Skiers and snowboarders come to the Chamonix valley year after year because of its brilliant off-piste skiing potential. Vast glacier systems, wide powder slopes, steep couloirs and tree skiing, with the spectacular backdrop of the Mont Blanc massif is an annual lure.
The high mountains are very accessible here. Chamonix has a highly pragmatic attitude to off piste activity. Every individual is responsible for their own safety. Do not rely on others unless they are qualified and hired for that purpose. Get insured and know how to call upon the emergency services should they be necessary. There are many crevasse and avalanche zones off-piste in the Chamonix valley.
Avalanches are a real threat off piste. Beware of the potential from above and the snow state in the immediate vicinity. Is there a piste below or other skiers off piste? An avalanche transceiver should be switched on and secured under clothing, with quick accessibility. You need to know how to conduct a search using a transceiver. A shovel and probe are also necessary.