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Off Piste Ski Safari

Course Overview

This course is for skiers who would like to gain a safe introduction to the world of off-piste skiing, and a taste of ski touring. This is your chance to get away from the crowds, and carve fresh tracks, without the commitment of a ski tour right away. Instead we take it a day at a time, gaining maximum skiing for minimum effort using the excellent local lift systems. Over six days we aim to give you plenty of variety and mileage under the watchful eye of our Guides. As your off piste skiing improves, you will learn about the skills, equipment and techniques for safe and enjoyable travel in this challenging environment. All you need to do is arrange your travel to Galtur and we'll look after everything else.

Experience Required

Ski red runs in control, but keen for more. The ability to pick yourself up and dust yourself down with a smile on your face.

Scheduled Dates

blackBlack = Open for booking

blackGreen = Guaranteed to run (additional places are limited please email us at )

blackRed = Course fully booked


Sorry. We have no dates currently available for this course

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

This six day course is an excellent and safe introduction to the world of off piste skiing. Aimed at keen skiers, who want to carve fresh tracks away from the crowds, you will seek out maximum skiing for minimal effort.

Is it for me?
This course is for people who would like to take their skiing to a new level. If you've always fancied venturing off piste - but want to learn how to do it safely - this course could give you the confidence to "dip your toes" off the piste. Six full days of adventure ensure that you will have earned the daily luxury of the hotel in the valley.

You should be able to ski effective linked parallel turns on red piste runs (and be able to stop when required). Keen to take your skills away from the pisted runs, and the crowds, the ability to pick yourself up and dust yourself down are most important.

The Venue
We shall be based in the alpine village of Galtur, 1600m high in the Austrian Silvretta Alps. This area gives the off piste skier a wealth and variety of terrain to suit all abilities, without the crowds of more famous venues. There are three extensive lift systems (Galtur, Ischgl and Kappl) giving access to plenty of fresh snow "off the back". Each of these areas provide different terrain and conditions to provide a range of learning opportunities. Long descents, majestic peaks and stunning mountain scenery combine to make this a memorable region to travel in.

What we cover
This practical course gives six full days of skiing. Starting "just off" the lift systems, we will gently progress further into the exciting world of off piste skiing and ski touring. Over the six days we will look at the following areas:

  • Off piste skiing techniques

  • Avalanche risk evaluation

  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain

  • Transceiver search and rescue

  • 'Skinning' techniques - to climb away from the crowds

  • Introduction to 'ski touring'

Qualified or aspirant International Mountain Guides will staff the course, enabling a degree of flexibility to cater for differing skiing abilities and fitness within the group. All our Guides are experienced Mountaineering Instructors and coaches - to help you get even more from the experience.

Getting there
All our ski courses have a "changeover day" on Saturday, to make it as easy as possible for you to travel. Arrive on Saturday for a Sunday morning start. Friday is the last day of skiing, but you are welcome to stay for a departure on Saturday - with all this extra accommodation included in the course price. Within easy reach of several airports (all linked by superb public transport) Galtur is easier to get to than you may think. This year, Easyjet are flying direct to Innsbruck, from Bristol, Gatwick and Liverpool. But Munich, Friedrichshafen, Salzburg, and even Zurich are within a feasible transfer distance.

Useful Books

There are lots of useful texts on Ski and Avalanche. We particularly recommend:
  • Snow Sense by Jill Fredston - as the most succinct, or 'easily digested' book on avalanche
  • Backcountry Skiing by Volken, Schell & Wheeler. A great technical reference, published by 'The Mountaineers Books'
  • Explore, Climb, Ski - An inspirational celebration of 100 years of ski mountaineering - from the Alpine Ski Club
  • Staying alive in Avalanche Terrain - Bruce Tremper. Published by Baton Wicks
  • A Chance in a Million by Barton and Wright, published by Scottish Mountaineering Trust, available from BMC
  • Skiing Real Snow by Martin Hurn. Published By Crowood
  • Ski Mountaineering by Peter Cliff. Published By Unwin Hyman
  • Ski Powder by Martin Epp. Published By Fernhurst
  • Avalanche Safety For Skiers And Climbers by Tony Daffern

What's Included In The Price?

