Nonstop
X
Free Brochure Book +44(0) 1225 632 165
download
Course Guide
×
Get Course Guide Everything you need to know about this course, at your fingertips. Download

Master the Mountain Off-Piste Ski CourseSerre Chevalier, France

Break the Mould

Based in the Southern Alps of France, this month-long camp blends pro coaching with remote backcountry, great people and an off-the-beaten-track resort known for its uncrowded slopes and off-piste zones. You’ll stay in the beautiful, cobble-stoned village of Villeneuve just steps away from the slopes of Serre Chevalier, as you master freeride skills and learn to navigate the backcountry through specialist coaching, touring clinics and avalanche workshops.

 

Each week concludes with a trip to a nearby ski area, including Cesana in the Italian Alps, the French ski region of Queyras, and backcountry mecca La Grave, an unpatrolled zone of soft snow and steep faces. Accommodation is in cosy, hosted and deliciously catered French chalets, before the three-day ski touring finale to remote lodge Refuge Buffere, set amidst some of the most spectacular terrain in the Alps. Led by seasoned guides, you’ll self-propel yourself to mountain summits before enjoying fresh turns on each descent.

 

With 12 spots available on the camp – for solo travellers, couples or small groups – you’ll share the experience with like-minded snow-fanatics and forge great friendships along the way. We are encouraging participants to travel by train in a sustainability drive, through inclusive transfers from Briancon or Ouix stations.

 

If you have less time to spare, we are also offering a two week option on this camp. Split into two blocks, you can join this trip for either the first or second phases for an epic two-week itinerary with pro coaching and the same unique escapes to conclude the weeks. 

 

 

Who's it for?
Age ranges
Skill level Ability guide >>
Gender
Nationality
Serre-Chevalier

A hidden freeride gem of the Alps, Serre Chevalier is one of the largest resorts in Europe, with beautiful tree skiing, wild off-piste and a valley of charming alpine villages.

 

We love Serre Chevalier for its ski heritage, local appeal and diverse terrain options, from open powder fields to some of the best tree-lined skiing in Europe, with the average snowfall of 6 metres kept fresh by the altitude and trees.

 

Situated in the Southern Alps of France, the ski area is colossal with 250km of slopes and 81 marked runs, featuring perfect groomers, a 9km leg-burner, and the Luc Alphand Olympic black run.

 

For us, there’s big freeride potential with everything from powdery bowls, weaving tree lines through the larch forests, untamed but accessible off-piste, burly steeps and wild backcountry routes.

 

Serre Chevalier comprises four main villages: Briançon, Le Monêtier, Chantemerle and Villeneuve, where we stay. Each unique, but traditionally French and historic, cosy bars are home to a laid-back après ski vibe.

Coaching

This camp combines all-terrain coaching with backcountry-focussed clinics to furnish you with all the skills needed to gorge on untracked powder of wilderness lines. Youll learn about mountain and avalanche safety, be taught how to use touring equipment, and get to grips with off-piste skiing techniques, before plying your skills on a three-day tour at Refuge Buffere.

 

Our experienced local coaches will guide you in groups of no more than six around Serre Chevaliers natural bowls and larch forests, whose terrain shares many of the same challenges found in backcountry, to polish your freeride skills ahead of the main event. Well be developing your all-mountain technique, boosting your skills and confidence in steeps, powder, chop and trees.

 

In preparation for the backcountry finale, you will also take part in an avalanche safety course with field and theory to develop your avalanche awareness and peer rescue techniques. This is followed by a touring clinic where well explore a local backcountry route as you hone your touring know-how and learn how to use the equipment, ascend and transition. Well also be running weekly workshops on topics such as ski tuning and backcountry packing to round-out your knowledge.

 

Coaching sessions take place four days each week, typically four hour sessions on Mon, Tue and Thu, followed by a full day on Friday at another ski area (see below).

 

Weekly Trips

As part of the coaching program, we'll be laying on a series of weekly day trips to explore nearby ski areas.

 

  • In the first week we'll head over the Italian border to Cesana (45min drive) famed for it's off-piste terrain offering super-fun widely-spaced tree skiing. It also boasts long, uncrowded pisted runs and sensationally located lunch spots where you'll recharge on typically delicious Italian cuisine.
  • In week 2 we'll head to the Queyras ski region (90min) home to high-altitude traditional alpine villages and, if we time it well, copious amounts of untracked powder.
  • In week 3, our destination will be La Grave (35min), renowned for it's big-mountain off-piste terrain and where the company and knowledge of a local guide is essential. A single lift provides access to a vast area of challenging free-ride terrain; this will be a day to create memories and test your developing skills.
  • In the final week we'll head into the backcountry, on  a three day ski touring trip to a secluded backcountry cabin. The adventure of heading off, self-propelled, into the mountains, skiing untracked slopes, living simply off-grid all in the company of fellow skiers who by now are close-friends, will be a lifetime memory and a worthy culmination of your ski progression.

