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First time off-piste! All the tips to get prepared

By: Team ChaletsPlus at 15 November 2023
Header eerste keer off piste EN
Off-piste skiing

You're standing at the top of the mountain, butterflies fluttering in your stomach. You look down and see the delightful fresh powder snow, and you think to yourself: Am I going to do this? A few seconds later, you've taken the plunge, and you now find yourself in the thrilling world of off-piste skiing (or snowboarding). It's a world filled with freedom, challenges, and fun, but also a world that demands thorough preparation. So, here are some essential tips from us!

Safety

The most crucial thing to check before heading off-piste is, of course, safety. That's why we recommend starting your adventure under the guidance of an experienced guide. This guide will not only teach you the right techniques but also warn you about lurking dangers and reveal those "secret" routes. The guide's tips are not just practical but also entertaining.

Preparation

If you choose to venture off-piste without a guide, it's essential to know what to do in an emergency. It's also a smart idea not to go alone, as you'll be skiing in remote areas, and few people will be able to assist if something goes wrong. Additionally, it's advisable to check the weather and mountain conditions before you set out. Ask the local experts at a ski school about avalanche risks in the skiing area. So, make a solid plan before you depart.
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Skiing through the woods

Equipment

After making good preparations, start looking at your equipment. Make sure you always have the right equipment with you and know how to use it. This is crucial for your adventure. Carry a backpack containing essentials such as gloves, water and food. It is also important to have the right avalanche equipment with you: an avalanche beacon and airbag, probe and shovel should definitely not be missing. Also spend enough time buying quality clothing, invest in a good pair of ski goggles with different lenses for different weather conditions. Also, don't forget to bring two pairs of gloves and a balaclava.

Knowledge

With the right equipment and preparations, almost anyone can go off-piste. However, it's essential to take on challenges that match your skill level. Consult a professional to determine your level and which off-piste route suits you best. If you truly want to tackle the most challenging off-piste routes, practice off-piste skiing first to improve your skills. So, make sure you have the right knowledge about your abilities.

 

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Warning sign

Side and Back Country Skiing

In off-piste skiing, it's essential to know where you're going. There are distinctions between the areas you'll be skiing in, namely, "side country" and "back country." Side country skiing refers to routes within the resort's boundaries, with designated ski trails that aren't groomed. In such areas, you can safely go off-piste because they are often patrolled and have special access routes. On the other hand, back country skiing refers to pristine areas without lift access, where you can only reach by cat skiing, helicopter, snowmobile, or on foot.

Let's Go!

So, with proper preparation, the necessary gear, and a good understanding of your skill level, you can explore the world of off-piste skiing under the right guidance. While you're skiing, don't forget to enjoy the untouched nature and the beauty it brings. It's time to embrace the challenge – let's go!

Chalets

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