Matilda's journey on the Level 3 training in Verbier
My name is Matilda, I am from Sweden, and I did the work and train program in Verbier 2019/20 season. I have always loved outdoor activities and to me nothing could be better than to work teaching skiing in the mountains. The winter before I spent an unforgettable season in Banff, Canada, doing my CSIA level 1 and 2. This time around I was looking for job opportunities in Europe and when I found out about Altitude’s course I immediately applied (I mean who wouldn’t?) to get all that free training is in itself an amazing opportunity!
How was the interview and why did you chose the course?
The interview process was fairly straight forward. At first I was worried that only one season behind me would be a setback but as long as you are motivated and give it your all there is nothing stopping you!
Why you chose the course?
I compared the training course to my other job offers and to me the course Altitude offered was without a doubt the best option out there.
Getting a job in Switzerland was also of personal interest to me as I wanted to develop my French and German further. Also just to be in the middle of a ski and boarding community such as Verbier is very intriguing, with its records for off-piste areas attracting incredible skiers from all around the world!
How was the first impression of the school and did it match your expectations?
I arrived in Verbier by the end of November to get a feel for the place, settle in and to hit the slopes before the training began. We started out with a formation week to get to know the rest of the staff, to get acquainted with the ski school and to have some well needed knowledge sharing for us newcomers. During this week the sessions on snow mainly focused on orientation of the resort and to develop our ski and teaching skills.
Tell us more about the training
After the formation week we went straight into training. Our ski instructor training was most weekdays from 9 am to 3 pm with an hour break for lunch. Before we got into higher end teaching and technical training we revisited the fundamentals of skiing and incorporated the understanding into our own performance. The first weeks we focused mainly on piste performance in the morning and bump training in the afternoon. As the weeks progressed we got more and more into individual feedback, breaking down disciplines through video analysis and exercises targeting specific needs. I have always been quite active but it is definitely many days on the mountain so it is fairly physically demanding and pre-course fitness is probably a good shout!
I really enjoyed the training, sure it can be intense and challenging at times but it is very inspiring to see our coaches (Sammy, Jon, Remy, Andras, Mike) in action, teaching and showing their personal love of skiing. I enjoyed every minute of it and I can’t think of a better way to develop and reach the next level. The training program was amazing for developing my skiing and teaching abilities and to help me make up my mind about instructing as a career path. Many thanks to our passionate, knowledgeable coaches and for showing us the best spots to ski!
How was it teaching in Verbier?
Skiing is an incredible sport and I want to give others the opportunity to feel the same magic when skiing. Through teaching I want to convey the same feelings to others and inspire people in the outdoors so that they feel the same excitement and giving them an experience to remember. It is such a great feeling seeing people grow and develop their confidence as their technique improves, it truly makes me happy. Working with Altitude over the busy Xmas and half-term period was an intense and very rewarding experience. It also gives you a better understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses.
How was the team atmosphere?
I had great fun with the rest of the guys on the course and made some amazing friends. The Altitude team in blue eventually becomes a little family with people from across the globe. There will always be someone to ski with and you are in good hands as they sure look after you.
Whilst the actual town of Verbier can feel tiny, it is great because you always bump into friends, can meet instructors in the bars and make friends in the town as people in general are very open and friendly. The fresh mountain air alone makes you want to stay there forever. Adding the surplus of pubs, cafés and restaurants with incredible après-ski and night life it is no doubt a vibrant town to live in.
There is so much more to say about Verbier and things you have to explore for yourself. For example; skiing the 4 Valleys in a day, discover the off-piste in Bruson and Verbier, the lively après at the “Pub Mont Fort”, taking in the view from the top of Mont Fort, hot chocolate breaks with the kiddos, famous Bec des Rosses, sitting with a vin rouge in the sun outside le Rouge or Vinabagnes, making the first morning tracks on M25, fondue nights and lots more.
I’ve had a truly amazing season and am looking forward to more to come.