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Meet the Team

BRINGING INDEPENDANT SKI INSTRUCTORS TOGETHER:
For the first time FREEFLO has joined forces with the school operator Activa4 to create a team of independent ski instructors. FREEFLO will provide top quality ski tuition in the famous ski resort of Tignes in France.  A small team of experienced, independent, French and English ski instructors has been choosen. This December the team will teach Shrewsbury Private School for girls. Each ski instructor has their own story and shares the same passion for the mountains and for skiing.
MEET THE TEAM OF SKI INSTRUCTORS
Meet Floss from FREEFLO
Hi my name is Floss, I have been ski teaching for 18 years in the Alps and worldwide. My passion for skiing all started when I was a chalet girl at 18 years old. I haven’t stopped since. Three years ago I created FREEFLO to share my passion and experience for the mountains. FREEFLO provides ski lessons, ski touring and women specific courses in Tignes, Val D’sere, La Grave and St Foy. This year I am excited as it will be my 21st year in the mountains. I am also excited about working with our team of instructors and sharing our great experience and passion for the mountains.

Floss from FREEFLOSKIFloss from FREEFLO

Meet JP McCarthy from Aim Snowsports
JP McCarthy has been teaching skiing since 2004, he has a wealth of experience gained teaching across the world in the UK, France, Switzerland, Austria and even Australia.  JP has a wide range and a depth of knowledge gained from various ski instruction systems including the British Association of snowsports instructors, the Irish Assoication of snowsport instructors, Swiss Snowsports, Snowsports England and Snowsports Scotland.  JP loves the variety in teaching all levels of skier and sharing his enthusiasm for enjoying the mountains.  He now runs his own ski school AIM Snowsports based in Les Arcs.

JP from Aim Snowsports

Meet Pierre from Pierskival
Pierre has a great passion for the mountains and has taught skiing worldwide for over 15 years. He holds the french equivalent to UK Mountain Leader and also guides groups in the summer in the French Alps. He teaches in all resorts of the Tarentaise Valley and in many different languages including English and Deutsch. He also has a great passion for skiing off piste and touring. On his spare days you will find him ski touring in the backcountry with his dog Domino.

Pierre from Pierskival

Meet Sian From Sianski
Sian is a BASI qualified Independent Ski Instructor based in Les Arcs and La Plagne. Having lived and skied in the french alps for the past 20 years her knowledge of the local area is extensive. Sian teaches all ages and all levels with emphasis on tailoring the lesson to your particular needs. She also runs regular Women’s courses throughout the winter. 

Sian from Sianski

Author: Jocelyn Cockle
Posted:
Categories: France, ski instruction, ski lessons, Tignes, Uncategorized, Val D'Isere

The Skiers Guide to Ski Touring the Refuge Frey, Bariloche, Argentina

THE SKIERS GUIDE TO SKI TOURING THE REFUGE FREY, BARILOCHE, ARGENTINA
My dream is becoming a reality. For four years I have been dreaming of leading and creating my own Patagonian adventure. One small part of this adventure includes skiing the granite couloirs and ski touring around the refuge Emilio Frey near Bariloche in Argentina. To have a successfull adventure it is so important to have the right information and make the right decisions.

Refugio Frey, Bariloche, Argentina

Refuge details:
Surrounded by granite towers Refuge Emilio Frey is on the shore of the Toncek lagoon at 1700 meters above sea level. The name is a tribute to the engineer Emilio Frey. The shelter itself is one of the most picturesque in the region. Its a true masterpiece of carved granite lintels, sills, edges and other details of high quality to ensure that the refuge blends into the landscape. The inside is lined with wood and its roof is made of tiles.  On the ground floor is a kitchen and a spacious dining room with a log burner for warmth.

How to make a reservation?
It is only possible to reserve a night in the refuge 3 days before on line as there is no telephone service in the refuge. For three nights in the refuge including food we paid around £25 per day. The refuge only takes US dollars ($) or Argentine Pesos (Ars). For more information you can visit the website  Refugio Frey.

How to access the refuge?
There are two ways to access the refuge in the summer and in the winter.
a) Skiing from the ski station Cerro Catedral: You can hike to the ridgeline Punta Princesa. Traverse west to a col and drop down a valley then ski tour up to the pointed ridgeline. The ski down from there will only take ten minutes to lake Toncek.  At the lake traverse along the plateau to Refugio Frey. Ski touring from Cerro Cathedral will take 4-6 hours.  Make sure you have a good weather window as its difficult to navigate. You will need to pay for a Cerro Catedral lift pass which is around £22 per day.

