BASI British International Ski Teacher L4 ISTD // Mountain Leader MTA EnglishFrench
TEL: +33 (0)630 111109   //   SIRET NO: 803 597 210 00035

How To Get Into Ski Touring – Freefloski Touring Kickstarter Online Course -FAQ’s

Since I have launched the Ski Touring Kickstarter course, I’ve had lots of questions and interest and in this blog, I will hopefully answer all your questions:

1. Is the Ski Touring Kickstarter an online course or an on-mountain course?
Well, it is both, The Kickstarter program is in place to help answer many of the questions I’ve come across from my students like Dellie and Matt who wanted to get into ski touring but they didn’t know how? The goal here is to help you get the most out of your holiday by preparing as much as you can before you come to the mountains. The other advantage is that can watch the videos to refresh your mind whilst on the mountain.

2. What happens if I can not go skiing
Another question I get asked a lot from people who really want to participate but are nervous is – what happens if I cannot go skiing. Well – I don’t have a crystal ball – but the skills you’ll learn are the fundamentals and can be used any year. Of course, I’d love you to come skiing with me here so we can build on the program – but because they are universal skills they can be applied with any professional tour guide.

3. If I’ve never done this before is it for me?
Many people are excited about the thought of touring but have never done it – that is exactly why I built this course. Remember Gary, my customer who’d never done anything like this – well through these tips and tricks not only did we get him more confident in his normal skiing but we got him into touring too. So if you’ve never done it – you are in the right place.

4) I’m not fit
2020 has been a year of change for all of us and many of us were sedentary – that’s why one of the bonuses is I’ve included my plan to make the most of your time in the mountains. The goal of this course is to lay the foundations and with that, if you are interested in it and want to take it further then we can work on it together but these exercises and stretches will help.

5) It’s is too expensive to get more kit
One of my goals here is to make skiing as fun and accessible as possible. That’s why I have my takeaway gear guide of products and services to help you make the choices if you are looking to invest in equipment. If you are only looking to try touring that’s ok too – I can also recommend you rental services.

6) I only go skiing once a year
If you only go skiing once a year- why not make it the most memorable week where you can explore the mountains, re-connect with those who are important, see the world from a new perspective and improve your health at the same time.

7) What if I purchase the Kickstarter and I don’t like it?
I am so confident that you will like the Kickstarter, it is packed with information and coaching that if you don`t like it you can have a 30-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked.

8) What is Included in Ski touring Kickstarter?

  • Ski Touring Kickstarter Programme- +32 videos and 4 modules 
  • Online 1 to 1 Coaching 
  • Private Members-Only Community  
  • Discount Codes
  • PDF`s, Bonus resources and lots more.

If you would like to see the video of the Ski Touring Kickstarter visit:👉 https://www.skitouringkickstarter.com/

If you have any questions that I haven’t answered just drop me an email Floss: [email protected]

Ski Touring For Beginners | 5 Tips For Success

Ski touring for the first time or when you are a beginner can often be very daunting and overwhelming.

After 24 years of ski teaching and leading in the mountains I have learnt that “Preparation is everything!…. To make sure that I have a good and safe day in the mountains, I prepare for success!” Click on the video below and I will share with you 5 tips that you can follow to have a successful day ski touring in the mountains whether it’s your first ski tour or first ski tour at the start of the season.

If you would like to take this opportunity and to enter the new world of ski touring with one to one coaching with me then visit Ski Touring Kickstarter online course.

If you have any questions please drop me an email to Floss: [email protected]

*STORYTIME* The Ski Touring Kickstarter Online Course

MY STORY BEHIND THE SKI TOURING KICKSTARTER COURSE:

Three years ago in 2018, I had the idea of creating an online course to share my passion for ski touring and my 22 years of experience of skiing coaching and adventures in the backcountry. The following winter was disastrous as in January 2019 a skier skied into me whilst teaching on the mountain. My leg was broken into many parts. Whilst rehabbing my body and mind for ten months the seed of creating an online course was still growing strong inside.

