St Anton Anwärter Course – Week 1

To say that our Anwärter course at the beginning of the season is a whirlwind would be a massive understatement.  In just 4 weeks the guys and girls are expected to make big improvements to their skiing and be able to teach a ski lesson in German. It may sound like a tough ask but there’s a very attractive job at the biggest Ski School in Austria for those trainees that make the grade.

The Arlberg Ski School is the biggest Ski School in Austria

At this time of year St Anton is pretty quiet as the resort hasn’t fired-up the lifts and many of St Anton’s infamous bars, clubs and hotels haven’t open for business. Nevertheless this hasn’t stopped the trainees finding some lively bars to have a few drinks in! Although St Anton is still ‘getting ready’ all the shops seem to be selling all of last season stock off at really low prices. Being a seasoned pro Tony managed to find himself  in a Fashion Show with free beer…….he only walked in to have a look at a pair of skis!

Sir Edmund Hillary ain’t got nothing on this chap.

To compensate for the lack of snow currently on the lower slopes of St Anton, the skiing part of the course has been run at a couple of different resorts (Ischgl and Kaunertal). Ischgl is a surprisingly big resort with many of its 250km of piste already open for business; the good snow conditions have really helped the trainees get their skiing legs back.

The snow coverage up at Ischgl is impressive.

On the slopes the trainees have been spending their time with Fossi, Frank and Gerhard, 3 of the top Anwärter trainers from the Arlberg Ski School. As well as helping the trainees to get their confidence back the trainers have also been working on stance, balance, Schuss and the ‘Pflug’ which in English translates to ‘snow plough’. Although doing the ‘snow plough’ sounds like a fairly simple task it’s clearly been a while since any of the trainees have even entertained the idea of doing it! To help the trainees with learning German the trainers tend to do the majority of their training throughout the day in German but always highlight the main points in English.

Peak Leaders, St Anton, Anwarter, ski instructor course, Ischgl

Fossi leading the charge…

Despite the relatively good weather conditions over the past week a new weather front has blown in from the west and as a result the winds have picked-up and started to make Ischgl’s slopes a little icy. The good news is that the same weather front has bought with it some snow and as I sit here writing the blog it’s snowing outside. With moderate snowfall and plummeting temperatures over the next few days we’re hopeful that St Anton will open its lifts at the beginning of next week.

Away from the hill the trainees have been working really hard at learning the essential German they’ll need to pass the Anwärter exam and pick-up girls on the slopes. Doris and Doris, the German language teachers from Innsbruck, have been a big hit with the trainees and it’s amazing to hear how quickly the guys and girls are picking it up! Other than working hard, skiing hard and spending the ‘occasional’ night in the Pub the guys have been; shaving zig-zag patterns into George’s (aka Brian Harvey from East 17) chest wig and learning how to clean their bedrooms!

Peak Leaders, Ischgl, Austria, Anwarter, ski instructor course

The white stuff is on its way!

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