New look web site. It’s all white!

It’s all white

The site is looking a little different today, we’ve just swapped over to a brand new look and yes the black has gone.

We decided after looking at the same site for the past few years It was time for a bit of a freshen up.

We have an awesome new logo coming in a few days to freshen up the whole look and feel of the site. We aim to tie things in better
with the Tinderbox theme of lighting up your skiing and putting that spark back.

A few tweaks still need to be done so keep an eye out for some nice changes and addtions.

tinderbox ski school chrisfecher

ski lessons in chamonix

Ski lessons in Chamonix

If you’re thinking about booking some ski lessons in Chamonix for this coming winter. Let us give you a heads up and the low down to ensure you have the best possible experience.

Book Early:
To avoid any last minute and unwanted stress, book your ski lessons in Chamonix now. If you plan to come during the school holidays or in Feb  then this is the time to book. The rest of the winter season is less busy so you have a little time to think about it.

January is a great month to join a ski course or book a short ski break, great snow and less people reward those that choose this time of year. I get most of my own skiing done and ski more powder in Jan than any other month. March is fantastic the temps are rising an
the snow is generally excellent, with fewer crowns than Feb this is the month to book for those in the know.

We provide a pick-up and drop-off service to all our clients when possible. Local public transport is ok, but for a stress free option let us deliver you to the slopes .

Private Ski Lessons:
You get what you pay for, booking private ski lessons in Chamonix will take you to the next level and also leave you with some pointer’s to keep your improvment on the right path. You can book a private for one person or two so you can share the cost.

Perfect for any level from newbie to pro, we’ve been teaching all levels in Chamonix for many years and have the perfect slope to match your needs. Awesome learner slopes with a gentle progression onto greens and blues. Perfect locations to refine your off-piste skiing technique and introduce the fine art of ski touring.



NZ skiing update

NZ skiing update

The NZ skiing season so far has been a mixed bag, the slow start has been tough on many ski resorts around the country both North and South Island. Cardrona Alpine Resort has been one of the lucky one’s and managed to keep ticking over since the start. Some short
winter blasts have brought with them top-ups over the last few weeks and recent winter storms have brought snow levels back to more respectable depths.

Saying that I’ve been out touring on a regular basis since the start and the peaks closer to the divide have a great deal more snow. Fingers crossed for some spring glacier action!

Here’s a shot from this week, and the best day of the season so far. Epic turns and blues skies off the back of Treblecone ski resort. We were the first skiers over the back and the snow was amazing! Southern dry at its best!

New Zealand skiing ski touring New-Zealand-skiing ski-touring Treble cone



Tinderbox Video

I’ve finally got round to adding a Tinderbox video page to the site. It’s been a little chicken and egg as I never really had any good ski footage. This season i’ve been getting out with the Gopro  as often as possible and also attempting to get plenty of footage of clients which seems to go down well. The Gopro is super easy to use, I just use a simple head band strap which I can put on quickly and then stash. Editing is a bit of a mission, however I’m getting quicker the more I get used to the workflow. I’ve been using Gopro studio then feeding the clips in iMovie, seems to do the job without to much fuss.




Days off skiing the Toula glacier

Days off skiing the Toula glacier

Here’s a recent edit from a fun Day Off skiing the Toula Glacier on the South side. A quick drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel brings us to the Helbroner cable car. The classic cable car provides quick and easy access to some amazing terrain including the Valley Blanche, Toula glacier and so on. The cafe just next to the lift station is a good place to start the day, a super good coffee equipment check and were ready to get amongst it.

Avalanche forecast

Here’s a link to the Chamonix avalanche forecast produced by Meteo France. It’s in French but has some good graphics to get the message across.

Look at the avalanche risk on the danger scale and see how that links up to the specific hazards.

Example. (very simplified)
Avalanche danger scale is 3-Considerable the specific hazards might be poorly bonded resent storm snow on all aspects above 2000m.

The risk is considerable and that means you could skier trigger a potentially large avalanche yourself on all steeper aspects above 2000m.

A possible choice for this day is going to be to stay on low angle low consequence terrain?

Snow pack layers tinderbox ski school chamonix

Chamonix avalanche forecast click

It’s snowing here in Chamonix tonight.

If you’re interested in avalanche safety and skiing off-piste we advise joining our avalanche safety course. To read more about avalanche safety please check out our avalanche safety 

Snow in the forecast

Finally we have some snow in the forecast to kick off the season. We have 30cm to 60cm in the forecast over the next couple of days.

We spent the weekend looking at the snow on our avalanche safety L1 course and it’s going to be interesting to see how we go from an avalanche safety point of view. There is certainly a fair amount of re-crystalised and surface hoar frost around on mid & low mountai which will lead to a possible deeper instability in the long term especially on Northern aspects mid mountain. We will have to wait and see. check this space for updates.

Update – 20-01-14 The snow pack actually became very tricky to forecast and very dangerous as the above mentioned re-crystalised old snow became buried by new
snow. From recent snow observations we can see that it’s still around even after all
time and that I imagine it will continue to give us some trouble until the spring.
Play safe peeps!

Summer NEWS

Hello and welcome to the summer news post for August 13.

Summer for Chris and Sarah as usual has been full of short days and skiing. Based down in New Zealand’s South Island and the alpine town of Wanaka. With Spring on the way Chris says he’s torn between preparing for another Chamonix winter and planning some spring touring missions in NZ. Not a bad position to be in we think.

Whilst winter is a few months away it’s worth concidering your fitness in preperation for the ski season. Check out our page on ski fitness (click)

The Office is starting to wake from it’s summer slumber, as are attention starts to focus again on the up coming winter. We have lots of new courses dates and some new products in the offering, which we’ll reveiw in the following weeks.

School Holidays (Get booked)
The holidays are nearly all fully booked already so please if you would like to make a booking for the school holidays please do so as soon as possible.

Equipment reports
Watch this space for equipment reveiws and top skiing tips from our team.

Trivia question?
What are the three ‘steering elements’?

To follow us and keep tabs of the Tinderbox team check out our Facebook page (click) Twitter (click) & Instagram (click)

Avalanche Safety Tips

Avalanche Safety Tips: Avalanche danger scale

Look at the bigger picture and take more than just a ‘colour’ or ‘number’ with you when planning to head out off-piste or into the backcountry. Find out what dangers exist for the day and the area you plan to ski. Where and what are the hazards and are they specific to certain terrain features, elevation, aspect or slope angle?

A common example might be:
-3/5 Considerable avalanche danger
-Hazards include poorly bonded recent wind slab on SE slopes above 2000m which could be triggered by a single skier.

avalanche safety - Small slab avalanche tinderbox ski school

A typical slab avalanche on a convex slope warming in the morning sunshine. If you look closely you can see the deeper pocket in the thin crown wall middle right of the image. Showing us where the dealer snow was accumulated on the lee side of this covexed roll.

If you are interested in backcountry skiing and avalanche safety then please drop us a line

Check out our avalanche awareness course