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A New Off-Piste Adventure?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Looking for suggestions for an off-piste adventure next year?

This year I found my limits.
Went to La Grave and skied boiler plate in no-fall-zones with much younger guys who have skied seasons and from the age of two [I will be 60 in a couple of weeks] …….
I have realised that I am not part of that demographic. I just got very scared and had no fun. I am simply not good enough/experienced enough for that level of danger.

My absolute love is skiing reasonable trees on good snow in Canada.

Not interested in skiing on-piste as it is too dangerous ….. wink

I have skied Japan a few times and loved it but it’s such a bloody long way away.

Only started getting seriously into off-piste in my 50s on Snoworks courses having been a decent-ish piste skier for 25 years. These courses were perfect for me as I have virtually no friends who wanted to take the time, spend the money, or ski off-piste.
I have skied the majority of major European ski areas [3 Valleys, Espace Kily, Alrlberg etc] and am a bit fed up with the industrial nature …. which is why I like Canada so much.
Very happy with Snoworks but need to try something different now.

I have realised that I don’t really want to tour …. but skinning to find good snow for a couple of hours is fine.
Much prefer the down to the up. I am not really interested in skinning for 4 hrs for half an hour of skiing.

I am also not interested if it is massively steep and narrow in areas where I am going to die if I fall.

Has anyone got any suggestions for interesting, off-the-beaten-track, off-piste destination that doesn’t involve a long-haul flight? Preferably skiing with a group?
I may be asking too much?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@FoofyNoo, I have no particular suggstion to make other than to browse thse forums for previous reports - I'm sure I've seen reports of trips to Gudari and other lesser known resorts (mainly in eastern europe) that may be interesting to you. I'm also interested in similar things, though my funds may not permit me to give it a go (to say nothing or Mrs NBT who would prefer that I ski on piste with her)
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Pete Gillespie runs trips to the Balkans, a bit of skinning and cat trips as well, pretty well off the beaten track Smile

http://alpinecoaching.co.uk/courses-1#courses

a few run trips to Iceland and Norway as well but can be very weather dependent
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@FoofyNoo, I'm in a similar position. As I've got older I've waned in enthusiam for the steep bit of steep n deep, and the consequences of long slides mean I rarely ski at my best in such situations. That and I'm not really interested in macho bragging about type 2 fun in spicy conditions. Serre Chevalier is a pretty good shout for tree skiing in Europe I think there may be some newly available SOPiB places next month
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I think Gulmarg (Kashmir) would fit you perfectly. Massive amounts of fun but not extreme (steeper than Japan, not as steep as a lot of the Alps) terrain and wide open bowls and faces straight from the lift, or with a 30 minute bootpack. Travel time is much less than Japan too.

Food is incredible, plenty of cultural experiences to be had if you want (or just focus on the skiing if you don't), and definitely an adventure.

Some of my thoughts here (they've chopped up the article a bit to turn it into a landing page and added new headlines for SEO, but hopefully still readable):

https://www.luex.com/snow/article/kashmir-heliskiing-in-the-himalayas.html
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I've ridden both Norway and Iceland, but Iceland doesn't have any trees and I don't remember any in Norway where the snow was.

If you're excluding long-haul flights, then you're missing the obvious targets as listed in the OP.

It may be worth considering the less obvious European places, anywhere the tour operators / macho types don't go. Les Arcs would be better than Espace Killy, for example. I don't ride in Europe enough to know where "the goods" are, but where I've found resort-based powder there, it's been in places which the "wannabe" / "hard core" types don't go. The Pyrenees may be worth a look, although I can't remember there being much in the way or trees there.

But the real answer is to work out how to do long-haul better, then pick your steepness and type of tree and it's all good.
Even there though, going where other people don't is the way to do it. Or rent spend the brexit dividend and rent a helicopter.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
sounds like heli skiing is right up your alley if budgets allow!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
in addition, Macedonia? look up the popova shapka trip reports....
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Tetnuldi and Hatsvali in Georgia look pretty impressive.
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Disentis … massive amount of not too extreme terrain, short skin/hike from lifts, not crowded. South facing so best done earlier in the season. And you are still in the first world country with all the infrastructure, security and such
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Charliee wrote:
sounds like heli skiing is right up your alley if budgets allow!


Was thinking the same. If you can spare 5k Mestia, Georgia via Istanbul with Flory Kern is bl00dy good!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@FoofyNoo, alternatively Zinal or Arolla in Switzerland or Monte Rosa in Italy are worth looking at


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Wed 12-02-20 14:33; edited 1 time in total
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Getting to Japan takes about the same time as getting to Canada.

