Sainte Foy, France

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 unspoilt - preserving its authentic charm and local architecture. Lifts take you up to 2,550 metres and the Col de l'Aiguille, the launch pad 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 chalet style accommodation with comfy areas to relax and all meals are taken as a group (including one evening meal 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!

This course will be based in Chalet Laperin & Chalet Montagnard.

The price includes 5 full days guiding and instruction, 7 nights half-board accommodation (6 evening meals) in fully catered chalet, daily ski transfers in private vehicle, group transfer from Chambery or Geneva airport (minimum 4 people), pick-up/drop-off at Bourg St Maurice (for ski-train).

The price does not include: Lift pass, lunches, personal insurance, equipment hire, international travel



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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 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
Ste Foy.jpg

Sainte Foy

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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 kms 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 offer return airport transfers at fixed times (included in the price of our week-long trips at the Auberge), 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 who 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.

Auberge sur la Montagne is our accommodation provider in Sainte Foy, run by Sue & Andy Mac and a team of very efficient and friendly staff.

The Auberge sur la Montagne has 8 ensuite bedrooms which have all have been renovated over the past few years and offer a modern contemporary feel. There is a comfortable lounge, bar, outdoor hot tub, sauna, TV room and extensive in-house ski hire all available in the Auberge.

Chalet Laperin and Montagnard are situated just 50 metres from the slopes of Sainte Foy resort, so are virtually ski-in, ski-out. Both offer sensational views across the Tarentaise valley, so you’ll enjoy your meals eye to eye with the Aiguille Rouge and Mont Pourri mountains.

Laperin is being newly renovated for the 2018-19 season to offer 4 ensuite bedrooms, comfortable living room with fireplace, stunning views from the large floor to ceiling windows, and sauna to relax in after a hard day on the slopes. Meals will be served for the whole group in Laperin.

Montagnard also has large floor to ceiling windows, large balconies and living room with log fire. It offers 4 bedrooms, 2 with ensuite shower rooms, and 2 rooms sharing a bathroom.
All the accommodation has free internet access and UK Satellite TV.

Meals are provided by the full-time chefs who will give you a fine dining experience on 6 evenings. Breakfast is served as a buffet style and there is afternoon tea and cake available each day on your return from the slopes.

Auberge & Chalets sur la Montagne maintain a good stock of rental skis and boots suitable for off-piste skiing and ski touring. These will be fitted by their qualified, experience ski techs in the comfort of your accommodation on your arrival evening. We do recommend that you reserve skis and boots in advance, so please contact our office for details.

  • 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 chalet hosts provide group transfers to/from Geneva airport, which are included in the cost of the holiday (minimum 4 people per transfer).  We meet at 2pm at Geneva airport on the arrival day so you should arrive on a flight no later than 1.15pm; on the departure day we ask you to book a flight that leaves Geneva airport no earlier than 2pm 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 a twice-daily pick-up and drop-off service at the station.

    Check with our office for detailed travel arrangements.

  • 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 will be a mix of mountain hotels and traditional mountain huts with some nights in twin rooms and other nights in dormitories. Food is always excellent and the huts serve wine and beer.

    HOTEL RIU NERE
    Located in the centre of Vielha Town, in the heart of the old part of the city, next to the Town Hall, the tourist office and the area full of bars and restaurants.

     

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