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Ski off-piste and freeride

Ski Off-piste or freeride skiing is a discipline which consists of skiing outside the marked and secure routes of the ski area.
Its practice requires having good bases in alpine skiing and knowing how to ski in all snow (powder, hard, crust) or all-terrain, you must also be able to understand an avalanche rescue and use the equipment correctly. all circumstances.

How to start off-piste skiing?

Off-piste skiing needs to be approached with great humility like all mountain activities. We are off the slopes as soon as we leave the marked and open tracks, so we take the risk of exposing ourselves to the dangers of the mountains. However it is quite possible to learn in reasonable safety conditions at the edge of the runway (a few meters) or in nearby powder snow fields where the slope is less than 30 °, obviously the best is to ask advice to mountain professionals before embarking anywhere and especially anytime. The ski patrollers will give you sound advice in the ski resort or in the ski areas. Try yourself on short off-piste sections and try to ski in small turns whatever the snow!

What equipment for off-piste skiing?

The equipment for off-piste or freeride skiing has evolved, wide skis with a “rocker” raised tip allow even a beginner to approach skiing in deep snow without a big technical level, we are far from skiing for years 1980 straight and steep where you needed thighs of descenders to make a turn!
Privileged therefore a wide ski between 90 and 110 on the skate, the wider a ski, the more it has lift in any snow, on the other hand it loses grip in hard snow but also maneuverability. It is therefore necessary either to have several pairs of skis, or a very versatile ski.
Ski touring or freeski boots are now similar in every way, it even has a sole for walking and inserts for using ski touring bindings.
A shoe of 80 to 120 flex depending on your size, weight and level will allow you to ski on all types of snow and outings.
Do not forget the sticks with a large washer which is better in powder and if possible with an ejectable strap so as not to anchor in an avalanche.
Equip yourself with an Avabag or Airbag type bag for more security.

Safety equipment

The essential trilogy: DVA (avalanche victim detector), shovel and probe are part of the backpack.
The digital DVA must have 3 antennas, the batteries must be new or not less than 50% full, alkaline type battery.
The snow shovel must have a bucket of capacity between 2.5 L and 3L in order to shovel a large volume of snow in case of emergency, the handle must be telescopic and have a pick function to practice the technique of shoveling in V or of the treadmill, the metal bucket must be unbreakable to shovel the hardest snow.
We save enormous time in shoveling, much more than in research with the DVA.
The probe must measure at least 2.40m and be solid, too fragile and too light probes are to be avoided, we will prefer a large tube diameter and conical shanks for more rigidity.