isère, La Rosière and the twin resorts of Les Arcs & La Plagne - all of which provide extensive off-piste descents.

Our top reasons for visiting Sainte-Foy:
  • Small resort but revered by many for the quality of the off-piste skiing
  • Easy access to other world-class resorts: Val d’Isère, Tignes, La Plagne
  • Very good snow record and skiing until mid-April
  • Some of the best day tours and ski safari itineraries anywhere in the Alps
  • North-facing slopes mean good conditions remain after most other resorts are tracked out

Resort Height: 1,550m

Highest Lift: 2,650m

Nearest Airport: Geneva or Chambery

Transfer Options: Geneva is a 2.5-3hr transfer by road. Our accommodation provider offers return airport transfers at fixed times (included in the price of our week-long trips at the Auberge, only between Geneva airport and the chalet), please contact our office to ask more about these transfers. Otherwise, you can get to the resort by road transfer with one of the many companies that offer seats bookable on a shared basis. There is also a public bus service to Bourg St. Maurice and Sainte Foy with Alti bus. If you are travelling from Chambery Airport you can take a train to Bourg St. Maurice and link to the resort with a taxi or bus.

It is also possible to travel by train to Bourg Saint Maurice (with a Eurostar direct day service from London St. Pancras to Bourg Saint Maurice on Saturdays throughout the ski season. Timetables and bookings are available at Eurostar. Bourg St Maurice is only 10km from the chalet and the train offers a viable alternative to a flight and transfer. The chalet hosts provide a twice-daily pick-up and drop-off service at the station.

  • 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 http://www.skiclubinsurance.co.uk/
    If you need assistance arranging your personal insurance please let us know.
     

  • Sainte Foy is accessible by road, rail and air.

    The nearest airport is Chambery with a 90-minute transfer time. Geneva and Lyon are both about 2½ hours away.

    The course fee includes a group transfer to/from Geneva airport.  We meet at 2 pm at Geneva airport on the arrival day so you should arrive on a flight no later than 1.15 pm; on the departure day, we ask you to book a flight that leaves Geneva airport no earlier than 2 pm so there is time to travel to the airport. 

    It is also possible to travel by train to Bourg Saint Maurice (with a Eurostar direct day service from London St. Pancras to Bourg Saint Maurice on Saturdays throughout the ski season. Timetables and bookings are available at Eurostar. Bourg St Maurice is only 10km from the chalet and the train offers a viable alternative to a flight and transfer. The chalet hosts provide pick-up and drop-off service at the station. There will be a supplement payment for transfers to/from Bourg Saint Maurice directly to chalet hosts. 

    Check with our office for detailed travel arrangements.

  • From 2024, travellers heading into the Schengen Area under a British passport will be required to complete an Electronic Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) clearance before travelling

    The ETIAS pre-clearance system is similar to systems already in place in the USA and Canada (the ESTA and eTA systems, respectively). It serves to enhance security by checking the details of those wishing to travel to the Schengen Area before they arrive.

    All persons travelling under a British passport, or a passport of another country where entry is permitted into the Schengen Area without a visa, need to complete the ETIAS process. If you hold an EU or Schengen Area passport or hold a valid EU or Schengen Area visa, you do not need to complete the ETIAS process.

    An ETIAS will cost a 7EUR processing fee, although this is waived for those under the age of 18 or over the age of 70. ETIASs will be valid for a period of three years from application, provided your passport remains valid during this period; a new passport will require a new ETIAS.

     

    What will I be asked on the ETIAS application form?

    As a pre-screening check, the ETIAS online application form will ask for basic personal details to establish your identity.

    This will include:

    • Valid passport / Travel document information
    • Full name
    • Current address
    • Citizenship status
    • Sex
    • Preferred gender
    • Dual citizenship status
    • Email address
    • Telephone number
    • Date of birth
    • Final destination member state
    • Educational background
    • Occupational background

    During the ETIAS application or appeal process, you may be asked about your:

    • Criminal history
    • Past incarceration
    • Felon status
    • Past European travel
    • Drug use
    • Health history

    How much does it cost to submit an ETIAS application form?

    The ETIAS application process requires an application fee of 7 (EUR) euros. Payment is required to complete the application process. ETIAS will only accept electronic payments from your debit or credit card.

    Once payment is completed, most applicants will receive approval within minutes. An approved ETIAS visa waiver will be valid for three consecutive years upon issuance.

    Apply for ETIAS approval to ensure you can include your favourite European destinations in your travel plans.

     

    More information on the ETIAS system is still to be confirmed by ETIAS authorities, including when and how applications will be accepted. We have provided this handy FAQ on the ETIAS system to help you understand how to navigate the ETIAS system when it goes live. 

    Useful links:
    https://www.skiclub.co.uk/etias-information

    https://etias.com/

     

     

  • 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 in Sainte Foy is provided by AllAtSki. Please check the holiday description to confirm which accommodation the course will be housed in or contact the office team to find out more. 

    The Auberge update:

    It is with sincere regret that we must inform you that we will no longer be able to use the Auberge. The chalet has been sold, and as a result, we will be relocating to apartments situated in close proximity to the ski lifts, shops, bars, and restaurants.

     

     

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