 

Mountain Life

If you've ever "done a season" or spent a prolonged period living in the mountains you'll already know quite how different it feels compared to just visiting as a tourist for a week. Over the four-weeks of this course you’ll get to experience the benefits of truly unwinding and settle into the lifestyle and pace of mountain living. You’ll spend your days surrounded by stunning scenery, enjoy the French markets, history and culture (unlike some ski resorts Serre Che. isn’t a British enclave!), and, with our away trips, you’ll get to explore a far wider area of the French and Italian Alps than you would on a typical vacation.

 

The course experience is as rich socially as it is for skiing; when you bring 24 guests together, all of whom love skiing and the outdoors and are united in their excitement of what the course can bring, well… great times and close friendships are made.  

 

Off snow, whether you want to throw yourself into yoga classes, après, exploring the local history, bathing in the local thermal springs, snow-shoeing, fat-biking, parapenting over the valley, or cheer on the local ice-hockey team in Briancon, there is so much on offer. Packing your 4-weeks full with epic new experiences will be easy! Just make sure you factor some time to rest, chill and reflect.

Accommodation

On this month-long escape to Serre Chevalier, you’ll stay in luxury chalets superbly located in Villeneuve – one of four villages in the valley – with idyllic views over the snow-covered mountains. Featuring large living areas, open log fires and comfortable, spacious rooms, with private or twin-share options available depending on your preference, our spectacular alpine chalets are the perfect base for a month of skiing and riding in the Southern Alps.

 

Our friendly chalet teams provide a cooked breakfast and après tea and cake Monday to Friday, with a self-serve breakfast available on weekends. We’ll lay on a delicious three course meal with unlimited bottled wine five evenings each week too, to fuel your long days of skiing and boarding.

Itinerary Four weeks of adventure in the Southern Alps
Week 1
Welcome to Serre Chevalier’s laid-back town and fabled mountain. Settle in, meet your new friends and get your gear ready. You’ll be on the slopes from the get-go, notching up vertical miles and exploring some of Serre Che’s varied terrain. Coaching will focus on stance and balance, ski performance and ironing out bad habits. Consolidate the week with a ski trip to Italy and celebrate with the first team après at local haunt La Grotte.
Week 2
With a week’s skiing back in your legs, you’ll be raring to go – and we up the ante. The week begins with an avalanche workshop to equip you with essential backcountry know-how, including a session on the slopes working through simulated scenarios. The ski coaching continues and it’s time for another away-trip, to score knee-deep fresh pow on the slopes of the Queyras region.
Week 3
After kicking off the week ski-touring, getting to grips with the equipment and techniques – and charging fresh lines, you’ll head to nearby La Grave to test your mettle and put your powder skills to the test. There’re no pistes, no ropes, and one lift, giving access to an unpatrolled paradise of couloirs, powder fields, steep faces, and glaciated scenery. Finish by collapsing into the nearest bar and swapping tales from the day.
Week 4
A hut trip. The finale of the trip as you conquer high-alpine backcountry on a three-day / two-night ski tour & hut trip. Staying in the remote Refuge Buffere, earning turns along the way. Glacial terrain, untouched snow, sweeping scenery and big ski descents. This is an adventure you won’t forget in a hurry. Return to Serre Chevalier for a goodbye, but where the memories and friendships live on.
Dates & Prices

What's Included

Chalet Accommodation +

Centrally located, in Villeneuve, the heart of Serre Chevalier close to the lifts, shops, bars and restaurants. Check out the gallery to get an idea of quite how georgeous these properties are!

Breakfasts + Dinners +

A cooked breakfast is provided by our chalet team five days per week. A lighter breakfast of croissants and pastries is provided on Saturday and on Sunday guests can help themselves to toast and cereals - or you may choose to treat your body to a day off the slopes, have a lie-in and enjoy brunch in one of the many local cafes.

Afternoon tea and freshly made cake will be waiting for you on return to your chalet five days a week.

A delicious three course dinner is provided five nights per week (with unlimited bottled wine). View a sample menu in downloadable Course Guide.

Lift pass +

Lift passes provided for your entire course both in Serre Chevalier and on the weekly away-trips to local mountains such as La Grave. For guests wishing to arrive early or stay after the course finishes, a season pass can be arranged: ask us for details.

Coaching Program +

Coaching sessions delivered by experienced local instructors will transform your skiing and ensure you ski the best areas and snow on the mountain. Sessions take place four days per week with an average of 21hrs/wk. Coaching in weeks 1-3 is scheduled Mon, Tue, Thu (4hrs each) and then a full day (7.5hrs) on Friday for our weekly away trip. In week 4, there are three full days (Mon-Wed) and a half day on Fri.

Avalanche workshop +

Boost your backcountry know-how with a must-do avalanche workshop covering avalanche formation, triggers, route selection and search & rescue techniques.

Ski-touring with guide +

Our instructors will be taking you off-piste and into the powder, including teaching you ski-touring techniques.

