Off-Piste Adventure: Advanced
Sainte Foy has been our base within the Tarentaise region for over 10 years, and during that time our guides have built up a wealth of experience within the area. The advanced off-piste week is specifically tailored for experienced skiers wanting to enjoy the many challenging routes which are accessible by the ski lifts or short ski tour.
Combining these two methods of access we'll take you onto the iconic north face of the Fogliettaz (numerous entry points), Col Grenier, Col d’Argentière and possibly Couloir Doudou off the side of the Archeboc. Another possibility is to skin to the remote Montseti ridge and ski the north side to the Ruitor refuge. From Les Arcs we can access the Grand Col or Couloir 'S' and ski the 1800 meter vertical descent to Villaroger.
La Plagne is also accessible, with its famous north face of the Bellecotte. And if that is not enough we will have a day or two in Val d’Isère and Tignes with endless possibilities for the serious skier. This is an incredible package for those looking to get the most from their ski week. The itinerary below is an example of what can be achieved during the week. As always, mountain conditions will dictate the program.
TRAVEL OUT DAY
You should aim to arrive in Ste Foy by late afternoon. There will be a welcome meeting and briefing at 7pm
We offer a group transfer to Ste Foy from Geneva airport or a pick-up from Bourg-st-Maurice for anyone traveliing by train.
A free day to get your ski legs tuned in the Saint Foy ski domain. Pick up at the end of day and back to the Auberge for some R&R.
Drinks are served down at the hot tub. In the ski room we’ll have a session on skins and ski touring equipment for those that need it. The guides will arrive to conduct a briefing and issue safety equipment followed by a superb evening meal.
After a warm up ski together on the front side of the domain we’ll head for the Col d’Aiguille and either boot stomp the ridge or skin up to the summit of the Fogliettaz.
This takes around 45 minutes and gives us accesses to the North face – a huge steep skier’s paradise. There’s 1800m of vertical to descend to La Mazure where we’ll have a minibus waiting to get us the 10 minutes back to the Auberge.
Evening of chilling out with optional drinks in the outdoor hot tub and a gourmet dinner to follow.
A ten minute drive from the Auberge gets us to the Les Arcs lift system at Villaroger. We’ll use the lift system to get a ski from the Aiguille Rouge summit back down to Arc 2000 before heading, again on the lift system up to Col de la Chal for an 1100 vertical meter descent in wilderness conditions down to Peisey.
Here we’ll grab the bus to link again with the lift system and head up to the top of the Grand Col chair. We then skin for 20 minutes to Grand Col itself – opening out the vast 1800m North East facing bowl below the Aiguille Rouge and Mont Turia. The entrance is short but steep and then we are away for one of the ski descents of your life. Utterly fabulous, wild and certainly unforgettable.
We’ll descend all the way to Villaroger to meet our minibus (or more likely, have a beer in La Ferme bar). Back at the Auberge we’ll spend some time chilling before being driven out to a local restaurant.
Back to Sainte Foy and straight onto the Marquise chair to aim for Col Grenier. Here, most skiers head left on a traverse… we’ll put on skins and with a 30 minute climb to access the real Col Grenier and give ourselves the best and longest descent line.
We’ll traverse skiers right as we descend the huge North Face and take the bridge at the bottom of the Mercurel valley where we’ll change to climbing mode and skin for a couple of hours in the most stunning scenery to the deserted Montseti ridge.
Here the vista completely changes and we look down the north facing slopes towards the Italian border and Ruitor glacier. It’s wilderness skiing down this north side where we’ll take in the incredible scenery before gently traversing out to get another descent down via Pierre Giret and to La Mazure for a minibus pick up.
Today we’ll head to Val d’isère to get some big altitude and an iconic ski descent. We’ll park up at Le Fornet and ride the lift system to the top of the Pissalis glacier – where we’ll take a warm up ski through the Pays Desert.
We’ll head up again and from the top of the t-bar we’ll traverse and then skin up to the Col de l’Ouille Noir. The other side opens up fabulous views across to the Albaron and the slopes down to Bonneval at the top of the Maurienne valley. We’ll descend heading skiers lift to the bottom of the Col des Montets for the hour’s climb to the ridge. Here we’ll be just below the Grande Aiguille Rousse (the Big Russian Needle to you and I) and drop straight down into the north facing descent to the Prariond Refuge.
For those of you used to seeing the amusement park thrills of Val d’isère and Tignes, this will be a backcountry eye opener. What a beautiful descent and what a beautiful valley!
We’ll descend through the Malpasset Gorge and back to the minibus at Le Fornet. Back at the Auberge that evening we’ll have a session on ski tech skills in the Auberge ski room. More pampering and another gourmet dinner.
Back at the Sainte Foy ski station we head straight up to the Col d’Aiguille on the lift system and then to the summit of the Fogliettaz by foot. From here we’ll take the south side descent all the way to the valley floor at Les Pigettes (on the Tignes road). That’s a magnificent 1500m descent, hopefully on spring snow. There’ll be our minibus waiting for us and we’ll take a 10 minute drive back to the ski station of Sainte Foy.
Again we’ll ride the lifts to the Col d’Aiguille, but this time we descend skiers left and then change to climbing mode. We ascend via two deserted lakes, getting us to the Col d’Argentière and an idyllic steep north facing descent to the Archeboc refuge. Those keen on couloirs may like to continue the climb for another 15 minutes to get to the Couloir Doudou for a really steep and committing experience. The bragging rights will be yours.
What a great day! Finish off with a minibus pick-up, then the spoiling you will by now be getting used to back at the Auberge.
Depart after breakfast.