/ Ski Season help

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nodwas - on 29 Aug 2012
So im looking at doing a sneaky ski season in the coming winter i know i might have left it a bit late for the plum jobs but am looking for advice on where to go and which job and if anyone has any companies i should steer away from!

I have been looking at driver/ski host jobs, so skiing with clients 4 days a week then driving for the rest + 1 day off, as this will give me loads of experience ready for my ski instructor examination. Has anyone done this job?

Also where is a good resort which will have some nice ice or winter routes i was thinking around the matterhorn or the smaller resort of le grave!

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Page on 29 Aug 2012
Blinder - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to nodwas: You will not find any of this sort of work in La Grave. However I am sure that Zermatt might be better.
nodwas - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Blinder:

Thanks for the replys, i have been looking through the thousands of jobs on natives and the many related sites, what i guess im really looking for is advice on what these ski guiding/hosting/driving jobs are actually like from people who have done them.

Why don't you think la grave? im really struggeling to think of ski areas with plentiful climbing that are not chamonix!
galpinos on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to nodwas:

> Why don't you think la grave?

There won't be any ski-guiding jobs in La Grave. There will be proper guides, but that's it.

If you have aspirations of being a ski instructor, you'll have to be pretty disciplined at improving. Through which system are you hoping to get your qualifications? Ski-guiding will give you plenty of time on the slopes but you will be skiing reasonably slowly on benign pistes, not working on bumps/gates/carving under instruction which is what will allow you pass the first part of your instructor exams.
Bobz - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to nodwas: Hi I was a guide/driver for 2 seasons.
Expect to be driving more than guiding!

Guiding is a freebe offered to guests if and when the staff are free enough - airport transfers will always take prioirty.

That said guiding was lots of fun, and I tried to get guests to book me on the way to resort, meaning i was out of driving action that day.
on the down side it means you have to ski in all weathers, which may be fine on a weeks holiday, but when you are there for the season and can pick and chooses when to ski , going out in the rain, while everyone else is in front of the fire is not fun!

one thing is people tend to over estimate their abilities which can lead to a boring day on red runs, or like me, a broken ski pole when someone couldnt stop and crashed in to me, or organising a helicopter rescue from a broken arm for the same reason!

Bacically though its the best job in the mountains,and is a lot of fun if you like talking to random people, so if you can get it , do it. I was in Morzine, so had a big ski area to take people round which meant even people who had been there a lot could still be shown new runs.
Bobz - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to Bobz: also you wont be taking out beginers, there is a minimum standard usually of skiers. best thing was big powder days with groups who could ski- you are not an instructor, just a piste map ensuring everyone gets back safely and sees the best runs possible
Matt Schwarz on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to nodwas: I did a season last time and didn't enjoy it as much as i was expecting. I didn't get as much ski time as i was promised, and i was in the back end of no where, not the small village i'd be told i'd be in.

so my 2 recommendations, big resort with a big ski area and get a job where you work when the lifts are closed, so in your down time you get to ski as much as possible.

IMA - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to nodwas: check out ski manager with Powder Byrne for a job which gives a load of ski time. 1 transfer day 1 day off and 5 days skiing, no chalets
earlsdonwhu - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to nodwas: Avoid Snowcoach. To my certain knowledge they failed to pay staff what was owed at the end of the season for last two years.
nodwas - on 29 Aug 2012
In reply to nodwas:

Awesome this is all good stuff!!

Im looking at going the the BASI system.

Another option i have been looking at is the instructor internships where you pay a few grand and then get up to your level two qual for whichever country you do it in!

HantsTom - on 31 Aug 2012
In reply to nodwas: I'm doing a ski season as a resort rep in this up coming season. I did 10 weeks last season and got my instructor qualifications.

The internships are extremely expensive for what you get, the BASI/CSIA examinations only cost about 300-500 euros for each level and for level 1 at least you can learn most of what you need to know in the week. If you then do the extended level 2 exam over 2 weeks you could pretty much be qualified up to level 2 for under 1500 euros. Or get your level 1 then get a job with a ski school and get level 2 through them for free.

