* The valley of Ceillac, in the French Alps, is one of the best spots of the Alps for a Discovering ski mountaineering week, thanks to the following characteristics :
- Ceillac is located at 175 miles from Geneva airport. The transfer in the guide's monospace car, mostly on motorways, lasts 3 hours and 15 minutes.
- the altitude of the village (5,380 feet) permits departures on skis for all the ascents of the course.
- the excellent snow cover of the valley of Ceillac, and the dry and cool climate of Queyras permit to keep good snow conditions from December to May (the small ski resort of Ceillac welcomes each winter, from December to April, the training courses of the French National Ski Team).
- most of the slopes face the North, the West and the South. Therefore we do not have to wake up too early, as we should do it for slopes facing the East.
- with 300 days of nice weather per year, Ceillac offers the best guarantees for the success of this course.
- Ceillac inhabitants give you a warm welcome, in a typical old French mountain village.
* Accommodation will take place at "Les Baladins" lodge, in the village, with bedrooms and small dormitories. Internet access in the village. Possibility of booking a room at the two-stars hotel "La Cascade".
* Access to Ceillac: Ceillac is located at 175 miles from Geneva airport. We propose to the five first skiers registering to this course a free roundtrip shuttle from Geneva Airport to Ceillac, in the guide's monospace car. The transfer in the guide's monospace car, mostly on motorways, lasts 3 hours and 15 minutes.
- starting from Geneva airport at 7.40 am on Sunday morning
- at the end of this course, on Friday, free shuttle from Ceillac to Geneva airport (arriving at Geneva airport by 6.30 pm).
" The most beautiful valley of the Alps ?
I had the chance, when I was a young ski-instructor, to work in a small holiday centre at Ceillac, from 1986 to 1988. I met there upright and sincere inhabitants, and I had the chance to become their friend. I use to go to Ceillac 2 or 3 times a year to meet them, and to meet their mountains, which compose my ideal mountains, protected from the excesses of the great ski-resorts.
It is difficult to express the beauty of the valley and of the mountains of Ceillac with a few words. I will just quote a revealing anecdote. In Spring 2004, going up to Gran Paradiso in ski touring with a group of English skiers, I was speaking of the pleasures of Ski-touring with Jonathan, one of the participants. Jonathan spoke to me about his trekkings with his children, mainly the one he had made in Queyras. He confided to me he wished that his ashes, after his death, should be dispersed on the shores of a sunny little lake of Queyras, surrounded by forest, beneath Font-Sancte peak, the most beautiful place he had ever seen in the world : the Lake "Miroir", just above Ceillac ... "
Marc Demolis, Mountain Guide.
* 6 days ski touring instruction, Ceillac, departures 2018 each Sunday from 7 January to 25 March.
As the lodge and the ski lifts close by the end of March, we propose you this course with accommodatîon in flats, and with half-pension at the restaurant of the village, at the following departure dates : 2 and 8 of April 2018. Programme equivalent to the normal programme, but with no ski lifts.
* Group of 6 to 8 skiers, with a French Mountain Guide speaking fluently English with a near-native comprehension, with more than 30 years of experience in backcountry skiing in Ceillac.
* Accommodation will take place at "Les Baladins" lodge, in the village, with bedrooms and small dormitories. Internet access in the village.
* Free roundtrip shuttle from Geneva airport and from Guillestre train station.
* Price with accommodation and half-pension at the lodge : 698 EUR.
* On request, with an extra charge of 180 €, accommodation and half-board in the two stars hotel "La Cascade", double room, located at 2 kms of Ceillac village. We recommend you to come with your private car as there is no transportation from the hotel to the village out of the opening time of the ski lifts.
* Price without accommodation and half-pension : 490 EUR. We can advise you rented accommodations in Ceillac (from 220 EUR a flat for 2 to 3 people; from 400 EUR a flat for 4 to 6 people).
* Hiring backcountry skis, boots, poles, synthetic seal skins, ski crampons costs aound 170 EUR for 5 days, by Tintin Ski Shop, at Ceillac. Booking must be made 3 weeks before the course (contact us for further information).
* Family Holidays : as we will back to the lodge each day by the beginning of the afternoon, or in the middle of the afternoon, you may come to Ceillac with your wife and your children, even if they do not attend the course. Ceillac proposes nice downhill runs for all levels, a ski-school "Ecole du Ski Français" (ESF) with a Kinder-Garden and all levels of ski lessons. You will find a general practitioner doctor in Ceillac, all local shops, and high-speed Internet connection.
Detailed informations about Ceillac (in French): www.ceillac.com
* Presentation of this ski mountaineering instruction course :
During this ski mountaineering course, we will study and apply the main technics used to ski up and ski down efficiently on any kinds of slopes and snows, to give you the abilities to ski safely on non-glacial slopes :
- how to keep an economical pace, drink and eat steadily
- how to open up the route
- how to use for the best the specific equipment of Ski Mountaineering
- how to improve your skiing downhill technic (training in off-piste skiing)
- how to take one's bearings
* Programme of the course : Meeting at 1.30 pm on Sunday at the lodge "Les Baladins".
With the exception of the 3 first days of the programme, which include Safety and Off-piste skiing training, you may choose to relax one day in the hotel, if you feel tired.
On Sunday afternoon, we will study and practise all the technics to be used in case of a avalanche : research with transceivers, probes and shovels, care of a injured skier, survival technics.
On Monday, using ski lifts, we will improve your skiing downhill technic (training in off-piste skiing), and then, using synthetic seal skins, tour up to Lake Miroir, altitude 7,264 feet, and to the easy slopes round it.
On Tuesday, using first ski lifts, then going up with the synthetic seal skins, we will ski Girardin pass (8,855 feet) and Favière Peak (9,409 feet).
On Wednesday, ski touring, Estronques pass (8,697 feet) and Jacquette peak (9,045 feet).
On Thursday, ski touring, Tronchet pass (8,796 feet).
On Friday, ski touring, Bramousse pass (7,385 feet). End of the course by 0.30 pm.
* Level :
- you are a Ski-Mountaineering beginner, and you want to learn ski-mountaineering technique. You practise a good parallel turn, and you control your skis and your speed on all the red and black ski runs. You have soon practised 1 or 2 days off-piste skiing, and you can turn in deep snow.
Falling over is the exception rather than the rule and you are keen to learn and improve.
- your fitness : you are in good condition (you practise sports twice a week).
- Average difference in height : 2,350 feet a day.
- Pace : ascent of 900 feet to 1,000 feet per hour.
* Specific equipment : the specific equipment for Ski-Touring (skis, synthetic seal skins, boots, poles, and ski crampons) can be rented by Ceillac ski shop, "Tintin Sports" (Mr Fournier), TEL : (+33) 4 92 45 08 70 or (+33) 4 92 45 14 88 (use Marc Démolis' name as a reference when calling, as Marc Démolis is one of the best friends of the shop's owner brother).