Backcountry Ski Touring & Off-Piste Skills Course

Guided

Luxury

from €1,940 on request

Feel the urge to escape the ski resort crowds, and properly experience the Dolomites wilderness? If you are an intermediate on- and/or off-piste skier, are not afraid of hard work, wish to take your skiing to the next level, and ready to explore the backcountry, then this training course is for you! Join us and discover for yourself the remote beauty of the Dolomites!

  • Length 7 Days / 6 Nights
  • Trip Type Backcountry Ski Touring
  • Activity Level Moderate to Challenging
  • Start / Finish Alta Badia
  • Dates This trip is available as a custom, private departure on dates of your choosing from December to Easter
  • Group Departures Available
    13-19 Jan
    10-16 Feb

Highlights

  • Learn essential ski touring and off-piste skiing techniques in a high mountain environment, assisted by our UIAGM/IFMGA Professional Mountain Guides– the highest mountain guide qualification in the world
  • Gain basic avalanche safety skills, including avalanche awareness, causes of avalanches, route planning, how to use the necessary safety equipment, and search and rescue technique
  • Backcountry ski through one of the most beautiful natural parks in the Dolomites: Fanes-Sennes-Braies, with it’s pristine backcountry and fascinating geological formations
  • Enjoy the atmosphere of high mountain rifugios, the best in all of the Alps, and enjoy a delicious combination of hearty Italian, Austrian, and Ladin cuisine they are known for

 

OVERVIEW

In the Dolomite Mountains in winter, there is no greater joy than skiing the backcountry, discovering hidden stashes of pristine snow, and laying claim to fresh tracks. Always wanted to do this, but weren’t sure where to start? We have the answer! Whether you are new to backcountry skiing, or have some experience and are looking to improve your skills, this is the trip for you. 

Our Backcountry Ski Touring & Off-Piste Skills Course offers an introduction to backcountry skiing for strong resort skiers wanting to venture into the side and back country. For experienced backcountry skiers wanting to improve, it provides ample opportunity for backcountry skills development. And, regardless of experience level, it offers important avalanche education and rescue practice, route planning including identifying the best stashes of powder as well as hazards to avoid, and, of course, serves up fantastic skiing and touring throughout! 

We’ll begin slowly, navigating lift-service off-piste terrain. Then we’ll move into the essential ski touring techniques, including skinning, inversion kick turns, steep snow climbs, more off-piste downhill descents, and avalanche awareness and rescue skills. The grand finale? Two fabulous days of touring, applying your skills and earning your turns! And, of course, our backcountry trips are always led by our UIAGM/IFMGA Professional Mountain Guides. They hold the highest guide credentials in the world, and will not only show you the best of this region, offering you fantastic off-piste ascents and descents in the area, but also ensure your safety and enjoyment. By the time you’re finished, you’ll be ready to join our hut-to-hut ski trips, more advanced backcountry ski touring trips, and begin to backcountry ski on your own!

While skiing is decidedly our focus here, we’ll make sure you don’t miss out on other marvelous highlights of the Dolomites. You’ll experience the rich combination of cultures, traditions, and cuisines – Italian, German, and Ladin – that make this region so unique. You will discover the secrets of the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Natural Park, one of the largest protected areas of the South Tyrol, with its remarkable geology. And you’ll see out for yourself why this incredible beauty and cultural diversity led to the Dolomites being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day by Day

Day 1 ~ Arrive in Alta Badia, Dolomites
Arrive in Alta Badia on your own (private transfer available on request) and check into your hotel.In the late afternoon, meet with yourLocal English UIAGM/IFMGA Professional Mountain Guide for a trip briefing, equipment check, and trip orientation.

