Would-be off pisters should head to Le Grand Tourmalet in the French Pyrenees, where they can learn to explore the ungroomed slopes in the safe hands of a guide.
The Evasion Hors Pistes package is designed for expert skiers who are tempted by off pisting, but who are wise enough not to go it alone. With a professional guide and a group of five people maximum, skiers will learn to anticipate and minimize their risk when out in the wild. Each skier is equipped with all the necessary security gear (ABS airbag, DVA tracker, shovel, radio, etc.). This experience costs €40 per person for a run down the Pic du Midi or €75 for a whole day of off pisting.
To book Evasion Hors Pistes, call +33(0)630.850.885 or visit www.horspistes.fr
More experienced off pisters may prefer the Pyrénéances Package, which takes them to the legendary Pic du Midi de Bigorre. The offer includes two downhill runs on the Pic du Midi site, one of the most sought-after ungroomed areas of the Pyrenees, in the company of a guide. The experience is priced at €115 and includes security gear, a lift pass, and the services of a guide.
To book Pyrénéances, call +33(0)562.951.919 or visit www.pyreneances.com
While the price per descent may seem high compared to a classic lift pass, remember that off pisting can be a risky endeavour. Be smart and put security ahead of everything else - you'll be glad you invested in the services of a professional.