Off-piste adventure with Epique! – Richard
Piste to Powder
After years of mostly skiing on the slopes, something has changed in recent years: I prefer to ski outside the slopes as much as possible! Initially this often went by skiing just ‘next to’ the slopes, but now I know that with the right guidance, the off-piste world is much bigger and more challenging. And that you do this best with a guide who knows the way off the slopes well. On the other hand, I noticed that my off-piste technique could use some improvement…skiing off-piste requires slightly different skills than on-piste.
Off Piste Technique
Time to go skiing with Epique! After all, they offer the combination of both: help with the off-piste technique and knowledge of the areas. Last January (2018) I went skiing for the first time with a group of friends (4) under the guidance of Gijs-Jan! Epique had arranged for us to be strategically accommodated in a hotel that provided access to both Sankt Anton and Ischgl. This meant that, depending on the circumstances, we had the option to choose from multiple ski areas. Good choice!
During the 4 days that we skied with Gijs-Jan, the level was continuously increased. On the first evening we went through the basics of the next 4 days as well as the safety aspects of off-piste skiing. Because you do get off the beaten track, certainly not a luxury.
The first day we started fairly quietly – especially because the weather was not very good. However, in the course of the afternoon Gijs-Jan increased the level further and further. As a result, even with a group with different ski levels, you have enough challenge for everyone.
The following days we were able to ski the most beautiful – read – virgin – powder in both Sankt Anton and Ischgl where no one had been before. As far as I’m concerned, this is the big advantage of skiing with Epique: Gijs-Jan proved to know perfectly the places where we could find perfect deep snow. Depending on your own wishes, the level of the descents is further increased or kept the same.
The highlight was definitely the tour (small walk) and descent to the Heidelberger Hütte! First all the way up to one of the highest points of the ski area in Ischgl, and then leave the ski area behind and ski through a deserted valley towards the hut. Fantastic!
Looking back, the trip with Epique was unforgettable! Gijs-Jan is not only a good ski instructor and guide, but someone you can enjoy a beer with. And of course that counts. Our next trip(s) with Epique are already booked for the coming winter and that will certainly not be the last time.