For the last couple of months London has experienced unusually warm conditions for this time of year. As someone who is about to start a course to become a ski instructor, I have had one eye on the snow forecast in nervous anticipation. Having met everyone now, it seems I wasn’t the only one with the same worries (are we going to be dodging rocks and skiing on grass for the next ten weeks?).
This group of ‘gappies’ as we are referred to, hail mostly from England like myself, but with a couple of Dutch guys, a Swede, a Finn and an Aussie, the group has quite an eclectic, international feel.
Our first week couldn’t have worked out better. The night we arrived the snow fell and since then it has just carried on. The morning after, houses, trees and cars all caked in a thick layer of snow. Our instructors are great. I think I speak for everyone though, when I say they are annoyingly good skiers. No terrain seems to be steep enough or mogully enough for their technique to falter.
The same cannot be said for myself unfortunately. However, I do feel my skiing has improved in only the last week with the help of our coaches. It is incredible how getting specific and detailed feedback can start to iron out the bad habits we have put into practice for so many years.
As a first time visitor to Verbier, I can see why people keep coming back and why it continues to be one of the most popular destinations in the Alps. Not only the scale of skiing that is on offer but the friendly atmosphere that fills the many bars, clubs and restaurants with locals, seasonaires and us, the new arrivals, all mixing together. Not only this, but anywhere where you can buy a fresh pain au chocolate at three o’clock in the morning is somewhere I wouldn’t mind spending nine more weeks!