Sunset at Refuge Frey, Bariloche, Argentina

b) The main walkers route from Cerro Catedral.
Difficulty:
 Medium to Hard depending on snow conditions and how much weight you are carrying in your packs.
Distance : 10 km
Elevation : 700m +\-
Running time : from 4 to 6 hours but the lady from Club Andino will tell you that you can do it in two hours!
Access mode : Cerro Catedral line bus 55 from Bariloche. The bus journey will cost under a pound.  You have to buy a SUBE card which you can buy in the newsagents, no cash accepted on the bus. The bus normally goes every hour and you need to get to the bus stop early to get a seat.

Maps: 
Totally different to the IGN map in France.  Finding a good backcountry map to navigate from is difficult and hard to find. We used the PIXMAP Bariloche y Angostura 1:125. NB: Don’t be fooled by the distance.

Weather Forecasts:
The most reliable weather forecasts we have used have been Snow Forecast and Windyty App

What are the granite spires?
The spires of the refuge are granite and granodiorite towers are intrusive igneous rocks that have slowly cooled deep underground in magma chambers called plutons. This slow cooling process allows easily visible crystals to form. Both rocks are the product of the melting of continental rocks near subduction zones.

Follow us and our adventures on the #theskiersjourney inPatagonia.

The team on #theskiersjourney, Patagonia 2018

Creating, Leading and Sharing Mountain Adventures with FREEFLO

Keep up to date with the FREEFLO Patagonia Ski and Climb Adventure 2018 and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Blog. FREEFLO specialises 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. Step into your next adventure and email: [email protected] or visit www.freefloski.com 

Author: Jocelyn Cockle
Posted:
Categories: adventure, british female instructor, maps, patagonia, Uncategorized

Climbing: How I came back to climbing after a 14 year break 

Climbing: How I came back to climbing after a 14 year break 

Every climber or good athlete will have a fall, an injury and hurdles to overcome. The more you want to achieve and to get to a higher level you have to put the time, money and training in.

In 2002 I was running a ski school in Switzerland and on our weekends off I would go ice climbing with friends. I was still learning. It was a chain of bad decisions, wrong equipment and the ‘Halo Effect’ that resulted me in falling. That particular morning I woke up tired and hangover. I had left my proper boots in a different place to where I had woken up. My ice axes I had to borrow and weren’t the same model, weight or make. We had hiked close to an hour through some woodland before we arrived at the ice waterfall that we wanted to climb. I can’t remember the fine details as its all distant memory that I wanted to forget and to delete . All that I remember was that I was struggling and feeling weak. There was water running under the ice and my gut feeling was that I shouldn’t be there. It wasn’t long before my right crampon went into my left calve and broke the skin as I felt my blood pouring out of my leg. I was hanging off three points of contact, then two.  Then my right arm and ice axe didn’t hold and I started to fall. I can’t remember how far I fell. The first gear pinged out of the ice then the second. The third bit of gear held and I slammed over an ice shelf. My left ankle folded over and I was very pleased to have stopped. After some time and effort I was then belayed down and I hobbled back to the car. We got back to camp. I was fortunate as my injuries were slight. I had a compressed vertebra, stretched ankle ligaments in my left ankle and few stitches in my left calf.

How I conquered fear:
Fourteen years later in 2016, I was approaching a mile stone in birthday years. I wanted to overcome my fear for climbing. I needed to get use to exposure once again. So I started back on the climbing wall. I remember my first 10m climbing pitch on the inside climbing wall. I was so scared. Saturated with fear and re living the fall in 2002 I then completed all the Via Ferrata’s in Val D’Isere and some different ones in the Tarentaise Valley.   It wasn’t until I completely scared myself on the route of the Aguille De Franchet in the Sassiere Plateaux that I overcame my bad fall. I was confronting fear dead on.

Route Mon Ami Janot in Rodellar, Spain

Now today climbing means so much more to me. I enjoy the intensity and the problem solving on the rock. Like skiing I enjoy being in the zone when climbing and not thinking about anything else. It is a sport that I look forward to doing in the summer. Its not about the highest grade to climb. Its about having a good day at the crag or multi pitch with my dog and friends and enjoying the real outdoors.

