The Ultimate Guide To Skiing Off Piste

Heading off for a week of skiing or snowboarding is one of the most exhilarating holidays that you can experience. If you can secure an elusive winter break that allows you to bask in the sunshine as you descend an array of ski runs, before recharging your batteries in the nearest bar or restaurant ready for the next day’s snowy adventures, you will be able to return to work refreshed and renewed. Skiing is the ultimate mix of action and relaxation.

 

If you are a proficient skier with a good few seasons of experience behind you, the lure of venturing away from your fellow skiers may see you heading off the beaten path for the first time. The well established off piste areas are the major draw of ski holidays to Andorra. Situated in the middle of the Eastern Pyrenees, you can challenge yourself to venture across the most rugged of mountains. Going off piste can add a whole new level of enjoyment to your holiday, but you must ensure that you embark on your off piste adventure safely and responsibly. Check out this guide to skiing off piste.

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Equipment

 

There are some essential bits of kit that you need if you are heading out away from the coloured runs that you are used to. You must have an avalanche transceiver. This means that if you get caught in an avalanche, a signal will transmit from you to any other skier on an off piste jaunt within a set radius around you enabling you to be tracked and rescued.

 

The risk of an avalanche may be low, but it’s vital that you are prepared so pack a handy retractable shovel, some flares, a whistle, water and some high protein snacks just in case you find yourself stuck. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t be alone when heading away from the designated runs. You need a heightened level of alertness off piste to avoid unseen bits of rock or tree stumps, so should an accident occur, you’ll need your pal to raise the alarm.

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Get Clued Up

 

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been to the same resort a dozen times, you still need to have a decent map on you at all times. The emergence of GPS to navigate your way around off piste is incredible, but should that fail, it’s vital that you have the good old fashioned ordnance survey as back up.

 

Talk to fellow skiers about the off piste conditions and make a sensible judgement as to whether it’s wise to head out off the beaten track the next day if a blizzard is forecast. Never underestimate the power of the weather. Hold off, stick to the most advanced ski runs at your resort and wait it out.

 

If you are fortunate to be heading to the Pyrenees, the Alps or even the Rockies next winter, ensure that you have safety as your top priority when embarking on an off piste adventure.

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