Trip Selection Help

Our guide to help you choose the right trip


First, decide what you want to do …

For a full explanation of the three different forms of skiing, please visit our Skiing Information pages.

Telemark skiing:
On- and off-piste freeheel downhill skiing (i.e. not only Telemark turns) and touring on Alpine terrain (day tours or hut-to-hut). Uplift is used on all courses. Shaped, wide or 'fat' Telemark skis and plastic boots are the norm. Skins and other specialist equipment are needed on touring options.

Nordic skiing:
Day tours, coaching sessions or multi-day tours using cambered, metal-edged skis and leather or soft plastic touring boots. Waxes are usually used and skins only for bigger climbs. Terrain is gentle to moderate, depending on the week. Skiing is usually on way-marked routes but sometimes through untracked snow. Only the easiest tours have machine-prepared trails.

For a full explanation of 'Telemark skiing; terrain and equipment' and 'Nordic skiing: terrain and equipment' click these links to read our articles.

Alpine (Downhill) skiing:
For those on downhill or Alpine ski equipment we offer courses for off-piste skiing, coaching in touring techniques and tours in Alpine terrain (day tours or hut-to-hut). Uplift is used on all courses. Shaped, wide or 'fat' skis are the norm, fixed heel bindings and non-flexing boots. Skins and other specialist equipment are needed on touring options.

Instruction in Telemark, Alpine or Nordic techniques and skills. Usually held within ski areas, using on- and off-piste slopes or Nordic trails, as relevant to the course. 5 x half days instruction (and 5 x half days 'free'!) with a 6th 'free' day – or as detailed for some specialist courses. Video analysis will be available on most of the courses in the Alps.

'Off-piste Adventure' and 'Off-piste Total Adventure' weeks include 5 full days of coaching and leadership with the 6th day free.

Whatever your level, you will be coached only with others of a similar ability. Choosing the correct level means you can maximize enjoyment and progress. Courses of more than one level may run during a week. This allows couples/friends of different ability to come on the same week.

Led by appropriately qualified instructors, leaders or mountain guides depending on venue or terrain, for the full period of day tours or multi-day, hut-to-hut tours, with coaching tips included 'en route'.

Our standard instruction weeks based in a ski area but with the emphasis on developing your skiing performance for all snow conditions, slopes and speeds – the all-rounder week for skiing the whole mountain. Our most popular course has a strong focus on your skiing versatility and adaptability, whatever the technique and your level; going off-piste (close to the piste) will usually be a part of these weeks, weather and snow conditions permitting.

ABILITY SPECIFIC GROUPS: If an 'All Mountain' course is advertised as, say, for Levels 1 – 4 this does not mean all abilities will be mixed together in one group. We always ensure that all clients ski in an appropriate ability group and, in any one week, there could 2, 3 or even 4 'sub-groups' within the 'All Mountain' course, each 'sub-group' being ability and/or pace specific.

TELEMARK & ALPINE SKIERS: We include skiers on Alpine/Downhill equipment on these 'All Mountain' courses as well. Over recent seasons we have found this works well and we ensure that both Alpine and Telemark skiers receive equal and appropriate instruction. Typically early in the week Alpine and Telemark skiers will be in the same group focusing on the same techniques e.g. snowplough and parallel turns. Later in the week the group will be split so Telemark skiers can focus on learning/developing Telemark techniques whilst Alpine skiers will maintain the focus on improving their parallel skiing skills. No one is compromised and everyone improves.

The focus of these courses is on being able to ski any snow that is not groomed or made from snow cannons, i.e. that snow beyond the piste markers. To quote Sir Arnold Lunn, the inventor of slalom skiing and promoter of lift-served skiing in the Alps in the 1920s and 30s: 'for excitement the piste is perhaps the best, but the beauty and variety and subtlety of skiing is only known to the expert on natural snow'. We'll show you how to adapt and enjoy 'the beauty and variety and subtlety of skiing' in this challenging but supremely rewarding environment.

