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All you need to know about doing a season in Les 2 Alpes

When you go and do a ski season the resort plays a big part in the experience so you need to choose a place that can deliver on your expectations we know Les 2 Alpes can.

We have been looking for somewhere new to do a ski season, and after some immersive research, we have finally found it.

Les 2 Alpes has the full package when it comes to doing a winter season from guaranteed to snow to a town made for seasonaires.

Here is the lowdown on all the resort has to offer season workers.

1. The skiing in Les 2 Alpes

The Facts: The ski area covers 415 hectares, within that there are 96 runs totalling 200km, a world-class snow park, and high glacier area.
During a season the average snowfall is 520cm meaning there is quite a few powder day to help make the most of the seemingly endless off-piste possibilities.

You will be surprised at the full range of terrain you can find in the resort with plenty to challenge you over the entire season.

There are long reds and fast blues to help you work on your turns as well as some of the best bumps and itinerary routes in the Alps to challenge you all winter long.

All of this is linked up with some impressive and well thought out lift infrastructure that makes navigating the mountain a breeze.

2. The resort

If there was ever a resort designed for seasonaires, it could well be L2A.

The town is all on one strip at located 1300m above sea level. You enter the resort and make your way down the main street lined by cool bars, an eclectic mix of eateries and brand shops like DC, Volcom, and Billabong.

At the far end of the strip, you come to the southern, sun-soaked trendier area of the resort, home to best hangouts like Smithies, PolarBar and the Yeti.

Deux Alpes is full of all types of seasonaires from workers to the bums all hanging out, having a good time and enjoying the slopes without the pretentiousness of other ski resorts.

The resort attracts a wide range of nationalities including a strong British contingent, but at its heart, it is a fun loving French affair.

Jim from the Ski Podcast recently visited the Les 2 Alpes – Check out his review.

3. Season length

The season is one of the longest in the Alps and runs from the first of December until the last weekend of April with a season pass costing around €980. Cheaper half-season passes are available.

If you are there from first lifts until the last, you could get in 175 days of skiing which is pretty much half a year on snow.

And if you love the place that much and need more sliding in your life, the glacier is open for nine weeks in the summer from the last week in June to the end of August.

And it also opens for a week at the end of October for anyone in need of a bit of help getting to December without clipping in.

4. Events in Les 2 Alpes

The resort is home to some of the biggest events in the Alps and they pop up all the way through the season.

Winter is kicked off with Powder Week where with a little help from nature riders get to celebrate the first turns on the winter with a load of activities, comps, and parties.

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A post shared by Snowjam Festival (@snowjamfestival) on Apr 11, 2016 at 2:06pm PDT

Next up is Rise, a fun alpine festival with the best musical lineup you will find at altitude. Past acts include Craig David, Skream, Wilkinson and
Annie Mac. 6-day Lift pass and ticket combo starts at €239pp.

Snow Jam appears on the calendar in the spring. It is a large scale freestyle event held up in the park. Alongside this are parties and open-air gigs.

5. Location of Les 2 Alpes

It may sound like the sort of thing your folks might procrastinate over when planning a ski trip, but the location of L2A makes it truly unique.

Firstly it is close to the Airport. Grenoble is an hour and a half away, and Lyon is just over two. Handy if you plan on popping home to the UK for a few days or have mates who want to pop over.

Nearby Alpe d’Huez can be reached in around 35 minutes in a car. This makes it perfect for a day trip. Plus your season pass gives you ten free days.

Even more spectacular is legend next door, La Grave. Dominated by the mythical Meije and famed for its freeskiing and unforgiving terrain it is where reputations are made.

La Grave can be accessed by a short drive and ride up the gondola. Or you can reach the area via short traverse at the top of the Glacier. To safely play and access La Graves routes, you should be accompanied by a guide.

6. The Les 2 Alpes Snow Park

The L2A park is designed, built and tested by a group of passionate and dedicated riders lead by respected park shaper Sylvain Garabos.

It is truly one of Europe’s best parks that caters for all levels. You will find slopes style, Big air, boxes, rails, ski cross, and quarter pipes. All handly served by two chairs.

Throughout the season, the snow park hosts a variety of comps from big international to local invitationals.

Beef Roast Rail Jam Les 2 Alpes 2019 - YouTube

7. Apres ski

Not only does 2 Alpes have incredible skiing it also has some great places to unwind and socialise.

