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OFF-PISTE & AVALANCHE COURSES (OPAC)

4-DAY COURSES

DEC 2023, JAN 2024 , MAR 2024

BOOKINGS & ENQUIRIES via: 

 info@avoriazalpineskischool.com

IN COLLABORATION WITH:

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For skiers confident on black run terrain who are looking to improve their skiing in off piste and variable snow conditions as well as taking formal avalanche training.

Join Basi ISTD L4 ski instructors George Treble or Mark Mckellar for these 4 full day courses of instruction, guiding and avalanche training in Morzine Avoriaz.

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INCLUDING:

  • 4 mornings advanced ski technique tuition & guiding for steeper terrain & off piste conditions.

  • 4 afternoons of avalanche safety training 

  • 2024 Membership of the Off Piste Alpine Club (OPAC) 

  • Online pre-study preparation course (3-5 hours)

  • Daily Review of the weather forecasts & avalanche bulletins

  • Ski technique video analysis

 

Check out the full syllabus & schedule here.

Some courses are entirely lift-accessed.

Some courses are on ski touring equipment, but will still be majority lift-accessed (apart from 7-10th Dec).

 

Please check the course title when choosing your dates.  

Please note, the majority of these courses will be downhill skiing and avalanche training - the courses which run on ski touring equipment will allow the group to access some terrain away from the lifts, but the tours will be short. The courses are therefore suitable for those with little or no ski touring experience. With that in mind, skis better suited for downhill performance are preferable to any super lightweight skis and pin bindings. 

 

PRE-REQUISITE LEVEL

  • For skiers confident on black run terrain

  • Strong physical fitness

  • No prior avalanche training is required

  • You are advised to complete the online pre-study course before you arrive (3-5 hours)

 

Expect fun mornings of skiing black & off piste terrain followed by avalanche training afternoons (which also run on skiing equipment). This can also serve as a refresher course for those who have taken avalanche training in the past. If you are wondering how this course compares to other avalanche training courses, you can find out more about this here.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: 

  • Develop advanced skiing technique & confidence to tackle steeper terrain as well as off piste and variable snow conditions. 

  • Companion rescue skills in avalanche response.

  • Avalanche terrain analysis skills 

  • Weather & Avalanche forecasting

  • Mapping & route planning skills

  • Understanding Safe Travel & group management. 

EQUIPMENT: 

  • Skiing equipment and clothing - (N.B. check if your course is lift accessed or on ski touring gear)

  • Since the emphasis of the course will be on downhill skiing & avalanche training, downhill orientated skis and bindings are preferable to super lightweight skis and pin bindings. Something like a shift binding would be ideal. If you are on a lift accessed course, there will be no ski touring. If you are on a ski touring course, ensure you have skins & touring bindings. Boots with walk mode are recommended. Feel free to email us if you have any questions.

  • Backpacks - approx 30L is ideal. 

  • Helmets are strongly recommended

  • Transceiver/shovel/probe (you can borrow ours if you don't have your own - please ask)

  • Spare warm layers & gloves

  • Water & hot flask with tea/coffee etc

  • Packed lunch that we can eat on the go

  • Airbags optional but recommended

PRICE:

550 euros per person. 

Groups of minimum 4 & maximum 6

This price does not include accommodation or lift pass.

(in the event that the course does not achieve minimum numbers, a shortened course program will be offered (min. 6 weeks notice))

LOGISTICS:

Before and during your course you will be invited to a group whatsapp chat with the instructor and other group members. 

MEETING POINT:

Avoriaz Alpine Ski School hut on Avoriaz Plateau (unless otherwise stated)

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COURSE DATES:

1) COURSE 1:       7-10th December 2023  (Fully Booked) - Ski touring equipment 

2) COURSE 2:      14-17th December 2023 (Spaces Available) - Ski touring equipment

3) COURSE 3:      8-11th January 2024 (Spaces Available) - Lift Accessed

4) COURSE 4:      15-18th January 2024 (Spaces Available) - Lift Accessed

5) COURSE 5:       22-25th January 2024 (Spaces Available) - Ski touring equipment

6) COURSE 6:      29th Jan - 1st Feb 2024 (Fully booked) - Lift Accessed

7) COURSE 7:       5-8th Feb 2024 (Fully booked) - Lift Accessed

8) COURSE 8:      5-8th March 2024 (Spaces Available) - Lift Accessed

9) COURSE 9:      11-14th March 2024 (Spaces Available) - Ski Touring Equipment

10) COURSE 10:      18-21st March 2024 (Spaces Available) - Ski Touring Equipment

MEET THE INSTRUCTORS
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GEORGE TREBLE

George Treble is a BASI Level 4 instructor and ski touring guide as well as an ambassador for BCA & K2. Having lived and worked in NZ, Japan and Norway, George also has over 10 winter's of experience in the Portes du Soleil.

George is also the director of Alpine Tutorials and has worked with various partners to build the OPAC online course in off-piste safety

MARK MCKELLAR

Mark Mckellar is a BASI Level 4 ISTD ski instructor and also holds his IML qualification. Mark has more than 15 years of experience exploring the Chablais backcountry and knows the local area inside out. A passionate skier and backcountry guide, Mark is also the freerider behind the mask in the ski touring film - La Saison Blanche. 

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COURSE CONTENT
course content

The course is made up of a pre-study component and 4 full days in the mountains (6.5 hours per day)

The practical component includes 4 x 2.5hr sessions of ski tuition & guiding time each morning (10 hours total). This may be on or off piste, depending on the current conditions and goals of group members. Expect to hone your skills on red, black and off-piste terrain and have a lot of fun whilst doing so. Video analysis will be offered where appropriate.

The avalanche training component closely mirrors the content & contact time of an AIARE 1 course (although this is not an AIARE 1), and is made up of 5 hours of pre-study work followed by 4 x 3.75hr practical training sessions in the field. If you would like to compare different avalanche courses such as AIARE or AST courses, please see our article on this here.

Practical Sessions:

Session 1: Companion Rescue Skills in avalanche response

Session 2: Avalanche Terrain - identification & analysis 

Session 3: Field Observation skills - formal and informal tests and tools for monitoring snowpack and red flags. 

Session 4: Companion Rescue follow up session

You can also expect a daily review of the Avalanche bulletin to learn how to understand and apply. 

We will practise risk management tools such as trailhead checks and cover group management and safe travel protcols. 

The pre-study online course, made up of tutorial videos, practical tasks and quizzes, will cover 10 lessons in off-piste snowsport safety:

1) Avalanche awareness

2) Off-Piste Equipment

3) Avalanche Terrain Analysis

4) Mountain Weather & Forecasting

5) The Avalanche Bulletin

6) Mapping & Route Planning

7) Human Factors & Heuristics

8) Field Observation skills

9) Safe Travel & group management

10) Companion Rescue

If you are wondering how the avalanche training component of this course compares with other courses, check out this blog post which explains the main options.

If you have further questions don't hesistate to get in touch with your queries via info@avoriazalpineskischool.com

The course content will be the same for both the lift-accessed and ski-touring courses. Attendees on the ski-touring courses will still need to purchase a lift-pass, but having touring equipment will give us greater freedom and opportunity to access suitable terrain. 

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