GETTING READY FOR OFF-PISTE: The quickest way to develop your skiing skills ready for off-piste is to do an 'All Mountain' course. The 'All Mountain' weeks establish sound fundamentals for your skiing and these fundamentals are essential for speedy and satisfying development of your off-piste skiing. Weak fundamentals that are challenged by skiing off-piste too soon will result in relatively slow and frustrating development and with a relatively high likelihood of having a negative experience. The 'All Mountain' weeks do include off-piste skiing as well as on-piste – this allows those fundamentals to be strengthened in a controlled and structured way and also for those first turns in the off-piste to be successful and for it to be a positive experience.

OFF-PISTE SKILLS COURSES: We run two types of off-piste instructional course: 'Off-piste Improvers'' and 'Off-piste Performance'. These are suitable for different levels of off-piste ability (see Planner). These courses focus on technique, skills and tactics for off-piste skiing. We may spend some time on-piste, e.g., to work on a particular skill which is easier to 'take on board' in a less challenging environment.

OFF-PISTE SKIING WEEKS: We also offer 'Off-piste Adventure' and 'Off-piste Total Adventure' weeks which include 5 full days coaching/skiing in a 6 day ski week. Weeks that are offered as 'Day Tours' will include 6 full days of skiing with leadership. As well as coaching in off-piste skills, these weeks will also include substantial amounts of time skiing relatively remote off-piste itineraries (possibly with short sections of skinning to reach them) and half- or full-day tours. The 'Off-piste Adventure' weeks will typically have 3 x ½ day coaching sessions in the 5 days and will be for those who feel they want a bit more input, to develop knowledge, skills and confidence. The 'Off-piste Total Adventure' weeks are designed for the most proficient skiers and any coaching time is on 'as needed' or 'by request' basis. Both options are more about 'doing' and less about talking! Each of these weeks is slightly different and full details are given in the Trip Details. The 'Day Tours' week will involve significantly more amounts of skinning and may not have any lift-served skiing – refer to the Trip Details for full information.

TELEMARK & ALPINE SKIERS: We have found that these off-piste specific courses work extremely well whether ski equipment is Telemark or Alpine/Downhill. As we are focusing on skills, strategies and tactics for off-piste skiing, it is not significant what the technique (or equipment) is; more important is developing the adaptations that are needed for that technique to achieve confidence and success off-piste. A mixed group of Telemark and Alpine/Downhill skiers then works perfectly well. It is also very interesting to compare and contrast performance of those on different equipment.

Some of our weeks are programmed to make a two week holiday feasible without any great logistical problems and that will make a natural progression from one to the next. There are many trips listed in the website which, when put together with a second week, will attract special 'combo' prices. This is most easily done by linking two weeks when we are at the same resort and then choosing a course in the first week followed by a second week's course that is, typically, more advanced than the first week's. Examples would be:

In the Alps:
'All Mountain' followed by an 'Off-piste Intro'
'Off-piste Performance' followed by an 'Off-piste Adventure'.

In Norway:
'Skarvheimen Traverse' followed by 'Jotunheim: Pines to Peaks '
… or any other combination you might like to try.

Contact us for any other combination you would like to consider and benefit from a saving of at least £100 over the two weeks!

These weeks are for couples, partners and groups of friends, who have differing aspirations and abilities but want to enjoy being on holiday together at the same venue. Any week in our programme with a wide-ranging ability level stipulation and with alternative courses will be suitable for those couples and groups of varying levels and skiing interest, such as on-piste and off-piste (and in separate groups for coaching appropriate to ability level).

A trend over the last three or four seasons has been more couples and groups coming on the same week but on different equipment i.e. some on Telemark and others on Alpine ski equipment. Since The Off-piste & Telemark Ski Company is so unique in being able to offer top quality instruction and leadership across three skiing disciplines (Telemark, Alpine and Nordic) we are unusually (or even, uniquely!) well-placed to provide this facility – many couples have commented on how refreshing this has been and how it has really added so much to their winter holidays.

We are flexible and accommodating with our instruction to ensure both Telemark and Alpine skiers receive appropriate and complete attention and time. Follow this link for more information about how this works.

Decide on your ability level:

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