December 2018 – New Generation

Snowsports school shadowing

New Generation

I already had the second week of December booked off from work so it seemed sensible to use this week for the 35 hours snowsports school shadowing that I needed for my Alpine Level 1 license. December 8th was very early in the ski season to be skiing and most resorts wouldn’t yet be open. To have a realistic chance of finding a ski school able to take me I would need to go somewhere with a glacier. Switzerland with the glacier skiing resorts of Zermatt, Saas Fee and Villars-Sur-Ollon was a likely option.

The resort of Villars-Sur-Ollon and the surrounding area is somewhere I know well having spent a lot of time there. I contacted one of the ski schools in Villars-Sur-Ollon, New Generation.

New Generation had no ski classes running, it was too early and the ski area didn’t open until 15th December. There was however an in-house ski instructor training program running and the glacier would be open for skiing. I was put in touch with the ski school manager Alessandro Cambon.

As you might be able to guess from the name Alessandro is Italian. He is also a BASI trainer and trained as a ski instructor himself through the BASI system. Alessandro and his team at New Generation would be perfect and I flew out to join them.

Heavy snow for the first two days made skiing impossible. There was also another problem. Those on the in-house instructor training program had paid to be there; I hadn’t because I was going for shadowing hours. It was inevitable that in shadowing the group I would pick things up meaning I was getting free training. I needed to do some of the things the group were doing otherwise it would look like I wasn’t interested, which wasn’t good,  but taking part would mean I was getting training I’d not paid for and that wasn’t good either. Being with the group but not part of the training was a difficult balance and Alessandro had to phone me in my apartment one evening in order to work out how best to manage my shadowing time.

The group were brilliant and not bothered in the slightest about me being there with them.

Thank you so much Alessandro, Matt, Tom, Henry, Will, Sam, Polly and Georgie.

I had a fantastic time with them and plan to go back.

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