Switzerland, Europe

Off-Piste Coaching Development Zinal

Off-piste skiing instruction at its best, in one of our favourite ski areas. The area offers extensive opportunities to work on more advanced off piste skiing techniques and strategies for skiing different snow conditions.

Our Off-Piste Coaching Development courses are ideal progression courses for skiers who have previously participated in an introductory off-piste course (or similar) and want to improve their skills and boost their confidence on an instructional off-piste course. The courses have been carefully designed by our team to help you achieve your personal goals and enjoy a superb holiday!

The courses are 5 full days of off-piste skiing instruction with maximum of 6 in the group. This ensures you get lots of individual attention and time to learn and improve your skiing plus have a safer, more enjoyable experience on the mountain with our instructors who have the very highest level of instructor qualifications and a real passion for teaching off-piste skills.

At the end of this course you will have the skills and confidence to ski a wide variety of off piste terrain including steeper lines and different snow conditions. You will also be able to evaluate the safety issues associated with steeper terrain and how to avoid dangerous situations and avalanches.

And the course doesn’t finish when the skiing stops: we do our best to ensure your group will really gel over the week. We use comfortable chalet style accommodation with communal areas where you can gather, relax and socialize and eat meals as a group (as well as one group evening meal out during the week). Plus the courses include in depth video analysis and sessions on avalanche safety and awareness.

The Val d'Anniviers region is only 2 hours from Geneva, and yet remains one of Switzerland's best kept secrets. As a high altitude ski destination, Zinal's snow is reliable and the lift pass allows access to 5 ski resorts: Vercorin, Grimentz, Zinal, St-Luc and Chandolin.

Day Itinerary

  • Travel out to Zinal

    You should aim to arrive by late afternoon. The week will begin with a welcome meeting in the chalet at around 7pm on the first evening with your your hosts in the chalet or a representative from Mountain Tracks

  • The first day is a warm-up day when no instruction is provided and your instructors will meet you in the evening for a short meeting to discuss the itinerary for the week and the prevailing weather and snow conditions.

    There follows 5 full days of off-piste coaching. 

    The principal aims of this course are:

    • To provide first class ski instruction from professional, friendly ski instructors to radically improve your off piste skiing technique and style
    • To give practical mountain awareness training on the hazards and risks associated with skiing off-piste
    • To provide the opportunity to ski the best off-piste in the Sainte Foy area
    Itineraries vary depending on the composition of the group and the weather and snow conditions.
  • Depart after breakfast

The price includes: all guide fees and expenses, 7 nights chalet board 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 single supplement. 

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.

    • 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 Icebreaker and Smartwool. 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 soft shell 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 with 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 a good downhill ski and boot are required.

    Skis
    There are many ‘all-mountain’ skis to choose from and we highly recommend skis from Dynastar, Movement, Black Crows, Trab Skis, Scott and Volkl. Look for a ski that is the right size for you 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 – 90-100mm under the foot - is perfect for getting to grips skiing off piste and these skis give you floatation in powder snow but are still easy to handle and carve on the piste.

    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

    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


    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 €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
Matterhorn August 2016 5

Switzerland

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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.

  • Getting to Zinal

    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!

     

  • 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.
  • Chalet Edelweiss

    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!
     

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