Verbier Ski Instructor Course (Late Season) – Weeks 4 & 5
The last couple of weeks have really sped-by for the trainee ski instructors in Verbier. First up was freestyle training with Mattias. When Mattias isn’t training the instructors or teaching clients in Verbier he competes at Freeride World Tour events, so it’s fair to say he really knows his stuff.
It was definitely inspiring for the guys to have someone so talented, but also so approachable and ready to share tips with them in the Verbier snowpark. And whether the individual trainees wanted to go big or not quite so big it was a really exciting day for everyone:
Indeed, Mattias didn’t just limit the guys’ lesson to the park, but also built them all up to some switch-carving down some of Verbier’s steeper red pistes…!
Of course, there was also more traditional training, with minds firmly focused on the fact that the Level 2 assessment was inexorably drawing closer. The unbroken sunshine finally gave way to more snowfall, making everyone reach for those warmer layers that had remained unused in the back of the wardrobe for three long suntan-building weeks. Training must go on though.
And it gave the trainee instructors a chance to rip it around in the fresh powder.
With all this fresh powder it was appropriate that the avalanche awareness training session was scheduled for the weekend. The guys and girls spent a full day with expert mountain expedition leader, Graham, who taught them some valuable skills not only for surviving an avalanche but, more importantly, how to do their best to avoid being caught in an avalanche situation in the first place. This training could literally be a lifesaver. As usual it was also fun day of off-piste skiing for everybody.
The highlight of the following week was undoubtedly the beginning of the ski safari – an opportunity for the trainee instructors to visit other nearby ski resorts that they wouldn’t otherwise get to see. First up was Bruson – a largely overlooked little gem of a resort just across the valley from Verbier. An overnight dump of fresh pow meant the place not only looked beautiful but the pistes were in excellent condition.
In addition to their usual senior trainer, Emma, the trainees were joined for the day by Jamie, formerly a Peak Leader trainee instructor himself in Verbier two years ago, now a fulltime instructor at European Snowsport and on the verge of completing his Level 3 qualification. It was great for the guys to have him there and Emma was able to put Jamie to good use, demonstrating techniques in parallel with him while the trainees looked on.
All in all, it was a blast. The guys’ skills are improving visibly every day and everyone is making awesome progress.