3 Week Ski Instructor Internship Program

5th September 2017

An incredible gap year experience

Hi everyone,

This is Lars checking in again. I wrote a first blog post a few months back while doing the 3 Week Ski Instructor Internship Program here at Marmot Basin. In the meantime, a lot has happened!

Just before Christmas, we had our Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance Level 1 examination – needless to say, everyone passed after training with Jezz... In fact, some of the crew have even gone on and did their CSIA Level 2 quite effortlessly. Getting the certification should really not be a concern, the training you receive from the Simply Snowsports team more than prepares you.

Two days after the Level 1, another participant and I started working at the ski school. On the first day, we already gave our first lesson – and this was the best way to get hands-on experience.

"Straight out of the blocks, we were full-fledged members of the ski school, coming with all the perks and responsibilities."

Since then, I have taught all kinds of lessons. Usually, I would teach young kids of differing levels, ranging from never-ever to comfortable on black runs. Occasionally, there are also school groups from Canada or the UK. The latter is actually quite cool since you get to teach them for almost a week and can see some serious progress. Watching your guys rip a black run after teaching them on the magic carpet two days before that is pretty awesome!

In the end, this is what ski instructing is all about – helping people to get the technique down and have a great time together. In most cases, my students really enjoy themselves and want to continue skiing.

Of course, ski instructing is not all fun and games. Nobody wants to teach when it’s -30°C or full whiteout outside. But this is your job and you should treat it as such. There are stressful times, too, for example when you have to manage a group of 20 or call in ski patrol when your student has broken their femur (both things that have happened to me).

"In my opinion, though, these things shape you as a person and help you develop valuable skills that are transferable to other areas of your life."

Don’t get me wrong, though, there is lots of “playtime”, too. Almost every day, I get an hour or more to myself to shred the park or bring out the big skis on some powdery double-blacks. By next week, I will reach 100 days of skiing… Furthermore, there is lots do in town. Whether you go hiking, have a few pints at the brewery or get on a heated curling battle – you won’t get bored. In addition, you will find lots of friends, of course during the course itself but especially once you officially enter the ski school. There are lots of people of similar age and at a comparable stage of their life.

My season is slowly wrapping up now – I will leave Jasper in about two weeks. I had a great season and will cherish the memories and friends I have made here. Overall, I can thoroughly recommend to everybody to consider doing a gap year ski instructor course, no matter whether you just finished high school or uni, or are in the middle of your career. And who knows, maybe you even find your passion and will come back the following season!

Lars Bechert

Lars Bechert - Ski Instructor Marmot Basin

Lars Bechert with Ski Group

Curling in Jasper

Ski Instructor Course at Marmot Basin

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