St Anton Mentor
- Level 4 Full Cert Diplomskilehrer (Austrian system)
- Technical skiing
- Local Off-Piste knowledge
What motivates you to get on your skis?
To continue challenging myself, by meeting new people, trying new things and exploring new places.
Most of the young people who join our training courses are very focused and aim for a definitive goal to achieve. I hope to inspire them when I tell them about how I had a completely different introduction to this profession.
Get to know Stefan Mentberger
I never had any training or lessons in skiing before I went for the Anwärter (level 2) course. I just enjoyed skiing with my friends during school. I was 22 years old and thought it was an excellent way to earn a bit of money besides studies.
That was ten days in summer at the glacier. I had no idea where to go and which ski school to work for in the winter. I never had a vision of becoming a ski instructor, but I spent my winter holidays teaching for a ski school and having fun.
Nevertheless, I rushed through the Austrian system up to Diplomskilehrer (Level 4) within four winters. As for the entrance exams I had to sit; I was sent by friends, as I didn’t even know where and when they took place! I was still just having fun and didn’t have th4 idea of becoming a ski instructor. (I didn’t know I was on a top level as nobody told me!) After a few years, I decided to do a whole season.
After that, I was invited to be an examiner in the ski teacher association and learned a lot. I was asked to run the kids department in my ski school, and I went on to spend two winters in the “Kinderland” with up to 300 kids daily. I developed a nice program together with the teachers, which still works in my old ski school to this day.
Then, due to a change in the law, the highest qualified teachers got the chance to work independently (without support from ski schools). Again friends persuaded me to try it, although I had just one season in Lech, so no chance to build a connection with returning clients. But within three seasons, I was completely booked out for the winter. I was successful, and we had a friendly community of independent guides in Lech.
After a few years, I started to think of searching for more. I’d say, ‘ Do you want to get old with your clients or do you miss something, like working with a team?’ As those thoughts were running through my mind, somebody passed my details on to Tom and Euan, and before I knew it, I was working with New Generation Ski School in St Anton & Lech.
After two winters, I said to myself: ‘Now you know how that works – let’s try something different.’ I decided to do my last season as a ski teacher and moved to a ski school in Lech. I was curious because everybody I talked to had raved about Arlberg. For the first time, people did let me know that I was skiing well and great with clients. I had a lot of fun knowing it was my last season as a ski teacher.
What do you do after winter?
Stefan works year-round for New Generation and is the Austrian manager for St Anton & Lech ski areas. He recruits new instructors, organises any new ski instructor training courses and gets prepared for the next season. In between all this work, he takes some holiday time with his family and gets out on his e-bike over to Switzerland, whenever he can.
Highlights from last season:
Taking the training groups out into the backcountry to enjoy the snow and terrain the Arlberg has on offer.