Sitting at home after my first ski season in Verbier and I think I can safely say that the last 5 months have been the best of my life so far! Not only has my skiing been taken to new levels by the trainers of Altitude Futures, I have met fantastic people and had my first experiences of the best job in the world – ski instructing. I’m also incredibly proud to have won the Queen of the Gap course award, which has topped off an awesome season.
I arrived in Verbier at the end of November 2014 full of anticipation for the weeks ahead when I would finally start on my way to becoming a ski instructor. The next 10 weeks on the Altitude Futures Gap Course flew by in a whirlwind of meeting new people, training, many a pub happy hour and, of course, BASI exams. It was a fantastic experience and the perfect way to kick-start a career as a ski instructor.
The second half of the season was spent putting our new qualification to good use and testing our improved skiing skills on and off the pistes of Verbier. I got the chance to don the Altitude blue uniform and had my first taste of instructing – which I absolutely loved!
Verbier got some brilliant snow in February which had us strapping on our avalanche packs and heading off to explore the vast areas of off-piste that Verbier has to offer. We had an amazing day skiing powder through the trees in Bruson and making some fresh tracks up on Mont Fort.
A taster training day with the ISIA course students was a great way to round off my season with Altitude. We got to chat about the differences between the Gap and ISIA courses and see the changes in the technical skiing. We finished off with a team synchronised skiing competition (which my team won!) and drinks in the sun at the piste-side bar, 1936, where I found out I had won the title Queen of the Gap!
It’s a season I will never forget, and I can’t wait to come back!
There are lots of people who have helped to make this season unforgettable, but special thanks need to go to the Altitude team, in particular everyone who helped coach the Gap Course students: Harry Steel (Gap-course co-ordinator and coach); Sandy Miller, Alejandro Hernandez Hernando, Jack Bentley, Roddy Willis, Ross Murdoch and Adam Cartwright (Altitude Futures coaches). These guys got us through our exams and made every day of training loads of fun, even those days spent snow-ploughing on Les Esserts (the beginner slope)!
See you next year, Altitude!