King of the Gap Course 2017/18

My name is Nick (Timo) Tobin and I decided to do the Gap course after graduating from university. I love skiing and thought doing a ski instructor course would be perfect to improve my skiing, teach and to make the most out of the social scene. A friend recommended the course and after speaking with Laura Turner about the details etc I was confident I would have an amazing 10 weeks.

Training/ Trainers

On our first night, some of the instructors (Jack, Harry, Ross and Sammy) took us to Pub Mt Fort. It was a chance to meet everyone on the January / December Gap course. It was a great way to break the ice and make new friends. We started training the next day and did some fun activities to ease into it. Synchronised Skiing and doing a human slalom were very amusing. I quickly realised that I did not have much co-ordination as I wasn’t skiing in synchro. Fortunately, I had other un-coordinated friends so we had a good joke and a laugh about it. By the end of the season we had the synchro skiing down to a T (tee).

The instructors then took our skiing back down to the basics and we discovered the numerous drills that BASI had to offer. The classic being Dolphin ate my stalk which we decided to rename, Camel ate my Toe. During the 10 weeks the trainers were excellent in improving our skiing, giving us feedback and making the sessions fun. Training was from 9-12 then from 1-4 and occasionally we would have half days off. We often had lunch at OFFSHORE café which was great and the seasonaire sandwiches always went down a treat. We had Saturdays and Sundays off which gave us the opportunity to do free skiing and see other parts of the 4 valleys which we may not have seen during the training. Verbier also has great off-piste skiing which we all tried to make the most off. Avalanche gear is recommended!

Exams

The Level 1 and 2 were challenging but the BASI examiners made the experience fun and taught us new things we had not tried before. My instructors, Jack and Ross, prepared me well and I went into the exam knowing what to expect.

Funniest moment

Our last day of training. We all had to dress up in fancy dress and there were some great outfits. To name a few, Bees, pigs and a Pikachu. Kit Patterson dressed as a polar bear and fell on the last run only for his ski to go half way down the mountain. And to top it off, the instructors suggested for us to all to jump into some deep powder and they would take a video. The powder was amazing until we all slipped down 10 metres on our fronts and crashed into some trees. Luckily there were no injuries but a lot of laughs.

Accommodation

Altitude organised a great chalet for us near the sports centre. There were 14 of us in the chalet so there was never a dull moment. We had an insane cook, Mauricio and Alejandra, who cooked amazing food and were always great fun to have around. Mauricio is from Chile so he would surprise us with some delicious South American cuisine.

Teaching/ Shadowing

I had the opportunity to do some teaching over Half-Term and Easter. It was great fun teaching the children and very satisfying to see how much they had improved. Wearing the uniform was a big highlight.

Recommend

I would 100% recommend Altitude. They make the course so much fun on and off the snow. We had some great evenings bowling/ playing darts with the other instructors. Verbier is also a great resort with so many lovely people. There’s always something going on like the legendary Boss Des Bosses or the Extreme Verbier Freewide world tour, both are a great day out with everyone.

A massive thank you to everyone at Altitude especially my instructors, Jack and Ross, who trained me to pass my Level 1/2 and to Harry, Jon and Laura for organising the amazing 10 weeks. Finally, Mauricio and Alejandra thank you for your insane food!

       

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