Freeride techniques masterclass for skiers

This 2-day course will improve your ability to ride confidently off piste and tackle a wide variety of terrain and snow conditions. We’ll focus on honing your freeride technique, and giving you the skills to tackle anything the backcountry can throw at you.

The programme has been specifically designed for confident skiers who want to further improve their backcountry riding. We select the locations and routes based on the abilities of the group and the prevailing weather and snow conditions. The programme is led by French pro skier and instructor Yannick Besançon.

As with everything we do, safety is paramount – so we’ll start the course with a reminder session on avalanche safety equipment and techniques. The cost includes rental of beeper, shovel and probe.

 

The program Instructor – Yannick Besançon

I’m Yannick, a French pro skier for Peak Performance.
A native of Chamonix, I started skiing when I was 3 and had my on-piste “education” in alpine skiing. I was a competitive ski racer (slalom and giant slalom) until the age of 22, when I took my ski instructor exam. I’ve been teaching for the past 10 years, working with skiers of different levels in different resorts in different countries.
I started riding in the backcountry 12 years ago, and since then have been lucky enough to ride with some of the best riders and guides in Chamonix and worldwide, in some truly amazing places including Antarctica, Kamchatka, the Caucasus, South America and Japan, among others.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to turn my passion into my job, and my goal is now to transmit this passion to others, to help them to grow and develop their abilities, and to ensure they have fun while they’re doing it!

 

Programme duration:
2days

Detailed information on available dates and conditions of the programs can be found in the calendar.

Our team is flexible, and will be happy to create a special programme on dates which are convenient for you.

Program cost:
$100

The cost includes:

Two days of instruction on the mountain in small groups; loan of avalanche safety equipment (beeper, probe, shovel).
Participants will need to purchase lift passes themselves (the cost will vary depending on the location).

Number of participants:
4-6

Available locations:

Eliksai
A small, family-run ski slope 25km East of Almaty, Yeliksai is a throwback to what skiing was like in the Soviet Union. The lifts are rope tows of the ‘nutcracker’ type and there are no restaurants, no piste bashers, and few of the other benefits of civilization – but this is the closest Almaty comes to a freeride mecca, and what you get in return is no lift queues, no crowds, and a huge selection of lift-accessible terrain to choose from. If you come here on a week day, chances are you’ll have the place to yourself.
Accommodation is best described as ‘rustic’ and is in heated wooden cabins with outside toilets and running water – but there’s the option of a traditional Russian banya (log-fired sauna) to make up for the lack of creature comforts.

Optional full package:
$250 per person, including transfer, accommodation, meals, and ski passes for all three days.

Kosmostation
Just 35km from Almaty at the head of the Almarasan valley, Kosmostantsia must be one of the few resorts in the world that is also a working scientific research base. An altitude of 3,336 metres means there is snow all year round – it’s even possible to ski in early July. A small rope tow lift leads to the northern slopes of Peak Tourist. Accommodation is in the small buildings that form part of the research station –so while you’re drying your boots and socks at the end of the day research is being carried out in the laboratories next door, and if you’re lucky you may get the chance to look through one of the telescopes at the nearby observatory.

Optional full package:
$250 per person, including transfer, accommodation, meals and ski passes for all three days.

Shymbulak Mountain Resort
Kazakhstan’s equivalent of Zermatt or Vail, Shymbulak is the most developed and easily accessible resort around Almaty, as well as the most expensive. The resort itself is located at an altitude of 2,260 metres, with a series of modern gondola lifts taking you up to the Talgar Pass at 3,163. Everything you’d find at an alpine resort you’ll find here – think world class infrastructure, international chain restaurants, and European-level prices to match.

Optional full package:
$250 per person, including transfer, accommodation in a hostel, breakfast, sauna, and ski passes.

You will need:
– Skis that are suitable for freeride;
– Backpack;
– Helmet;
– Warm clothes (waterproof outer shell, fleece, down jacket in case of cold weather);
– Goggles (ideally with lenses for bright and flat light);
– Sunscreen;
– Head torch;
– Thermos.