My mission was to help and support skiers to get them prepared successfully for the new world of ski touring. When the pandemic and mayhem arrived in winter 2020/21 the ski lifts in France never opened due to COVID19. My only income died overnight as people all over the world were in lockdowns and didn’t have the freedom to travel. It was in January 2021 that the Ski Touring Kickstarter was born.

I invested time and money in courses to learn the skills on how to create and launch a successful course. After investing in lots of other courses I knew the difference between a good course and a bad course. Then I started my journey of creation.

Most of my days in winter 2021 I spent alone outside in all weathers punching fear in the face and pressing record. I had to face the imposter syndrome and the fears of what other people would think. Perfectionism would sometimes go into procrastination. Finally, after the winter I filmed and edited over 32 videos for the course and nearly 50 different youtube videos for my channel Freeflofloss.

With more setbacks and another bereavement in the family, I found myself struggling and my mindset broken and disorientated. I wanted to finish something that I had started. It was important to me to not get distracted in the modern world and to follow through. So in September, I carved out a couple of weeks to put the content of the course together. This included resources, discount codes, blogs, written content, website links, pictures etc:

For the four weeks leading up to the ski show, I placed myself in a working environment and returned back to the UK in front of a computer in my brother’s house. Totally out of my normal life routine I would spend 10-14 hours per day learning and problem-solving.

I had the course completed but what I needed to learn was the tech side. So I carved out the time to learn how to put all the moving parts together. How to build a sales page, how to build out a sales page, how to create an opt-in page, how to link up the course to an email sequence, how to create a thank you video etc: Small tasks like enrolling API payment keys would take hours compared to a developer that would take only minutes. The day before the ski show the course was finally finished. At the National Snow Show on the 23rd October 2021 in Birmingham, UK the Ski Touring Kickstarter course was then launched.

For more information about the ski touring Kickstarter and to join the community visit www.skitouringkickstarter.com or visit my website page: Freefloski.

If you have any questions just send me an email: [email protected] or [email protected]

I will look forward to coaching you inside of the Ski Touring Kickstarter programme and introducing you to the wonderful world of ski touring.

Salomon/Atomic MTN Pure Tech Binding Review

There are so many ski touring bindings in the market it can be difficult to know which ones to buy. Or which review to trust? As a ski teacher in France for 24 years In the video below, I give to you an honest review of the Atomic/Salomon MTN Tech Bindings. I explain how to use time and the pros and cons of the Atomic/Salomon MTN Bindings.

I have used and tested these bindings for two whole winters and with the lifts closed this year in France I have put them to test all winter.

PROS:
1) Convenience: The binding is simple to use and you can use your ski pole to easily adjust the raisers for going uphill on steeper terrain. You also can get the binding into a downhill mode with your ski pole and without taking off your skis. This is a big bonus as this method saves you time and safety.
2) Lightness: Each binding weighs 295G without the brake which is light!
3) Reliability: With its simple construction and minimal parts the binding is more reliable and less likely to break in the backcountry.

CONS:
1) My leash broke when using in the bindings. Which was then easily fixed by a shop.
2) As with most ski touring bindings I had some difficulty a few times to get them in downhill mode due to the ice in the bindings.

MY CONCLUSION:
These Atomic/Salomon MTN Bindings are great for the longer day ski tourers that like a lighter set up who want reliability and performance when skiing in the backcountry. They are not for the absolute beginner ski tourer as its a tech binding.

#1 Ski Touring Route This Winter 2020/21- Rocher De La Davie, Tignes area, 3159M

With no ski lifts open this winter in France due to Covid 19 the only way to make some turns is earning them and ski touring uphill. The ski touring route to Rocher De La Davie is not only a beautiful touring route of wilderness and sheer beauty. But it is also a special route for me.

