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Advanced Backcountry Course – La Grave, France

Advanced Backcountry Course – La Grave, France - Description

The Advanced Backcountry Course is for experienced snowboarders looking to explore challenging & exciting terrain at a fast pace. La Grave is the extreme paradise of the French alps, home to some of the wildest lift accessed backcountry terrain on the planet.

With 2300 vertical metres of freeride terrain and not a single groomed piste, La Grave place is about riding as much untracked snow as possible. Picture empty slopes and epic backcountry terrain with steep gullies, huge drops and some of the best tree runs in the Alps.

La Grave is far from being a purpose built ski resort. It’s iconic gondola transports you from the small, unspoilt village to the off piste heaven of the jagged, glaciated peaks surrounding La Meije at 3,983m (read more about La Grave here). From steep lines to long powder descents, snowboarding in La Grave is not for the faint hearted and if you’re ready for a challenge, you could be in for the week of your life!

If the off-piste in La Grave La Meije area is not in optimal condition or is affected by weather, we will head to the nearby resorts of Serre Chevalier, Montgenèvre & Valloire. These quiet resorts hold endless freeride terrain with vast scope for a week of exploration of exciting & challenging descents. We will have minibus transport for the week allowing for total freedom to find the best freeride conditions each day. This course is very much a safari of the surrounding freeride mecca that this area is renowned for.

This course is run by David Gladwin, one of only a handful of professional snowboard instructors to hold the BASI Level 4 ISTD, French Carte Pro as well as the UIAGM Mountain Guide qualification. Dave has the qualifications, knowledge and experience to take you further, deeper and steeper than pretty much anyone else in the world.

This is a sensational trip for adventurous, advanced level riders.



7 nights accommodation & 5 full days of backcountry guiding



Group size: Max 6 (Min 4)



This week is all about riding incredible backcountry terrain in the legendary off piste ski resort of La Grave. Enjoy 5 days of adventurous backcountry guiding in the mythic couloirs, bowls, and forests that give La Grave it’s reputation.

On top of that you will develop a greater awareness of risk management with respect to snow conditions, choosing approach and decent lines and avalanche rescue. All of this will add to your knowledge to gain greater confidence in approaching backcountry snowboarding.

Is this for me?

This backcountry snowboard camp in La Grave is for advanced level riders with a good amount of previous off piste experience. This should include riding a variety of terrain and snow conditions, including tree runs and steeper slopes. You should have a good level of fitness to ensure that you get the most of the week. You are looking to explore challenging & exciting terrain at a fast pace with the safety and knowledge of a professional mountain guide to lead the way.

Travelling alone? Not a problem! Our snowboard courses are designed with solo-travellers in mind. They are a great way to explore the backcountry with other riders of your level… and you will end the week with a bunch of new snowboard friends!


This course has no set itinerary for the week. Your Mountain Guide, David, will decide on a daily basis where to head depending on weather and snow conditions along with some input on preferences from the group. Expect a fun and exciting week with daily backcountry adventures to get your heart racing!


7 nights accommodation is included in the friendly, family run Hotel Castillan. The hotel is in the heart of the village of La Grave, located right by the telecabine. Enjoy south-facing rooms with breathtaking views of the Meije and its glaciers.

Half board accommodation is provided in ensuite rooms, based on two sharing. Enjoy substantial breakfasts and excellent evening meals in the hotels well regarded restaurant. To add to this, you can relax your muscles in the hotel’s sauna after a high adrenalin day of snowboarding.

Whats included

  • Accommodation

    7 nights half board hotel accommodation (see accommodation section for more details)

  • 5 full days guiding
  • Backcountry skills coaching throughout the week
  • Avalanche awareness, search & rescue training
  • Avalanche safety equipment

Whats not included

  • Travel to / from La Grave
  • Ski pass
  • Personal insurance
  • Personal snowboarding equipment
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