Powder & Freeride Courses
We have been teaching freeride & powder courses since 1975 and if there is one thing that we know how to do, it’s how to teach you and your friends to ski off piste in a safe, fluid and fun way! Our Powder & Freeride Courses run throughout the season all over the Alps and anyone – from beginner to expert – can join. In these courses we focus on the patented Garhammer „ABS“ skiing technique and make sure you get the right inputs to become a more accomplished skier, as well as some extraordinary experiences along the way. Read more about our Classic Powder & Freeride Courses above and see our program with dates and prices below.
We also offer women only courses. The “ABS technique” suits especially women, because it emphasizes natural moves and motions and thus allows women to ski comfortably – unlike with your “conventional” skiing techniques which emphasize on “putting pressure”, “putting your weight onto…”, “edge control”, “up/down”, “using poles” and so on. Deep powder snow skiing can be easier and safer than skiing on pistes! Click here for more information.
If you are a member in the DSV Activ Club you will get 5 % discount on all the ABS-Off-Piste Courses ( not ski touring, freeride camps, heliskiing, Hotel, Liftticket, Transport, etc…). To become a member follow the link to read more: DSV Active membership form
The information you give us in the booking form will help us to form groups as homogeneous as possible regarding the skiing skills. The average number of people per group and coach is 7-8 (the maximum number is 10).
We aim to ski all day, provided that the weather and your fitness allow for it. You will be taught the technique on easy terrain first, i.e. on piste. Once you’ve internalised the technique, you’ll be able to practice in deep powder snow (as long as the weather and snow conditions permit). Each participant is videoed as often as possible. At the end of the day (sometimes during lunch break!) everyone can watch his or her “dream turn” during the video analysis.
Our “ABS technique” allows you to ski on any type of snow and in any terrain, through deep powder snow and on the piste. We’re not talking about a new anti-lock braking system for skis. ABS is the abbreviation of the most important phases of a natural, energy-saving turn. You start by turning your upper body, then you bend your legs which turn “themselves” and then you stand up. In German, this is called “Andrehen, Beugen, Strecken” – in short, “ABS”. Never skied in deep powder snow? Those who have never skied in deep powder snow will be taught how to turn very slowly first – almost in slow-motion – using the snow plow. It’s only after they’ve mastered these turns that we increase the speed.
We make sure that the top groups are able to spend most of their time skiing off-piste. We know all the best deep powder snow slopes. Their technique gets analysed after skiing on the basis of the videos taken during the day. The required equipment is normal ski gear, maybe a small backpack, sun screen and an avalanche transceiver: All participants skiing off-piste will be equipped with an Ortovox avalanche transceiver. If you have your own transceiver, please bring it along (please do not forget to check the batteries!).
Go on and admit it, if you are like most skiers, whether beginner or expert, you will find it difficult skiing in unfavourable piste conditions, through tricky powder snow or over moguls.
The solution to this problem is the “ABS” technique, which, after only a very short period of time, enables you to ski comfortably in any kind of powder snow. This is not a new technique, but it is a largely forgotten method that was commonly used before ski lifts were invented. To put it simply, it’s the systematic execution of the most important phases of a turn. That is: you start by turning your upper body, then you bend your legs which turn “themselves” and then you stand up. In German, this is called “Andrehen, Beugen, Strecken” – in short, “ABS”.
In general, inexperienced powder skiers feel quite inhibited when it comes to turning in difficult terrain. However, with the ABS technique, turns are easy & effortless, making them feel natural and rhythmic. No more trying to turn awkwardly with your poles. Instead, your turns feel graceful and elegant. Almost like dancing! The result is a visible improvement and undreamt-of fun skiing in powder snow!
The ABS technique forms the basis for all our powder ski courses. During these courses, you’ll practice on the piste with experienced coaches and improve your skills further during the subsequent video analyses. After only a few hours of coaching, even inexperienced skiers are able to lay out amazing tracks in powder snow.
Treat yourself with unforgettable expericences and a beautiful skiing holiday.
We look forward to introducing you to the thrill of powder skiing!
Ernst Garhammer with the Garhammer Coach Team
With over 40 years of experience we have handpicked some of the best Freeride & Powder locations in the world for you.
With over 40 years of experience we have handpicked some of the best Freeride & Powder locations in the world for you.
FREERIDE & POWDER LOCATIONS
Garmisch – Grainau, Zugspitze (Germany)
On the Zugspitze (Germany’s highest mountain), you will find excellent powder snow runs and snow is almost guaranteed! The 4-star hotel Eibsee is located only 100 meters from the valley station of the Zugspitzbahn (cable car). Due to its particularly picturesque location right at the mountain lake Eibsee and its delicious cuisine, this hotel is an excellent choice. www.eibsee-hotel.de
Available Courses & Camps in Garmisch-Grainau:
Kaprun, Kitzsteinhorn (Austria)
The Kitzsteinhorn skiing area in the county of Salzburg, with its wonderful pistes and deep powder snow runs, is every skier’s dream. As it is located on a glacier, snow is guaranteed!
