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Zinal Off Piste adventure 2017
Course overview

The Val d'Anniviers and Zinal is a hidden gem for off piste skiing in the Swiss Valais. The area hosts amazing descents, such as past the Moiry dam, and past the Victorian hotel Weisshorn through the trees to St Luc, and the villages of Grimentz, Zinal, and St Luc are picture postcard pretty. For lift accessed freeride, the Zinal region takes some beating, and is a real connoisseurs choice.

During this week you will challenge and enhance your skiing ability, with long descents down open and wooded hillsides, or through deep powder down into picturesque valleys.

For this course you should have done at least one full week of off piste skiing, such as a structured off piste course, such as previously attending the Icicle Chamonix Level 1 course.

Your expert IFMGA Mountain & Ski Guide will show you some of the most remote regions of the Zinal region, whilst improving your technique and looking after your safety. As with all our courses, you are taught important skills such as avalanche awareness and tranceiver searches, digging snow pits, essential Alpine ropework, route finding over glaciers, and crevasse rescue systems.
The level of the runs is only limited by your previous off piste experience and the conditions. You do not need to be super fit, but good stamina will make the days easier and allow you more breath to enjoy the scenery. Our aim is for you to enjoy a challenging, thrilling, great off piste week.
The group for each course is limited to six people per Guide to ensure that you get good access, and learn as much as possible, as we have found that a small group on the mountain achieves and learns far more.
Dates: these are listed in the column on the right, and they show the live availability from our secure online booking system. When you book online, you receive immediate confirmation, your Alpine Information Booklet, course specific kit list and invoice.


Brief Course Itinerary
The itinerary of this course is adapted daily to cater for the best snow conditions, and your improving ski level, but these details should give an idea of what you can achieve during the week.
Sunday - Arrival day
Travel to Chamonix to arrive for the 17:00 check-in followed by and course safety and itinerary briefings. There is time for kit checks or rental of equipment. Briefings are over by 19:00 and the Chamonix hosts accompany the group to pre-dinner drinks. Some clients opt to travel out a day or two early to get their ski legs back and to test out their skis, whilst many others opt to do a one day avalanche awareness safety course. Night in Chamonix.
Monday - Day 1 guiding
Day 1
off piste, 1:6 Guiding: After breakfast, you are driven over to Zinal which takes about 90 minutes. You are dropped off direct at the ski lift, and get going straight away. The first day is ideal as a refresher for your off piste skills, and there are plenty of good areas to select from depending on the weather and conditions. At the end of the day you ski down to your valley accommodation, your base for the next four nights. Night in Zinal valley on half board basis.
Tuesday - Day 2 guiding
Day 2 off piste, 1:6 Guiding: A good option for the day is to take the funicular up from St Luc to explore the off piste around the Bella Tola area and the great backcountry region extending up into the bowls behind. This area has great skiing through the trees down to the village of St Luc, as the woods are not to dense, so can provide really enjoyable off piste in well preserved snow, as the slope has a westerly aspect. Night in Zinal valley on half board basis.
Wednesday - Day 3 guiding
Day 3 off piste, 1:6 Guiding: A week in the Zinal valley would not be complete without skiing past the famous Hotel Weisshorn, perched up on the ridgeline overlooking the Val d'Anniviers. It dates back to Victorian times, and is a great place to stop for lunch. This area has more high mountain off piste above the hotel, and there are hundreds of possibilities for great ski descents in this part of the valley. Night in Zinal valley on half board basis.
Thursday - Day 4 guiding
Day 4 off piste, 1:6 Guiding:
Perhaps a day enjoying the off piste above Zinal or Grimentz villages. By now you will have realised the full potential of this amazing region, and you will head to the area that has the best conditions. The head of the valley is circled by 4000m peaks, so there is never a shortage of snow, and the views are stunning. After the skiing, you return to your Zinal valley accommodation. Night in Zinal valley on half board basis.
Friday - Day 5 guiding
Day 5 off piste, 1:6 Guiding: As it is your last day of guiding, most groups opt for an early start to make it a big day. A popular choice is to head up above Grimentz to ski down past the Moiry dam, or to enjoy the off piste beneath the Becs de Bosson. These slopes are east facing, so the best snow is in the morning. At the end of the afternoon, you ski down to the village and then get the return transfer to Chamonix. Celebratory dinner and night in Chamonix.
Saturday - Departure day
Breakfast then the accommodation check out is by 10:00. Most arrange their airport transfers to leave around this time, to catch a flight from Geneva about midday. Depart for home.

