Les Contamines, its nature reserve and the Montjoie valley are a paradise for ski touring enthusiasts. Those who venture off the slopes of Les Contamines and Beaufort will enjoy the opportunity to encounter wildlife, ski virgin snow and discover peaceful natural surroundings. The possibilities are endless.
Ski touring in a few words..
“A nice day out but absolutely exhausting!”, Enak Garcia
“ Ski touring means going that bit further”, Cédric Pugin
“A downhill run beneath the stars. Simply awesome!”, Claire Muzart de Bergans from Norway
“There should be more people in the mountains with the mountain culture”, Kilian Jornet
Rémi Serré from the shops Sports 4807 m in Les Contamines-Montjoie recently accepted to tell us more about ski touring:
1 / Remi, what type of ski-touring skier are you?
“I can’t define a particular profile because I love all styles of ski-touring, ranging from a short evening outing after work to a 2-3 day trek. The only type of ski-touring I don’t practice is up the side of the ski slope. However, I don’t denigrate this practice for those who wish to keep in shape or train for competitions. »
2 / Which 3 words best describe ski-touring in les Contamines-Montjoie?
“Space, freedom and change of scenery.”
3 / Tell us about the evolution of ski touring, according to your own practice and experience?
“The weight and the width of the skis are undoubtedly the obvious major developments of recent years even if I prefer to choose a ski depending on the snow conditions rather than the an ultra light model.”
4 / So with this evolution one can adapt ski-touring equipment to personal requirements?
“The range of equipment is constantly growing, from ultra-light materials for climbing performance to heavier more versatile skis for everyday use on the slopes but also for shorter ski touring itineraries with an off-piste descent at the key.”
5 / How do you envisage the future of ski touring?
“I think that ski-touring is growing fast. Our customers are in search of space and freedom and this practice is gaining in popularity. The mountain guides, alpine leaders and ski instructors now propose a choice of outings . »
6 / Can you tell us more about your shop, Sports 4807m in les Contamines-Montjoie?
“Sports 4807 m in les Contamines-Montjoie is a sports shop for the sale and rental of skis, snowboards, cross-country and telemark skis. We are affiliated with Skimium and this has helped us to increase our number of online reservations. Our keyword is cohesion. We all love skiing and regularly do so. This is essential in the relationship that we have with our customers. We test the majority of skis that we rent which enables us to have a personal opinion and share our experience. I am very proud to work with my team. Sarah, William and Ben are permanent members of staff and in busy periods we take-on extra hands. We work in a happy friendly atmosphere and I think our clients benefit from this.»
7 / What advice do you give to your ski-touring clients?
We don’t rent ski-touring skis at present (although we would like to do so in the future). We send our clients to ‘Mermoud Sports au Virage’ who propose a choice of recent equipment.
That said, if one were to give advice to ski touring enthusiasts , I would say never to neglect even the easiest of routes. It is important to always enquire about avalanche risks and snow conditions and to carry the minimum safety equipment: DVA, shovel and probe. It is equally important to know how to use this equipment properly. Don’t hesitate to reserve a mountain guide to discover some of the more magical spots. »
8. Can you tell us your checklist before you go ski-touring?
A DVA (avalanche detection device) with batteries in good condition, a shovel, probe, goggles, sunglasses, warm jacket, water, food and a little genepi (just in case!). ”
9 / If you were a pair of ski touring skis, which would you be and why?
«The Cham 97 HM model because of its versatility. These are not the lightest skis on the market (a good excuse when I’m a little slow on the upward climb) but they are great in deep snow, in crusty powder and fantastic on slope too. »
10 / Rémi, what is your next ski touring project?
“A dream which should materialize in May – a week of ski touring in Spizberg with two of my best friends.”
11 / If there was only one ski touring route in les Contamines-Montjoie, which one would you choose?
“Les Dômes de Miage of course”.
12 / Do you have a message for those who still hesitate to go ski touring?
«Hire a guide and good equipment. Ski-touring is within the reach of the largest numbers. ”
Rémi, thank you for this interview. We wish you every success for the future of your shop and we hope that you enjoy ski-touring in Spizberg!