Maurienne Backcountry Workshop

Improve your safety, find the best snow & become a better skier!

Yes this is a workshop, not a course, and the difference matters.

Trip Essentials

Ski Touring
18-21 January 2024
Val Cenis, Haute Maurienne, France
All levels

The workshop concept in a nutshell

3 days out in the field, 3 briefings/debriefings in the classroom.

Day 1, the basics: gear check, group managnement, terrain observation, snow knowledge, beeper training, shoveling and rescue procedures.

On the first evening session we will discuss the snow & weather conditions and from there, give you the mision to propose relevant tours for Day 2. The tours will be presented to everyone, discussed and you'll get the green light from the guides...or not.

Back from that tour, the debriefing will be the occasion to see if your reasonning was good and if the reality was conform to what you had planned.

Rich of all these new informations, we'll repeat the procedure to prepare a trip for Day 3.

Not to be forgotten: we'll focus on skiing great snow and have as much fun as possible!

The failure of traditional avalanche courses

In an era when there is an app for everything, our natural tendancy to find shortcuts and easy solutions is stronger than ever. 

In the meantime, the statistics are showing a concerning number of educated skiers involved in avalanche accidents and incidents.

Let's face it, the snow covered mountains are a choaotic environnement, and it will never be enough with an app, a rule based method, a youtube tutorial or a traditional, academic course. The illusion of knowledge you might get from these quick fixes is your main ennemy! You cannot use a static knowledge in a dynamic environnement.

So why not moving to a more dynamic way of teaching and learnig ski mountaineering, where the very important theory is build on your experience, and not the other way around?

What's on the Workshop menu?

  • Mountain weather, global and local patterns
  • Snow science
  • Cartography, map reading & trip planning
  • Group dynamics, communication and human factors
  • Redefining our goals as ski mountaineers. Are we going for the good snow, the summit, the meters, the fame?
  • Terrain management with a group, up and down
  • The good snow, where it is and why? How to find it?
  • Safety, what gear we have and how to use it
  • Rescue organisation
  • Ski technique
  • Sharing the joy of skiing

Beyond the Maurienne Workshop

This concept has been brought to us by Ski og Skred, the Norwegian International Ski and Avalanche six month course, and his founder, our friend Bjørn Michaelsen, with whom we've been collaborating since 2011.

As a matter of fact, Bjørn is also proposing the same concept on different locations.

Get in touch with Bjørn for more infos!



  • 3 days skiing and learning
  • 3 evenings of briefing/debriefing/discussion/enlightment
  • 3 nights accomodation
  • 2 dinners (evenings 2 &3)

Not included

  • Drinks, lunches, breakfasts
  • transportation
  • your personal insurance
per person, lodging at Les Liouès
per person, double room at Hotel La Turra
per person, single room at Hotel La Turra

Practical informations

Meeting in Sollières, Zone des Favières, Upguides office, 17h on thursday the 18th of january. Map here.

Rental gear, available for rental from us:

  • Skis & climbing skins 
  • Touring boots 
  • Beepers, probe, shovels
  • Avalanche backpacks


One of the great thing with this course is the cultural exchange, and it's meant to be international, so english will be the main language. But of course we'll help anybody who's not totally relaxed with it.


This is what you need to bring with you.
Kit list