Route Dents Du Loup, La Cluse in France

 

Author: Jocelyn Cockle
Posted:
Categories: Uncategorized

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.

 

Author: Jocelyn Cockle
Posted:
Categories: backcountry, basi, british female instructor, France, ski courses, Ski guiding and teaching, ski instruction, ski lessons, ski touring, skicourses, Tignes, Uncategorized, Val D'Isere, Vanoise National Park

Powder Paradise: Off-Piste Tree Skiing Sainte Foy

Yesterday in Sainte Foy was a ‘un jour de blanc’ a white day with low visibility.  I woke up with the lowest expectations and had one of the best off-piste powder days of the ski season in Sainte Foy. I was having fun,  ski guiding and teaching in Sainte Foy in the trees.  We were skiing fresh tracks all day and jumping off pillows of snow and putting our skiing to the test. The snowpack is so deep this winter that you can ski confidently off-piste without bottoming out or hitting rocks and tree stumps.

This month we have had the heaviest snowfall in one month since 1981. Its been a once in a generation snowfall winter. I am now on my 20th winter season and its a winter that I will never forget.

We started off the TSD Marquise chairlift on a big open face then headed into the trees off the run Toboggan and kept to the fall line. Skiing across the walkers path keeping right of the river as we kept in the trees then headed left and took the next path back into St Foy. It was amazing, no one was around and fresh deep snow lied untracked in between the trees. The next few runs we took different routes close and under the TS Arpettaz chairlift working on line and precision following each other and filming. It was training for endurance and so much fun. Our ski cool down before heading to apres was then carving in low visability and soft conditions from the top of the Marquise chairlift all the way down to the start of the station non stop. What a great day and an amazing powder paradise.

Improve your skiing and have a great adventure with FREEFLO.

FREEFLO specialises 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, 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

 

 

Author: Jocelyn Cockle
Posted:
Categories: Uncategorized

Tignes Video Snow Report 17th January 2018

Once in a generation snowfall: 

Bringing you a weekly video snow report for Tignes. This season has been described as once in a generation snowfall that hit the alps. This is my 20th winter working and teaching in the Alps and I have never seen a winter like it. We now have such an amazing snow base and cover for the rest of the ski season.

FREEFLO specialises 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, 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

Author: Jocelyn Cockle
Posted:
Categories: Uncategorized

Snow Report Tignes, 15th Dec 2017

An amazing start to the winter. 
It has been an amazing and extraordinary week of fresh snow in Tignes. Out of the 19 seasons that I have completed; it has probably been one of the best starts to the season for snowfall that I have seen in a long time.
Last Sunday and Monday we received nearly a metre of snow in two snowfalls with in 48hrs.The amount of snow falling in a short time with the snow level at 900m brought some disruption in resort. The opening of ski lifts were delayed as the pistes were being secured. Roads have been shut for a short time to ensure safety. People have been working around the clock clearing snow to keep footpaths, roads and entrances clear and open.
Powder skiing, Tignes
Off Piste Skiing Tignes
Wednesday brought more settled weather and everyone was enjoying the sunshine and the 100% visibility. Pistes were soft and in excellent condition. The avalanche rating increased to a four out of five for danger due to the large loading of new snow. However, if you knew where to go and skied flatter safer slopes you could ski fresh powder. The powder off piste on south facing slopes was light and heroic.  With a great base of snow underneath you could ski more confidently as you wouldn’t hit the base.
On Thursday a new weather front came in bringing poor visibility and wind with speeds up to 100kmh. This has moved a lot of snow around and has altered our snowpack. Skiing off piste on the windward slopes are difficult to ski with a crusty layer and the lee slopes are loaded with fresh snow but are more dangerous.
Today we have been excited to receive another 30cm of fresh light snow on upper slopes as the wind dropped overnight. There is more good news as we are expecting another 20cm of snow tonight which will help build the snowpack even further and will give us a better snow base and piste conditions throughout the winter.

