This Course is in partnership with Chicks Climbing and Skiing. Join us for adventure skiing in the off-piste mecca of La Grave, France and experience the incredible ambiance of this small French village while skiing some of the most memorable lines of your life and the most incredible couloirs you’ve ever imagined.  Tucked under the magnificent mountain La Meije, La Grave is located on the edge of the Parc National des Écrins. Lift access for the majority of our days via the iconic Télépherique that gives us access to 7000’ of relief where we’ll ski glaciers, vast powder bowls and steep side-walled couloirs all the way to the valley floor.

La Grave is all off-piste and not your typical ski area. There are no marked runs, making every descent a “backcountry” experience that keeps crowds to a minimum and makes the experience extraordinary. This trip is the perfect place for you to learn to ski mountaineer in the Alps and perfect your steep skiing skills.

This unique trip focuses on downhill ski mountaineering objectives in terrain where the use of a harness, rope and avalanche safety equipment is required. In addition to learning steep skiing techniques, you’ll learn how to get into incredible skiing terrain using technical descents into places otherwise not accessible. If conditions are suitable, abundant ski touring is available making La Grave one stop shopping for whatever type of day you desire.

Our local expert and IFMGA Guide, Erin Smart will take your steep skiing techniques to the next level, teach you how to negotiate complex terrain and show you how après ski is done in true French style as you look back up at your lines at the end of the day. Our ratio for this trip is 4:1 and we’ll run it with a minimum of two. Erin will cater the trip to the participants abilities and goals each day and in usual Chicks fashion ensure a high level of learning and fun.  Expect to be challenged and get into terrain you’ve never thought possible.  

Erin lives in La Grave and knows the terrain intimately. She’ll provide you with huge days, face shots and leg burning descents that will leave you grinning ear to ear and begging for mercy. She’ll share the unique culture and heritage of this one of a kind cult ski resort that is not typical of others that have something for everyone. There are no blue runs here, only black and double black diamond.

Participants must be strong downhill skiers, confident on double black runs in all snow conditions. Backcountry experience is also a prerequisite with a minimum of 5 days of touring under your belt. Unlike some of the more popular and populated French skiing destinations, La Grave has an authenticity that is hard to replicate. You’ll learn a lot about french culture being immersed in this small town with only 1000 locals year-round. La Grave has a strong history in the French Alps of being one of the oldest mountain guiding towns in France with the legacy still strong both the town and on the mountain. Even though it’s a small options for night-life are abundant if you have energy to spare.

Erin’s been a usual suspect in La Grave since she was 17 years old and knows the place like few Americans. She’ll take you the best restaurants and you’ll meet locals you’ve read about in the mags. You won’t find a more exciting, full big mountain and cultural experience anywhere.

Please be aware that this course is for women only. To learn more, please visit the Chicks website by clicking here.


  • Must be a strong downhill skier, able to ski confidently on double black diamond runs in all snow conditions (powder, firm, icy, etc).
  • Optional: Intermediate ski tourer (5 days backcountry experience minimum)


Day 1:

Arrive at Lyon – Saint Exupéry Airport (LYS)

Take our group taxi to La Grave

Rendezvous with the Erin for welcomes and dinner

Day 2-7:

Ski La Grave!

Day 7:  After skiing all day enjoy a dinner and celebration with Erin.

Day 8:

Take our group taxi back to Lyon Airport


What to Bring


Dates: Saturday, March 17th – Friday, March 23rd 2018

Cost: $2799

Location: La Grave, France


All requests for cancellations must be submitted in writing.  Chicks requires full payment at the time of booking for all programs, refunds will be issued according to the following schedule:

  • More than 60 days, full refund minus a 10% administration fee
  • 30-60 days, 50% refund
  • Less than 30 days, no refund no transfer of payments.

Travel insurance is required for all International Trips and is strongly recommended for US programs as well.In the event you have an unexpected life occurrence and need to cancel it will help you recover your payment. Chicks works with an agent who is familiar with our programs and travel insurance needs. Please contact Erin Rountree at 208-788-2870.


Cost Includes:

  • 6 days of guided instruction by an IFMGA Mountain Guide
  • All Ground Transportation upon arrival at the Lyon Airport
  • Lodging, Breakfasts and Dinners
  • Lift Tickets
  • Chicks Welcome Bag

Not Included:  

  • Airfare to the Lyon Airport
  • Personal ski/splitboard, avalanche rescue equipment
  • Everything on the equipment list
  • Lunches, Alcohol, Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance (required)


Interested In Attending? (link takes you to Chicks Climbing and Skiing to register)