Instructor Stories

LATEST STORIES

Thanks Japan!

I was privileged to work at Niseko Base Snowsports (NBS), which was an Australian driven ski school. So there were plenty of Australians and they were all great people. Our bosses were extremely welcoming and the training was fantastic. The manager, Paul Lorenz, is a ski legend and it was a dream come true to ski and get feedback from a skier of his caliber. He forced me to think in new ways about my skiing and made me a better skier. At times this was extremely frustrating but it’s what it takes to get better. The trainings were also great in terms of getting to know my colleagues. The 5 months of skiing made me a better skier than the prior annual week of skiing with the family, it’s a completely different experience. Being able to push myself and see results of my development ... Read more

- Christiane, Snowminds Instructor

A little bit of everything in Sun Peaks, Canada

“My first couple of weeks as a ski instructor included - like all new jobs - a period of adjustment. Fortunately, this passed pretty quickly and the job has now become my everyday. For me one of the best parts of the work is the chance to meet people from all different walks of life: young children, maybe 3 to 4 years old, who sometimes miss their parents just two minutes after they walk away; 14-year old teenagers, who are brave and feel ready to hit the black slopes, despite only 2 hours of training in their entire lives; and retirees who simply want to improve their technique, stay fit and enjoy a day in the beautiful natural surroundings. As an instructor, you get to experience a little bit of everything and everyone. And yes, of course, I'm also skiing freeride in my spare time, hunting the fresh powder in the backcountry. All in all, the start to my season in Canada has been raging!” ... Read more

- Johan, Snowminds Instructor

In South Africa, expect the unexpected.

“When I think of Africa, I definitely do not imagine skiing. Frankly, the idea of ​​going there to ski sounded really mysterious to me. As the seasons are reversed in Africa, it means winter is in June to August. However, I was still very curious and did some research on Snowminds. A week later it was decided: I'm going to Africa! For someone like me who has done 3 seasons in Austria at the same ski resort and never been outside Europe, it is completely outside my comfort zone. But somehow it feels right to cross the border. Can you even prepare for it? No, you can’t. And that’s why it feels right.” ... Read more

- Maaike, Snowminds Instructor

“You ski like a girl. Damn right I do!”

“James Brown famously sang, "It’s a man’s world". And, you know, he’s absolutely right. But things are finally changing and it’s about time women breakdown more of the existing boundaries. Getting more women on the mountain, for sure, is an awesome example of girlpower. Anyway, my point with this feminist critique is just to say that I hope more women will dare to defy the stereotypes and expand their passion in a male-dominated ski and snowboard environment. And I can tell you a season in Japan is a great way to do that... The cultural education one gets by spending a season in Japan is formed through so many crazy experiences. I met a bunch of badass girls, who overcame their fears and cultivated their passion in a country with the absolute best snow in the world.” ... Read more

- Mitzi, Snowminds Instructor

Japan is a riddle, wrapped in mystery, inside an enigma.

“I did not understand it. I did not understand the language, the Japanese characters or the way the Japanese people behaved. I especially did not understand the "Hello Kitty" signs for roadside work, or why they added raw eggs to a crazy delicious piece of meat. Japan is simply incomprehensible. You cannot understand how cool a season and experience it was to travel around the Land of the Rising Sun… And yes, all the other prejudices and ideas of an insane amount of people, crazy good sushi, immaculately groomed gardens, cat cafes, streets full of light, big playrooms, lightning fast on time public transport, geisha, and an incredibly polite peopl who always say thank you -- all these cultural cliches can be confirmed! Still, Japan is much more than you think. I'm so glad and grateful that my ski instructor background got me so far away from home.” ... Read more

- Malou, Snowminds Instructor

And then came the powder, when we least expected it.

