After tackling, and then conquering, the ski slopes, many seasoned skiers eventually begin to yearn for more: more thrills, faster speeds and a stronger adrenaline rush. Although, it is possible to thoroughly research each and every ski resort for greater challenges, sometimes it’s the last minute ski deals that whisk you off to the unfamiliar that can surprise you with new and exciting adventures. |
Once you have mastered the technicalities of the sport all that is left is perfecting, practising and enjoying your skills. However, there is a whole new world outside of the basic ‘practise, practise, practise’ box, waiting to be found. It is time for something new!
Off the Beaten Track
Winter sports are an exciting and ever-evolving social activity that thrives on the participants’ passion and drive. Many new adventures can be found amongst last minute ski deals on the market – some can land you in the company of ‘skiing royalty’ as such. For example, former Olympic GB snowboarding coach, Neil McNab, established a company in 1995 with the sole purpose of transforming your average snowboarder into a skilled mountaineer, capable of big-mountain freeriding.
McNab’s ever-changing courses are found in Chamonix and include a variety of true backcountry itineraries as well as some slower-paced slack country – ‘off-piste terrain easily accessed using lifts and short hikes’ – tours. These courses introduce snowboarders to the latest technology in split boards and their ideal uses for tackling epic descents such as drop-ins from Aiguille du Midi and Grand Montet’s glacier run.
If you are in Chamonix, seeking to hone your skills and tackle a challenge with more edge to it, consider Evolution 2’s off-piste itinerary. Instructors help red-run proficient skiers polish their freeriding skills in preparation for tackling the fabled 22km Vallee Blanche. Kicking the experience off with the valley’s 2750m vertical drop, this ‘Grande Pere’ of runs provides some of the most spectacular landscapes to be found in the Alps and guarantees a well-earned badge of honour upon completion.
Raising the bar, literally, in your efforts to seek out more progressive thrills should lead you to the next obvious challenge. The only way is up with Mountain Tracks’ Steep Skiing Clinic. Miles Smart is the mountain guide who qualifies to train advanced skiers in the ways of mastering the precipitous terrain of La Grave. This five-day course focuses not only on skill but also stamina and nerve in preparation for the ascent. Smart’s in-depth knowledge of the mountain’s epic drop-offs, exhilarating couloirs and breath-taking descents justly magnetises top-level off-pisters from all corners of the world.
The Need for Speed
Tap into your competitive spirit and embrace the tutelage found with Oxygene’s ski racing training. Oxygene’s expert instructors from the world of alpine racing can help you carve minutes off your best down-hill speeds with slalom gate training. Video feedback, timed races, along with repetition of the course and personalised coaching, makes this an excellent, results driven, training experience.
Last minute ski deals are generally an excellent way of capturing a high class winter break with low cost expense. However, the new and exciting adventures that may present themselves while venturing off into the unknown are simply priceless.
Belinda Smythson works for Ski Amis, a specialist ski travel agency and booking service that has been helping avid skiers craft their perfect winter holiday for over a quarter of a century. If you're looking for last minute ski deals in the Three Valleys, Paradiski, Espace Killy or Chamonix Valley, Ski Amis is the go-to company for winter sports fans searching for the holiday of a lifetime.
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