All Mountain Performance / Basic tips for carving turns
THIS MONTHS SKI TIPS. Carving turns
What is carving ?
Carving is a form of ski turn that is non skiddy, ie using the shape of the skis and only two of the three steering elements (pressure, edging and not using rotation). If correctly applied, the skis will cut through the snow smoothly tracking forwards around an arc.
How to carve and initiate the turn:
Start skiing in a straight line on a suitably flattish piste with your feet at hip width apart. Without turning your feet, tilt both your skis in the direction you wish to turn. At the same time stretch your outside leg to push the ski against the snow. Feel the skis grip and allow time for the skis to start carving.
How to hold the carve: Resist the desire to rotate your legs and feet. let the pressure build up. As the pressure increases in the arc, you can increase the amount of edge tilt to tighten the carve.
How to finish the turn: When you feel the turn is complete, simply release the pressure built up in the turn by softening the outside leg, this will allow the feet to come naturally back underneath the body.
How to transfer to the initiation of the next turn: With a stretch down into the snow of the new outside leg, resist the new temptation to turn your feet and skis, using the tilting motion and stretch of the leg to create more pressure on the outside ski – so repeating the process used in the turn before.
Linking clean carving turns is a great sensation, it's fast but feels stable. We hope you enjoy the tips.
Mark Gear ( BASI level 4 ISTD) All Mountain Performance Chamonix
If you are thinking of skiing Chamonix, here is some info about the type of skiing the valley has to offer.
Chamonix is the world capitol of off piste and freeride skiing. There are 6 extensive ski areas offering a huge amount of easy to acess off piste routes. Chamonix off piste is great for all levels of off piste skier from powder puppy to powder hound. This makes Chamonix the ideal place for us to run our off piste / all mountain ski courses.
Each Chamonix ski area offers a different type of terrain. Le Brevent and la Flegere are great for couloirs and bowl skiing for all levels of off piste skier.
Further up the Chamonix valley Les Grands Montets is a massive mountain with undoubtabley some of the best skiing in the world. This is where famous freeriders hang out. Glaciers on the upper sections lead down to wide open bowl skiing with steeps and couloirs. The tree skiing and into valley couloirs are also great for expert skiers. This place is where we often ski 10000 vertical meters per day on our expert ski courses and freeride courses. A great lift system opens up 3 sides to this amazing ski mountain.
Le Tour at the high end of the Chamonix valley is great for all levels on piste and off piste. The front side is easy terrain for beginner off piste skiers. This is an ideal place for us to take intermediate level ski courses on the first couple of days of the course. The back side offers very nice terrain for more advanced and expert skiing.
The Aiguile du Midi lift takes skiers and alpinists from Chamonix town to an impressive altitude of 3842 meters. This is not a ski area for piste skiing. All the runs are off piste and on a glacier making the skiing more serious. A High mountain guide is advised for this.
Les Houches is situated as at the lower end of the Chamonix valley and offer very nice tree-lined piste skiing and some off piste. This the where the mens world cup combined event the Kandahar is held. The best skiers in the world race in downhill and slalom over a 2 day event.
Chamonix is just 1 hour drive from Geneva airport .
This Chamonix piste map shows the valley as a whole and is an artists impression of the Chamonix valley and ski areas. The ski area seen in the forefront on the piste map is Le Tour This is great for beginers and intermediate skiers. Its also a great ski area for expert skiers to practice high speed carving on the wide open well groomed pistes. The back side chair lift offers access to amazing off piste descents into Switzerland.
If you follow up the left of the Chamonix valley the next ski area is the brilliant and huge mountain of Les Grands Montets. This ski area is a mecca for hardcore skiers. Extreme ski movies have been shot here. The mountain is vast and generally steeper than the other Chamonix ski areas offering Glacier skiing at the very top and open bowls and gullys running into the treeline where some great tree skiing can be found.
Then towards Mont Blanc is the Aiguile du Midi. This is the highest lift in the Chamonix valley at 3842m. This lift is used to ski the Chamonix and world famous valley Blanche. This is all completley off piste and on a glacier making it a serious mountain intinery. A guide is necessary but not compulsory.
At the far end of the Chamonix valley and piste map you can see the Les Houches ski area. This piste map does not give Les Houches justice. It makes it look smaller than it is. In Les houches alone there are 95km of ski pistes.
Coming back along the Chamonix valley on the piste map to the right you can see the ski areas of Le Brevent and La Flegere. These are the ski areas more local to Chamonix town. These ski areas are south facing and linked together offering amazing on piste and off piste skiing for all levels. Watch out if you are skiing off piste here in the afternoons. Avalanches are frequent when the warm sun hits the slopes.
All together this Chamonix piste map gives someone who has never skied the Chamonix valley a reasonably good idea of what the Chamonix Valley looks like. However each ski area has its own piste map giving a more detailed impression of the mountains, pistes and Chamonix ski areas. These piste maps are available at the bottom of each ski area at the ticket desks.
The specialist British ski school in Chamonix for off piste skiing.