"... After a solid 7 hours of intense skiing we headed back to Niseko, where we were all looking forward to bathing in the local Onsen (hot springs) and calling it a good day. But then, we discovered what was waiting for us back in Grand Hirafu: The whole city had been covered in white! There was at least half a meter of snow on the parked cars and the slopes were basically empty. So we immediately scratched our spa plans. Our day of skiing could not end now. Sure, we were tired, but we knew what we had to do. We clicked our skis back on. One trip up the mountain couldn’t hurt that much, right? Well, JAPOW! Four hours later we finished the day with sore legs but full of energy. The adrenaline pumped through our veins after experiencing some of the wildest evening champagne powder, with snow completely burying our knees. That night I went to bed with a smile that probably reached both my ears.” ... Read more

- Julie, Snowminds

You come home, but really part of you is still there.

“Of course, it's nice to come home and see everyone again, to get a beer with my sister and maybe earn a little money. But no, part of me is still back in Canada. My legs may have landed at Kastrup Airport in Copenhagen on Friday evening, but I still don’t feel completely back yet. It's a bit strange to return home, where basically nothing has changed since you left. I experienced something new every single day in Canada... ” ... Read more

- Signe, Snowminds Instructor

Meet Bodie

"I pledged many years ago to “live as though I would die tomorrow, learn as though I would live forever”. I love skiing, I love the outdoors, the solitude, the beauty, the exhilaration of skiing powder, it’s like flying! To be able to do this and continue to learn and share with others is the ultimate reward!" ... Read more

- Bodie, Snowminds Off-Piste Course Manager

Why Japan? Well, well, well...

“Before I left for Japan, the question people often asked me was, ‘why travel on the other side of the world to ski when we have the alps and some of the world's best skiing and afterski around the corner?’ It’s a good question! Could it be because of the culture, where you eat sushi for every lunch break? Maybe it’s the afterski, which takes place at a karaoke bar. Or the slopes that stay open until 20:30, always giving you the possibility for night skiing. But then again, it could also be because the Japanese are the cutest, most polite, smiling and best service-minded people I've ever met. Naah…. there can only be one right answer to this question: SNOW! More specifically, the powder snow, light, delicious, deep, soft powder-snow - and best of all, there’s tons of it!” ... Read more

- Jens, Snowminds Instructor

Unsure how to behave on the slopes? Here are 10 rules!

It’s getting colder outside, we’ve passed what meteorologists refer to as the hump day of the summer, and its officially getting colder from now on. And we all know what this means: the winter season is approaching fast! Now is as good a time than ever to take a look at the 10 rules of how to behave on the pist. We don't want your après-ski-drink to be an infusion in a casualty department at your favourite skiing destination, so take a look here! We present you the 10 most important rules for how to behave on the slopes during the upcoming season... When you've read all 10 rules you'll definitely be prepared for your next skiing holiday or entire season! ... Read more

- The Snowminds Team

Not sure what to eat in Austria?

Some things in life are simply meant to be. Salt and pepper, the beach and ocean, and oh yeah, lunchbreaks from skiing and Austrian dishes. You can rest and reflect on the past hours of skiing while enjoying some of the best food with good company, whats not to like? In this short post we’ll dig deep into what exactly you can choose to eat while on the mountain or after a day of skiing in Austria. We’ll reveal the top 10 dishes you’ll learn to love and miss the most after your season in Austria.
... Read more

- The Snowminds Team

MY EXPERIENCES AS AN INSTRUCTOR ON FOUR CONTINENTS

I’m standing on a mountainpeak and looking out over the horizon… “Life’s great!” While I swiftly let my eyes pan around the landscape I see beautiful snowcovered mountaintops in every direction. I feel the snow under my feet and the sun warmly embracing my skin... ... Read more

- Julie, Snowminds Instructor

Time flies when you’re buried in deep powder

“The season in Canada is going by very fast, and now only two months remain. Time flies when you are having fun and among amazing people. My fellow instructors and I have now seriously started our training for the CAA Avalanche Operations Level 1 course. We’ve had many lessons, including companion rescue training (locate, probe and dig transceiver-free) and problem-solving in difficult conditions (high speed, snow crystals, wind directions, precipitation). Of course, there have also been hiccups along the way. That’s part of life.… But why do we really go through all this? To pursue the deep powder. The difference between us and – as a matter of principle – the general population is just that we learn how to do it safely and dare to try. Going off-piste in Canada is simply amazing when weather and precipitation are right. This is the place where you can experience the completely dry champagne powder you dream about.” ... Read more

– Johan, Snowminds Instructor

That time when nature called in Austria...

