Verbier Late Season Ski Instructor Course – Week 1
Arrival in Verbier for our new group of trainees was accompanied by heavy snowfall throughout the weekend, followed by beautiful blue skies for the trainees’ first days in resort. Once everybody had checked in to the Chalet Turbon they all enjoyed a delicious welcome dinner, then it was time to sit together and talk through the course programme with course leader Kaspar. Right from the offset this is an intense course, with the first three weeks involving training, shadowing and the BASI level 1 exam.
The first few days of the course involved a lot of time on snow with trainer Emma Cairns. Emma is a BASI level 4 ISTD (instructor, trainer, developer) and has been training Peak Leaders trainees in Verbier and Saas Fee for a number of years. She has also been a course leader for Peak Leaders in both Saas Fee and Argentina. With so much experience and fantastic results on all of her previous courses the guys and girls couldn’t be in better hands.
The main focus for the first few days was making adjustments to the trainees’ posture and to develop their understanding of the fundamental elements. The group also sat down with Kaspar and talked-through their goals and aspirations for the course. After a fairly intense week it was soon Friday afternoon, which meant it was time to enjoy the fresh powder!
The weekend came around quickly and that meant one thing: shadowing. During their time on the course all of the trainees must ‘shadow’ a qualified instructor for 70 hours to gain relevant teaching experience, before they are awarded their BASI level 2 certificate. Shadowing is the act of following around an instructor and watching how they teach and interact with their clients. As it is now the busy holiday period it makes sense to start the shadowing while European Snowsport are busy with clients. During this weekend each trainee paired up with an instructor that was teaching a kids class. The level of the groups varied dramatically, from total beginners to kids hitting the small jumps in the snow park. It was undoubtedly an enriching and at times eye-opening experience for the trainees, but they all enjoyed it!
As well as a lot of skiing and shadowing there was, of course, some time to get to know each other and to enjoy some beers at the Aprés Ski. Tasty home-cooked dinners such as Spaghetti and Burgers kept everyone healthy and full of substance so that the legendary Casbah could be hit for the first time on Saturday night. Oh and we can’t forget Thibeaud’s Valentines Day gesture where he expressed his romantic feelings for Helen with a heart-shaped lolly………classy guy!