A free day to get your ski legs tuned in the Saint Foy ski domain. Pick up at the end of day and back to the Auberge for some R&R.
Drinks are served down at the hot tub. In the ski room we’ll have a session on skins and ski touring equipment for those that need it. The guides will arrive to conduct a briefing and issue safety equipment followed by a superb evening meal.
After a warm up ski together on the front side of the domain we’ll head for the Col d’Aiguille and either boot stomp the ridge or skin up to the summit of the Fogliettaz.
This takes around 45 minutes and gives us accesses to the North face – a huge steep skier’s paradise. There’s 1800m of vertical to descend to La Mazure where we’ll have a minibus waiting to get us the 10 minutes back to the Auberge.
Evening of chilling out with optional drinks in the outdoor hot tub and a gourmet dinner to follow.
Today we’ll head to Val d’isère to get some big altitude and an iconic ski descent. We’ll park up at Le Fornet and ride the lift system to the top of the Pissalis glacier – where we’ll take a warm up ski through the Pays Desert.
We’ll head up again and from the top of the t-bar we’ll traverse and then skin up to the Col de l’Ouille Noir. The other side opens up fabulous views across to the Albaron and the slopes down to Bonneval at the top of the Maurienne valley. We’ll descend heading skiers lift to the bottom of the Col des Montets for the hour’s climb to the ridge. Here we’ll be just below the Grande Aiguille Rousse (the Big Russian Needle to you and I) and drop straight down into the north facing descent to the Prariond Refuge.
For those of you used to seeing the amusement park thrills of Val d’isère and Tignes, this will be a backcountry eye opener. What a beautiful descent and what a beautiful valley!
We’ll descend through the Malpasset Gorge and back to the minibus at Le Fornet. Back at the Auberge that evening we’ll have a session on ski tech skills in the Auberge ski room. More pampering and another gourmet dinner.
Depart after breakfast.
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
£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 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
We accept the following payment methods
The price includes: 6 full days guiding and instruction, 7 nights half-board accommodation (6 evening meals) in a fully catered chalet, daily ski transfers in private vehicle.
The price does not include: lift pass, lunches, personal insurance, equipment hire, international travel.
Single room occupancy in the Auberge is limited and will incur an additional charge of 50% (around £230 - £260). Contact the office for further details.
This is an extensive list of the recommended clothing and equipment you will need if you are coming on one of our Off-Piste Adventure trips. On all our weeks you’ll be staying in comfortable catered chalets or hotels. When skiing you need to carry just a day pack, which contains your safety equipment and any personal items or extra clothing layers you may need.
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 the boundary line to the base lodge, peak to the 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.
If you are planning on buying skis for ski touring and general skiing and have any questions do not hesitate to call us to discuss the options available to you.
For our Off-Piste Adventure courses its best to have a pair of ski touring boots – they have great skiing performance and with the Vibram soles, they are much safer for scrambling around on rocky or icy ground. However standard downhill ski boots are also acceptable. We do not recommend you come on a trip with brand-new boots.
If you are going to be getting into off-piste and ski touring, then rather than having a pair of downhill boots and a pair of ski touring boots, we strongly suggest that you opt for a good pair of ski touring boots. With advances made in plastics, mouldings and materials in recent years you can now get a ‘hybrid’ touring boot that offers as much downhill performance and stiffness but they come with a walk mode and good flexibility for the uphill too. Many boots fall into the category "hike & ride" so a 3 or 4-buckle boot, walk mode, Vibram/grippy sole and possible Pin binding compatible.
It just makes more sense - not only are they much more comfortable to walk in compared to ordinary ski boots, but they are also great to ski in too.
Our guides are using ROXA boots. They recommend R3 ski boots, the lightest high-performance alpine ski boot in its class. The 110 TI is geared for big mountain chargers who may use “Tech” and/or Alpine bindings and often hike or skin to find their lines. The RX Tours is targeted toward skiers who prefer to blaze their own trail and leave the lift lines behind.
Scarpa has led the way in touring boots for many years but they have been joined by other manufactures like Dynafit, Salomon, Scott, Black Diamond, Dalbello and K2; all producing their own versions of a ski touring boots.
The best of the rest are:
Fischer - Transalp
Black Diamond – Quadrant and Factor
K2 – Pinnacle boot
Dalbello – Lupo or Sherpa
Langue – XT series offer a ski boot with a walk mode in various flex options
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.
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. Don’t forget if you have footbeds in your downhill boots but need to rent touring boots then you can bring the footbeds with you and put them in the hire boots.
We prefer you to have ski touring bindings on your skis for our adventure courses but if you have downhill bindings mounted on your skis then this is perfectly acceptable. The new touring bindings are every bit as safe for downhill as alpine bindings, yet you have the additional advantage of being able to walk uphill with them to access the real off-piste. Fritschi Diamir and Marker both have great bindings which can be used with ski touring boots and downhill boots. Many more people are seeing the advantage of the “pin” binding system now offered by a number of manufacturers; they are light and offer ever-improving security despite their minimalist looks!
Although Pin bindings have been around since the Dynafit Low Tech bindings over 30 years ago. Since their patent expired the technology has advanced substantially. Elan, with its AMBITION 12 AT is a world-class alpine touring binding with innovative climbing technology, natural ski flex and proven downhill performance. The binding features the AT Toe, which can be easily adjusted to alpine (ISO 5355) and touring boot norms (ISO 9523), plus a 65 mm wide mechanical Anti Friction Gliding Element to provide constant release values. Our lead guides are using the Elan bindings this winter, so if you’d like to know more about them give Elan Skis a ring.
Although our Off-Piste Adventure courses rely heavily on the lift systems in resorts, access to and egress from runs sometimes involve climbing and walking a short way and you may undertake 1 or 2 day ski tours, for this reason its best to have skis with ski touring bindings, skins and ski touring boots.
The “Safety Trilogy” - applicable for all our off-piste courses and ski tours.
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 €20-30 per day or around €100-120 for 6/7 days.
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 https://mountaintracks.co.uk/discipline/winter-mountaincraft
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.
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 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.
Our Off-Piste Adventure courses are run by our team of IFMGA Mountain Guides.
The guide to skier ratio is 1:6 maximum, our advanced weeks typically run on a 1:4 ratio with expert trips either 1:2 or 1:1 we can run with a maximum of 2 groups on the same 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.
IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV
The IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV symbol is the logo of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association.
Nick, Olly and Matt are all fully-qualified UIAGM Mountain Guides and members of the British Mountain Guides Association.
The International Ski Instructors Association is the world body for professional ski instructors.
The ISIA was formed in 1971 and there are currently 39 member nations representing the very best in ski instruction around the world.