Located in a large valley surrounded all around by the gorgeous peaks of the Dolomites, Alta Badia is truly the “heart of the Dolomites.” Geographically in the South Tyrol (Südtirol), this area was part of Austria prior to the First World War. Here you’ll find unique mountain scenery with villages rich in natural beauty and ancient traditions. You’ll also notice the street signs are written in three languages – first in Ladino (a neo-Latin language), then in German, and lastly in Italian. The mixed culture is very well marked not only in the language, but also in the architecture and cuisine.
D… Hotel in Alta Badia


Day 2 ~ Off-Piste Training & Technique
Today will be your first day skiing off-piste in the Dolomites! You’ll begin with easy off-piste descents, and move on to more challenging terrain throughout the course of the day. For this first day of skiing, you’ll leverage the incredible system of lifts that access off-piste terrain. Not only will this enable you to focus on your downhill turns, it will give your guide more opportunity to assess your ability and to coach you. Throughout the day and coming week, s/he will provide tips and techniques to help you improve your overall skiing ability and performance, and help you work on specific aspects of your technique and body posture that require adjustment. But don’t get too comfortable on the lifts today… you’ll be earning your turns the rest of your trip!
B,D… Hotel in Alta Badia


Days 3-5 ~ Skiing in Fanes-Senes-BraiesNatural Park 
After breakfast, a private transfer will take you to Pederu (~50 minutes), at the foot of the Fanes-Sennes-National Park, and continue to your rifugio by snow-cat.

For the next three days, we’ll focus on both skiing, orientation and avalanche skills. You will continue to receive coaching on your off-piste technique, but beyond what you learned on your first day skiing. Your guide will help you fine-tune your technique to cope with different snow conditions and slopes, and teach you additional skills and terrain-specific tips.

You’ll also learn ski touring skills, including route planning and choosing a line of ascent. You’ll learn how to use and care for your equipment, including how to change your boots and bindings from climbing to descending; and how to manage your climbing skins. You’ll learn tricks and techniques for efficiently skiing with climbing skins, doing kick turns (including uphill kick turns on steep snow slopes!), how to don and climb in ski crampons, and when it’s time remove your skis and start boot packing. Last but not least, and perhaps the most fun, you’ll learn how to find the best – and safest – snow for the descent. Plus, you’ll learn all of this while making unforgettable off-piste turns in the backcountry!

Most importantly, over the next three days, you’ll learn about avalanche safety and search and rescue technique, equivalent to a one-day avalanche awareness, search, and rescue foundations training course, designed to give you a solid foundation of knowledge and skills for you to build on in the future.

By the end of these three days, you should feel confident safely navigating and skiing off-piste terrain, and ready for the next two days of ski touring!
B,D… Rifugio 


Day 6 ~ Ski Touring in Fanes-Sennes-Braies Natural Park

Enjoy a different ski tour in Fanes-Sennes-Braies today, again taking in the pristine beauty of the Dolomites. When you are done skiing, take a private transfer to Pederu, and on to your hotel in Alta Badia where your stored luggage will await you. 
B,D… Hotel in Alta Badia or Cortina d'Ampezzo


Day 7 ~ Depart
Breakfast and departure on your own (private transfers on request).
B…



Trip itinerary may vary based on snow conditions, weather conditions, fitness levels and skiing abilities of participants, and/or the recommendations of your guide. Restaurants and hotels may vary based on seasonal availability.

Cost

Private Guided Trip:
€3,100 per person (minimum 2 members) 
€2,180 per person (minimum 4 members)

Group Departures:
€1,940 (based on 5 members) 
€2,130 (lbetween 3 - 4 members)

Cost is based on a 3-star hotel, it can be upgraded to 4/5-star, please contact us for a quotation. 
Single room supplement: on request, in hotels only

High Season Dates:  2nd February – 9th March 2019 --- 5% increase on costs

Holiday Blackout Dates:  (7-night minimum hotel stay required)
Christmas / New Years — 26th December 2018 – 6th January 2019


Cost Includes:

  • Trip briefing 
  • Logistics and map of the area
  • 3 nights accommodation in hotel in Alta Badia (3-Star)
  • 3 nights accommodation in charming rifugios with private/shared bathrooms
  • All breakfasts & dinners 
  • Local English speaking Professional UIAGM/IFMGA Mountain Ski Guide during the entire itinerary (Guide Ratio 1:5)
  • Avalanche safety, search, and rescue equipment rental (transceiver, probe, and shovel) 
  • Dolomiti Superski pass for 1 day 
  • Transportation in the area as per itinerary
  • Duffel bag luggage transfer 
  • Local tourist tax
  • Italian VAT tax

Airport transfers and ski equipment rentals available on request.

