Within the western alps pretty much all the major lift stations offer off – piste skiing potential given the right snow conditions. Yet there are some observations which might help when choosing the best areas to go.
For example when most people think of the iconic off piste skiing resorts they think of Chamonix , Verbier , Zermatt Val dIsere La Grave to name a few. Yet all these resorts suffer from their fame and they all get tracked out , literally in minutes of their opening after an overnight dump of snow.
They are all relatively high resorts too. While this is undoubtedly good fro the depth of snow it is not necessarily good for the quality of the powder snow . We see more and more [with the climatic changes] that when there are healthy dumps of snow these snow falls are often followed by high winds , which in turn wrecks the conditions.
We as Guides are very well equipped to see the big picture and choose the best place to ski on the given day. This type of knowledge is mission critical. We have a view that if you have already heard an area is good for off -piste skiing , then its all ready too late. This is because word is out and it will be tracked . We find the best resorts for off piste skiing are often the very small lift stations – the one ones that you can phone up and ask them “what time they open ?”
“Well what time can you be here?!”
With the risk of letting the “cat out of the bag” here are some but clearly not all resorts slightly out side of the main resorts that off consistently world class lift accessed off piste skiing.
La Thuile Italy
Vallee Stura Italy
Val Gardena Dolomites
Pra Lognan France