Skier seen from behind making the first track in the Combe sans Nom.

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Off-piste skiing

What is off-piste skiing?

If downhill skiing is practiced only on marked and maintained slopes, off-piste skiing extends on any slope accessible by the ski lifts: As soon as you leave the slopes, you are "off-piste".

Downhill skiing brings together 99% of skiers on 10% of the ski area.
1% of skiers take advantage of the remaining 90%. It's off-piste skiing.

Is off-piste skiing dangerous?

It all depends on the snow conditions, the weather, the visibility and especially the state of the snowpack. If the right conditions are met and you move on terrain suited to your technical level, it is even rather less dangerous than downhill skiing because the risk of collision between skiers is extremely low.

If all these favorable conditions are not met, just one simple rule:
We do not go off marked trails.

Wearing an A.R.V.A (avalanche victim search device) is essential for any off-piste excursion
SKI PROGRESSION provides free A.R.V.A to its customers

To summarize, we can say that off-piste skiing is no more dangerous than downhill skiing if you respect basic safety rules and are well supervised by people competent.

Minimum level required for off-piste skiing.

The snow conditions are extremely varied off-piste. Sometimes the snow is better and easier there than on marked trails.
In general, being comfortable on a red slope constitutes a reasonable technical basis for a easy start.

Two skiers posing in front of a huge serac on the Girose glacier

A huge serac on the Girose glacier, in the Vallons de la Meije.

On request, SKI PROGRESSION organizes exceptional trips in other ski areas, in particular in the legendary valleys of the Meije of La Grave that our instructors know perfectly well.

Wendy P wrote :

Laure was a brilliant instructor. She built up my daughter’s confidence on skis and was very knowledgeable. The lessons were great fun and my daughter loved learning with her. I would highly recommend Laure.
Wendy P. 10/04/2019
Skier seen from the front in a meter of powder snow. Fog

In the Grand Couloir in Courchevel.
One meter of cold and light powder snow.
We went to get it while it was falling.

That day, we were the only ones to go but the visibility was very poor.

Woman spreading her arms of happiness at the Dôme de la Loze. The summits of Oisans in the background

At 3500 meters above sea level. In the background, the wild summits of Oisans.

Off-piste skiing is also that:
Live simple pleasures in an exceptional environment, far from crowded slopes.

Skier on the edge of the Chavière glacier.

On the edge of the Chavière glacier, near the Thorens pass.

The snow, compacted by the wind, was as soft and easy to ski as the best groomed slope.

The danger was sunburn.

Family resting in the snow in the Lou valley.

Off-piste with the family!

Towards the bottom of the Lac du Lou route, on the Cime Caron side.

Great weather, 15 cm of powder and light snow on a compacted but not icy ground:
Ideal conditions for starting long outings.