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Back to school: The best autumn ski skills courses

Telegraph Ski and Snowboard
The Warren Smith Ski Academy puts on early season courses in Cervinia, Italy

For those stuck on the intermediate plateau, it can feel like there's no way off. Sometimes the only answer is to get the help of an expert.

Various ski schools and instructors run specialised courses in autumn to help hone skills and push intermediates up to the next level or help experts scrub up on their skills – and what better way to improve than to get technique tips pre-season, so that come the main event you'll be putting all that new-found knowledge into practice on the slopes.

Resorts like Tignes are open during the autumn for courses from the likes of Snoworks Credit: WWW.dynamicpictures.co.uk/PollyABaldwin

Here's our round-up of the best early-season courses, taking place from as early as October in the most snow-sure ski areas and glacier resorts, or at snow centres in the UK.

Courses in the mountains

1. Transform your technique in Cervinia

The Warren Smith Ski Academy offers five-day early season courses in Cervinia for £449, with the first starting on November 5 and the last on December 3. The Academy has secured discounted b&b accommodation at the three-star Hotel Mon Reve from €60 per person per night.

2. Great choice in Tignes

British outfit Snoworks, based in Tignes, offers recreational five-day courses covering a range of skills, including all-terrain, bumps and race carving. The session hours are all day, or “until the lifts close”, with a quick break for lunch – meaning more tuition time for your money. Courses are available throughout autumn starting from October 14, priced from £300.

3. Progress in Val Thorens

The Ski Club of Great Britain offers a five-day pre-season progression course for over-55s. It’s based in Val Thorens, where the high altitude (the resort is at 2,300m) means snow is guaranteed. The course runs from December 9-13 and costs £1,199, including coaching, flights, transfers and seven nights’ half-board accommodation at the three-star Hotel Le Sherpa.

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4. Get set in Val d’Isere

Veteran ski instructor Pat Zimmer and leading British ski writer Peter Hardy have been running Premiere Neige performance courses for 30 years, in conjunction with holiday operator Le Ski. The week-long course in Val d’Isère runs from December 2 and costs from £1,219 including six days’ instruction, ski passes, half-board chalet accommodation, flights and transfers. A four-day minibreak version, departing December 9, costs from £699.

Courses in the UK

5. Indoor expertise

The Warren Smith Ski Academy runs full-day courses in September, October and November at The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead, Chill Factore in Manchester, Sno!Zone in Castleford and Snow Factore in Braehead. These one-day group sessions tackle moguls, steeps, powder and carving. A one-day session costs £129, including tuition, lift pass and equipment hire. The Academy is also running a ski technique tour around the UK throughout October.

6. Hit the bumps

Snoworks offers UK-based bumps courses at Sno!Zone in Castleford, running in September and October, to improve your technique on moguls. A one-day session costs £125 including tuition, lift pass and equipment hire.

Britain's top indoor slopes