Mountain Bike in the Primiero valley, DolomitesJanuary 27, 2021
Selvaggio Blu (Wild Blue) trek, Sardinia east coastJune 14, 2021
cover photo: King of Dolomites 2016
gallery images: (6) I.Moshnikov / (13) F.Tremolada
We hesitated quite a long time before deciding to offer Ski-mountaineering courses, because there are so many already. Then, after considering what is around among all courses proposed by mountain guides, mountain organizations, and clubs, we realized that there was nothing similar to our idea of a ski touring course. So we took the decision to go ahead…
First, most courses are dedicated to Ski-Touring for beginners, or say for occasional skiers. Our courses are instead full Ski Mountaineering courses, dedicated to intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboaarders, having already a good technique in off-piste skiing and some practice at least in the use of crampons and ice axe. The participants to our courses take ski-mountaineering very seriously, likely as their major and regular sport activity to be practiced for years and maybe the whole life.
What’s the difference between Ski-Touring and Si-Mountaineering ? There is no official definition, but generally Ski-Touring takes place in easy terrain where you mostly ascend and descend on skls, without the use of technical gear and ropes. Ski-Mountaineering instead involves climbing sections on foot, where the use of crampons and ice axe is involved, or wherever you must be roped up (as on glacier crossings) and perform technical manoeuvers such as rappelling. Without doubt we will also categorize any kind of steep skiing as Ski-Mountaineering, because in a steep descent you may need climbing skills at any time.
The objective of our courses is to provide you with the basic skills to become an independent ski-mountaineer. After having completed the course, you will only need to practice a lot, doing many tours at progressively increasing difficulty. You may spend one or more seasons joining teams of more experienced ski-mountaineers, but sooner or later you shall acquire the experience to allow you to run a ski tour by your own, as a team leader.
During 5 intense days we will explain you the theory and practice of the most important techniques, such as: safe ski control on steep slopes, snow and ice climbing with crampons and ice axe, belay, rappelling, glacier roping and crevasse rescue, mixed rock and snow climbing, orienteering and route finding with map and gps.
As for avalanche rescue, participants are supposed to know already the basic search technique at least for single burial cases; therefore only advanced techniques involving multiple and/or deep burials will be explained and practiced.
WHAT IS DONE IN A TYPICAL DAY ?
It is not possible to acquire a complete Ski-Mountaineering formation in a single day. We found out by experience that 5 days are necessary at least. On each day you will have a ski tour on different terrain and you will practice the techniques which have been explained in theory the evening before.
During the tour, the instructors will teach you and show the techniques, suggest how to progress, correct any errors. Some photos and videos will be taken, which will be commented at evening.
We will carry out a careful selection, as to form a group of participants with similar skills and technical level, and shared objectives. To do so, first you will be asked to fill in a questionnaire and later to have a talk over the phone with our courses manager. This takes place prior to confirming your booking.
The team will include a maximum of 4-6 participants.
The language of the courses is English (other lamnguages available on request).
The staff includes two teachers , an IFMGA mountain guide (with special expertise on ski-mountaineering) and one ski instructor. For advanced courses we may have two IFMGA guides.
For each course a specific location in the Alps will be chosen. We will make sure to have at our disposal the necessary variety of terrain, a beautiful landscape, and a comfortable accomodation. Among our favourite locations we have Courmayeur (Mont Blanc) and Gressoney (Mont Rose) in Italy, St Moritz (Engadine) in Switzerland, Argentière (Mont Blanc) in France.
COURSES AVAILABLE – 3 LEVELS
We propose as standard two courses: intermediate and advanced. You may only start with the intermediate course. Advanced courses are limited to 4 participants and are available only for those who have positively attended and concluded the intermediate course with us.
Further steep skiing courses (min. 2 days) will also be available to the ones who have successfully concluded our advanced course. These special courses will have a staffing ratio of 1:1 (one instructor for one participant) and will be the totally custiomized to your needs.
We strongly suggest participants to bring along their skis or snowboard, boots, avalanche beacon-shovel-probe, crampons, ice-axe, harness, sleeping bag. We may optionally offer this gear for rental.
We provide common technical gear such as ropes and special tools for belay, rappelling, crevasse rescue, and camping gear such as tents and cooking hardware.
In order to help you to get the most value from the course, and to achieve the goal of becoming soon an independent ski-mountaineer, we will offer you a follow-up tutorship with one of our instructors. You may have periodic phone conversations with your instructor, as to discuss your progress and get advice. We may also organize for the course team, or just for yourself, one or more ski tours along the season. as to assist you in your progress and address some specific needs.
OPTIONAL EXTRA DAY: STAGE OF SKI MAINTENANCE
Participants may optionally extend the course of one day, for a stage (in laboratory) where a professional skiman will teach you how to carry out a complete maintenance of your skis or snowboard. You will learn how to repair the ski base, sharp the edges, apply waxes; all this by using standard amateur (not practitioner) tools. You may bring along your own skis or snowboard and practice directly on them.
Fully customized courses are available for individual participants as well as pre-estabished groups. Please contact us in due time. Early group bookings will benefit of special prices.
A special course may be offered to a group of only snowboarders.