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The big draw of skiing off-piste is escaping the crowds on the slopes and enjoying a much more natural and exhilarating experience.

From the piste to powder!

Yipee!! The snow is here and the mountains are calling! With the excitement of lots of fresh powder coming our way we wanted to share with you some top tips to keep you happy and safe as you launch into the white stuff- whether you want to ski off-piste for the first time or are already a powder pro!

1. Start slow

Like with any sport, a warm–up will get your body and mind in the right zone for the big action. Start with an easy run or two on-piste, building up your speed and confidence. Practise short-turns, so your thighs are awake and ready for the burn when you hit the powder!

2. When to tackle off-piste

Off-piste skiing is a really different experience to skiing on-piste and once you start, you discover that your playground has no limits. If you can get down a red slope confidently with parallel turns, then you should be ready to start playing.

3. Getting off the piste

Starting with off-piste or backcountry skiing can be a life-changing experience from which you never return to normal slope skiing. However moving too fast out of your comfort and skill zone can leave you in a not-so-fun situation beyond a point of no return- giving a severe knock to your confidence! Build up your skills and stretch the limits of your comfort zone gradually. Check out the piste map before you go and look first for ski-routes- these are a good halfway towards the off-piste experience, as they remain within the normal ski bounds but are not pisted. These are often a great area to practise and improve your technique. Talk to the lift staff about conditions on these routes too.

4. Learn from the experts

Similar to starting with skiing, the best way to ensure you are learning the most efficient techniques to get you around the mountain is to learn from an expert. Furthermore a local instructor will know exactly the right spot to unlock your powder potential, as well as where to find the best snow on the hill.

5. Be equipped & equip yourself

The big draw of skiing off-piste is escaping the crowds on the slopes and enjoying a much more natural and exhilarating experience. However, it means you take responsibility for dealing with the forces of nature and these are not to be underestimated. Venturing into areas out of ski bounds responsibly means taking the correct gear (avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel) – and knowing how to use it, knowing the terrain and conditions (avalanche report, avalanche awareness & snow science) - if you are unfamiliar with any of these aspects, having a guide is the best investment to maximise your powder day, safety and fun! In the long-term taking a course in avalanche safety and backcountry tour planning is also really valuable.

6. Don’t be a sheep!

Beautiful powder slopes can be sooooo tempting, especially when you see others heading into them… use your head and don’t assume everyone knows what they are doing… know yourself where your limits are (whether that is your ability to read the danger level or get down safely) and respect them! Trust your gut instinct and go and ski something else amazing!

7. Smile

Relax, smile and enjoy the flow of cruising through fresh powder… aaaahh :-)

Do you want to take your skiing to the next level and have fun in the powder? Then join our Girl Power & Powder weekend 17th-19th February 2017!