Rarely I get the chance to climb over 3000m. It must have been a couple of years ago before my leg was broken that I ski toured up such a height. Then lockdown with Covid stopped everything. So being up here on La Rocher De La Davie 3159m last weekend meant a lot to me. It was my first big vertical tour in a long time. Determination and grit are the reasons why I got here!!

If you put your mind to something you can achieve it!!! So I wanted to share this journey with you because whatever goal you have you can do it! You can succeed even if the journey is hard, difficult and will take a long time. This blog is the proof!

ski touring summit rocher de la davie
On the Summit Rocher De La Davie 3159M

This route is such a beautiful and stunning route with breathtaking views all around. It is a route where timing is everything. If you tour up in the springtime then make sure you leave early to reduce avalanche risk as lot of the faces are west and southerly aspects.

Watch the youtube video: Please LIKE and SUBSCRIBE

Directions: You start by parking your car on the side of the road below the village. Then you walk up to the village and tour up follow the signs Orsiere village. Continue through the forest and before you get to Orsiere the forest will start to thin out and go east onto a wide and open face of Plan Du Geniviere. Work your way up until it starts to get steep then contour round to ridgeline and up to spot height 2819m. Then descend and a slight climb to the weather station. Once at the weather station contour round and the summit is in view in the background.

The view at summit de la davie
View at the summit of La Davie

Route: Le Villaret Des Brevieres to Rocher De La Davie
Off Piste skiing between: 1832m -3159m E/SE/S/W
Max Gradient: 38 degrees
Uphill: With good fitness 4.5 to 5 hours
Total Return Route time: 5.5/6hrs
Skiers Level: Intermediate/Advanced off piste
Ski Touring Level: Intermediate/Advanced
Start: From the road below the village Villaret Des Brevieres
Finish: Villaret Des Brevieres
Map needed: 3532ET

Powder Skiing Of La Rocher De La Davies, Tignes area
Powder Skiing Of La Rocher De La Davies, Tignes area

COMING SOON: If you want to get into ski touring and you don’t know how. Or if you have done ski touring a few times and you want to learn more then consider purchasing the Ski Touring Kickstarter digital course. Save time and money by making the right decisions and learn at your own pace. It is a lifetime course that you can always refer back to. For more info please email [email protected]

Ski Touring Kickstarter Course
Ski Touring Kickstarter Course

HOW TO AVOID MAKING SKIN TOURING MISTAKES

THREE MOST COMMON MISTAKES WHEN PUTTING YOUR TOURING SKINS ON

In this blog, I am going to talk about the three most common mistakes Skiers and Snowboarders make when putting on touring skins in the backcountry. Malfunctioning of skins in the backcountry is one of your worst nightmares and is best avoided. Learn how you can avoid making these mistakes.

THREE COMMON MISTAKES WHEN PUTTING SKINS ON?
1) Transition Area: Choosing an unsafe area for transition and in the shade. The Skis or Snowboard facing down in the snow for a long time
2) Snow, Ice, Wet base: If you have snow, ice or a wet base the skins will stick for a short while but after a certain time they will come off and be unusable.
3) Skins over the edge: When skins are placed over the edge of the ski or snowboard you won’t be able to grip uphill and snow will get between the base and the skins. This will make the skins unusable.

HOW TO CORRECT THEM?
1) Transition area: When transitioning your equipment to uphill make sure you choose a safe area away from any avalanche dangers and ideally in the sun. Lie your skis or snowboard up facing the sky on the ground. This will allow the bases to warm up. Therefore the skins will stick on easily.
2) Snow, Ice, Wet Base: Make sure that the bases are dry and aware of snow, ice and moisture. Use a cloth, buff to dry the base and make sure that they are dirt-free and clean.
3) Skins over the edge: When putting touring skins on make sure that you can see the edges of the skis or snowboard.

