As I reach the half way point in my third season in Verbier, I can compare two of the different ways of enjoying life up here. When I arrived in town at the end of November 2012 with £500 and a roof over my head for a week, I frantically started looking for jobs. I got lucky and found a job as a driver for a chalet company. I would be a driver for one chalet at a time, on call. All day every day for the week. I would always work the busy weeks and have time off when it was quiet to ski but I when I sat there on a bluebird, waiting for the guests to finish sliding around the hill and need a pick up, I often thought about how I could enjoy this place even more and a job with more longevity in the Alps.
This time a year ago, I was trying to decide if I could get away with one more season as a driver. A friend of mine said to me, “Why don’t you become a ski instructor?” It didn’t take me long to realise this was a pretty good plan so I booked a level 1 course in Verbier and took my level 2 at the start of this season in Zermatt. When I arrived back in Verbier, I joined the ISIA/ISTD training team with Altitude and after a couple of weeks of training, I started to realise how much I still had to learn about skiing.
The busy period was quickly upon us and I was taking my first lesson. I had to pinch myself on the first lift up and realise that I had reached my first goal in ski instructing – teaching my first lesson. It was a great feeling to be up on the hill ‘at work’. Each and every lesson since my first has been different and I have quickly realised a lesson doesn’t always follow a plan. The freedom that ski instruction gives you is amazing and allows you to explore different ways in which people learn.
There’s such a variety of work in Verbier and I’m lucky to find a job that I love!