Whether you choose to stay with us or you have alternative accommodation nearby, the following items are included in the total cost.

    Lift Pass
    Snow safety equipment hire

    If you choose to stay with us, these items are also included in the total cost:

    Accommodation the night before your course
    Accommodation during your course
    Accommodation the night after your course ends
    Breakfast & evening meal

Accommodation For This Course

Alpen Hotel Tirol

All your accommodation (shared) plus half board (breakfast & evening meal) is included in your course fee, so you just need to pay for your lunches and your drinks. Your evening meal on the night of arrival and breakfast on the morning of departure is also included.

You'll be staying at the excellent family run Alpen Hotel Tirol. On our Ski Tour Silvretta holiday you'll spend a few nights in a mountain hut during the week (also included in the course fee). On our Off Piste Ski Safari holiday you'll be staying in the hotel all week.

Linen and towels are provided in the hotel but you will need a sleeping bag liner for the mountain hut.

Hotel address and contact details,

Alpen Hotel Tirol
Famillie Lorenz
Tel: 0043 5443 8206
Email: alpenhotel-tirol@netway.at

follow this link for more details

What Equipment Do You Need To Bring?

It is preferable to use your own equipment if you have it, but all personal safety and technical equipment (marked with an asterisk* below) can be provided by us at no extra cost. We bring this kit out from Plas y Brenin - so please fill in the equipment loan form to ensure we bring what you need.

Download equipment loan form here

You will need to hire ski touring kit if you do not have your own, but don't worry as on the first morning of the course we will be visiting the rental shop to get fitted out with the right kit. For a 6/7 day rental Touring Skis and Skins are 133 Euro and Touring Boots are 56 Euro.

For Off Piste Safari Only: If you have your own downhill boots please bring these with you, they prove useful for the first couple of days.

It's common to have lots of questions about kit - so but do not hesitate to seek advice from Plas y Brenin if you have any doubts about suitability or reliability of your own equipment.

The following list is not meant to be exhaustive - merely to prompt you to remember to pack everything. We find it easier to 'tick off' our packing list in groups.

Ski Kit (all for rental in Galtur):

  • Ski mountaineering boots (Feel free to bring your own liners/footbeds to make hired touring boots more comfy)

  • Skis fitted with touring bindings

  • Climbing skins for skis

  • Ski crampons (couteau/ harscheisen)

  • Ski poles

Avalanche Kit (these "off piste essentials" are included in the price - but do let us know if you need them please on your equipment loan form):

  • Avalanche probe

  • Avalanche transceiver

  • Lightweight snow shovel (but must be metal)

Essential Paperwork:

  • Passport

  • Alpine Club Card (if you have one)

  • European Health Insurance Card

  • Copy of insurance (see below)

Personal Essentials:

  • Rucksack to put it all in (with side straps)

  • Waterproof shell jacket/overtrousers

  • Ski trousers/salopettes

  • Fleece tops (lots of thin layers are better than 1 or 2 thick layers)

  • Thermal tops and long johns

  • Thin gloves, warm ski gloves and spare mitts

  • Warm hat, balaclava & sun hat

  • Good quality sun glasses

  • High factor sun screen and lip salve

  • Ski/snow goggles

  • Water bottle

  • Lunch snacks & emergency food

  • Emergency bivi bag (polythene)

  • Blister kit/small first aid kit (we will carry a larger group first aid kit)

  • Whistle

  • Velcro ski strap

Personal Extras (as you wish)

  • Camera

  • Compass (Silva Expedition 4 recommended)

  • Maps

  • Head torch (keep it light)

For Ski Tour Silvretta Only - Glacier & Mountaineering Kit:

  • Crampons (lightweight - to fit ski boots)*

  • Ice axe (short and light)

Customer Reviews For This Course

great course, undersold on the web site.