To see exactly how to avoid these mistakes click on the video below. At the end of this video, I have also shared with you a top-secret of mine.

Don’t make these mistakes

FREEFLO specializes in progressive on and off-piste ski instruction, backcountry ski touring and women-specific ski courses. We offer personal British ski instruction for skiers of all abilities. Our primary objective is helping competent skiers to improve their technique on and off-piste and in the backcountry. Our intuitive coach approach will help you to progress, have fun and enjoy the full freedom of the mountains in a safe and confident manner.

Freeflo Ski Courses

Ski Touring Decision Making-Tignes 20th Nov 2019

The Preparation:
Always a good day ski touring in the mountains takes some sort of preparation. The night before I checked three weather forecasts one included my favourite snow-forecast.com. I decided that the conditions for ski touring were good for two days. In the morning I reaccessed the forecast. I packed my bag with enough food and equipment that gave me optionality, as I wasn’t certain how long we would be touring for. The plan of attack was to start touring up a piste called Palafour from Tignes Le Lac. The slope is south-east facing and we could stay warm in the sun. We would then decide where to go on route. We had no other concrete plans to arrive at a summit or to achieve a particular route.

On Route:
I decided to break trail off-piste as there were workers on the piste half way up.  Once we arrived at Chardonnet Bowl, we could really start seeing the mountain and reading the signs. Routes in Chardonnet bowl had been skied and two skiers were skiing down and not making it look easy. The wind affected certain summits and cols.  There was one group of 6 or 7 skiers or splitboarders going up a route called Grapillion Des Merles. The snowpack looked thin, the snow was uneven, there were sasturgi and plumes of snow. The group still decided to go up even if the route wasn’t inviting?

We decided to continue upon the piste to the snow park on Grattalu after discussing what we saw and how we felt. Our aim was to ski tour gentle and it was our second ski tour of the season. Two other ski tourers were happy to chat and to share some of their knowledge. They had told us that their friends had ski toured up Grapillion a few days ago and they found that the snow was dangerous, thin with lots of rocks. That news reinforced the decision that we made earlier not to follow the group. They also told us that they saw avalanche activity on west facing slopes and to be aware of the weak layers in the snowpack. We thanked them for their news and headed to the Col Du Palet taking on board what we knew and what we could see.

Knowing the routes into the col and knowing what I knew about the terrain, I decided to keep low and take a new flat touring line into the col to avoid rocks. Above we could see a man skiing on the ridgeline struggling with the lack of snow. So we kept our eyes on him and made sure we weren’t underneath him.

Col Du Palet 20th November

Reading the mountain for the ski down:
Once we arrived at the Col Du Palet we could read the mountain and the evidence of where was the best powder route down. We looked on to the back of Chardonnet bowl and notice a slab avalanche on the west face on route to diamond couloir. At lower altitude the fresh snow had been cross loaded to north-east slopes and gullies. With this info and what we could see, we then decided to handrail clockwise to a north-east gullie and enjoyed making fresh powder turns on a gentle slope.

Ski Touring out:
Enjoying the fresh powder by ourselves, we soon arrived at lake Grattalu.  I had noticed that the lake hadn’t been frozen so it was best to stop before continuing any further. We then choose the easiest and most efficient route to get back to the col.  Once we reached the col, temperatures had risen and we were tired. To be on the safe side of caution, as I was coming back from a ski collision. We decided to take our own skinning track back onto the piste and headed home.  Another great day in the mountains. We were very happy with our decisions, we found the best snow, was safe and had a great day skiing powder with no one around.

I will be delivering mountain respect workshops throughout the winter. If you are interested please get in touch:  www.freefloski.com 

Happy Skiing 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the scenes of the Refuge De Leisse: Ski Touring and Skiing Off Piste Tignes and Val D’Isere

The Refuge De Leisse is behind the Grand Motte glacier in Tignes and can be accessed by many different routes. After my second season of ski teaching and guiding in the Espace Killy I am still amazed as to what this area has to offer. There are so many good off piste and ski touring routes beyond your dreams. I know instructors and people that have lived in Tignes and Val D’Isere for years and they have never seen the places that I have been too, the places that I have fallen in love with and places that I am still discovering. I get so excited when I have spare time which I spend hiking, touring and skiing these routes.