Big thing is, if you want to do a ski season.. It is just that, skiing, not climbing. Don't even consider trying to get a resort based on the climbing because A. You won't have time. B. You won't be able to get any of your kit out with you. C. Your days off will normally be spent skiing to your full potential as you don't get much time to do that elsewhere.

As well as that most of the companies you can work for won't give you a resort until you're in the country so if you have your heart set on one resort and don't get it you're pissed off from the start.

If you want to do this as a one off and ski as much as possible, become a chalet host. You make breakfast in the morning, clear up after, set up for afternoon tea. Ski all day then come back and sort dinner.. that you're free. Stick some cleaning in there and 1 change over day and that's literally it.

If you do decide to work, make sure you apply for jobs based on your experience. Don't apply for a hotel manager if you've worked in tescos for 2 weeks, etc. I've looked into this and done it for ages so if you've got any specific questions then ask away.

girlymonkey - on 31 Aug 2012
In reply to nodwas:
I have done this role a couple of times in the Morzine area. Avoid big companies if at all possible. If you go for a small company that just has a couple of chalets then you don't end up driving so much, and get more time skiing. You will work harder in the evenings, but the tips are good as it's much more personal service that the guests get than they do with the big companies. The guiding it's self is not always so exciting, but beats cleaning chalets!! I personally never wanted to go for the ski instructing tickets as you earn more money and get more actual skiing working as driver/guide than you do as instructor. Most instructors spend a large part of their winter with trails of snotty nosed kids in snow plough behind them!!
Good luck finding a job, seasons are really hard work but a lot of fun
bennys89 - on 01 Sep 2012
In reply to nodwas:

I worked as a ski host season before last in Val dIsere. It was for a small chalet company and I was only responsible for one chalet which meant up to 14 guests maximum. I would definitely recommend going for a small company and not a large one, as there are better tips and you are more likely to have fewer guests or no guests at all some days, depending on abilities.

As for climbing, from my season experience there were none who were interested in winter climbing as such, or at least no one I met, should I say. I did a fair bit of ski touring and hiking but no actual climbing.

I dont know about Swiss resorts but most of your french ski areas ie 3 valleys, paradski, espace killy. You wont find many people who are capable of winter routes, best option would be somewhere like Chamonix.

If you work for a big company in a large resort, the majority of seasonaires you will mix with are unlikely to be interested.

All the best with your searches.
nodwas - on 04 Sep 2012
In reply to nodwas:
Cheers for the help guys i will be definitly looking for a smaller company although the main websites seem to just point at the bigger companies.

One option for me is to just rent an apartment for the end half of the season and see if i can get a job in resort as such, what do you think the chances of this are?
aligibb - on 25 Sep 2012
In reply to nodwas:
theres normally quite a big staff turnover in january after christmas and New year when people who came out to do a season/have a holiday realise that its actually pretty hard work and not for them and so quit. So theres often jobs going then.

Natives is a brilliant website/service, I got my 1st chalet job through then 7 years ago and am still living in the alps, teaching skiing now rather than doing chalets. And have been working my way through the BASI system since that 1st season. if you really do want to do it, its brilliant but v hard work and costs alot even if you do it as cheaply as possible. but definately worth it and its a brilliant job - to be done because you enjoy teaching people as much or more than skiing aswell.

I also agree on the big ski area and small chalet company advice, the smaller and more flexible the company generally the more personal the service to clients and staff. I was the only employee in my 1st chalet job which did mean I had to pretty much do everything to keep the chalet running, but it also meant I could do things how and when I wanted and so skiied as much as possible.

the Alps are covered with small waterfalls etc which freeze up in the winter so I'm sure you'll be able to get some ice in, although its v difficult to have time as you'll have 1 day max off a week... We live at 1100m and for jan and feb theres normally ice to climb on and we can go for a couple hours after work (with head torches!) remember that the resorts that will have the most work and jobs will be places that are better for beginners/intermediates not places like la Grave unfortuately else we'd all be there! hope that helps! Ali

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