Off-piste skiing in the the Val d'Annivièrs region still remains one of Switzerland's best kept secrets, despite its 2 hour proximity from Geneva. Being a high altitude ski destination snow is reliable and the lift pass allows access to 5 ski resorts: Vercorin, Grimentz, Zinal, St-Luc and Chandolin; offering huge scope for the week's adventure.
The Val d'Annivièrs consists of five idyllic and picturesque villages and is renowned for its variety of snow and the scope of its freeride domain. Each day our pursuit of untouched powder snow starts from a different ski region in the valley allowing for something new everyday as we explore the whole length and breadth of the valley.
This trip is a IFMGA guided week exploring the region. Your guide will take you to off piste areas that are far away from the pistes and unknown to most visitors to the area, enhancing the sense of adventure. Your guide will be able to ensure an action packed holiday and will also take on the responsibility for keeping the group safe in the winter conditions.
The week is intended to be fun with lots of thrilling skiing but always directed with maximum attention to your safety and the safety of others. You will be provided practical mountain awareness training on the hazards and risks associated with skiing off-piste particularly for avalanches - all while skiing the best off-piste in the region.
Travel to Zinal. You should aim to arrive in Zinal by late afternoon.
There will be a welcome meeting and briefing with your guide at 7pm before dinner.
Depart after breakfast.
The price includes: all guide fees and expenses, 7 nights half-board chalet accommodation (twin rooms)
The price does not include: lift pass, lunches, beverages, personal insurance, equipment hire, travel to/from Zinal
Single room occupancy is subject to availability and will incur additional charges. Ask us for details.
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
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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.
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.
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 BCA Float sacks. 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 http://mountaintracks.co.uk/discipline/winter-mountaincraft
Switzerland is a mountainous Central European country consisting of 26 Cantons, with Bern as its main federal city.
It is boarded by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Its a landlocked country with the mountainous regions occupying a greater part of its territory.
Home to around 8 million people (2013) the country has many pretty villages, lakes and mountains. The highest mountain in Switzerland is the Monterosa (specifically the Dufourspitze) at 4,634m. The country has the highest concentration of 4000m peaks at 48.
Its 2 largest cities of Zurich and Geneva are global economic centres and gateways to the Alps from countries across the world.
Its main languages are French, German, Italian and Romansh.
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.
The most convenient airports are Geneva or Zurich airport, from where you can take the train to Sierre (Geneva 2 hrs, Zurich 2.5 hrs).
At Sierre catch the yellow Post Bus to Zinal (you may need to change in Vissoie). Ask the driver for Mottec (as it’s a request stop) and the bus stops right outside the Auberge Edelweiss. This is the large balconied house alongside the road.
Train and bus timetables can be found at www.sbb.ch/en
Alternatively, you can hire a car at the airport: driving time to the Auberge is approximately 2 hrs from Geneva, and 2.5 hrs from Zurich.
You should arrange to arrive in Zinal by late afternoon on Day 1 and we recommend that you arrange your return/onward flight for mid to late afternoon to give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport without having to rush!
Our Off-Piste Adventure courses are run by our team of IFMGA Mountain Guides led by Olly Allen, Matt Dickinson and Nick Parks.
The guide to skier ratio is 1:6 and we can run with a maximum of 2 groups on the same week.
Our base is Chalet Edelweiss in the hamlet of Mottec, 2km from Zinal and at the foot of one of the valley’s best off-piste routes.
Our hosts Penny and Eric renovated the old building themselves, providing a luxurious chalet with great facilities for skiers - 5 ensuite bedrooms, a range of Scott freeride skis to test, ski-room with boot dryer, warm booting-up space and a stop for the free ski-bus right outside.
Our groups have loved this home from home, with its huge double-sided fireplace, ample seating and extensive library, as well as vin chaud evenings around the outdoor firepit. Penny’s delicious food is a highpoint - not just the cakes, fantastic evening meals and local wines, but also the lavish breakfasts devised to send you out prepared for the ski day ahead!
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.