On the slopes, there is the supper cool Pano where you can meet friends and chill at 2600m. Then every day between 3 and 5 there is live DJ’s creating an alpine clubbing vibe.

Off the slopes in the town for aprés and evening there are plenty of cool bars to pick from small and intimate to big a busy.

A few of our faves are the Umbrella Bar, located piste side for ultimate apres ski access, Polar Bar with its chalet pub vibe, Smithys is the spot for live music and sport, and if you wanna stay out late, the Avalanche is the night spot for you.

If you are thinking about become as seasonaire in Les 2 Alpes and you fancy becoming a ski instructor at the same time check out our courses.

The post 7 Reason to do a ski season in Les 2 Alpes appeared first on The Basecamp Blog.

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Make great GoPro ski videos

More people than ever are making skiing videos of themselves and their mates and uploading them to social media for their friends to enjoy.

Which means that you need to be making slicker edits to make yours stand as well as promoing your skills.

All this means a thirty minute, unedited, shakey headcam shot won’t cut it. Not even your mum will be interested!

So it is time to up your game and make some slick look vids. Here are our top tips.

Which GoPro?

Realistically you need to be buying a Hero5+ or above. They are fully waterproof [Read snowproof] without the cumbersome outer casing of the older cameras.

The latest Hero7 release has a variety of version to suit any budget. Each version comes with a range of features from super x8 slow-motion capture to differing levels of video stabilization.

You can get the basic Hero7 White from £200 online, but we recommend getting a Hero7 Black as it has been tweaked to be the ultimate adventure camera.

GoPro image set up for skiing.

Before you head out to make your movie make sure you set the record-setting to capture the best images of your adventure.

Go for a higher Frame Per Second (FPS) 60 FPS or more. This will give you a cleaner image and also make any clips you want to slowdown look even better.

If you want to get the best quality finish you need to set your resolution as high as your GoPro will allow. The high-end version will allow for 4-5k video capture.

At that level, you will use up memory cards fast so if you only have one you will probably capture great video set at 1080p.

To get your snowy shots looking super white set your GoPro to Protune and bump up the Exposure Value ( EV) for added crispness.

Planning your shoot

If you want to make a compelling video that will capture your viewers, it is essential to have a plan when you head out on to the slopes.

Think hard about what you want to film and the “story” you want to tell. Take inspiration from ski and snowboard movies you have watched.

When you are out on the mountain to get some planned shots on your SDcard but also experiment, try new angles and see if they work.

If you want to feature more of you in your edit, then you are going to need to rope in someone to capture you.

POV Series #1 | The Faction Collective - YouTube

Filming accessories

When you head out filming, there are two significant bits of kit that will make your movie look pro.

The first is a gimble. This bit of kit will help stabilize your image and allow you to create smooth shots of your subject.

There are loads on the market you to procrastinate over, but you would do well if you invest in the Karam Grip, GoPros own tool.

A cheaper option is the LanParte Gimble that comes with a variety of add-ons and is also smartphone compatible.

And the other bit of kit is a drone. There are 1000’s on the market, and the subject really deserves its own blog.

If you are using one, we do recommend that you check the local laws on their use and behave responsibly.

Where to mount your GoPro for skiing

The GoPro is known for its versatility when it comes to mounting it on yourself and your kit, but what are the best options.

Mounting a GoPro to a helmet is a popular option, but this does deliver the worst results. Heads aren’t very still or stable, so you will end up with loads shakey images of you looking behind to find your mates.

A nice but slightly silly looking option for a head mount is the 360 swivel mount like the GoSpin360. This can help you capture great selfie vids, as well as decent follow shots.

Snowboard with your friends in GoSpin360 swivel mount & GoPro - YouTube

A key thing when using a mount is including something that give the viewer a point of references like your head, body or skis. Try to make sure you don’t wholly obscure the shot with yourself.

If you are heading out on your own but want to capture the moment try a chest mount. Check the video below where Chris Davenport shares his top tips for chest mounting.

GoPro Athlete Tips and Tricks: Skiing with Chris Davenport (Ep 5) - YouTube

Finally, try a pole mount – Essentially this is just turning your ski pole into a selfie stick.

But its simplicity is the key. You can capture a wide range to shots with it without the need to carry around the extra kit.