Helicopter Sightseeing & Airport Transfers – There's Nothing Else Like It!
Take to the skies for an aerial look at the spectacular Dolomite Mountains, and make memories to last a lifetime! Whether on a panoramic sightseeing ride or an airport transfer, you'll appreciate a bird's eye view of the stunning scenery aboard state-of-the-art single engine helicopters. With over 30 years in operation, our experienced pilots and ground crew employ the utmost safety standards, quality, and service. Contact us for a quotation.
Rides are weather dependent. Heli-transfers from/to airports require advanced reservation. In-resort rides can be reserved with shorter notice.

Accommodation

Want to learn more about our Hotels and B&Bs? 
The Dolomites has a multi-faceted culture and history that is reflected in each village we visit, and we make sure to provide you with the most authentic experience of the region possible through the hotels and B&Bs we offer. Hotels and chalets are available in the larger villages, while agriturismos (working farms with accommodations similar to B&Bs) are more common in rural areas. And we always make sure you have access to inspired regional cuisine, and the best panoramas you can get in the Dolomites!

Prefer luxury accommodations?
You can also book a custom departure of this trip using our Luxury Hotels. For details, please contact us.

Want to learn more about our Mountain Inns & Rifugi?             
Rifugi – or mountain huts in English – are the classic accommodation for hikers, climbers, mountaineers, and ski mountaineers in the Alps. Set in spectacular locations high in the Dolomites, rifugi are accessible only on foot (with a few exceptions that are reachable by car). These marvelous establishments are open primarily in the summer, with a select few in winter, and offer meals and sleeping facilities.

The Dolomite rifugi are considered the best in the Alps. While some are dormitory style with bunk beds, many meet the standard of a simple guest house with private rooms and en-suite bathrooms, and each has its own unique character and charm. Bedding and linens are provided, hot showers are available, and meals are served in common dining areas – like a small mountain inn set high in the mountains with the most incredible vistas in the Dolomites. Whether you’re hiking in summer or skiing in winter, an overnight rifugio stay is not to miss on a Dolomite holiday.

To learn even more about rifugi in the Dolomites, check out our Rifugios in the Dolomites article, and learn about one of the best ways to experience these incredible mountains!

More info

Guided: Guide Ratio 1:4 (maximum 4 skiers per guide)
Dolomite Mountains Professional UIAGM/IFMGA Mountain Ski Guides have many years of experience skiing the Dolomites. We have guides that speak Italian, English, French and Spanish. From the moment you arrive in the Dolomites they will look after you. They know the best ski runs, mountain restaurants, and how things work in the Italian mountains. 

Technical Equipment for Backcountry Ski Touring Trips

  • Ski crampons (aka harscheisen): most randonnee bindings have ski crampons specifically designed for the binding. We always carry these just in case. Fritschi now make them an integral part of their ski binding and although there were some initial teething problems, the newer models are now working well.
  • Ski skins:  fitted skins are recommended especially if you have very wide skis.
  • Boot crampons:  Ideally lightweight aluminum with ‘quick fit clip-on bindings.'
  • Climbing harness:  a simple lightweight climbing harness. The key feature should be that it has fully adjustable leg loops for putting on over ski boots, crampons, etc.

Boot/ski crampons and climbing harness can be rented locally at an extra cost, your guide will advise according to the local conditions and activity. 

