VERBIER 10 WEEK SKI INSTRUCTOR COURSE 2015: FREEBIES AND OPENING PARTIES!!! (WEEK 1)
Winter rolls on… Saas Fee’s group has departed and Verbier’s crew has arrived for 10 weeks of snow, skiing and partying in the fabled mecca of Freeride – Verbier!
Last Sunday marked the beginning of another Verbier Peak Leaders gap course.
The group (8 skiers in total) met each other that evening and very quickly everyone was talking excitedly about the next 10 weeks, what they wanted to get from it (double back flip Ed!) and what they were most looking forward to.
Sunny days waiting for the new crew in Verbier
On Monday morning we went on a tour of Verbier to learn the location of supermarkets and shops are as well as working out the closest bus stop and how to get to Savoleyres (the other ski area).
We also went to Ski Service where Blair and his team were incredibly welcoming and explained the various different discounts we’re lucky to enjoy there.
Ski Service Instagram… nearly as good as Peak Leaders for amazing shots like this!
Blair from Ski Service even gave the crew free poles, goggles and t shirts. Thanks Ski Service!
Element Ski School
In the afternoon everyone met up with Emma Cairns, Peak Leaders ski coach from Element Ski School.
Emma from Element Ski School ripping up Verbier’s spring slush last season
It was most peoples first time skiing in a while so after a few shaky warm up runs everyone regained their ski legs!
Our normal routine is to train in the mornings from 0900 – it’s a great set up in Verbier as everyone can leave their skis and boots right at Medran (the main lift) so the walk to lifts is much easier.
This week was about getting to know the town, the slopes and working out how the course will run. Each morning we have a meeting and one of the team writes up the weather for the day on the whiteboard so everyone is prepared. The board also has information about the plan for the day.
If it’s not on the whiteboard… it’s not happening
On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons the group have fitness training with Jake Gough, a personal trainer and also ski coach with Element.
Tuesday training was different bodyweight circuits and Thursday was boxing.
You don’t want to tell this lot they’re not skiing properly
First aid for safety
Thursday afternoon saw the beginning of First Aid training, based around scenarios the team are most likely to experience as an instructor.
Emma is also a qualified first aid trainer, and she conveyed a wealth of experience, sharing stories and examples in order to give her students the best possible understanding of Outdoor First Aid.
Getting to grips with first aid in the outdoors
Class room work was paired with a healthy amount of practical training carried out both in the garden of the Peak Leader’s chalet and in the cozier living room.
First Aid was successfully completed on Friday afternoon with the last part of the training and a written exam leaving eight freshly qualified “First Aiders” ready to hit the slopes!
First aiders ready to go slopeside
Friday also saw the first major social event of the season, kicking off with take away pizzas and card games before the opening of Etoile Rouge, providing the group a welcome opportunity to let their hair down and get to know each other a little better after a hard week of skiing and training.
Saturday and Sunday were the first days off from training, with most taking the Saturday as a rest day before a few practice runs on Sunday with a few extra runs opened for the weekend.
9 more weeks of this… it’s looking epic!!!