Choosing a Ski Touring Course

Advice on choosing a ski touring course

We’ve written the following advice to help you through the course selection process – by filtering the selection based on your ski ability, ski touring experience and future aspirations.

For advice on holidays, please take a look at our choosing a ski touring holiday page.


Start Here!

First, take a look at our 5 off piste skiing ability levels and decide where you are on the scale. Please be as realistic as possible – if you haven’t skied in guided groups before or if you’re unsure, then please ask a friend to rate you and get a second opinion ; )


You are working toward Ski Tech Level 1

If you ski blue and red runs comfortably, but struggle with black runs and off piste, then we recommend that you work on your piste skiing standard with a good instructor first, as this will give you much better core skills and technique, which will mean your off piste skiing improves at a much faster rate in the future (it’s the same as learning to swim – get plenty of good instruction and don’t jump in at the deep end before you are ready!)


You are at Ski Tech Level 1

We recommend that you join our Off Piste Skiing Course Level 1, in order to improve your off piste ski standard, learn the basics of ski touring and enjoy some intro level tours.  In order to join our other ski touring courses you need be at the minimum off-piste standard of  Tech Level 2.

NB This is the minimum ski standard required for alpine ski touring courses.  You may see ski touring courses advertised in Scotland that require a lower level of ski ability – this is because the hills are much smaller and you can easily walk down if you tire from skiing.  In the Alps however, the mountains are much bigger and there is much more snow, so if you cannot ski down, then it usually ends in a helicopter rescue – hence the difference!


You are at Ski Tech Level 2

You are at the required level to start ski touring!  We offer a number of different courses, depending on your preferred learning focus:

  • If you want to focus on improving your ski technique, whilst learning some key touring skills, then our Off Piste Skiing Course Level 1 is still ideal.
  • If you want to try ski touring over a long weekend and improve your skills for guided trips in the future, then take a look at our Ski Touring Skills Weekend.
  •  If you want to learn more in depth skills on a week long course, including a hut night and extra skills needed for independent ski touring, then join our week long Ski Touring Course.

You are at Ski Tech Level 2-3, or 3 and above

This is where your options open up, with a number of different trips and courses, each offering a particular focus and style of learning.

  • If you want to go on your first ski touring holiday and learn as you go along, then our Haute Durance Touring Week is an ideal choice.
  • If you are a family and want to take up ski touring together, then our Family Ski Touring Course is a great mountain holiday and perfect introduction to the sport.
  • If you have previous ski touring experience and want to improve your skiing standard in order to enjoy a wider range of touring trips, then our Level 2 Off Piste Skiing and Skills Course will help you achieve this.
  • If you want to try ski touring over a long weekend and improve your skills for guided trips in the future, then look at our Ski Touring Skills Weekend.
  •  If you want to learn more in depth skills on a week long course, including a hut night and extra skills needed for independent ski touring, then join our week long Ski Touring Course.

Fitness Levels

In addition to the minimum Ski Tech Levels, you also need to meet the minimum fitness levels for each course  – see details on each course page.  In general, our training courses are less strenuous (on paper!) than full blown touring weeks – as they are planned to allow time for training sessions and learning.  However, learning new skills can also be tiring – especially when you are learning new ski techniques – so we advise you to train and prepare appropriately for your upcoming trip – our ski touring training advice page contains lots of useful sources of information and advice on getting fit for ski touring.