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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..."!


About Zinal

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.


Chalet Accommodation

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.

Typical Itinerary

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!

Saturday: Departure



Local transport is provided by a free bus and we may use a local taxi (minimal cost) when we go to St Luc.


Further Information

Download the Info Pack for more information and please get in touch with any questions.

Call: +44 (0)845 564 5219   Email:
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Course Detail
Price: £1350
Approx: €1,852.26 / $2,077.08
Ability level: Intermediate
I am an off piste skier with varying success and have skied at least 1-2 weeks predominantly off piste. I can link, without traversing, at least 5 – 10 turns together with reasonable control, style and speed, down the fall line, in most snow types. Deep/heavy snow and crust are still a problem. I usually don’t fall unless the snow is very heavy/deep or crusty. I may not like icy slopes but can ski them in control.
Fitness Level: B
I can ski all day with only short breaks and can hike up to 2 hours a day (600m of uphill) at a reasonable pace. I exercise at least twice a week if not more for minimum one hour. I will run, cycle, swim and enjoy regular cardio. I am happy to suffer for a little while, so that i can enjoy a few well earned beers after!
Guiding ratio: 1:6
What's included:
  • guides expenses
  • guiding fees
  • chalet accommodation (half board)
What's not included:
  • uplifts
  • equipment rental
  • travel insurance
  • lunches/snacks when in the mountains
  • transport to/from Zinal
Course Dates
Starting 10th Jan 2016 Enquire about this course
Starting 06th Mar 2016 Enquire about this course
As you said.........I had skied for years and always seen these dots in
the far distance and thought "I wanna be a dot" - so I got in touch with
Dream Guides and they fixed it for me and now I am a dot too!
Andy MacInnes, Zinal Backcountry Ski Week
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