Off-piste skiing in Val d’Isère, French Alps


For many skilled skiers and snowboarders, the best thing about skiing in Val d’Isère is that it has one of the world’s biggest off-piste ski areas, which is not restricted to fitness fanatics with special equipment. Even quite a modest skier can reach thousands of acres of powder straight from the lifts. And although the most accessible slopes are quickly tracked out, a good guide can find fresh powder or velvet spring snow days after the last fall.


Several ski schools specialise in guiding small groups off-piste, which individuals can join. They go off to find postcard powder, virgin spring snow and thousand-metre drops down untracked mountainsides to villages from which they helicopter back.


Security is taken very seriously. Long-term Val d'Isère resident Henry Schniewind runs his weekly 'Henry’s Avalanche Talks', dedicated entirely to keeping you safe off-piste, with lectures and discussions of snow safety and lessons on using transceivers.


For information about off-piste conditions and avalanche risk:

Alpine Experience has an informative website and daily blog at

Henry's Avalanche Talk is on

Valdinet has a section on off-piste at

Méteo France gives avalanche warnings for the Val d'Isère area
There is no alternative to hiring a guide from one of the many ski schools in Val d'Isère - particularly the off-piste specialists and guides as shown on this website under Ski schools.