Worth it.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Blimey! There are loads of places suggested that I have never even heard of!
Perfect. Thank you.
Head down now for much research ......
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Sounds like you had bad conditions in La Grave. Try and go there in good snow with a guide. A lot of the big runs like La Voute etc. are pretty serious undertakings in hard snow. In powder, however, it is a different story. Besides heli skiing, I don't think you will find better skiing anywhere.
ski holidays
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
If you were interested in Mestia I did a TR with prices here:
https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=3392019&sid=252ec7f8e11346df733294bacd0e1565
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
If you don't want to go too far then I'd consider Alagna. Suspect a few people run groups there. Good lift serviced offpiste, not all of it that steep and lots of it feels quite remote from the pistes. As @BobinCH, says, can also do some Heli there. Think the classic is a drop that allows you to ski from well over 4000m down to Zermatt follower by a second drop that allows you back to Alagna
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Might be worth looking at Eagle Ski Club and companies like Mountaintracks. I’m sure you can find compatible holidays and likeminded skiers there. Both those do trips to Zinal for example.
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@FoofyNoo, I’m roughly the same age as you and feel pretty much the same way. The conclusion I have come to is that if you want to ski good easily accessible safe powder without a guide the best bang for buck is last minute 3/4 day trips to the Alps. Been lucky enough to have had epic conditions for the last 5 years. Last year hit the storms in Austria, the year before 2 meters of snow fell in 3 days in Val dIsere ,year before booked Fieberbrun when it was green and it snowed for a week. Recent years have included Alagna and Gressoney and Klosters. wepowder has proved brilliant. You just need to keep an eye on the forecast and Wepowder, keep some dates clear and ideally have a likeminded mate. Then hit Air BnB hire a car and off you go.
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Georgia.
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If you don’t need to book in advance I would also suggest the Pyrenees, keep an eye on the weather and look to do several small resorts whilst there. Pic du midi is regarded as the Pyrenean equivalent of La Grave, one loft to the top and any route down. Plenty of tree skiing to be had when the snow is right, Pyrenees are generally lower than the alps and therefore you’ll always be hitting the tree line.
One bonus is the lack of people so fresh snow lasts days without having to go off hiking, especially midweek outside of local holidays!

Unfortunately not the case right now as we are having a poor winter snow wise.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
San Martino di Castrozza, Dolomites, Italy

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=124440

https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/corvara-marmolada-san-martino-di-castrozza-trafoi-dolomites-italy-13-19-march-2016.74482/

Pics here

https://www.facebook.com/mike.richards.927/media_set?set=a.10153976841828624&type=3

https://www.facebook.com/mike.richards.927/media_set?set=a.10154090912868624&type=3
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Have a look at the ISM programme. (International School Mountaineering) Owing to the company name it probably wouldn't be the first place you would look for ski adventure. The skiing is lead in the main by British guide Terry Ralphs.
Terry lives in Leysin and has an encyclopedic knowledge of northern French alps and vast tracts of Switzerland.
One of the reasons I mention this option is the positive approach to "ski fun", great places, safe places and generally a remarkable quality of snow. Have a look.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Did a Intro to Ski Touring with Terry a loooong time ago:

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=1996577

Top bloke.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Quote:

Have a look at the ISM programme.

ISM is excellent, well run and very careful as to the guides they employ.

Ryanair has just launched Georgia route. Not advocating flying Ryanair anywhere but it has consequently become easier and cheaper to go there than ever before.

Also, Black Sea, Dombai, gets regular good snowfall and is ridiculously cheap as there is no one there. Snow + nobody = good chance of fresh lines without touring.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Just back from a week of cat skiing in Bakhmoro, Georgia with powderproject.ch, was incredible.

Have a look on Instagram for bakhmaro and powderproject and start drooling.

Mostly German speaking but no issues just speaking English as everyone could.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@DTB how much for a week there?
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Eur 2300 for the week, plus whiz air flight to Kutaisi
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
An update on Bakhmaro they are open for skiing

https://www.twinmagazine.ch/the-powder-project/
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
The myriad of small resorts in the Valais; particularly Val D'Anniviers. The Magic Pass provides excellent value access if you ever do a season there...

I've had the best powder days outside Japan and Canada in some of those places whilst everyone else went to Crans, Verbs and the PdS Wink

For non-lift served terrain and sense of adventure, head to northern Norway. There's plenty of non-committing terrain amongst the stuff that is.

I've just seen some excellent footage of Snowdonia from the other day, too...
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Grimentz? Monterosa?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@FoofyNoo, Sounds like there are quite a few of us in the same situation ... I missed the thread last year so glad it has been resurrected.
The SOPIB in March was great when I went a few years ago ... I think i'm on a reserve list this year but tbh think it's very unlikely.
I have skied some of the places mentioned ... have had great weeks in St Anton with PtoP and Val with AA ... but also a few guided days in Monte Rosa were superb.
As others say - its the snow quality that really makes the difference ... I'm planning on several short notice trips this/next year when the conditions look epic and the slopes quiet. I'm also thinking about much smaller resorts and potentially a 4x4 to drive out for a couple of weeks and follow the good snow.
I think we need a short notice trip forum as like you I am short of pals looking to do what I want to do !
snow conditions
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Several suggestions above for Zinal/ Grimentz. Definitely not factory feel there. But full of full-on gnarly slopes where you don't want to fall or disturb snow pack, no?
ski holidays
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Pumba wrote:
If you don’t need to book in advance I would also suggest the Pyrenees, keep an eye on the weather and look to do several small resorts whilst there.


I'd second that. Lovely mountains.

I've spent a fair amount of time in Baqueira and the Val d'aran which has something for everyone.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@peanuthead, they exist for sure but so do plenty of slopes that don’t have such binary consequences
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Sharkymark wrote:
The myriad of small resorts in the Valais; particularly Val D'Anniviers. The Magic Pass provides excellent value access if you ever do a season there...

I've had the best powder days outside Japan and Canada in some of those places whilst everyone else went to Crans, Verbs and the PdS Wink

For non-lift served terrain and sense of adventure, head to northern Norway. There's plenty of non-committing terrain amongst the stuff that is.

I've just seen some excellent footage of Snowdonia from the other day, too...


Back in my tea club guiding days I had some of the best skiing in my life in Grimentz...........
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