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What do ski instructors do in their time off?
Sunday November 14, 2010 - Email this article to a friend

Well actually quite a few of them go and have some lessons. Most just want to become better and, like their clients, they recognise there is only one way. Lessons.

However for many it is not just any old lesson. They go on courses organised by the best of the best.

At this time of year the glaciers of Europe are full of instructors on ski and snowboard courses.

They are either trying to pass exams and gain qualifications themselves or they are simply doing so to remain sharp and get better.

"There is no better to way to improve than to do some specific courses and it is also very useful to be on the receiving end of tuition rather that just giving it out," says the ski instructor, Scott Pleva.

He is an American coach and has just been in the French resort of Tignes training with the ex-British Olympic ski racer, Emma Carrick-Anderson, and other top trainers.

Scott works cross the Alps and at the indoor slope in Hemel Hemstead.

He runs the company Inside Out, that is a partner of PlanetSKI, and offers coaching inside in Hemel Hempstead and outside in the Alps.

For a flavour of what the course is like that he has just been on and what it is like to be skiing at the moment then see his blog here.

November in TignesNovember in TignesSeems that conditions in Tignes have been rather good lately.

Scott Pleva was training for the Euro Speed Test that forms part of the highest level of BASI ski instructor qualifications.

Becoming a ski instructor is a long and costly It requires much hard work and dedication.

The first hurdle is a Level One course, we recently followed one over the summer. 

This though only allows a person to teach indoors or on an artificial slope.

Next is the Level Two exam that gives a basic qualification to teach on snow in some parts of The Alps.

Then comes the Level Three which gives the successful candidate full ISIA recognition.

After that it is very hard to achieve in the Level 4, ISTD. This is the top qualification, sought by many but gained by few.

Then they can go further by achieving training status and many countries require people to pass their own exams to be able to teach off piste.

Simple and easy it is not and the only way to progress in the system is to have lessons.

Any ski instructor you have a lesson with has probably had more lessons than you will ever have.

Best of all they will know how you feel as you struggle to improve.

In some ways it is even harder for them; it is their job.

Despite that more and more people are doing it and membership of the British Association of Snowsports Instructors, BASI, has gone up 50% in the last two years alone.

It now stands at over 6,000.

For the spirit of the mountains

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