Ordino Arcalís Blog

Off piste skiing

Have you ever considered skiing off piste? Even some of the most experienced and veteran skiers have never tried off piste skiing, and that’s perfectly fine given that most ski enthusiasts are content enough with the on piste skiing available at a ski resort. However, going skiing off piste can take your adventure holiday to a whole other level.

Before we dig deeper into how to ski off piste, let’s first establish what does off piste mean in skiing. According to Cambridge Dictionary: “Off piste skiing is a term used to refer to skiing that is done on areas of snow that have not been specially prepared for skiing on.”

In other words, skiing off piste means practising the sport away from the smooth slopes of a ski resort, instead exploring the more unpatrolled and unmarked areas of snow you’ll often find beside a ski resort. This area is often referred to as the backcountry, hence why off piste skiing is sometimes termed backcountry skiing.

Off piste skiing

Navigating off piste terrain: Safety tips and techniques to master

In terms of how to ski off piste, there are a few important safety tips and techniques to keep in mind. Starting with off piste vs on piste equipment differences, you’ll need to bring more materials with you, since you’ll be more isolated out in the backcountry. The list of items you’ll need off piste that you might not need to think about if staying at a ski resort includes, but is not limited to: skins, a shovel, an avalanche beacon, an avalanche probe and a first-aid kit.

You’ll also want to pay closer attention to the weather forecast if you want the safest and best off piste skiing experience, while you should ensure you know the route well. If you are thinking about off piste skiing for beginners, or are new to a particular area, you really should set off with an expert. Even when you head off as part of a group, make sure to inform another party as to your timings and route.

While this might sound daunting, and you might be wondering is off piste skiing is dangerous, don’t be put off. Skiing off piste is a great experience and even the experts were beginners at it at some point. That’s the only way you can start to learn off piste skiing.

Protect your passion for adventure: Importance of off piste ski insurance

Even though off piste skiing shouldn’t be viewed as anything particularly scary, it is important to ensure you have off piste ski insurance, as you never know what could happen.
Once you have your off piste ski insurance policy, read through the details thoroughly because some skiers have unknowingly violated and voided their off piste ski insurance policy by practicing off piste skiing in an improper way.

Grandvalira, the best destination for off piste skiing

If you’re at the stage of wondering how to ski off piste during your next winter holiday, you’d probably like to know where you can find the best off piste skiing in Europe. Off piste skiing in Andorra is near the top of most of these lists, and the Ordino Arcalís region is very popular. That’s in part because of the option to practise mountain skiing with Grandvalira Mountain Guides.
This option is ideal for off piste skiing beginners wondering how to ski off piste, as the guides will ensure the first experience in the backcountry is a safe and instructive one, while the beautiful scenery of Andorra ensures you’ll want to come back many times over.