Sunday, 17 February 2008
A different way to do ski school
As I mentioned in the last post, I have had quite an unusal group this week. They booked me and another instructor for the whole week (fifteen hours over five days), rather than taking the usual ski school route. The usual option by the way, is to either join a fifteen hour group lesson with others of the same level, or to take one or more hours of private lessons either individually or in a small group.
This group consisted of seven adults and six children who were all friends and families from the north of England. They had contacted me by email several weeks ago to enquire about the possiblility of booking me as their instructor for the week. After a lot of negotiation with the ski school bosses and secretaries we managed to make a plan. The price offered by the ski school was a little more per person than the same time spent in group lessons. However they had one instructor for the children and one for the adults, compared to twelve or thirteen people in a group lesson here.
One big advantage was the flexibility they had. We finished a number of the lessons at mountain restaurants rather than back at the ski school, so that the group could go straight for lunch. On the day we took the telepherique over to the neighbouring resort of Pal we left the two groups there to continue exploring for the rest of the day. Normally a trip to Pal with a group is a bit of a rush as we have to ensure we leave enough time to get the whole group back to Arinsal in time for the next lesson. The more people in the group the longer it usually takes.
As an instructor it was great to be able to meet the group before lessons started, and then begin teaching and skiing right from the start. Normally we have to spend time at the start of the week organising people into groups of similar abilities before we can get started. It also takes time on a usual week for the group to gel and get to know each other, and a big part of our job is to try and create a rapport. This week was like having a big headstart over all the other groups.
The last day of the lesson was Valentine's day, so the gentlemen in the group had arranged with me to leave three bottles of Champagne at the Igloo mountain restaurant in advance. The ladies took a little persuasion to stop for a break, as they wanted to keep skiing. However they seemed suitably impressed when the Champagne was produced, along with classy cardboard beakers. The photo above shows them sipping Champagne on the Igloo terrace in the sunshine. A very civilised way to end a week in Ski School, I think.