ITINERARY NOTES: Where possible we follow itineraries. Mountain adventures are weather and conditions dependant, so occasionaly we are forced to alter the plans. If this is the case, suitable alternatives are offered. Please use this outline itinerary as a guide to the types of route / activity that you will attempt.

Course Prices
Standard course
5 full days IFMGA guiding, 1:6 max ratio
7 days holiday in total, Sunday-Saturday
£1299
Live availability
Click on the planner logo to the right to
see the real time live course availability
Latest Availability
Secure online booking system
Standard Course Inclusions: 1) IFMGA Mountain Guides for five days and all their lift passes and fees, 2) Pre course information booklet, 4) Equipment discount voucher for UK kit shops, 5) 2 nights B&B accommodation in Chamonix and 4 nights half board accommodation in the Zinal ski area (includes linen, bedding & towels), 6) Free 36 page technical Course Instruction Booklet.
Exclusions: 1) Travel to and from Zinal, 2) Cable Cars & uplift (ski pass for the week), 3) Ski / boot hire, 4) Personal laundry, telephone calls, lunches, & any purchases in mountain huts / hotels / restaurants, 5) Transport outside the Zinal valley, 6) Sunday pre-dinner drinks & Friday celebratory meal & drinks, 7) Activities insurance, excess baggage charges.
Upgrade options
Avalanche Skills Day
£75 (throughout the season)
To learn avalanche prediction, reutschblocks and use of avalanche tranceivers. Course is available on any dates, either scheduled or private, details.
Current course availability

Course Dates
Zinal Off Piste
  • No Dates Available
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Price: £1299 Book online

Alternative courses
Chamonix Off Piste
Haute Route (Cham-Zermatt)
Silvretta Ski Tour

Intro Touring & Backcountry
Client feedback


Beautiful scenery every day, and the course accommodation was great. We were really well looked after both on and off the mountain. We're going to book exactly the same trip next year for more of the same

Sally D , Zinal Off Piste

Thanks for a brilliant week of skiing

Dee L , Zinal Off Piste

Fantastic accommodation, and a very good guide. Thank you

Marc C , Zinal Off Piste

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Location data for this trip

The trips all meet in the Chamonix valley in the French Alps, at the foot of Mont Blanc. It is easily accessed via a 90 minute transfer from Geneva airport.

Time Difference
GMT +1hr
Local Currency
CHF & €
Travel from UK
1hr flight
Latest news from Icicle
Skis & equipment advice
Because we know it is so important to you to have the most suitable equipment and clothing for off piste skiing and touring, we have devoted a page especially to it, which you can access by clicking on the image, or by clicking here. This page outlines the key equipment you should bring, and gives examples of skis that are suitable for the course. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
Suggested reading and kit
View full course equipment list, with examples of kit, click here
So why choose us?
We are true specialists in ski touring. See our blog, by clicking on the logo (on the right).
Icicle Blog
Itinerary flexibility to allow you to take full advantage of the weather and conditions each day, so that you maximise the amount of time spent skiiing each day.
Our prices are fixed in £ pounds sterling, to protect you from euro currency fluctuations, so that you can budget accurately.
We have a team of over 30 IFMGA guides, and a resort support team, who all want you to have the best skiing possible! For more details on the guiding team and qualifications, please click here.
Any further questions?
A key part of choosing a company is being able to come and talk about your plans with an experienced course advisor face to face. In an increasingly virtual world, we know our clients value speaking to real people, getting open and honest advice. The vast majority of our clients are British, and our office and outdoor store is based in Windermere in the English Lake District.



Get in contact to arrange a meeting, and come in for a coffee to discuss your course in person with a trip advisor.
 


 
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