Safety Equipment for Off-Piste trips
The “Safety Trilogy” – applicable for all our off-piste trips involves the use of the items listed below. These can be rented in resort at an extra cost:

  • Avalanche beacon / transceiver (be sure to bring two sets of fresh batteries!)
  • Snow shovel
  • Avalanche probe

Remember it is not enough just to carry this equipment; you have to know how to use it.  Most mountain resort areas offer courses where you can learn and practice these skills. If you are not familiar with this equipment, are unable to attend a course before your trip, or simply would like a refresher, we can provide training for you as part of your trip!

 

LEARN MORE
Want to learn more about skiing in the Dolomite Mountains? Check out our Winter Article Resources, featuring articles on The Not to Miss Ski Tours of the DolomitesDolomites Ski ResortsTransitioning from On- to Off-Piste, and MORE

Check out our video gallery with some of the best free-ride videos in the Dolomites and check out our new video Freeride Off-Piste: Val Culea Integrale in the Sella Group.

 

EXTEND YOUR ADVENTURE

Still want more adventure? 
We can two additional days of skiing in the Cortina d’Ampezzo area! From Cortina d'Ampezzo there are incredible off-piste descents of Cinque Torri, Lagazuoi, Tofana, and Cristallo Massifs, to name a few. Click here to see some of our favorites!

Still want even more? Why not extend your adventure!
Dolomite Mountains offers fantastic extensions that you can enjoy before or after your trip in the Dolomites. Explore VeniceVeronaLake GardaFlorence, or Milan, or any of the many other magical places found throughout Italy. There's no more perfect way to recover from jet lag upon arrival, or delay your return to reality at the end of your trip!

Group Trip Dates

Trip name   Trip dates   Min persons   Trip status   Price    
25-30 Jul
2017
4
Available
€ 1020
27 Jul - 3 Aug
2017
4
Limited space
€ 1260
8-14 Aug
2017
4
Sold out
€ 1640
15-21 Aug
2017
4
Sold out
€ 2860
16-21 Aug
2017
4
Sold out
€ 1020
16-20 Aug
2017
4
Limited space
€ 910
26 Sep - 1 Oct
2017
4
Limited space
€ 1640
26 Sep - 1 Oct
2017
4
Limited space
€ 2860
2-8 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 2860
3-10 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 1640
3-7 Oct
2017
4
Sold out
€ 910
10-15 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 1020
21-27 Feb
2018
4
Available
€ 2.070
26-31 Feb
2018
4
Limited space
€ 1.270
25 Mar - 2 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 2.440
25 Mar - 2 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 1600
4-9 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 1350
11-17 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 2.070
18-23 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 2.440
18-23 Apr
2018
4
Sold out
€ 1.270
17-22 Jul
2018
4
Sold out
€ 1020
22-27 Aug
2018
4
Available
€ 1460
1-5 Aug
2018
4
Sold out
€ 910
7-13 Aug
2018
4
Available
€ 2860
7-13 Aug
2018
4
Available
€ 1640
8-12 Aug
2018
4
Limited space
€ 910
15-22 Aug
2018
4
Available
€ 1640
25-31 Sep
2018
4
Available
€ 2860
1-8 Oct
2018
4
Available
€ 1860
8-12 Oct
2018
4
Limited space
€ 910
16-21 Oct
2018
4
Limited space
€ 1020
13-19 Feb
2019
4
Available
€ 1.940
27 Feb - 1 Mar
2019
4
Available
€ 2.440
27 Feb - 2 Mar
2019
4
Available
€ 2.070
3-8 Mar
2019
4
Available
€ 2.440
10-16 Mar
2019
4
Available
€ 1.940
22 Mar - 1 Apr
2019
4
Available
€ 2140
17-22 Apr
2019
4
Available
€ 1.270
17-22 Apr
2019
4
Available
€ 2.440
23-30 Apr
2019
4
Available
€ 2140
24-30 Apr
2019
4
Available
€ 2.070