Skiing off piste (off the groomed trails) is not for everyone. A lot can go wrong, so there’s much to learn to stay safe. And sometimes the snow quality is awful. That’s when your skiing skills have to be top-notch, so you can bust through the crud no matter how deep. Fortunately, this year’s group of Off Piste and Avalanche Awareness students has the skills to match any terrain. And, as always, we rely on a professional mountain guide to make sure we’ve learned our avalanche-rescue techniques–and, better yet, that we’ve learned how to avoid avalanches in the first place. For that, the guide teaches us about a mountain’s dangers and about signs that a slope is safe to ski. It’s all worthwhile because when great off piste comes magically together, it’s the best skiing in the world.
Click the image to see a gallery of off-piste skiing photos from Glacier 3000.