Author: Jocelyn Cockle
Posted:
Categories: Uncategorized

Early Ski Touring Adventure in Val D’Isere, French Alps

Keeping an eye on the weather and the snow conditions, Tuesday 14th November was a perfect time to leave Tignes and go to Val D’Isere to start our early ski touring adventure in Val D’Isere.  It would also give us a great opportunity to check conditions and the snow pack for the winter coming. I love my low season time in the mountains as less people are around and there are lots of adventures to be had. Ski touring this time of year is a completely different game compared to going ski touring in Spring. To go ski touring at the beginning of winter takes a lot of preparation and different skill sets.  To have a great experience, to be insured and to be safe you are strongly advised to go with a mountain guide or instructor. 

Ski touring up the Manchet valley in Val DI’sere

Off we set with all our years of experience, an open plan that gave us plenty of options, and knowledge of the snow conditions.  Just before the Manchet chairlift we gained the access road. Little did we know that the two women walking their dogs would be last time we would see human life for two days. The road was a nice easy warm up before harder things to come. At this time of year days are short so we wanted to use our daylight hours wisely and make sure that we were in a hut by 4pm. With no running water in mountain refuges we were taking full advantage of topping up our water bottles in streams as much as we could and keeping hydrated.

Route decision making whilst ski touring up to Col Des Fours refuge

Passing the Manchet chairlift we were in good spirits and excited about our adventure to come. We toured through the gates and entered the Vanoise National Park. Each National Park has different rules that you have to obey to so its good to find out about them before you go. The sun was warming up our bodies and the spectacular views were warming up our hearts.  We started climbing steeper terrain and that’s when I could feel the weight on my back. I was carrying close to 10kg, which included 3 to 4 days food, water, clothing, first aid, clothing, stove and gas. We had to be self sufficient and prepared. Its always good to pack more food than you think just in case you get stuck in a storm and have to wait for better conditions. 

The line that we normally take in the valley wasn’t achievable due to lack of snow and previous avalanche debris from the last winter, so we took a high South West route. We had to be skillful and concentrated as kick turns were tricky on steep slopes, and with the hard layer of wind crust our skis broke would break through the sugary faceted snow. With difficult snow conditions and, slowed down by the weight of our packs, we were behind our game plan. After nearly four hours of touring uphill we were pleased to see the Fond du Fours mountain refuge. Being on the side of caution we changed our decision to reach the Refuge de Femma and decided to stop and rest overnight. We finished a perfect day by watching the sunset with a whisky and coke. We then took off any cold and wet clothes and, putting on dry extra clothing, we settled in for the night. We made a fire, dried our boots, and melted snow to hydrate and cook the food that we had carried. We both fell asleep deeply listening to and watching the roaring fire and its embers.

Refuge Col Des Fours, Val D’Isere. Home for the night

By law every mountain refuge should have a winter room and be open when the hut is not manned by a guardian. It is always good to phone ahead to check with the guardian that the hut is open and what supplies are in inside before planning your route.

After a hot breakfast soup we packed up, taking all our rubbish with us. We left the hut closed and tidy after paying a small fee into the honesty box known as the tronc. We started touring uphill heading to the Col De La Rochure, half a day behind our original plan. The views were spectacular as the sun was breaking through the high rising mountains. The large peak of Mean Martin was looking down on us as we were breaking tracks in snow. No one was around; it was just us and the only signs of life was very faint old tracks in the snow. It was so silent you could hear a pin drop. The snow pack was thin, probably only a foot in depth due to limited snow fall and high winds. All north facing slopes were covered with sugary faceted snow. On south facing slopes the snow had consolidated but was even thinner in depth.

Changing our route slightly and after a small booting up we had reached the Col du Pisset. Totally on our own we could see for miles and miles into different valleys. It was exactly what I expected, all the snow had been stripped off the ridges and peaks and the snow was deposited in gullies. Finally we enjoyed making down hill turns and leaving our tracks in the virgin snow. The sun was dropping slowly out of the sky as the temperature plummeted. We were tired and behind our plan and the right decisions had to be made. There were cirrus clouds in the sky and collecting fast which is an indication of high winds and a change of weather. With this information we decided to change plan once again and head back to the Col Du Pisset towards home. We didn’t want the new weather front to come in early as we were a long way from home.  One of the many lessons that I have learnt when in the backcountry or skiing off piste is not to be set and follow just one plan. Always adjust plans to timings, weather, snow conditions and to the group. Listen to you inner self and never be scared to turn back. 