In the last Decade or so, the French Alps have seen a number of new British ski schools setting up in many resorts. Their reputation is excellent with smaller group size's and highly skilled ski coaches who are tested to very high standards. Not just of their skiing ability, but also their teaching and coaching skills. It's ski coaching at its very best and in native English. This is helping British & native English speaking skiers taking ski lessons in France, to really develop a better understanding of the sport and how they can make big leaps forward in improving their skiing.
We are a local Chamonix English speaking ski school specialising in high quality all mountain & off piste ski coaching. Offering our clients a full range of ski courses and private ski lessons for intermediate, advanced and expert skiers alike.
Our ski instructors hold the highest qualification available through BASI (The British Association of Snowsport Instructors) and ISIA (International Ski Instructors Association). Now into our 10th Year since AMP was founded, our reputation as a British ski school for skiing enthusiasts is growing from strength to strength.
So if you are looking for an English speaking ski school with a difference, why not come to Chamonix, France and sample our new school approach to ski school.
Mark is qualified to the highest international level with many years experience teaching off piste skiing in Chamonix, France & across Europe. His innovative, fun and professional ski teaching focuses on skiers personal goals whilst encouraging control, versatility & individual skier expression.
Ski courses include helpful video feedback, ski lift priority & minibus transport for skiing the best terrain around Chamonix.
BACKCOUNTRY COURSES ALL MOUNTAIN COURSES LEARN TO SKI OFF PISTE
Over 20 off piste performance ski courses on the programme this winter season.
With over 20 off piste ski courses running in Chamonix this winter, we are Chamonix's leading provider of off piste performance ski courses.
Ski courses for off piste skiing in Chamonix for intermediate, advanced and expert level skiers.
Ski courses run all season from December - April. The focus of each ski course is to improve your off piste and all mountain skiing. There are 3 course levels to choose from for intermediate, advanced and expert skiers. Simply check the finder page to see which level course is best for you.
On all ski courses we use effective video analysis and feedback on a daily basis. This is a short and helpful session of around 30 minutes at the end of skiing each day. The video feedback sessions allow you to watch yourself skiing in full HD and in slow motion to help you understand how to develop better skiing. The video skiing analysis is a powerful ski coaching tool that can help dramaticly improve your skiing. Occasionaly bad weather can stop the video sessions.
Private transport on all ski courses.
Each ski course has it's own private minibus for the duration of the course for clients staying in or close to Chamonix town. This gives us flexibility to transport to the best skiing conditions available. We aim to ski a variety of the Chamonix ski areas on ski courses.
Read about off piste skiing in Chamonix.
Find out about the type of skiing terrain in Chamonix. Below is a description of each of the main ski areas in and around Chamonix.
Les Grands Montets / Chamonix off piste ski courses
Les Grands Montets ski area offers big vertical descents with glaciers on the upper section. There is plenty of wide, open bowl skiing with some great steep sections and couloirs. This is Chamonix off piste skiing at its best. The tree skiing and in-to valley couloirs are also great for expert skiers. A good lift system opens up 3 sides to this amazing off piste mountain. Our best spots: Le Grand Muir, Pylones, Point de Vue, Combe de la Pendant, the Combe des Rachasse. The Magic Forest (Dream Forest) also offers fantastic off piste skiing in the trees.
Le Tour / Chamonix off piste ski courses
Le Tour at the high end of the Chamonix valley is great for all skier levels, on piste and off piste. The front side offer's easy terrain for beginner off piste skiers. This is an ideal place for us to take intermediate level ski courses on the first couple of days of the course. The back side of the mountain offers very nice off piste terrain for the advanced and expert courses. Best spots. All the back side and off the Possettes drag lift for some classic Chamonix off piste. A short climb on foot to the top of Tete de Balme, provides long backcountry ski runs.
Le Brevent and La Flegere / Chamonix off piste ski courses
These ski areas are linked together and offer very good couloir and open bowl off piste skiing. Most of the off piste in this part of Chamonix is south facing so avalanches can be frequent on warm afternoons. Best spots. La Floria, Brevent summit, Col Cornu. Combe de Lachanal for more great Chamonix off piste skiing.
Les Houches / Chamonix off piste ski courses
Les Houches is situated as at the lower end of the Chamonix valley and offers very nice tree-lined piste skiing and some shorter off piste runs. Best spots. Under the Prarion cables, The hidden meadows and secret off piste spots that only us locals know about.
Chamonix is just 1 hour drive from Geneva airport. Many companies fly into Geneva airport from most major UK airports making it very easy to find transport to come and join one of our ski courses.
Courmayeur Italy / Chamonix off piste ski courses
Just 25 minutes drive from Chamonix, through the Mt Blanc tunnel we arrive in Italy, at one of the Courmayeur cable cars. Courmayeur is a great ski area for all levels of skier with perfectly groomed pistes, fantastic mountain food & powder skiing off the pistes.
All Mountain Performance - Chamonix's leading off piste & backcountry ski school. The Specialist in ski courses, off piste ski courses and private ski coaching.