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The best off piste runs in Europe – the Pure Powder guide

Our gift to you – our best off piste skiing in Europe highlights.  When dreaming of powdery mountain skiing, it is easy to get swept up in visions of heli skiing in Canada and Alaska and other faraway places. Consequently, it is easy to forget about the lift-accessible powder playground sat right on our doorstep. As a result, the heli skiing and off piste experts that make up the Pure Powder team have put together a list of our personal favourite off piste skiing runs in Europe, to get your brains ticking for next season…

Name: David Brooksbank

Favourite off piste: Back bowls of Triftji

Location: Zermatt

Here you will find an infinite variety of North facing slopes available, where you can find untracked snow from top to bottom even several days after a snowfall. To top this off, there is over 1000 vertical metres from the top of the Trftji T bar to the Gant cable car station.

Tips: Don’t forget to stop to take in the sensational scenery.

 

Name: Charlie Brooksbank

Favourite off piste: Banane couloir

Location:  La Grave

One of the last wilderness skiing areas of Europe and an epic off piste skiing adventure, Banane coulouir sits in the shadow if the 4,000 metre Meje peak which dominates the La Grave panoramic, and is nestled between a series of steep couloirs in an area called Chancel.  Sometimes it’s good to get the heart beating just that little bit harder and this is one of those runs that does just that.  Shaped like a banana this couloir offers up steep, narrow skiing where you need to be right on your mettle.  It’s not quite your free-flowing deep powder run, but I love it all the same!

Tips: This run requires good controlled technique… Be sure to bring your A-game.

 

Name: Suzy Small

Favourite off piste: The Direttissima

Location: Klosters

This off piste run is reached from the back of the black run, Weissfluhgipfel. When conditions are good, don’t let your nerves put you off as it makes for excellent skiing (guide necessary of course!)  With views of Arosa in the distance, you will ski down through an old ghost village with remnants of ski lifts used years ago. You then have 1 ½ hours of skinning up to Drimachenspitz whilst you take in the views and the peace and quiet.  You can then ski down to Kublis – through endless expanse of powdery meadows all to yourself – before hopping on the train back to Klosters

Tips: Touring bindings and skins needed.

 

Name: Rebecca Robinson

Favourite off piste: Valle Blanche

Location: Chamonix

The most challenging part of this run happens before you’ve even put your skis on. The infamous arête from the Aiguille du Mid cable car might make your legs wobble a bit but don’t let that put you off. Your reward? A descent over 2,000 vertical metres long. If you are up for a more challenging route than the classic path down, where you will find most of the punters will take their leave, you could try the Grand Envers du Plan, which is much more steep and, in my opinion, a more scenic route.  With breath-taking views of Mont Blanc, it’s one not to be missed.

Tips: Best skied mid-week to avoid the crowds as it’s a favourite for weekend excursions.

Vallee Blanche

As ever, we highly recommend that you ski off piste with all of the correct gear, and ideally with a fully qualified mountain guide.  Please contact us for more information on how to find an off piste nirvana next season. 

Posted by: Rebecca Robinson

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Whistler/Blackcomb

Location: Most famously known as just Whistler, Whistler and Blackcomb are two mountains that sit side by side and make up Canada’s biggest resort. Together they make up a whopping 8,171 acres of terrain, split between pisted runs, Alpine bowls and glaciers. Whistler Village is at the base of Whistler, the hub of the village […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Silver Star

Location: Located in the stunning Okanagan Valley, Silver Star is British Colombia’s fourth largest ski resort where you can expect the famous champagne powder we all know and love due to being further west. The varied terrain spreads over 3,282 acres and attracts every kind of skier. Getting there: Silver Star is extremely easy to get […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Sun Peaks

Location: Sun Peaks is the second biggest ski area in Canada, behind Whistler. It is the perfect warm up destination for anyone who is heli skiing at CMH’s Cariboos Lodge. Getting there: Sun Peaks is located in the heart of British Columbia, only a 45 minute drive from Kamloops and less than an hour by […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Tree Skiing in BC, Canada

The tree skiing in the interior ranges of British Columbia is very unique.  The trees protect the snow from wind and sun damage; so not only is it where you would expect the deepest snow to be, it is also where the powder remains perfect for longer which makes tree skiing a very enjoyable experience! […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

CMH Private Heli Skiing Trips

Heli skiing is the ultimate skiing experience – we don’t know a skier out there who doesn’t have heli skiing on their bucket list.  What’s not to want – deep, untracked powder in every direction, fresh tracks at every turn, no lift queues and a helicopter at your service!  Now, imagine it all to yourself […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Where Can I Go Small Group Heli Skiing?

