/ Any easy ski-touring 1day trips doable solo in 4 Valleys(CH)?

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RockShock on 12 Dec 2012
Hi,

Going to Nendaz in the beginning of march and would like to use the time to try out those new touring skis I got myself as a bit early Xmas present. I am an intermediate skier and I would be going on the trips probably alone, as my friends will stick to alpine skiing.
Are there any super-easy routes that are possible solo in the area? - I guess I am looking at easy peaks with easy descent and no crevasse danger - ie probably max 3000m height to avoid glaciers. I'd only go when avi conditions are favorable, which should be the case in march anyways, so I am willing to assume this will be covered as good as possible going solo (routes where more people are normally present would be good just in case)
Is that asking for too much?

Or should I simply stick to the slopes with the alpine kit and keep on brushing the skills so that I can ski all the blacks well and next year take a proper off-piste course?

On the side: are there any schools in Nendaz/Siviez that run ski-mountaineering courses? Or is Verbier the closest place to do it?

Cheers!
RS
Shearwater - on 12 Dec 2012
Have you done any touring before? If not, you could always consider a weekend up in sunny scotland before you go; there are a handful of places that'll do an introductory ski touring/mountaineering course. I'm sure there would be at least one weekend with good conditions between now and March ;-)
RockShock on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Shearwater:
> Have you done any touring before? If not, you could always consider a weekend up in sunny scotland before you go; there are a handful of places that'll do an introductory ski touring/mountaineering course. I'm sure there would be at least one weekend with good conditions between now and March ;-)

Cheers, that's a good suggestion, though I am based in Spain, so will be looking around here. Anyways, I did few easy tours already, but still the terrain and snow conditions are nowhere near the Alps, so in general I will look for something super-easy/safe in Valais to do alone, or a course over there to get a grip of the 'real alpine' environment...

Blinder - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to RockShock: I think the skin up to the Gd St Bernard is meant to be quite easy and safe. NOTE: I have not done it so check this out first.
Shearwater - on 12 Dec 2012
Start saving up for a guide? http://www.nendaz.ch/tourism/mountain-guide-hiking-guide-office-740.html

It'll be pricey if you're on your own but it is worth going and saying hi at their office, cos there might always be other people looking for a group you could split the cost with.

According to this: http://guidesvalais.com/program/winter/index_en.html there's something that happens every wednesday which is a little cheaper and might be a group of whoever happens to turn up at the time though details are lacking. Might be worth dropping them an email to see?
graham F - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to RockShock: Nendaz/4 Vallées is good for touring and there are plenty of "easy" tours to do. Going on your own obviously is fine until you hurt yourself/get lost/break kit/get avalanched (I wouldn't count on March being stable avalanche conditions)
It's pretty easy to find courses or guides round here and there are some English speaking (British)guides who might have groups to join.
RockShock on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Shearwater:
> Start saving up for a guide? http://www.nendaz.ch/tourism/mountain-guide-hiking-guide-office-740.html
>
> It'll be pricey if you're on your own but it is worth going and saying hi at their office, cos there might always be other people looking for a group you could split the cost with.

Yeah, but I have an image (perhaps unfair) that the guided tour is meant to take you out there safely, but not in a "learning fashion" - that's to say I won't get that much from such outing as from a course - which would probably be around same price tag, but would at least teach me more... Plus, I have a personal tendency to avoid guides and rather do something easier myself/with friend than be guided and protected by a guide - I have utmost respect for all the folks out there, but it gives me way less satisfaction from that.

>
> According to this: http://guidesvalais.com/program/winter/index_en.html there's something that happens every wednesday which is a little cheaper and might be a group of whoever happens to turn up at the time though details are lacking. Might be worth dropping them an email to see?

I will indeed drop them an email. I saw this already before, but it looked for me more like a day out on huge jumps, steep slopes and generally high-level (it's called freeride after all). I am looking more towards a ski-mouneineering as my gear is bit on the lighter side, so I prefer going up than down! Will drop them a message anyways.

Cheers for all the repsonses though! Any more suggestions welcome!
RS
graham F - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to RockShock: That is a bit of an unfair image of guides...However if you join a group you might not have much say in what happens, and a "freeride day" might not include much instruction!
Most guides are happy to teach though - it's up to you to say what you want from the day/course.
Shearwater - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to RockShock:
> Plus, I have a personal tendency to avoid guides and rather do something easier myself/with friend than be guided and protected by a guide.

A day with a guide could conceivably set you up for a few solo trips afterwards, once you've seen the terrain and had the opportunity to ask a highly experienced local suitable questions about where to go and what to do.

> I will indeed drop them an email. I saw this already before, but it looked for me more like a day out on huge jumps, steep slopes and generally high-level (it's called freeride after all).

Its just a marketing word. It also has phrases like 'introduce you to freeride' which doesn't seem to imply '...by throwing you off a cliff!'. What will actually happen will depend very much on who turns up on the day! Not everyone is a hard charging expert, after all ;-)
RockShock on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to graham F:
> (In reply to RockShock) That is a bit of an unfair image of guides...However if you join a group you might not have much say in what happens, and a "freeride day" might not include much instruction!
> Most guides are happy to teach though - it's up to you to say what you want from the day/course.

Yeah, I may have explained myself in a wrong way (the 'English is not my mother tongue' excuse ;) ): I meant that normally the guided tours/outings are more aimed to reach a specific peak/goal - and rightly so (paying for a guide to spend a day digging beacons out of snow for practice misses a point IMHO) so the accent is put more on this, than on teaching - I know that guides are happy to teach/explain, but it's just a matter of the nature of the activity that there's less weight put on the 'educational' aspect. If any guide felt offended by what I wrote, I happily repay this with a proper size beer ;)

graham F - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to RockShock: excellent, I'll accept a beer! My point was that I do some work with a specific goal as you say, when there simply isn't much time to do training, but lots of work is specifically instruction so we might spend all day digging in snow!
craigloon - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to RockShock:

Where do you get the idea that avi conditions should be OK in March?!!

This is wrong and dangerous.
OwenM - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to RockShock: Where about's in Spain are you? I've done lots of ski touring there and love it.
RockShock on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to craigloon:
I don't assume right now the conditions in March, no worries about that - I know where to look for the avi forecasts. But in general on those altitudes snowfall/rainfall seems to get lower at this time so the snow should be more stable if that's the case. I'm not going to go anywhere alone if the alert level will be higher than 2 - which, if the route is well chosen should in generally be pretty 'safe' - with a margin you always need to assume when going alone in the mountains...
RockShock on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to OwenM:
> (In reply to RockShock) Where about's in Spain are you? I've done lots of ski touring there and love it.

Madrid - the closest good skiing is in Gredos, but still a few leagues below Alp countries I guess. What did you do exactly?
OwenM - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to RockShock: Mostly well to the north of you, Cantabrica and the Picos de Europa with a little bit in the Pyrenees.
RockShock on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to OwenM:
> (In reply to RockShock) Mostly well to the north of you, Cantabrica and the Picos de Europa with a little bit in the Pyrenees.

Yeah, that's more like it. Planning to do the Regil Race this season - we'll see how it turns out.... ;)

Cheers
RS

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