Ski Touring Hut Trip +

The finale - and perhaps the highlight - of the course is a three day (2 night) ski touring expedition staying at the simple but comfortable Refuge Buffere. The team there provide breakfast, lunch and dinner so your ski touring backpack will be enjoyably light. They even provide wine and beer - no carrying in heavy provisions for this trip.

Ski Trip to La Grave +

Day trip. Transport, Guiding/Coaching, Lift Ticket included

Ski Trip to Queyras Region +

Day trip. Transport, Guiding/Coaching, Lift Ticket included

Ski Trip to Cesana, Italy +

Day trip. Transport, Guiding/Coaching, Lift Ticket included.

Transfers (Train Station) +

On the start and end dates of the course, we provide a transfer from/to the local train station of Oulx (45 mins).

Serre-Chevalier is easily accessible by high-speed train (TGV) from Paris. Our included transfers will either collect you from the Oulx train station in Italy - just 45 mins from our chalets. Briançon station is even closer (20 mins) to which there's a overnight sleeper train available.

We ask, no plead, our guests not to fly out for this course. In addition to the significant carbon saving there are many advantages to train travel. London to Oulx requires only two trains – one a direct TGV from Paris – and, door-to-door, is almost as quick as flying when you factor in all the tube/bus/taxi journeys, queuing, security, waiting, and finally transfers. Train travel is way less stressful, enabling you to take your time over books, meals, conversation etc. Need convincing: https://www.snowcarbon.co.uk/why-go-train

 

Hosting +

The chalet team will be available to provide local advice on everything and anything local as well as just be good people to share wine and a laugh with.

1% For The Planet +

1% of revenues support environmental non-profits, including Protect Our Winters

Carbon Offset +
We make your trip carbon neutral by offsetting emissions we can't reduce, including flights.
On behalf of all participants, we offset the measurable carbon emissions of your trip based on the duration, location and type of course, as well as the journey you’re taking to reach your course. Through our partnership with Climate Impact, we contribute to effective carbon reduction projects.
Not Included +
Travel to the Alps +
As mentioned, we strongly suggest travelling by train. Our included transfers coordinate with the sleeper train from Paris. Ask us for details.
Ski Equipment +
Bring what you have and buy or hire anything else in resort, including ski touring gear. Full kit-list will be provided.
Course Guide Everything you need to know about this course, at your fingertips.

FAQs

How good do you need to be? +

From intermediate to seasoned expert, this camp is designed for a range of abilities and we aim to have four ski groups of six guests, so a range of confidence and experience levels can be catered for. We recommend at least 6-8 weeks prior experience and that you can perform smooth parallel turns down mid to high-grade slopes. Any doubts, get in touch with our team.

Who is the course suited for? +

Most guests come solo, but couples are welcome, and all leave with new friends for life. You should want to push your skiing level, learn about backcountry, and experience an adventurous month in the mountains. We find this camp is popular with professionals searching for a break from the ordinary.

Do I need any touring experience? +

In short, no. Most guests don’t have any prior experience touring in the backcountry, but if you do, that’s also fine. Our coaches and guides will introduce you to the equipment and techniques used for touring, as well as develop your avalanche awareness.

Do I need my own touring equipment? +

No. If you don’t have any touring gear, everything you need is available to hire in a great local shop. This includes skis with touring bindings, skins, transceiver, shovel and probe. Of course, if you have your own gear, you are more than welcome to use that.

How do I get to Serre-Chevalier +

Serre-Chevalier is easily accessible by high-speed train (TGV) from Paris. Our included transfers will collect you from the Oulx train station in Italy - just 45 mins from our chalets. Briançon station is even closer (20 mins) to which there's a overnight sleeper train available.

We ask, no plead, our guests not to fly out for this course. In addition to the significant carbon saving there are many advantages to train travel. London to Oulx requires only two trains – one a direct TGV from Paris – and, door-to-door, is almost as quick as flying when you factor in all the tube/bus/taxi journeys, queuing, security, waiting, and finally transfers. Train travel is way less stressful, enabling you to take your time over books, meals, conversation etc. Need convincing: https://www.snowcarbon.co.uk/why-go-train

 

Will I be able to do some work? +

The ideal scenario to get the most out of a month in the mountains is to leave your work at home, however we understand this isn't possible for everyone so we've designed the course so that those guests who need to work a bit while away, can do. Our coaching sessions on Mon, Tue, Thu are four hours leaving half the day when you could work. One day a week (usually Friday) is a full coaching day at another resort (Italy, La Grave etc) when work will be tricky to fit in. All chalets have wi-fi. Please alert us in advance if you're going to be working a lot.

When do I need to book by? +

This course is limited to just 24 skiers and after the past 16 months that everyone has had, demand is red hot for meaningful travel, new experiences and skiing! We recommend booking as soon as you know you can get the time off work to spend January in the Alps. Please don't book a space until then because the deposit is non-refundable (unless Covid restrictions prevents the course from starting).

Covid restrictions - what happens? +

If Covid-related travel restrictions prevent the course from running then our guests will receive a full refund. Our Covid booking policy can be found here

Call Me Back


Thank you for your message

We look forward to speaking with you.