Ski instructor training in Tignes: Où est le soleil?

Ski Club of Great Britain member Tessa Regan is in Tignes for a ‘gap-year’ – saying goodbye to city life and hello to sun, snow and seasonnaires… better late than never!

Constant snow makes learning to become a ski instructor tricky!

Off-piste instruction

Off-piste instruction

Greetings from Tignes, where I am now 6 weeks into my 10-week Gapski ski instructor training course. In the last 2 weeks we have been continuing our training both on and off-piste and learning to become competent and confident skiers in all conditions and on all types of terrain. This has been particularly testing as we have had a very long run of snowy days with bad visibility – great news for the snow depth and quality, but very difficult for us poor trainee ski instructors trying to improve our skiing. Personally, as soon as the visibility goes I start sitting back on my skis and skiing defensively. ‘Don’t try to see, just feel the contours of the slope with your skis’ says our instructor. Sound advice and I only wish I could programme my head to think that way, but I have certainly not been feeling the love as I try to ski a bump field that I can’t see. However, this is an aspect of our skiing that we all need to overcome and hopefully I will get there in the end. It has certainly made us appreciate the few sunny periods that we have had and has probably made us ski better too.

Enjoying the powder

Enjoying the powder

This week my husband came to visit and has been helping me on our ski practice days. He arrived during one of our video analysis sessions, so was able to see for himself exactly which areas of my skiing I need to improve. In particular I need to work on skiing more aggressively straight down the fall line when off-piste, especially in the crud or on bumps, so my hubby has been helping me by shouting ‘turn!’ at very rapid intervals, to stop me from meandering across the slope in between turns. Personally I think he has just been enjoying the unfamiliar feeling of having me do what he tells me!

So only 2 weeks of training left (eek!) until we begin our BASI Level 2 assessment and we are all anxiously wondering whether we will make the grade. Last night we had an impromptu party in the Big Brother house, for no particular reason other than the fact that we have all been working very hard and probably needed to let our hair down a bit, but a good time was had by all – for me it was just like being a student again! Back to work tomorrow though, as our quest for BASI Level 2 continues…

Read the next blog in this series: We’ve had our fun, now let’s get serious!

Read the previous blog in this series: One down, two to go!

Tessa Regan

Snow Swappers is a holiday swapping service for people that own property in ski resorts around the world. Membership is free of charge for the first year and there are chalets and apartments available to swap now in both Europe and North America.


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