Life in Verbier!

Many instructors over look ski touring till their EMS

Christmas has been and gone and life in Verbier is now getting pretty serious. The Verbier level 1 and 2 students are just weeks away from the start of their level 2 and the ISTD ski instructor training team have reached crunch time!

January is one of the best times for training the quiet pistes, and cold weather make for next to perfect snow conditions.

Training to be a BASI level 4 ski instructor requires you to be confident across the mountain and Josh Maddison has been preparing for his EMS (European Mountain Safety) exam. This exam tests your knowledge of avalanche safety and rescue, navigation, rope work, weather and off piste skiing. Before sitting this exam you are required to complete 6 tours to gain experience. Josh has been doing these with the help of our EMS course trainer Dave Roberts.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEven before recent snowfall they were able to find some perfect snow and prove to all those saying there is no snow in the Alps that they just need to take some time and learn where to look.

01While Josh and Dave where off enjoying themselves the remainder of the ISTD ski instructor training team where being put through their paces by Tom and Jon.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter a thorough warm up the team moved onto the blue piste of Siviez where they focused on practising slower more precise drills before ramping it up in the afternoon.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASkiing on one ski is great for balance and posture.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAElse where on the mountain with the BASI level 2 exam looming the BASI Level 1 and 2 ski instructor course students have been focusing on their teaching skills. During the exam all students will be required to deliver multiple simulated lessons and having a clear understanding of structuring these sessions and different types of teaching is key.


It is not enough though to be able to deliver sessions well you also need to be able to critique sessions delivered by your peers and evaluate their teaching skills. In some ways this is harder than delivering a session a you want to show you understand how each session could be improved or where the weak points where with out showing up your friends.


This is a tough skill to master and something our coaches spend a lot of time working on.

Keep it up guys and good luck!