Clara’s Canada Adventure – Part 1: The Instructor Course and Exam

Avatar photo
Clara Kauffmann February 19, 2020

Blog # 1: Canada – Experience during the ski instructor course and exam

Hello out there! 

My name is Clara. I just passed my CSIA Level 1 Ski Instructor Training in Canada. CSIA stands for the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance and is the Canadian Ski Training Association. I am in the powder mecca REVELSTOKE in British Columbia, Canada.

We are 18 Europeans who are taken across the Atlantic to the famed ski resort, which is best known for deep, off-piste and heliskiing. We are 16 people on the course in Revelstoke, who will be trained as CSIA Level 1 and Level 2 instructors. In addition, we have with us 2 Team Leaders: Martin (father), who will only be here during the course. He was himself on a season in Revelstoke last year, as well as Emma (mom), who had a season in Japan last year. She is with us all season and must work with us at the ski school. A close-knit community quickly emerges, of which a lot of fun internally – such as. nicknames “father” and “mother”. It comes as they, as Team Leaders, have to make sure everyone is doing well in our little Snowminds family. 🙂  In addition to “father” and “mother”, we are 4 girls and 12 boys living in two different houses in Revelstoke.

During the course, Snowminds had arranged for us to have breakfast at the resort every day at a super delicious café, La Baguette, which has everything from smoothies to bagels. We ate every night down at the local hotel The Regents pub downtown. Here we could get everything from cheeseburger to quinoa salad. All in all, our food has been top notch and there was nothing to complain about! After 3 weeks we can all call ourselves Level 1 ski instructors and we are now ready to work on the mountain. But how did the course really go? Now you just have to hear…

  Great views from The Stellar Chair just before the sun went down.


Week 1:

The Snowminds team was split into two groups, 8 on each team. For the first few days, my team had Kelly as a coach, where we had “free skiing”. We did this just to get back into skiing. It was cool to ski, but the body had to get used to it too. We were assigned a schedule with our training for the exam. It was a very tight program with a mix of skiing and theory. The first week went fast with light skiing and getting to know the area and the city. In addition to training, our two team leaders had arranged some activities for us to bring us together, e.g. we had a movie and quiz night – awesome entertainment!


Week 2:

The training became a little more formal and serious in the second week, where we also got a new trainer (in my case Joel). Here we stood very off-piste and learned techniques on how to emphasize the outer skis and keep one’s balance. Our coaches emphasized that it is important to relax and give the body a little break after intensive training. That’s why on our day off we chose to go to the gym and the swimming pool – off day well spent. The week ended with the necessary head cleaning throughout the house after house party and packing root 🙂

  A walk in the off-piste and a little hike to find the best powder!


Week 3:

Last week = Crunch Time! New week, new trainer. We started with Ralph, who has the highest CSIA Level 4 at the ski school. He focused a lot on getting our skiing technique and our individual skiing on top. He referred to “The Four Technical References” within the CSIA and identified which ones we should focus most on to pass the exam. Our last coach was Gail, who went into depth with how to teach children, ideas for games and exercises that are fun and good for children. In addition, we were out in The Wax Bench, where we were introduced to how to maintain our skis our self – a really good and useful thing to be able to on a ski season! We ended the week watching a hockey match with the local “Grizzlies” team that won – super cool!



After several weeks of training with four different coaches, each of whom provided us with input and personalized feedback for our skiing, we felt ready for the “big” exam. For the exam, I happened to be examined by a trainer I had before. That is why he knew my skiing (which was a huge plus!). The exam course was over 3 days, where it was a mixture of “ski improvement” one’s own skiing and teaching his own team. All of us from Snowminds came through the exam.

 Snowminds team with our CSIA Level 1 evidence. Smiles big with our exceptionally good coaches!


We celebrated it with a house party and theme party “Trash Party”! We had been told strictly by “mom” and “dad” to look as “ugly” as possible. That’s why we went down to the Thrift Store and found the ugliest of the ugliest. 😀  Bold ending to our course and celebration of the fact that we have all become ski instructors!

  Common image for a Trash Party, where we celebrated being newly trained ski instructors.


Thanks for reading with 🙂

// Clara


Do you also fancy a winter season in Canada after reading about Clara’s adventures? Don’t worry, she’ll be back soon with more about her season.

Check out the course Clara was on in Canada and reserve your spot here.

We hope to see you in the snow next winter 🙂

Visas to Canada are limited! 🇨🇦

Make your dream a reality!

Book now