David Battell

It was a great introduction to ski touring, each day we did a little bit more than the day before. My off piste skills were low, but i wanted to see if touring was for me, This course turned out to fit the bill just fine. Off piste is a bit better now, which is more my lack of talent than the very patient instruction, and the empty mountain which is just 5 mins round the corner from a busy piste is a joy which i will be going back for. We spent the first day mainly on piste, with a little off piste, and some avalanch search practice, second day we were off on a short skin away from the crowds, subsequent days more skinning and further off piste, finishing the week with an overnight stop in a hut. Obviously depends on the weather and how the group feels but pack a sleping bag liner, you will probably need one, and dont bother with piste boots you wont need them!

All round course that gave a taste of various aspeccts of ski touring

Mark Lewis

A good course for giving an insight into the various forms of ski touring. From just venturing off piste to touring in the mountains. The course has enabled me to decide which area of ski touring/off piste that I enjoy and I can now pursue. The course also focus's on safety giving me the confidence to start to explore the slopes away from the pistes and the immediate off piste.
The instructors are very well qualified and will try to adapt the course to your particular needs. This is appreciatd as inevitably the course members have various skill and aspirational levels.
The accomodation at the Alpen-Hotel is excellent (when we got in as they had overbooked) and the food is great. Watch the drinks bills. Check them, they were always wrong!

Excellent course

Pete Kruppa

Thoroughly enjoyed the week. Phil was an excellent Guide, always
knowing where and when to find the best snow in safety, and I feel I
learned a lot; just need to wait till next winter to put it into
practice again. I gained a fuller respect for the potential risks
off-piste. I had expected just day-touring, so the 3-day tour
overnighting up in the Heidelberger Hut was an added bonus. Alpenhotel Tirol was very good, with great food in generous quantities (they really should provide tap water without quibbling however, especially given the amounts we spent at the bar). Would definitely recommend the course.


Andrew Dray

I really enjoyed the course. I only have two comments.

1.) The course intro material seemed somewhat generic. Could more specific course info. be emailed out? I had to search for specific course info. on the website.

2.) Was really annoying the Alpen Hotel Tirol would not give out karafe's of water. Which just seemed stuipd.

Sun, snow & shenanigans

Stephen Roach

The whole course was great, well paced with sound advice from our guides. I came home with some great memories and gained new skills, I just hope I don't forget what I've learnt by next Winter.
My late 80..s berghaus rucksack, while retro, wasn..t the most practical for carrying all the kit. I was certainly outdone on the style front by some of my counterparts.
A wide brimmed hat was de rigour while my basball cap was more fashion than function.
I wore my insulated ski pants which was fine for the most part, but when skating I could have done with other legwear which sensibly was back home in my spare room!
You need to ensure you bring some flash gear to outdo the guides, as its highly unlikely you..ll out-ski them. However, if you..ve a good thirst then you should out drink them, particularly in the mountain huts!
Our hotel in Galtur was very good and the ..wellness.. suite was a real surprise so make sure you..ve got your skimpies or not, especially if you're an Austrian.
roll on next year..........

Not found what you were looking for?

You can hire one of our coaches instructors or guides from only £250 per day. They'll tailor the day to suit your aims and aspirations perfectly.
You can enjoy one to one coaching for that cost or if you get together as a group, depending on the activity, you can split that cost between up to 6 of you. If you are a group we can run any of our courses on a date that suits you and your friends. Or you could just write your own agenda for a week or weekend and we'll price it up for you - with or without accommodation. What's more, just like out normal course fees, our private instructor hire charge covers all your equipment too. Click on the link below to fill in a request form and one of our coaches will call you back (or e-mail if you'd prefer) to discuss things in detail with you.

Fill in a Callback Form

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