Zinal Backcountry Skiing
Zinal Backcountry Skiing weeks are exciting guided ski holidays with the focus on skiing the best terrain and best snow further away from the pistes. Every day we will be exploring a new area to find the best snow and best descents. Some descents will be lift served off piste and some we will be boot-packing or skinning to get to.
As the week progresses you will pick up the essentials of backcountry skiing . These skills include avalanche awareness, skinning, boot packing, glacier skiing and decision making. As conditions permit we can cover crampon/ice axe skills and crevasse rescue.
These are great holidays in themselves and a good way to build skills needed for ski tours.
Who is it for?
This backcountry week is for any off piste skier keen to make the most of the Zinal region (including St Luc and Grimentz). This area really is huge and offers outstanding backcountry skiing, that is often untouched in comparison to the more famous resorts. Come and see for yourself!
You should be able to ski in most off piste snow types, linking turns. You should be an Intermediate or Advanced off piste skier. If you have not 'bootpacked' or 'skinned' uphill before, don't worry we will teach you. Some days we have no uphill work and others we may be going uphill for 1-2 hours.
If this all sounds like hard work, don't worry! It's your holiday and the pace is up to you - but a sniff of fresh powder and it's often "maybe just one more run..."!
Zinal, in Switzerland's Valais Alps has truely world class off piste skiing. The Val d'Anniviers is one of the Alps' hidden off piste destinations. Extensive, varied terrain, big vertical drop, north and east facing slopes and a good snow record combine with the essential and hard-to-find ingredient - no crowds. Throughout the season, even days after the last snowfall, you can find untracked snow.
Each of the resorts have easy to find, lift accessed freeriding, as well as big routes which take you right out of the ski domain, though many of these conveniently end back in one of the resorts or at a bus stop.
Zinal is an original mountain village that has grown to provide a good range of bars and restaurants, while still maintaining its charm and character. It is about 2 hours or so from Geneva airport.
We stay in Chalet Edelweiss in the hamlet of Mottec, just a minute or two outside the village of Zinal itself. This comfortable chalet provides us with half board accommodation with afternoon tea & cakes and includes beer/wine with the three course evening meal. We really are well looked after here! They also have a selection of skis to demo, being a Scott Ski test centre.
Saturday: Arrive Zinal and settle into chalet Edelweiss.
Sunday: Unguided warm up day for you to find your skiing legs. We meet in the evening
Monday - Friday: 5 days guided adventure. We use the entire Zinal region (including St Luc and Grimentz) to explore and find outstanding descents. some of which we will need to do upto 1-2 hours uphill effort for. We are not giving away anymore secrets to the locations!
Local transport is provided by a free bus and we may use a local taxi (minimal cost) when we go to St Luc.
Download the Info Pack for more information and please get in touch with any questions.