1. For off-piste virgins:
We have unpisted but secured and patrolled itinerary routes that are good for getting used to deep snow. Then we would head to the Fontanet area, where there are lots of mellow off-piste runs, ideal for practising turns. Lac des Vaux is another area where you can practise at the side of the piste, but always within reach of it.
2. The first real off-piste experience:
There are variations off the Greppon Blanc itinerary which provide the first real experience of a long off-piste run away from the lifts. You continue the normal hike a little further to the cross, to take the next bowl to the right of the itinerary. Or, if you’d rather not walk, you can take the bowl on the left side.
3. Upping the challenge:
The next step up is to take on Mont Gelé. The south exposure towards La Chaux is a fantastic playground with little gullies, some steep pitches, but also some wide open spaces. The south couloir is beautiful but there are slightly less technical lines too.
4. Seriously gnarly:
This time, we would take on the front side of Mont Gelé, which is a lot steeper, a real challenge. Then, if conditions allow, I would go to Col des Gentianes, from where you access Stairway to Heaven or the less famous alternative, Highway, which I prefer. Lower down, the skier’s right side of Vallon d’Arby is steeper and more technical, particularly through the forest. It’s a fantastic run.
5. Snowboarders’ special:
When it has just snowed, Bruson is great for snowboarders. It has so many bowls and wooded areas, such as Canadian Trees.