Off Piste Skiing

Off piste ski guiding days with qualified IFMGA Mountain Guides

Skiing fresh lines in knee deep powder beneath the Aiguille du Midi
Skiing fresh lines in knee deep powder beneath the Aiguille du Midi

Chamonix and the surrounding resorts are world famous ski areas, known for their spectacular off piste runs. Skiing beneath the Chamonix Aiguilles with Mont Blanc as a background is a must for every off piste skier.

Our experienced IFMGA mountain guides will take you to the best venue for the day, based on weather, snow conditions and your skiing ability. We are based in the Chamonix valley and know the skiing intimately, and also travel to ski and guide in nearby resorts such as Coumayeur in Italy, Verbier in Switzerland, and the nearby resorts of Megeve, Saint Gervais and Combloux.

There really is something for everyone, with easily accessed mellow slopes for first time off piste skiers, through to extreme couloirs for the highly experienced….

Why ski with Vertical Frontiers?

Skiing with a mountain guide allows you to ski good safe snow. Mountain guides can also work on glaciers (unlike ski instructors) so you can experience some of the best terrain the mountains have to offer. If you want a specific ski lesson then you should book an instructor, but if you can ski to the side of the piste and want to try some more challenging terrain, or your an experienced off piste skier who wants to explore thenIFMGA hiring a mountain guide is the thing to do.

We are passionate skiers and during the winter log a fair amount of time on skis, off the lifts, and ski touring as well. Skiing is our number one priority in the winter. The mountaineering gear gets put away until the summer as searching out the best conditions for the weather and clients is satisfying, and great fun! All our guides are fully qualified IFMGA mountain guides and all are english speaking. Most are British and are members of the British Mountain Guides Association.

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Thanks Ben for possibly the best day off piste powder skiing in 20 years…Just awesome thank you, when can I come back?!! Sally, Chamonix 2016

We tailor each day to the ability and desires of our clients, whilst taking into account current snow conditions and avalanche hazards. We will contact you the evening before our ski day to arrange a meeting point and the venue for the day. This allows us to choose the best conditions for you and your group. Our day generally starts at 8.30 with a quick coffee and a briefing for the day. We then head out skiing, aiming to be back at the base of the lift station for 4.30.

Safety is our priority

All of our clients must have an avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe, we begin each day or course with a quick introduction to these essential tools, as well as talking through our avalanche hazard awareness for that days skiing. If you don’t have avalanche gear yourselves, we can provide this free of charge upon request.

We choose our venues and slopes carefully each day to take into account current and ongoing avalanche hazards. We have a conservative approach, and will avoid certain slopes and areas, even if other people are skiing there and the powder looks amazing! No matter what the conditions, there is always something to ski and quite often we’ll get in the car to take our groups to a different area or resort to make the most of the conditions.

Private ski guiding in the Chamonix valley and beyond

We take bookings for private groups from December to May. Our maximum group size per guide is six, but for more technical skiing the ratios are reduced. For each booking re require a 50% deposit, or the full amount if booking less than 30 days in advance. For our full terms and conditions click here. Each participant must fill out our online medical form.

If you’d like to join a group for some off piste skiing, check out our Chamonix – Courmayeur Ski weekend trips.

Our price includes all guiding fees, avalanche safety gear (shovel, probe, transceiver), guides lift ticket and transport for up to four people within the Chamonix valley. It does not include personal rescue insurance, lift tickets, ski hire or lunch costs.

Winter 2016/17 ski guiding prices;

  • 1 skier – £330
  • 2 skiers – £175 pp
  • 3 skiers – £125 pp
  • 4 – 6 skiers – £110 pp

What if the weather is bad?

There are many places in Courmayeur and Chamonix where we can ski off piste runs near or through good tree runs, thereby giving us good visibility and great skiing in bad weather. Sometimes we also head to nearby resorts such as Saint Gervais and Combloux which also have good skiing in the trees. We don’t cancel, so make sure you bring good goggles, gloves and warm gear.

What if there’s no powder to ski?

It isn’t always blue skies and deep powder! But there’s always some good interesting skiing to be done and an adventure to be had.

What is included?

  • All guiding fees for your IFMGA mountain guide.
  • A low guiding ratio of 1:4
  • Avalanche safety equipment including transceiver, shovel and probe. You will need a rucksack for these, that can be hired from us if need be.
  • Group Guiding equipment such as first aid, shelters etc will be provided by your guide.
  • Transport within the Chamonix valley and to Courmayuer. We pick up between Les Houches and Les Praz, so if you have booked accommodation elsewhere you will need to catch a bus into Chamonix to meet us.

What is not included?

  • Lift passes. Courmayeur is 50€ and the Mont Blanc unlimited pass is 60€, although sometimes we just buy the ChamPass for 45€ if we are not using the top lifts due to the weather.
  • Ski hire. You will need skis suitable for off piste skiing as well as boots which can all be hired in Chamonix. We highly recommend booking ahead in high season.
  • Accommodation in Chamonix – lots of options here.
  • Rescue insurance, which needs to cover you for off piste skiing. Check out thebmc and snowcard.
  • Bring some money for lunch and coffees

Chamonix ski conditions

During the winter we publish ongoing ski condition reports on our Facebook page and Twitter feed. For the latest Chamonix weather forecast click here.

The webcams are a useful resource too. Have a look at our blog pages for the latest photos and reports.


Other trips you might be interested in

Ski Touring and Ski Mountaineering

Opens up a whole new world of possibilities. With some extra effort to skin uphill, you can ski away from the crowds and lifts. We head out ski touring all winter – have a read of our Ski Touring page for more information.

Valley Blanche

One of the most famous off piste runs in the world, the Valley Blanche is simply a must do! As soon as the snow and conditions allow, we run trips down the Vallee Blanche. Read our Valley Blanche page here.

A morning's run below Brevant, Chamonix
A morning’s run below Brevant, Chamonix

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