“One memory that stands out, although it was not so funny at the time, happened during my second week of training with my group in Kitzbühel. We had just finished breakfast and it turned out I had eaten a bad egg. Unfortunately, I did not discover this until we were already on the top of the mountain. Far away from the next station, I really had no choice. Nature called, so I skied over to the off-piste – far enough away so the group couldn’t see me – and let that bad egg out the other way. Taking a dump in ass-deep snow is not something I ever expected, nor wanted, to experience. After the séance, I soon learned there was not only one, but two lifts going up directly above me. I never even noticed them because I was so embarrassed and just wanted to get it over with. Yeah, I’m pretty sure their day was ruined after that.” ... Read more

- Nicklas, Snowminds Instructor

When you know you belong.

"As an instructor, you experience a lot of different people who all have different perspectives on the world. I had a 6 year old russian girl, for instance, who hit my nose so hard it started bleeding. I’ve had kids who made drawings and letters for me. And I’ve had private lessons with families, which I still keep in touch with even a year later. But for me the most memorable experiences was with my the very first group. I remember my boss came up and said, “Hey, I have an adult group for you. You are not ready for them, but we don’t have any other available instructors. Tell them you’ve been instructing a few years.” Naturally, I pretended to be confident, even though i was peeing my pants a little. We introduced ourselves and quickly got on the lift. The first day went a little shaky. I didn't know my way around the mountain, and I had a sudden case of amnesia, where I forgot every exercise. After the lesson I went up again and scoped out some new slopes for us. Instead of going to apres ski that day, I went home to read up on different exercises. The next day went much better. My confidence rose and by the end of the second day we all went for beers. We bonded quickly and after the 5 days together, they tipped me well and told my boss what a great time they had. After that I knew I belonged.” ... Read more

- Marcus, Snowminds Instructor

Into the Backcountry. Sun Peaks, Canada

“When a massive snow dump inevitably arrives at your doorstep, there is only one thing left to do: Head for the promised land, aka ‘the backcountry’. However, it's a good idea to first know about off-piste safety and technique before going out there on your own. Thankfully, Bodie had us covered. He gave us a 101 off-piste course that included all the essentials: what to be aware of, what not to do, and how to adjust your technique effectively. After the lesson we immediately got out there and put our training into practice. I have to say, I really like when you meet someone who just burns for what they do. That’s Bodie. Not only did he know a ton, but you could just sense his deep desire to teach others and share his passion. It’s inspiring and really makes you want to listen and absorb every word.”

- Theis, Snowminds Instructor

“You know you are truly alive when you're living among lions.” - Karen Blixon

“To avoid over-romanticizing the journey, ala H.C. Anderson, I’ll get straight to the point: it was just one month after returning to Denmark following a season in Austria, when suddenly the three of us are seated next to each other on a plane heading towards Johannesburg, South Africa. Did we know what we were doing? No. Did we have a reasonable idea of ​​what to expect? No. Had we ever crossed the equator before, let alone visited Africa? No. Did we even dream about this happening? No, I mean who the hell dreams of skiing in Africa?! Wait a second… Are we actually crazy? At this point we had no idea… In the end, we learned it’s one thing to experience something, but it’s another thing to dare to grab the experience. That’s skiing in Africa, which is so absurd it’s difficult to process. After our journey, we finally managed to answer why we went in the first place: Because we dared!”

- Joakim, Snowminds Instructor

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