La Grave Backcountry Skiing

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La Grave 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.

Clicking on the ‘Book Now’ button opposite, will open a new tab/window in your browser and direct you to our online tour booking system. Here you can check the course dates and availability

Course Details

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    Dream Guides Product

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    Price £1395.00 pp

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    Ability Level Advanced

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    Fitness Level B

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    Location: La Grave, France

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    Guide ratio: 6:1

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    Season: Mid Dec – Mid April

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    Duration: 7 nights accommodation, 5 Days guiding, 1 unguided day



La Grave is a mecca for steep and adventurous backcountry skiing with its famous single lift and virtually no grooming. It is the wild west of ski areas and will suit advanced or expert off-piste skiers looking to explore one of the world’s wildest ski terrains.

Further Information.

What's included
  • Guides expenses
  • Guiding fees
  • In resort transport
  • Half board accommodation
  • What's not included
  • Transport to/from La Grave
  • Equipment rental
  • Travel insurance
  • Lunch/snacks in the mountains
  • Uplifts according to itinerary
  • Who is this for?

    You should be an Advanced off-piste skier to get the most from these holidays.

    You can expect to be skiing from first lift each day. Most days you can expect to do some uphill work (up to 2 hours) to get to the descents. 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…”!

    Accommodation and huts

    La Grave is a mecca for steep and adventurous backcountry skiing with its famous single lift and virtually no grooming. It is the wild west of ski areas and will suit advanced or expert off-piste skiers looking to explore one of the world’s wildest ski terrains.

    Typical Itinerary

    Typical Itinerary

    Saturday: Arrive in la Grave and settle in to the hotel. We meet in the evening to go over the plan for the week.

    Sunday – Thursday: Exploring the whole of the la Grave area, following the best conditions. This may mean visiting nearby ski resorts such as Serre Chevalier or ski touring from col du Lauteret, for example.

    Friday: Unguided day in La Grave

    Saturday: Departure

    We may have to change this itinerary according to the prevailing weather and conditions (and we like to take into account your ambitions too!)


    Good fitness will make it more fun and you’ll get more out of your week! Although we will tailor the course to your ability, we definitely recommend getting as fit as possible before you start. The process of training for your goal will help you focus on your goal – and having a goal will help you focus on your training. So all in all training is good!

    Back country skiing and ski mountaineering is all about being able to exercise at a moderate intensity for several hours, and your training should reflect this. Probably the best training is cycling as this targets similar muscle groups and prepares the mind (exercising for long periods in poor weather requires mental strength!). However not everyone has the opportunity to do this and so alternatives such as jogging and gym workouts are also good.

    The focus should be on training Cardiovascular Endurance as well as Strength for long days in the mountains – for cardio cycling/running/rowing machines are much better than weight training. Try and exercise for up to a couple of hours at a time at least twice a week. Try yoga, swimming, pilates etc too to help with core stability and balance. Squats and cycling are a good way to strengthen your legs. Remember to build up your workouts over time. If you are not used to exercising much, your muscles and joints need time to build up to avoid injury.

    Try and choose an activity that you enjoy and keep a note of what you do and your times – this really helps with keeping the motivation up. If you are not used to training then your local gym will be able to advise you on a plan and schedule to help you achieve your goals. Training does not work overnight! The fittest athletes train as part of their lifestyles and have been doing it for years. Consider training for a good couple of months before coming out to the Alps.

    Kit List

    Unfortunately we can’t recommend a specific brand and model for each item on the kit list, as what is available is constantly changing and, of course, different people are different shapes and sizes with different budgets! However, in general, we use and endorse Sherpa for clothing and Black Diamond for kit because in our experience they are excellent… If you go to a good retailers such as Snow & Rock, explain to them you will be back country skiing and they will be able to advise you on what is best for you. Bring this list with you…

    Lastly, if necessary it is possible to rent most hardware items in Chamonix. You can hire boots too, but this is a last resort (no one likes uncomfortable boots).

    1. Skis for off piste skiing – we recommend skis that you will enjoy skiing on, but are not too heavy/stiff. They should be ‘fat’ but not too fat. Wider skis make it easier to ski off piste, but too wide can be hard to control and hamper your technique progression. We would recommend an underfoot width of 80-90mm.
    2. Poles –
    3. Skins and ski crampons
    4. Boots – these must fit and be comfortable. We feel it is best not to rent boots. Rather buy some and have them fitted professionally – this will make your week much more comfortable, fun and blister free! ‘Fit’ is more important than whether a boot is ‘stiff enough’ or not.
    5. Rucksack – 40-50l. with ski straps
    6. Water bottle
    7. Transceiver, probe, shovel, harness with 1 screw gate karabiner (can be rented in Chamonix)
    8. sunglasses, goggles, sunhat, sunscreen, lip salve/block
    9. 3 sets socks and light coloured thermal tops
    10. Lightweight Gore-Tex top/bottoms, warm hat, thick gloves, thin gloves
    11. Insulating layers. I use a thin ‘100’ weight fleece and a synthetic duvet jacket (thin).
    12. Personal first aid – blister kit, ibuprofen.
    13. Cash for additional hot drinks / snacks on the mountain
    Remember kit should be lightweight but functional – you have to carry it! We can help with equipment rental in Chamonix.

    Booking info

    To find out more about our course, availability, or to ask any questions, please get in touch through the website or by phone on +33 (0)845 527 58 12.

    We take a 20% deposit to secure your place on one of our courses, and we ask for the balance to be paid 6 weeks before the course start date.


    We strongly recommend getting specialist travel insurance that covers cancellation, medical and mountain rescue.

    Make sure that it covers glaciated mountaineering and climbing/ skiing. We recommend the Dogtag ( – they have comprehensive policies and a good reputation.

    Getting to La Grave

    It is best to book flights and airport transfers well in advance of your departure. Grenoble or Lyon airport will service La Grave the best.

    By Bus:
    If you are arriving to Grenoble Bus/Train Station – Pole Multimodal, you catch the bus Nr LEL 35 towards (Grenoble – Briancon) it passes through La Grave 4 times a day. It takes approx. 1,5 Best is to get the ticket online at least two days before or earlier if possible . . .

    This site can also organize your travel with online booking / Tel: +33 (0)821 202 203

    If you are flying to Lyon you will need to transfer to Grenoble to get to the bus to Le Grave.

    Shuttle bus to/from Grenoble bus station – Pole Multimodal and Airport Lyon-Saint Exupéry. When traveling from Lyon-Saint Exupéry airport to Grenoble, tickets can be bought either from the shuttle bus counter inside the airport or directly from the driver. The bus leaves from the bus stand situated between Terminals 1 and 2, Level 1 and arrives at central bus station, next to the railway station and the tram lines A and B Pole Multimodal. The bus leaves for the airport from the central bus station (“gare routière”), which is next to Grenoble train station.

    Rhiannon Cook
    “La Grave is the most unique ski area I have ever visited, so wild and simple, it reminded me how beautiful life on skis can be!”
    Rhiannon, Marketing and Business Development

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