WHY VERBIER? GOOD QUESTION…
WE LOVE VERBIER – BUT WHY?
(AND WHY SHOULD YOU COME HERE FOR THE SEASON?)
We love this resort.
After all we live here and work here – of all the resorts in the world we chose this one.
But what makes it different? And why should you pick Verbier for your Gap course and for a ski season working as a ski instructor?
Here are a few good reasons…
VERBIER IS PRETTY SPECIAL
Sitting high on a plateau in the Valais region of Swizterland, Verbier is one of the world’s most iconic ski resorts.
It’s one of those places that ski websites regularly feature when they do “the top 10 resorts in the world” – and you don’t have to spend long here to see why.
With 400km of marked piste and stacks of off-piste there is a lot of terrain.
And every season plays host to the biggest free-ride ski and snowboard event in the world.
Plus it’s a favourite for many celebrities – including princes, princesses, sports-stars, politicians, actors and pro-skiers.
Oh, and the views are stunning.
So Verbier is definitely not your average ski resort.
But whilst the idea of rubbing shoulders with celebs and royals is obviously enticing, that’s not the reason to spend a season here training for your ski instructor exams…
First and foremost there is the amazing breadth of terrain here, with quality snow conditions due to the amount of skiing at altitude that allow you to make the most of your training time on the hill.
Verbier is part of the 4 Vallees and has a huge area available for you to test and perfect your skills.
It is also famous for its huge amount of off-piste that even challenges the best skiers in the world.
Which is why in March, the final of the Freeride World Tour is held on the famous/infamous Bec des Rosses.
The truth is though, if you want to train and improve your skiing you need variety.
You don’t need a resort full of steep race courses, but you don’t need a resort full of lazy beginners runs either.
In Verbier we have a really nice range of pistes – from cruisey blues to steep and challenging blacks, from perfectly-groomed pistes for practicing to awesome moguls fields and everything in between.
The resort is perfect to train and test aspiring ski instructors of any level – which is why BASI run exams from Level 1 through to Level 4 here.
What’s more, most of these training areas around Verbier are at high altitudes above 2,000 meters, so the snow conditions always good and amongst the best in the Alps.
PEOPLE HAVE VOTED WITH THEIR FEET…
Probably the biggest testament to Verbier as a great training resort is the large number of instructors already training here.
It’s a real hub for instructors who come to work and train (and occasionally enjoy the nightlife), so Verbier has become one of BASI’s main locations for running exams.
That means instructors are here training for everything from the BASI Level 1 all the way through to Level 4. It’s probably the biggest training hub in Europe for people progressing through the BASI system.
As a result there is a fantastic community here – on and off the hill – and you can learn a lot from chatting to other people around you while training in Verbier with loads of instructor going though the same process as you as well as those who’ve moved on to the Level 3 and Level 4.
In fact if you’re thinking of progressing in the ski industry and pondering about it becoming your career, then Verbier is an excellent place to make your base allowing you to work whilst you carry on your training.
So if you want to start training for the Level 3 straight after your Peak Leaders course – or the following season – then it’s worth reading more about the Concept Level 3 ISIA programme here run by Element Ski School our training partner.
AN AMAZING LIFESTYLE PLUS YOU CAN WORK AND TRAIN MORE…
Although the training side of things is obviously paramount, it’s also important to consider what life will be like off the hill.
And (fortunately) not only does Verbier have some of the best après-ski in the Alps with infamous bars such as the Farinet and Pub Mont Fort, but there are lots of other fun things to do that don’t involve alcohol…
So you can go paragliding, go sledging (down the huge sledging track to La Tzoumaz), try ski touring and even stay in Cabanes overnight.
But you can also take French lessons and go wine-tasting, as well as tackle the local delicacies like fondue, raclette, croute and rösti.
Finally, one thing that makes Verbier really stand out from a lot of other resorts – particularly those in France – is that you can teach skiing and get a job here as soon as you qualify.
A big part of our Peak Leaders and Concept ISIA training programmes is the opportunity to teach or shadow with Les Elfes International School throughout the season.
This is extremely valuable after you finish a Peak Leaders course and if want to progress through your instructor qualifications. The experience really helps you to develop your teaching and get you that full-time teaching job in the future!
SO, WHY VERBIER?
Well, because it’s the perfect blend of everything.
It’s got loads of skiing but doesn’t seem like a huge collection of motorway pistes with a piste map nobody can understand…
You can train and work in the same resort during the same season.
It’s truly international but gives you the chance to enjoy all the best bits of Swiss life.
And whilst it’s a Mecca for recreational skiers and professionals alike, it’s also got an amazing social scene with people from all over the world enjoying this brilliant resort.
Naturally, we’re a bit prejudiced…
But if you want to find out more have a look around the Verbier pages and blogs – or get in touch for a chat.