Final tips for capturing skiing with your GoPro

Altitude and cold will drain your battery fast. So make sure you have some backup ones. We have found the Smatree 3 pack replacement set to be a great option.

If you are filming in 4k high def always carry some spare memory cards around. Also before you leave the house check your memory card is in the camera to start with!

Editing your ski video

Only include the best footage that either looks great or includes exciting moments. Life is to short to watch your whole day.

When you buy a Go-Pro, you get access to the in-house editing suite with a variety of post-production options, and you can create some excellent edits from this.

We also love using filmora an excellent editing suite that is affordable and easy to use. It has helped us produce many of our shorts over the years.

Happy film making – We would love to see your ski flick so make sure you tag us or send us a message once you have hit that publish button.

The post How make great ski videos with your GoPro appeared first on The Basecamp Blog.

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Have You Skied The Top 5 Pistes in the Three Valleys?

If you have spent as much time in a resort as we have in Méribel you will get to know it quite well. Since setting up Basecamp for our courses in Méribel we have fallen in love with it. This could be because of the people and the amazing places to hangout or it could be something to do with the massive ski area.

Méribel is part of the 3 Valleys which means 600km of piste over an area the size of Bristol to play in as well as miles of backcountry to get our powder fix in. With those sort of numbers, it is no surprise that we made it our winter home.

With love comes obsession which is probably why we found ourselves in a conversation about our favourite run in the 3 Valleys. Naturally, no one agreed so we compromised and decided on a top 5.

1. Combe de Vallon – Location: Down the side of Mont Vallon

We’ve chosen Mont Vallon’s Combe de Vallon piste to start — a wide, open red run cutting down beneath the Mont Vallon gondola to the base of the mountain.

The views out over the terrain from the peak at 2,952 meters are spectacular and the Combe de Vallon’s gradient lets you reach top speed quickly. Mont Vallon is tucked off to the side of Méribel-Mottaret and the through-traffic tends to miss it out. Because of this, the Combe de Vallon piste is usually blissfully empty and when you’re warmed up and looking to carve over the snow at high speed, few runs come close.

Image: Matt Squirell

2. Jerusalem – Location: Saint-Martin de Belleville

Jerusalem is a rolling red run sitting above St Martin. It starts from the ridge between Méribel-Mottaret and St Martin and drops down the St Martin side towards the town below.

It’s the many natural rollers lining the length of Jerusalem that make the run so special. You can drop in, pick up a good head of steam and hit them hard before slowing down for the corner at the bottom. At the end, make the most of the long descent and continue on down Biolley, the blue piste leading straight into St Martin at the bottom of the valley.

3. Christine – Location: Off the Funitel Peclet in Val Thorens

Christine is accessed from the top of the Funitel Peclet in Val Thorens — just come out of the gondola, traverse the cat-track to the right and drop in where the piste bends round to the left.

This red run wins no awards for the pace you can pick up, but chipping through the tight turns that line the way is fantastic fun. There are about 4 sharp chicanes along the length of the piste before it opens up into a broad blue run and heads down toward the base of the Plein Sud chair.

110119 Val Thorens Christine - YouTube

4. Saulire – Location: Top of the cable car to the bottom of Meribel Village

At #2 we’ve chosen not one piste, but a string of pistes that link the top of the Saulire peak to the base of the mountain down in Méribel Village. There are a couple of different routes down, but so long as you take a look at the piste map and follow the signs you won’t go far wrong. Our challenge is to ski the entire run in one go, non-stop!

From the Saulire peak, drop down toward Méribel. Pick up the pace over the broad, sweeping slopes and make sure to head right near the top of the Dent du Burgin chair. From here, cruise down among the trees through the Altiport sector — careful of beginners — and onward down the steeper slopes into Méribel Village. After a sharp descent before the base of the Golf chair, come to a halt, catch your breath and maybe hit Lodge du Village for a well-deserved drink!

Image: Ian Gratton

5. Folires – Location: above la Tania

Our top pick for the best piste throughout the entire Three Valleys, Folières beginsin the forest above la Tania, near the ridge between Courchevel le Praz and Méribel Village below. It’s basically one of la Tania’s home runs, but in our view it’s a must-do for any intermediate or advanced-level visitor to the Three Valleys.

