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A blog from the King of the ISIA

Alex McRobb - King of the ISIA course

An insight into one of the 2014’s ISIA trainee’s Alex McRobb’s season. He also gained the title of the “King of the ISIA”. As a result he received a prize, which included a refund of his complete course fee!

The start of the ISIA course

Having booked onto Altitude’s BASI Level 3 ISIA Course, recommended by an existing instructor when we were both instructing in Australia, I was thoroughly looking forward to the season. Looking at the course pre-season it seemed both comprehensive and enjoyable with the opportunities of work to extend the hours already achieved and it turned out exactly that way!

We had a pre-course meeting in the Altitude office in Verbier, which can always be nerve wracking. However our soon to be Coaches made it simple and relaxing, over the course of the next few weeks the group rapport built up and jokes were flying around left, right, and centre. Making the training more enjoyable as well as obviously technical. By the end of the season the team grew and grew integrated with the full and part time Altitude staff.

The ISIA ski coaching

BASI Level 4’s and other top qualified coaches from Switzerland, Italy, Spain and England deliver the training. This gave us a broad spectrum of different teaching and technical skiing styles, this added greatly to the experience whilst still having a focus of the BASI system, which can be no bad thing.

We trained all over Verbier and the 4 Valleys area, with trips over to Nendaz, Siviez and La Tzoumaz utilising the best of the terrain, including the dreaded M25 Bumps and rut line, (nightmare!). It is a fantastic resort to be based in; the ski area is both varied and challenging but also suitable to the ISIA and ISTD focus. We went up to the top of Mont Fort, down Stairway and Highway, Col de Chassoure, all over the place! Some of which are the most demanding ski areas. What better ways are there to see Verbier?

The BASI exams

Over the course of the season I booked onto three BASI courses, the Mountain Safety, L3 Tech and L3 Teach, the training was predominately based towards the latter two. However, prior to the Mountain Safety we participated in focussed training towards it. Ultimately the training programme is how I can say that I achieved my goals, passing 3/3. The other trainees who participated also had considerable success! It also was particularly useful that Verbier has a lot of BASI courses running, meaning that being based out here was cheaper when it came to the exam times. Our lift passes and accommodation already being sorted out.

Ski instructor in Verbier

Training weeks were interspersed with teaching weeks, during the busy periods, which means that we could hone our teaching skills as well as technical skiing. It wasn’t all work, work, work however as we enjoyed the extensive nightlife that Verbier has to offer. The highlights of the course were passing my level 3 Technical and also winning the title of “King of the ISIA Course”. It has been a tremendous course and a great experience; I am already looking forward to next season!

Thanks to Altitude Verbier

Thanks have to go to all of the ISIA and ISTD Trainers; Jon West, Harry Steel, Remy Guillaume-Gentil, Alejandro Hernandez-Hernando, Adam Cartwright, Sandy Miller and Alessandro Pietrosanti. It has been an incredible season, one I am definitely not going to forget, a great first experience of Verbier one that I would thoroughly recommend to any aspiring instructor (whichever level it may be) or any member of the public.


ISIA ski training in Verbier ISIA ski instructor course in Verbier ISIA instructor course in Verbier

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