Smaller heli ski groups mean greater opportunities for deep snow and more epic lines; and  heli skiing in groups made up of 4- or 5- guests can mean that your mountain experience is as intimate as possible.  You can either fill a helicopter with your buddies or join a ready made small group.  It’s best […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Skiing All Year Round

We often get asked – is it possible to go skiing all year round? And our answer is ABSOLUTELY! We’ve even compiled a list of where you can so you can get your powder fix in every month of the calendar year. December – April Canada For the most consistent and reliable heli skiing in […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

What to expect when heli skiing in Sweden

and why it should be your next heli skiing trip… Sweden not only offers a fantastic closer-to-home option for a heli skiing adventure for travellers coming from the UK but it is also home to one of the last, great wildernesses in Europe – and it’s all just waiting to be explored.    Although the season […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Resort Guide: Revelstoke

Location: Revelstoke Mountain Resort is located in North America’s ‘deep snow capital’ in the heart of British Columbia. It was voted Canada’s Best Ski Resort in 2020, which is most likely due to its 3,120 acres of skiable terrain that includes the longest vertical ski hill in North America, trumping Whistler in 2008 when their […]

Posted by: Suzy Small

5 Apps to keep you Ski Fit

We’re firm believers that keeping fit is really important for any skier; if you are in great physical shape then you’re going to enjoy your skiing no matter what challenges are thrown at you, plus staying fit is widely recognized as being great for mental health and general wellbeing. We’ve pulled together our favourite 5 […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Where Can I Heli Ski In Chile? 

What a better way to spend the summer than heli skiing in the Andes…Powder South, offers an excellent heli skiing programme which is be based out of four different locations.     The Heli Skiing Programme:   Heli Skiing in Chile is based out of the Chilean Andes Mountains and it has access to over 1 million acres of terrain – where to heli ski here is endless. Most of the skiing is on open Alpine […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

The Top 5 Heli Ski Lodges in the World

We’re all about the best powder skiing experiences in the world, and as your heli ski experts it is only right that will pull together our top five ultimate heli ski lodges in the world. We couldn’t think of any where else we would prefer to be right now. Each lodge is sumptuous, with impeccable […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Christmas Gift Guide for Skiers & Boarders

Stuck for Christmas gifts for the skier or snowboarder in the family or for friends…then check out our ultimate gift list for this upcoming Christmas Go Pro Hero9 A Go Pro has to be the ultimate gift for any skier or snowboarder and the Go Pro Hero9 is the one to go for. As the […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

In the Press: Forbes

In The Press: Forbes Photo from Tordrillo Mountain Lodge Alaska has to be one of the most desired places to heli ski in the world, and we aren’t the only ones that think so. Forbes have recently written an article saying that “avid skiers are seeking out Alaska as the top place to heli-ski” Alaska […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Plan B. Where Can I Heli Ski During A Covid-19 Winter?

We’re massive fans of the interior ranges of British Columbia in Canada and in our humble opinion it’s as close as heli ski perfection as you can get.  It’s where you’ll find huge expanses of un-tracked ‘Champagne’ powder, tree-skiing for bad-weather days and unbeatable heli skiing know-how from the guides and pilots.   However, this is no normal season and as things stand the Canadian government are keeping […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Ultimate Heli Ski Packing List

It’s all very exciting – you’ve got your trip booked; flight tickets in hand; passport at the ready…  you can practically smell the powder!  However, you’re standing over an empty bag thinking – have I got everything?  We’ve pulled together our top packing tips to make sure that you’re all set.  What ski clothes to pack?  […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Are Touring boots compatible with CMH bindings?

Photo By: Zach Doleac  Our most asked question in the 2019/2020 season was – are my ski touring boots compatible with the CMH bindings?  So… we’ve decided to write a blog about it and get it answered once and for all! Taking skis CMH Heli Skiing provide all their guests with fat, powder skis which […]

Posted by: Zillah Bell

Pure Powder’s Resort Guide: Kicking Horse

Location: Kicking Horse Mountain Resort’s 1,315 vertical is known for its deep light powder and huge snowfall – no wonder it’s nicknamed the Champagne Powder Capital of Canada. It attracts skiers looking to experience amazing snow in a picturesque setting. Kicking Horse has a wide variety of terrain in its 3,400 skiable acres; better suited […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Skiing Resort Guide: Lake Louise

Location: Lake Louise is a hamlet located in the Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains. Its name comes from the extraordinary vibrant blue lake which is at the base of Mount Victoria. The lake itself is a 6-minute drive from the centre of the hamlet and was named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth Daughter of Queen Victoria. Although the hamlet is small with only a few hotels and […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox

Pure Powder’s Resort Guide: Banff

Location: Banff is located in a picturesque National Park in Alberta, Canada.  It was named by the President of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1884 after his hometown Banffshire in Scotland. With one of the longest ski seasons in North America, Banff has access to over 8,000 acres of ski terrain spread across is three ski […]

Posted by: Georgie Knox