Ski touring back to the Col de Pisset

After one and half hours touring we were at the Col Du Pisset once again.  We handrailed a ridge line and started our decent back home. My legs were feeling the strain with a heavy pack and the long day but I knew I had to be focused not just on the line to take but also my ski technique. The snow was thin and variable which meant that every turn was different and you needed to adapt your skiing to every condition. However, the descent was unforgettable, skiing open bowls, ridge lines paths and skiing over bridges then crossing the Manchet gorge. The views were stunning with the continuing silence. It was 4.30pm once we had reached the path and handrailed around the Charvet. It was impeccable timing and at 5.30pm it was nearly dark we had finished our adventure and was safe and off the mountain. It was another great ski touring adventure that I won’t forget and shared with a great friend.

FREEFLO specialises 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, 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] 

Author: Jocelyn Cockle
Posted:
Categories: Uncategorized

Ski Touring and Steep Off Piste Skiing North Face of the Pramecou, Tignes & Val D’Isere

Route: Val Claret Tignes/Pointe De Pramecou/Val Claret
Off Piste skiing between: 3054m to 2107m NE/NW
Max Gradient: 48 degrees
Uphill: 3hrs 12 mins
Total Route time from Val Claret: 5hrs
Skiers Level:Advanced off piste
Ski Touring Level: Intermediate
Start: Bottom of Lanches Chairlift
Finish: At bottom Tichot chairlift
Map needed: 3633ET
Grade: 2.1
Exposure: E2

I just love Spring time. Its warmer, the snow pack is more stable and I have more time to go on adventures. Last year touring up and skiing down the 48 degree North Face of the Pramecou on the 9th May 2016 with adventurer and good friend Squash Falconer was one of my vivd memories of 2015/16. From that day onwards we came up with the idea of running backcountry adventures together to inspire, to teach and to motivate people to adventure into the back country. With one of the largest winter store retailers Snow & Rock behind us, in a few days time I am looking forward joining up with Squash and to leading the Snow and Rock Back Country 5 day Backcountry Adventure in Tignes and Val D’Isere.

Fresh Ski tracks on the North Face of the Pramecou
Fresh Ski tracks on the North Face of the Pramecou
Celebrating the fresh powder tracks on a 48 degree North Face
Celebrating the fresh powder tracks on a 48 degree North Face
Ski touring up to the Pointe De Pramecou
Ski touring up to the Pointe De Pramecou

Don’t miss out on adventures next season and get in touch and email: [email protected]
Visit our sites:
www.freefloski.com
www.squashfalconer.com

Author: iwood.web
Posted:
Categories: backcountry, basi, british female instructor, british ski instructor, horsdpiste, navigation, off piste, off piste courses, off piste skiing, offpiste, offpiste skiing, ski, ski courses, Ski guiding and teaching, ski instruction, ski lessons, ski touring, skicourses, skischools, Snow, Tignes, Uncategorized, Val D'Isere, Vanoise National Park

Inspire you adventure

Teaming up with the Adventurer Squash Falconer FREEFLO is proud and excited to announce  being a part of a very special and exclusive Snow & Rock evening ‘Inspiring Your Adventure’on Wednesday 19th October at the Snow+Rock flagship store in Covent Garden in London.

Enjoy drinks and nibbles whilst listening to adventures. Get FREE advice and take full advantage of the generous 15% OFF discount on the new outdoor collection in store. Tickets are only £5 and all proceeds go to the Bowl Cancer UK charity. For further details and bookings please visit: https://inspiringwithsquashandfloss.eventbrite.com

We are also teaming up together with Snow & Rock to run Two Off Piste and Backcountry adventures for next winter on the 8th January and 16th of April 2017 in the Espace Killy. Further details will follow.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Step into your next adventure with FREEFLO and Squash Falconer.

inspire-2

FREEFLO specialises in progressive on and off piste skiing, backcountry ski touring and women specific ski courses in Tignes, Val D’Isere, St Foy and La Grave. Please visit our site: www.freefloski.com  and join our newsletter for free. Like us on Facebook and Instagram and we will keep you up to date on posts, photos and videos for free. Check out more adventures with Squash at squashfalconer.com.

Author: iwood.web
Posted:
Categories: backcountry, british female instructor, british ski instructor, camp, Espace Killy, espacekilly, fatmap, France, halfterm, Heli skiing, off piste, off piste courses, off piste skiing, offpiste, offpiste skiing, ski lessons, ski touring, skicourses, skischools, Snow, Uncategorized