Off-piste skiing, 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 weeks 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
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.