Beyond the pistes of Tignes and Val D’Isere holds the wilderness and natural beauty of the Vanoise National Park.  In the parks in France and around the world there are mountain refuges. The best way to describe a refuge is that they are very similar to lodges. Many of these refuges are on hiking or ski touring routes so you can actually travel refuge to refuge, hut to hut. A lot of refuges are not manned for the main part of the winter and they are left as a winter room where you can stay for shelter. End of March to mid May dependant on snow and conditions these refuges are open and offer food and accommodation. The guardian of the refuge often ski tours in the winter or hikes in the summer into them which can take hours and sometimes days, just to start work. Each refuge is self suffcient as there are no supermarkets or corner shops nearby, the water supply is often a mountain stream which is diverted to the refuge. The water from the trough of the Refuge De La Leisse is the best I have ever drunk. Most food and supples are heli dropped once every couple of weeks. Most refuges are ran by solar power and the light switches are on a timer, you also don’t have internet access or any phone signal.

Map showing the route to refuge de Leisse, Tignes
IGN Map showing the route to refuge de Leisse, Tignes

The easier route is skiing off piste from the Genepy piste around the back of the Leisse chairlift and then over the frozen marshlands. If you wanted to embark a more difficult route you can drop into 35 Glacier couloir and get to the refuge. You also can also arrive to the refuge by the Col De Sana, Refuge De La Femma, Col De Vanoise, the list is endless. Celine Terryn is the guardian of the refuge de Leisse. She will welcome you with open arms and make sure that your stay is as comfortable as she can.

Celine can tell you many good stories, ‘ One day I  was ski touring alone to the refuge and the weather came in.  I ended up touring in circles as I couldn’t see anything. It took me hours to get to the refuge as the only ski tracks I could follow was mine and they were going in circles.’  I  asked her what happens when the weather gets really bad. She replied ‘This season the weather has been very up and down, when the winds get very strong I often stay in a room which is underground.’ The word brave entered my head. Like most of us doing seasonal work we have many strings to our bow and have many passions. Celine is a chartered physiotherapist when she isn’t working at the refuge and she surfs when she can. She is living the dream.

For more information visit the website of the refuge de Leisse.

Val D’Isere re-opens 3rd June 2018 for spring skiing

Winter 2017/18 still continues….spring skiing and ski touring in Val D’Isere and Tignes 
This winter the snowfall across the French Alps has been phenomenal.  Locals of Tignes have said that it has been the best winter for snowfall in twenty years.  Out of the my twenty winter seasons it has been one of my biggest snowfall seasons by far. With all the snow Val D’Isère has announced that it will re-open some winter lifts for spring skiing on 3rd June 2018.  This will be the first time in 82 years that some of the winter pistes above the resort will re-open in summer. The pistes are planning to re open for summer skiing between 7am-12pm.  The lifts that plan to be open is the Furnival and the Marmottes chairlift in Val D’Isere.
 
The lifts have now closed in Tignes and there still is enough snow to ski tour up to the glacier from Val Claret.  All refuge huts are open till the middle to end of May. The guardian of the refuge du Palet believes that there will still be enough snow on the ground till June. 

Refuge Du Palet, Tignes March 2018

Last Thursday 17th I ski toured 5.5km up and around the Col Des Ves in Tignes with Clare and Dave and skied off piste back into Val Claret in Tignes. I was still amazed at how deep the snowpack was and the snow was still in great condition for May.