Take a seat in the snow at the top of the run and soak up stunning views of the forested descent ahead of you – Folières is tree-lined throughout and the scenery is sensational! Kick into your skis or strap into your board, take a deep breath, and go. The run starts with a good, steep gradient then twists and turns down through the forest. Huge, sweeping corners are bordered by natural rollers which make ideal hits as you fly down the mountainside, and you can often find fresh powder off to the sides even days after the last snowfall.

Here’s a link to a load of piste maps as well, see if you can place the runs!

Image: Jonathan Pagel

Basecamp runs BASI Level 1&2 ski and snowboard instructor courses in Méribel. If you are thinking about becoming a ski instructor then gives us a call on 0208 789 9055 or download our brochure.

Meribel Ski Instructor and Ski Performance Courses - YouTube

The post The 5 Top Pistes In The Three Valleys appeared first on The Basecamp Blog.

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Ski Fashion What look do you go for on the slopes?

As skiers, we all have one thing in common. Our love of sliding on two sticks down a snow-covered mountain.

Over time skiing has progressed and different styles, disciplines and subcultures have developed. From piste cruisers to park rats, freeriding to racing there is a focus for every rider.

When you have such a range of niches in a single sport you will inevitably get different tribes and subsequently individual fashions will emerge.

Today there is a wide range of different ski fashion. In this blog, we will look at the range of ski fashions and their style icons.

Then it is up to you to choose what you wear.

The Freestyler

AKA the park rat. Lives in the snow park. Occasionally will venture out to build a kicker away from the crowds.

Originally the park was the home of snowboarders but then skiers joined in and slowly the style and fashion merged.

The syle in the park is baggy, low, hoodie, casual steezy.

Style Icon – James “Woodsy” Woods

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A post shared by Woodsy (@jameswoodsy) on Jan 15, 2019 at 7:53am PST

The Racer

When racing the look is strictly lycra suit, helmet and body armour.

When not racing you should look still look fast with a hint of Olympic team dress code.

To perfect the style go for slim fit or stretch pants. Only wear figure-hugging layers to show off your highly tuned physic.

And your coat should be a small light puffer or fitted Spyder jacket (preferably in your national colours).

Style Icon – Lindsay Vonn

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A post shared by L I N D S E Y • V O N N (@lindseyvonn) on Feb 8, 2018 at 3:32am PST

The Ski Instructor

If you want to become a ski instructor you need to dress like one.

The current trend for instructors if to have uniform looking ski outfit with the intention to show off your form and skiing style perfectly.

For many, an instructor isn’t an instructor if they aren’t in red. But a lot of schools are going for blues and greys.

Also, take the opportunity to set an example and wear a helmet.

Style Icon – Us of course

The Punter

Not to be laughed at the punter is the person that enables us all to maintain our mountain existence and keep the resorts going.

They may have not discovered their ski calling yet. Or if they have it is cruising the piste, frequently stopping for drinks and generally relaxing on the 1 week-a-year ski trip.

Most likely to be found wearing a mix of Quechua, Lidl and Decathalon ski gear for the family while Dad wears Helly Hanson or North Face. In extreme cases, the look is more hand-me-down or vintage.

Style Icon Jerry of the day

The Freerider

More than any other group of skiers the fashion for freeriders and backcountry obsessives is lead by technology. If you are heading into the mountains, summitting untracked peaks and risking your life for thrills you are probably going to invest in the best kit.

Utility and comfort should mean that freeriders look functional but somehow they are some of the most stylishly dress skiers on the slopes, or not as the case may be.

And the best fashion bit of being a freerider is the accessorising. Bags, harnesses, ropes, transceivers, spades, poles and the only people truly worthy of a go-pro mounted on their helmet.

Sandra Lahnsteiner

The Seasonworker

Despite what it may look like the fashion of seasoning is deliberate. A dedicated seasonnaire will be wearing at least a seasons old kit patched up with gaffa tape with beer and ketchup statins acting as waterproofing.

Gloves must be threadbare. Beanie hat is often the newest purchase. Hoddie and big goggles are essential.

But underfoot a true seasonnaire will have the best ride they can afford, preferably new each winter.

Subcategory: The ex-seasonworker – Despite doing one season back in 2005 these people will still behave, ride and dress exactly as they did when the took the coach home.

Jenny Jones

The post Ski Fashion – What do you wear? appeared first on The Basecamp Blog.

