For a while, I have been thinking about getting into ski touring but felt that avalanche knowledge and knowledge of how to set up a good route is lacking. So when I discovered that the UCPA had a beginner's week for ski touring, I felt it was the perfect way to start building knowledge to be able to carry out my own ski touring adventure in the future. I had never traveled with the UCPA before, but good praise from both friends and the Internet made me feel confident that I would have a very memorable trip. The trip I booked is called Ski Randonnée Beginner and during the trip you stay at the UCPA center in Argentière, located in the Chamonix valley and the center is said to be the best and I can attest that it was a very fresh and nice center.
The schedule for the week was skiing with guide all days except the first and last day when it was skiing on your own. During the days of with the guide there was a mix of skiing both on the slopes and outside with a few different technique exercises from time to time and thanks to the guide's great local knowledge we got to ride fun slopes with as good snow as the day could offer. Each day also offered at least one ski tour and the first days a lot of focus were to get proper technique on the kick turns.
The feeling of going up the mountain on your own is really something special and you get a completely different view of your surroundings than if you ride a lift. In addition, you enjoy the downhill a little extra when you know that you have earned them on your own.
The evenings were spent in the common room of the center where there was a bar, plenty of space to hang out and tell about the day's adventures and for those who wish to join, competitions of different kinds were organized each evening.
This was really a great randonnée week in the Chamonix Valley together with the UCPA which I highly recommend for anyone who wants to test out ski touring. The week provides a good foundation to build on and you really get a chance to see what the Chamonix Valley has to offer. I will definitely come back for more!
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