17th May Ski touring around the Col De Ves Tignes

 
FREEFLO SKI specialises in on and off piste ski instruction, ski touring and ski courses in the Tarentaise Valley. See more at www.freefloski.com.
Keep up to date with all year around adventure and follow us on Instagram.

 

Ski Touring – Womens FREEFLO Introduction Tignes

Sefie at the Col De LaTourne
Sefie at the Col De LaTourne

For the third year running I have just finished leading the FREEFLO Womens Introduction to ski touring Course in Tignes and Val D’Isere. I love and enjoy running this two day adventure as it allows me to pass on skills and twenty years of winter mountain experience to people that have never experienced ski touring in the backcountry before. I have just had an amazing time with four special people.

Day one ski touring

On the first morning we met up in Planks Coffee Shop which is relaxing place to start any course whilst drinking good coffee. I spent the first forty minutes getting to know everyone and to find to each persons expectations and goals for the course. I then discussed the weather, the snow conditions and current situation of the snowpack and taught everyone where to find this valuable information. We then checked our gear and kit list and made sure we carried everything we needed. I gave a rough outline of a plan for the two days before heading outside on the piste for a skills session. I then taught everyone essential ski touring skills. This included how to put skins on and off, how to change their bindings and boots to uphill and down hill mode, different turns, route selection etc:

Breaking trail back to Tignes
Breaking trail back to Tignes

To gauge ski ability and to brush on technique before heading into the backcountry we skied a small section of off piste . The snow was great and as soon as the clouds broke and the blue skies arrived I took the opportunity and lead the group into the wilderness of the backcountry. Virgin untracked snow as far as the eye could see was our view as we crossed the Col De Palet. No one was around as skiers were skiing fresh powder in the resort. It was perfect timing as we made our own tracks in the powder as a group of five. Once we had arrived at the lake we tucked into a well deserved snack and drink. After ski touring for fifty five minutes we then arrive to the refuge de palet and enjoyed tucking into a three course meal.

Day two ski touring

The next morning was clear and no one was in sight. We took full advantage and skied the powder on the north facing slopes to lake Grattalu and then broke tracks uphill making our way through the valley of La Tourne. The valley La Tourne is one of my favourite ski touring itineraries. Its gentle and has breathtaking views especially when come out of the Col de Tourne and overlooking Tignes. It was an amazing two day adventure with great company and one that I will never forget.

This is what the team thought

“I love skiing, but getting a introduction to the awe inspiring backcountry of Tignes, gave me a new level of appreciation of why we ski. Nature is even more beautiful, impressive and so much more powerful than us out there beyond the ski area boundaries. Still, we can be part of it and enjoy it if we work together, breaking track, reading the snow conditions and finally huddling together in front of a fire in the cosy Col du Palet refuge. A truly unforgettable introduction to touring.” Leizel Cloke

Leizel enjoying the uphill of ski touring
Leizel enjoying the uphill of ski touring

“Such an adventure to be pushed safely right out of my comfort zone, experiencing an enemies depth of powder surrounded with such stunning scenery and Flo providing us with a photographic life time memory to share..thanks FREEFLO..amazing amazing.” Sally Coates

Sally skiing the powder
Sally skiing the powder

“The two day tour exceeded all my expectations from the glorious weather, the bouncy snow and the sunny scenery to the delicious refuge dinner and the comfy beds. It was a magical couple of days and Flossie inspired confidence by creating a safe and fun learning environment for all of us touring rookies…I am so please I booked it was my best two days of the week.” Amy Cardale

Amy having fun in the powder
Amy having fun in the powder

FREEFLO specialises in progressive on and off piste ski instruction, backcountry ski touring and women specific ski courses. We offer personal British ski lessons for skiers of all abilities, though our sweet spot is helping competent skiers to improve their technique on and off piste and in the backcountry. Our intuitive coach-approach will help you to progress, have fun and enjoy the full freedom of the mountains in a safe and confident manner.

Step into your next adventure and email: [email protected] or visit www.freefloski.com