Photos: Ongosa

We caught up with our friends at Ongosa to give you all of the best tips and advice, for booking an off-piste guide this season.

An introduction to off-piste skiing

Better equipment, busier slopes and unbeaten tracks are what makes off-piste skiing increasingly popular with masses of thrill-seeking skiers [like us].

Picture the scene; part skiing, free-falling and gliding through untouched powder and forest runs, away from the crowds in mother nature’s untouched backcountry on a sunny, sunny day. That’s exactly what you can expect from getting off-piste.

What is an off-piste ski guide?

a man skiing

An off-piste ski guide is a qualified professional with years of experience and local knowledge of the mountains. They’re fully equipped to show you the ropes - including the terrains to avoid and fresh powder waiting to be tracked.

Why should you hire a guide?

An off-piste ski guide is great for your first time visiting a ski area - they’ll guide you across the open terrain, to the guaranteed best place at the right time for top snow conditions. Exploring off-piste is like freedom, where you can embrace idyllic tree-runs - safely, without getting lost. It’s a win, win.

a man skiing

The best bit? A guide will adapt your off-piste experience to you and your group, taking into full account your group’s skiing ability to prevent any injuries. They’ll also show you the local and secluded hot-spots for a hot or cold beverage along the way too.

You heard it from the expert

We caught up with Luke Chitty, Ongosa’s Marketing Director who shares his experience and advice on booking a ski guide for the first time;

“When organising my personal ski trips, I tend to pre-book an off-piste guide for the group at the same time as the holiday. If I am travelling with a large group of keen skiers, we book a few days of guiding and rotate who from our group skis with the guide on each day. It ensures everyone gets a chance to explore the backcountry and works out better value per person.

Luke Chitty Skiing

Luke enjoying some backcountry powder

If the group is small, we book one or two days of guiding in advance of the holiday on day 2 or 3. This gives us a day to get our ski-legs back and, if we have the money, we can try and squeeze another day guiding in before the holiday is over if the snow is good!

Whether it is a resort you have skied many times before or a completely new ski area to you, if you want to venture off-piste, hiring a qualified guide has many benefits. It ensures you find the best powder, explore more of the terrain and, most importantly, stay safe.  The guide will also share their knowledge so you learn and improve, challenge yourself, and most importantly show you the best places to drink and eat on the mountain and in resort!”

Ready to go off-piste skiing?

If we’ve left you feeling energised and eager to explore more of the backcountry, Ongosa is your go-to place to find out more about off-piste guiding.

Ongosa’s run by a team of ski professionals who make it easy for you to hire a ski guide and enjoy your first few turns in powder, spend a few days hut-to-hut touring, discover hidden couloirs or even take on Europe’s world-famous descents.