Hope everyone is staying healthy and getting excited for the upcoming season. So this year I am heading to Europe to ski Cham for the first time and I have some questions that I'm hoping some of you can answer.
1) What do they consider off-piste in Europe ? It seems like anything not groomed is considered "Backcountry" to them. Does this mean that avalanche danger is high say even 50 ft away from a groomed trail and in between trails or do they do avalanche control in the immediate areas like they do here in the states ?
2) Avalanche Gear Rental and training ? I personally have my own equipment but the rest of people in my group do not, so I'm hoping someone can point me in a direction to where we can all rent gear from. Also, are there any courses that will at least show the group avalanche basics in Cham ? I would feel much better knowing that they are aware and have the proper skill set. It does me no good skiing with my transceiver etc on if no one else has their on or knows how to use it, and I don't want to put my friends in any danger that they can't handle.
3) Guided Tours - Do you really need a guide for the popular backcountry runs like Vallee Blanche or can you find your way around with a Guide Book and common sense? I don't mind spending the $ to tour some of the very remote or less known parts but I want to avoid spending money to ski something 1000 other people are skiing that day if you know what I mean.
These are the main questions I can't seem to find an answer for on Lougle so I'm hoping you fine people can help.