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.

Mattias, European Snowsport, Verbier, hip, verbier snowpark, ski

Mattias boosting off the spine at the bottom of the Verbier park!

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:

Ski, Verbier park, Verbier, going big, spread eagle, switzerland

Some of the trainees were going big…

Verbier, Peak Leaders, ski instructor course

Some of the trainees went even bigger

Peak Leaders Verbier, freestyle ski, snowpark

…..and some not quite as big; but still stepping outside their comfort zone.

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…!

Mattias, European Snowsport, Peak Leaders, freestyle training, gap year

Nothing like a spot of switch carving down your favourite red run to start the day!

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.

Peak Leaders Verbier, ski instructor course, Emma Cairns

There’s nothing like training in a whiteout!

And it gave the trainee instructors a chance to rip it around in the fresh powder.

Peak Leaders, Verbier, powder, freeride

Tom getting some ‘freshies’

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.

Peak Leaders, avalanche awareness training, verbier

Definitely one of the most important and enjoyable days of the course

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.

Bruson, Switzerland, Resort Safari, freeride

Bruson – A hidden gem across the valley from Verbier

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.

Jamie doing a nice demo for the guys

All in all, it was a blast.  The guys’ skills are improving visibly every day and everyone is making awesome progress.

Peak Leaders, Bruson, ski safari, carving

Hugh enjoying some Bruson piste

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