Extreme Alpine Holidays

Think skiing and the picture postcard image of European resorts immediately comes to mind. There is however, a growing niche within the skiing industry offering more adventurous alpine experiences for anyone with the appetite.

Off-piste skiing

Heliskiing

Heliskiing offers skiers the opportunity to be flown by helicopter to remote pistes covered in untouched snow. Sounds like the life of a ski celebrity? Just as the surfing industry has opened itself up to taking surf-tourists to the little known and beautiful breaks of the world, so the skiing industry is offering the hidden mountain sides and powder fields to anyone brave enough to venture off-piste.

Groups are small – usually up to six people – and the journey to your remote location will be beautiful. Once you’re dropped off, you’ll be free to ski the open expanse of snow; just you and the sound of your skis carving up the powder.

Typically, your session will end in a remote location and you’ll be picked up by helicopter and delivered back to your ski chalet.

Backcountry Skiing

Backcountry Skiing is similar to the Heliskiing experience, except you are doing the hard work of ascending a mountain on foot, and then skiing to the base. The process is often repeated, either on the same mountain, or across a range. It’s a physically gruelling activity that isn’t for anyone who is a big fan of ski-lifts.

Ski Mountaineering

Ski Mountaineering combines skiing with mountain climbing techniques for a single ascent and then descent of a mountain. This is probably the most extreme alpine activity as it demands the best from your skiing, your fitness, and your climbing and survival skills. Team work is vital as you negotiate ice walls and glaciers. The harsh terrain will test everything you have. The reward? You get to ski to the bottom!

About the Author: This guest post was brought to you by Marie-Paule Graham, a travel writer for Chalet Finder, the online portal to help find unforgettable short ski breaks and dream ski chalet accommodation.

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Robert Stewart

Ski Editor at Snow.Guide

Rob has extensive knowledge and experience of winter sports and has been qualified to instruct and teach Alpine Skiing for over 25 years. He is also an experienced off-piste and backcountry skier and has competed in freestyle and freeride events around the world. Now a full-time ski writer and Director of Ski Press, Rob is Snow.Guide’s Ski Editor and contributes to many other snowsports, national and lifestyle publications.

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