The 4-star hotel Mühle is a charming family-run hotel with a sauna area, an outdoor heated swimming pool (all year round), a large breakfast buffet and extensive set meals with different choices for dinner. www.Kaprun.at/muehle
Available Courses & Camps in Kaprun:
Sterzing, South Tyrol (Italy)
The two skiing areas Rosskopf and Ratschings offer runs for skiers of every level – including those who are new to skiing in deep powder snow – and plenty of snow is almost guaranteed!
Sterzing (ital.: Vipiteno), a typical and very charming south Tyrolean town, is also an ideal starting point for numerous different ski tours offering tours for everyone, from first-time ski tourer to alpine ski touring expert.
Hotel Lamm *** is a traditional family-run hotel, situated centrally in the quiet and picturesque pedestrian zone in Sterzing. All rooms have their own bathroom with either bath tub or shower and WC, TV and safe, and there is a sauna area with jacuzzi, steam room and tanning beds. At the end of every week, there is a gala buffet and fondue. www.hotellamm.it
Available Courses & Camps in Sterzing:
Stuben, Arlberg (Austria)
The Arlberg and especially Stuben is a mecca for deep powder snow skiers. The best and longest deep powder slopes in the whole Arlberg region are in Stuben. The charming alpine-style and modernized hotel is a 3-minute walk from the ski lifts and offers a high level of comfort. All rooms are equipped with their own bathroom with bath tub or shower and WC, TV, hair dryer, telephone, internet connection, radio and mini bar. You also have free access to the wellness area with steam room, brine steam room, Finnish and hot air sauna, foot jacuzzi and ice grotto. www.hotel-garni-arlberg.at
Available Courses & Camps in Stuben:
Even Ernest Hemingway loved the outstanding charms and ravishing beauty of the Montafon Valley and eternalized some of his memories in his books. Today, modern cableways as well as attractive sport, cultural and recreational opportunities excite visitors all year round. Not to mention that the Montafon Valley is one of the best and snow-safe hidden powder and freeride skiing gems left in the Alps.
Available Courses & Camps in Montafon:
Disentis, Graubünden (Switzerland)
If you are looking for a region to relax, which is characterized by wonderful nature, unique people and which is unspoiled by tourism, Disentis/Sedrun is the place for you. This particularly charming region promises fascinating and beautiful scenery and pure enjoyment. Hotel Baur is quietly situated at the end of the slopes, only 50 m from the valley station of the Disentis 3000 lifts, which take you to some of the most amazing deep powder snow runs in Switzerland (and as we think in the world!). www.hotel-baur.ch
Available Courses & Camps in Disentis:
Kleinwalsertal, Vorarlberg (Austria)
Kleinwalsertal (“little Walser valley”) in Vorarlberg is part of Austria but only accessible from Germany. It offers not only a stunningly beautiful nature but is also a snow-safe area, suited especially for ski touring. Our ski touring guide Wilfried Hörmann is a local mountain expert and knows all the best secret tours and descents. For ski touring, we use the mountain tram and we will get descents up to 2,000 vertical meters. For any ambitious ski touring freak, the Kleinwalsertal with all its possibilities, is a true paradise.
Obernberg is the ideal starting point for many ski tours into the surrounding mountains around Wipptal and the Brenner Pass.We can start many ski tours directly from the hotel Our very well experienced Ski touring guide will show you the best of this area.
Even if you already know all the top skiing areas in the Alps, you will be over the moon when you go skiing in Kamchatka! The peninsula in the far east of russia has the size of Germany and Austria together and offers unlimited heli skiing possibilities. You can ski down vast and empty slopes, through easy stretches of forest, glaciers and down extinct volcanoes. Skiing takes place between 3,000 meters of altitude and sea level, and during one trip you will ski down up to 2,200 vertical meters. The average run per flight goes over 1,200 vertical meters.
The heliskiing tours start from your hotel, the Bel-Kam-Tour in Paratunka outside the capital Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. It is a 4-star hotel with sauna, turkish bath, thermal pools, fitness and billiard room.
In terms of heliskiing, there are few places in the world with as many possibilities as the Troll Peninsula in Northern Iceland. The Troll Peninsula area, that is named after the Icelandic Trolls and is the peninsula between Skagafjordur and Eyjafjordur, is vast, largely unexplored and is the most spectacular heliskiing area in Iceland. The skiing slopes are truly unique, with a panorama view of amazing slopes waiting for their first descents.
The Lofoten Islands are one of the most beautiful and unspoiled regions in the world, with its scenic mountains heading right into the surrounding fjords. Far out in the northern atlantic ocean, Lofoten is an archipelago on the north-west coast of Norway. Just north of the Arctic Circle, at latitude 68° where the northern lights dance during the winter. Lofoten is one of those places on earth you just have to see. The place where the mountains meet the sea and the light always amazes you. Here you will find pristine clear beaches and an untouched coastline with millions of tons of fish and an incredible wildlife – home to world class ski terrain and friendly communities.
We discovered an ideal area for freeride-, off-piste skiing in the wonderful Norwegian mountains. There are only a few areas in Europe where usually more snow fall occurs than in Stranda (8 m per year). There are fairly easy as well as very demanding off-piste runs. They all can be reached easily in a few minutes walk from the top station of the Stranda ski lifts. all of them with a view of the fjord. Many of the runs end upon sea level.