The great thing about Verbier is that it’s a resort where you get extremes – from people out here battling with their first snowplough to the experts off hammering through the off piste.
Which makes it brilliant working out here – the instructors get all kinds of different skiers all the time and when we get time off we can head out exploring…
Which is exactly what we’ve been up to, and here are few shots from the other day (I know they’re a bit arty, but we thought it looked nice…):
However, the problem with skiing off piste is the dangers that come with it – especially with the new snow in resort – so we weren’t too surprised when our weekly ski school meeting was interupted by an emergency call asking all instructors to head up the hill to help with a massive avalanche search…
As a Ski School here we’re expected to be part of any avalanche rescue and if there’s a real emergency we have to get there and help out.
So with the adrenaline pumping we ran up to Medran and got on the lift.
Once we were up there it became clear that luckily it was just a drill organised by Televerbier, and we spent the next few hours in the pitch black and up to our wastes in powder practicing searching in -13 °C.
A good (but very cold) reality check for everyone, and it underlined the message that if you’re going off-piste then make sure you know where your going, make sure you all take an avalanche tranceiver, shovel and probe – and make sure you know how to use them.
And – although it all sounds a bit serious – if you’re not sure then go with a guide or an instructor, or just don’t go – it really isn’t worth the risk.