Way back in 2007, my boyfriend (now husband) and I decided to take a break from our London lives and embark on an early midlife-crisis in our late 20’s. We were looking for an experience that would give us an insight into the possibility of working within the ski industry. First stop on our mission was to enrol in a SnowSkool instructor course in Big White, Canada.
Our experience of the ski instructor course in Big White
We didn’t really intend to work as instructors and already had traveling plans for afterwards, so the course was to help improve our skiing as well as getting the chance to ski every day for three months with expert instruction. We both skied already, I was intermediate and my husband more experienced but everyone came to the course with differing abilities. Those 10 weeks were just incredible! We shared our accommodation with some wonderful people and had so much fun, living, skiing, partying and studying together. The instruction we received each day was dynamic and progressive and completely changed the way we skied.
We loved the resort; it was small enough to be really friendly but large enough for a huge variety of terrain. We were blessed with the most amazing powder I have ever experienced, before or since. We both completed and passed our level 1&2 CSIA exams and had the best time ever.
We then travelled to SE Asia, central and South America before we started a job in the French Alps. We were running a catered chalet for White Horizon Chalets in Tignes and getting to ski every day. Soon, we were at a stage in our lives where we wanted to get married and hoped to start a family, so we returned to ‘normal’ life in the UK. We’d seen first-hand quite how tricky that might have been to do in the mountains (many make it work of course), it just wasn’t quite what we had dreamt of.
Passing SnowSkool instruction skills on to the kids
We were so fortunate to have two children in the proceeding years and decided to introduce them to the mountains aged three and one. We put the eldest in ski school when she had just turned three and the younger one had a nanny for a few hours each morning. It was a ski holiday like no other but those few hours were so incredible and we took turns to ski in the afternoon and hang out on the snow.
Since then, we have been fortunate enough to be able to return to the mountains most years, apart from during the pandemic of course. Both children are now accomplished skiers and we know our SnowSkool experience has helped enormously with that progression. Despite the fact they don’t always listen to us when it comes to instruction(!), having the confidence and skills to be able to carry all the equipment, navigate the lifts, runs and general faff involved in skiing with kids was invaluable.
We commented, after our trip this half term, how grateful we were to have done the SnowSkool course. We had the most incredible time, learnt from some fantastic instructors and the technique we developed has benefitted us ever since. Learning how to read the mountains, working out what other people on the slopes may or may not be about to do and reinforced safety tips have all been essential.
We fully intend to keep skiing as long as we can. The kids have now caught the bug too so, who knows, maybe they’ll do a SnowSkool course in the future!
You can follow our adventures on Instagram @mamaskiteam