Off Piste Ski Courses
Want to get escape the crowds, find challenging descents and the best snow conditions? Check out UCPA off piste ski courses - they offer the largest range of off piste courses in Europe, possible the world!
Anyone who has tried skiing off piste knows it is trickier than the freeride movies might suggest. Thankfully ski instruction has evolved from the ski school ‘train’ most of us are familiar with. Now there are companies like UCPA catering for off piste skiers. Skiing off piste carries a number of real dangers, therefore even the more experienced backcountry skiers should only explore these challenging areas with a qualified guide. Their local knowledge also comes with the advantage of knowing where the best snow is!
We have courses suitable for the intermediate piste skier looking to try off-piste for the first time through to guided weeks for those that want some tips on technique but their main aim is to find the best decents and the best conditions. Equally we have courses led by qualified high mountain guides that will push you to your limit with glacier skiing, steep couliors skiing and freeride courses. From La Grave to Chamonix, there are over 14 different off piste courses being run each week!
To read more on the dangers of skiing off piste and the risk of avalanches please read this article.
We have courses for intermediate and advanced piste skiers who want to learn and develop off piste skills, equally we have courses for expert level off piste skiers who want to be challenged further and find the best descents.
Please read the description for each course carefully to ensure you pick the correct course for your level. The standard is high and if you anyone not at the required level will be taken down a level. This is to everyone's advantage for both safety and enjoyment.
Essentially there are two types of course:-
Half Time (12 Hrs)
This course comprises of morning or afternoon sessions 4 days per week. Usually only the introductory off piste courses offer this half time format.
Full Time (23 Hrs)
You will have 9 half day session spread over 5 days. You will still have free time to ski with friends on Sunday, Saturday and at the end of each day. The off piste courses are normally the full time format as it provides enough time to reach and enjoy the best descents further afield. The more advanced courses that involve glacier skiing, or rope work to access steep skiing will be led by a UAIGM qualified guide (very often they are also fully qualified ski instructors too).
Of course there is some teaching, but this isn't ski school - it's all about skiing, having fun & learning knowledge to become safe in the mountains. The goal is always to teach self-reliance, so the instructor will be talking about snow pack safety, practicing with transceivers and developing your all round mountain skills.
Will vary from resort to resort - typically:-
- Saturday - Arrival day, check in & meet other participants
- Sunday - Collect ski equipment early morning, free skiing day
- Mon - Fri - Guided skiing in groups with your instructor. Normally Wednesday is just a 1/2 day of instruction.
- Saturday - Departure day, ski till lunchtime, enjoy a lunch, clear your room & say good bye (till the next time)
You will be provided with off-piste skis, boots & poles plus transceiver, shovel & probe. For more advanced courses harnesses and climbing gear will be provided too.
One of the nicest things about a UCPA holiday is the social aspect - it's a great way to meet new people through sharing good sporting times together. Whether you travel by yourself, or with friends you're sure to make some great new friendships through the week.
Not all resorts offer both half & full time instruction - check out the Dates & Prices tab to see what is available where.
One thing you can be sure of is that you'll be with a great bunch of like minded people and with one of the best instructors on the mountain.
See all ski courses
See all snowboard courses