20 January 2024
A week (5 days, Mon-Fri) of guided backcountry riding and coaching in the little-known resort of Areches-Beaufort. January is a great time to ride - quiet lifts, empty slopes and usually great snow. This week is a splitboard freeride week, meaning that we will ride splits most days, but always with the aim of riding the best snow. If there's powder next to the piste, that's what we'll ride! Some days will involve big tours, others mostly short skins / hikes to get as many fresh lines as possible.
Areches was my favourite riding destination before I moved to the Alps permanently. It has the same perfect combination of great terrain and minimal crowds as Sainte Foy, with the bonus of a bigger lift system and the legendary Beaufortain micro-climate. One of the first mountain ranges encountered by westerly storms, the weather systems slow as they hit the nearby bulk of Mont Blanc and dump huge amounts of snow in the Beaufortain - often twice as much as in the Tarentaise or the Portes du Soleil.
Half-board Hotel accommodation included.
Arrive in resort and check in to hotel on Saturday 20th Jan. The course includes 5 days of guided riding. This will usually be Monday-Friday, giving you Sunday as a warm-up day to get your legs moving but if it makes sense with the weather or snow conditions, we may start right away on the Sunday and take a rest day later in the week. Check out of the hotel on Saturday 27th Jan.
Hotel Christiania in Areches-beaufort. The hotel is a traditional, French, family run hotel, right in the centre of town. It has been recently renovated to a good standard so the rooms are smart and comfortable, if not the most spacious ever. There's a bar and a small lounge, plus in-house restaurant for meals. Accommodation and prices based on twin-sharing. No single supplements as long as you're happy to share with another solo rider.
Breakfast and evening meals at the hotel included in the course cost. The food is excellent!
Fly to Geneva or Lyon. Train or bus to Albertville and/or onwards to Beaufort and Areches. I can pick up / drop off in Beaufort if it's helpful and also potentially in Albertville on my way past. There's a straightforward bus from Geneva airport with a quick change in Albertville for a direct link up to Areches.
This course is for intermediate and up level riders with some backcountry experience. You should have at least 8-10 weeks riding experience and have at least some experience of enjoying turns in off-piste conditions.
You should have a good level of cardio fitness from regularly taking part in sport, such as hillwalking, running or cycling. We will typically climb around 500m on most days, but will usually have a couple of bigger days in the week where we may climb 750m or more.
Splitboard gear (split, skins, crampons, poles) plus avalanche safety gear. I have splitboard gear available to rent if you don't have your own. Avalanche safety gear is included in the course price if you don't have your own.
additional costs (not included):
Travel, Lift pass, Lunch & Apres