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We used to visit the Monte Rosa and had a week specifically designed to help skiers of skill levels 5 or above, (Please refer to the link on the left of my home page to check your level on my ranking system) to get into the off-piste. If you have not skied off-piste before and want to, and have a done a little and want to get much better, this could be ideal.

It was enhanced by an option no longer available - an overnight stay in a high level Rifugio of considerable class. As things go, this one went - it burnt down. However many of those who went still love Gressoney and the Monte Rosa.

SO - I'm suggesting that I would be happy to make myself available for a week there. But it would have to be pretty well (and firmly)booked. I could keep anyone interested in the week, in contact with any others and we could treat it almost like an official "club" do. So please contact me if you are interested in seeing what we can do.

The flights could get a bit complicated and we've sometimes had to amend the departure and return days to keep them within cost bounds.

If you like the look of this option, then PLEASE let me know EARLY. This week simply won't work for late bookings. Last season folk opted-in, then opted-out, and alternated and it all got so confused I gave up.

Sometimes we have to make a slight date change to accommodate flights but so far have always managed it. Crystal holidays do a package to this resort that a few clients have used. We usually share a hire car and drive ourselves to Gressoney from either Milan or Turin.

Skiing the Monte Rosa is different; more of a mountain experience. This is because unlike many resort areas the Italians have put in not many, but very long lifts. Some take 15-20 minutes and go up to 10,000 feet. So the mountains are more pristine.

You start the week working on sometimes different and specific techniques you are likely to find you need in the OFF piste, but in the safety of the ON-piste.

After a day or two (usually, could be day one, who knows?) we begin to sally-forth onto un-pisted terrain, but well within sight and reach of the pistes so you can escape as and when it suits you.

This introduces you to the feel and requirements of soft snow, or tracked-up snow, or crusty snow, or bumps, or steep bits -- whatever. But always with any risks minimised, and escape routes maximised.

Second half of the week MAY be able to be guided by my friend Massimiliano Manganello who was born and brought up in Gressoney and knows every route there is. With him, we'll go further afield, out of sight of the pistes and into more challenging territory. You are absolutely free to opt-out of ANY of the proposed skiing sessions, and if you need to be accompanied on piste then I'll leave the others in Massimiliano's hands and stay with you.

BUT ( BIG "but" ) Max may not be available. If he's not the two options are to a) hire a guide - expensive and more problematical; or b) take your chances with me. However, in this latter case you MUST take cognisance of the fact that I am NOT a guide; I am NOT qualified to guide; I am NOT insured to guide; and YOU may well not be insured as a result. If we go on an itinerary route, we ski as EQUALS and friends. Nothing more.

Once on an "itinerary" off-piste route though, you may have no choice but to finish it. And do be aware that to do any amount of off-piste is much more tiring than skiing on piste, so more fitness is required. Obviously not massively though - I mean, look at ME, I'm as old as Methusela and I can still manage it.

Contact me if you fancy it and we'll see what can be arranged. If 'owt.


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