In part three ICE instructor trainer, Mark Jones, talks us through the different ways to complete your ski instructor training. If you haven't already read them, check our part one and part two first.
Route 1 - Residential Course
ICE offers a wide range of fasttrack courses from our base in Val d'Isere during winter and on the glacier in Tignes in the summer. The fasttrack courses provide all the modules listed in part 1 and 2, including the required amount of hours experience. The fasttrack course is designed so that when you have completed the course, you have everything you need to go and start working the following day — and many people do just that.
The courses also include accommodation, evening meals and a lift pass, so everything is taken care of and the hassle is removed. Below is a summary of the residential courses and clicking them will lead you to more information on each course.
10 Week Gap Course: BASI Level 1 and 2, all modules included. Course finishes in time for Easter holidays.
6 Week Gap Course: BASI Level 1 and 2, all modules included. Course finishes in time for February half-term.
4 Week Gap Course: BASI Level 1, all modules included.
6 Week Summer Gap Course: BASI Level 1 and 2, all modules included. Course finishes in time for work the following winter.
Route 2 - Independent Courses
If you do not have time to benefit from a residential course, you can do these modules listed above for Level 1 and 2 separately in your own time. Typically it will take at least a ski season to do them all, or maybe longer depending on the amount of time you can commit to courses and required training.
ICE offer the BASI Level 1, BASI Level 2 and First Aid courses on an independent basis. You will need to arrange the other modules yourself and also arrange your own accommodation, food, lift-pass and travel, since courses are run on a course-only basis.
Which Route Should I Take?
Deciding whether to go down the residential or independent route depends mostly on the time you have to devote to a course. By the time you take into consideration the costs of travelling, accommodation and lift-passes etc, there is not much to choose between the two routes in terms of price, so your decision will largely be determined by time rather than budget.
If you have the time to spare and feel you would benefit from the concentrated period of training that is on offer, the 10 week course will bring your level on the most.
If time is a little more restricted and you are on more of a budget, the 6 week course will be worth looking at. This is quite simply the fastest and cheapest way of getting qualified to this. You will be qualified mid-way through the season which means you will be free to work through the second half if you wish.
However, 6 weeks is less time in which to train so it is advisable to be at a good level before attending this course as there is less time make changes. 16 weeks on snow is a good guideline for entry onto this course, although it is only a guide and not a requirement. If you feel you would benefit from the extra training, you may be better off on the 10 week course.
If you can only manage a week or two each season then you will be best to go down the independent route. Start by booking a BASI Level 1 course and your trainer on the course will be able to give you advice on your future training once they have seen you ski.
It’s not all hard work!
It may sound like a massive amount of hard work, but let’s not forget people are here with us in Val d'Isere for a life changing experience, and quite often as part of their gap year.
You’ll get to make new friends, and there’s Val d'Isere’s legendary après ski! Your ski pass will cover you for the whole resort and days off are usually spent skiing/riding the resort's world class slopes.