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Our 5 point plan to become a snowboard instructor

Getting your certificate to say that you are a fully qualified to become a snowboard instructor is an exciting moment, it is probably up there with passing your driving test, turning 18 and is nearly as exciting as getting your snowboarding Scouts badge (yes it does exist and no we don’t run a course for it).

The reason it feels so good is that it allows you to do one of the best jobs on the planet. If you are considering training to be a snowboard instructor we have put together a summary of the steps you need to take.

Step One – Plan your future

I know, getting emotionally deep in step one! You don’t have to your life mapped out, but an eye on the future is a good idea, especially when it comes to a potential globe trotting job like international snowboarding instructor.

Many of your decisions may depend on your preference about where you want to teach in the future which means that you might want to think about the country you want to take your qualifications in, as you may also need to think about applying for a visa and you may have to work on learning a second language.

Step Two – Choose a Snowboarding Instructor Course

There are 100’s of courses out there to choose from. Every year we run over 14 snowboarding specific courses, in 3 countries and each with a different governing body and qualification.

This doesn’t mean that it is very complicated it just means that you need to research the courses to make sure you pick the best one for you.

Our suggestion is to choose a course that will give you a transferable qualification. The qualifications you get with Basecamp are within the ISIA allowing you to work in 37 countries.

Step Three – Work Hard

Your training course will be loads of fun and doing a ski season is fun but you will need to work hard and focus when you are out in the resort.

You will be doing over 20 hours training on the mountain every week on top of all the riding you will be doing in your free time.

You will also be expected to work for snowboard schools for free to build up your supervised teaching hours, these are important as not only are they essential to your qualification they could also be your future employer or reference.

Step Four – Pass Your Course

This step is pretty self-explanatory, so just make sure you stay focused and pass all the exams.

Don’t worry about partying in the build-up to your exams as there will be an almighty one when you pass and get your certificate!

Ticket To Ride - NZSIA Level Two Exam - Vimeo

Ticket To Ride – NZSIA Level Two Exam from TTR Group on Vimeo.

Step 5 – Apply for Snowboard Instructor Jobs

If you have taken a course with us we will help you find a job, we have loads of connections and have successfully placed instructors with Interski in Italy, Lake Louise Ski & Snowboard school and with Club Med in Japan.

We also post any jobs that we hear about on our blog and Facebook page.

Like all jobs, you will need a decent CV, with relevant experience and references so make sure you have yours up to date and start applying to schools where you would like to work.

You can also look for jobs on seasonal work websites such as Natives.co.uk or on the BASI jobs board.

After all this you can keep on training up to the point that you are qualified to train other snowboarders, now that is a very cool job!

If you would like to talk about your next step to becoming an instructor please give us a call on 0208 789 9055 or email us on hello@basecampgroup.com.

The post 5 Steps to Become a Snowboard Instructor appeared first on The Basecamp Blog.

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How to eat well : Season Survival Guide

If you’re heading out to the Alps this winter to work a season, become a ski instructor or even just to do nothing but ride you need to look after yourself and that means keeping your body happy and your stomach well fed.

At altitude there is less oxygen which makes your heart work harder, if you throw in extreme cold and some serious exertion into the mix, then you will be draining your body’s resources fast and before you know it you know you’ve hit “The Wall”. To avoid crashing and burning your should make sure you eat well and stay hydrated. This is our guide to eating your way through the winter!

Drink lots of water

Before we go into what you should be eating it is always worth remembering to drink lots of fluid when at altitude. If your heart is working faster and your exercising more you will be breathing faster and sweating more and both of these are where you will loose most moisture from your body. So make sure you carry a drink, or stop regularly to hydrate and drink some high quality H20.

What should I eat?

When you’re at altitude working hard in the mountain air you need to make sure your increase your carbohydrate & protein intake. Which is great as that means you should eat more Pizza, cakes and seafood. Click on the links below for a list of food that can help you stay full and provide the energy you need.


Go Catered

If you are working out in the Alps for a traditional ski company they will probably feed you. But if you’re out training to be an instructor then you should probably look at finding a course provider that offers meals with your accommodation. Booking in to catered season long accomodation is probably the most cost effective way of eating your way through a season a they will provide a balanced diet and the other bonus is it will be cooked for you.

Meribel Accommodation Overview from TTR Group on Vimeo.

Basecamp offer catering for all our instructor courses as well as for individual
seasonnaires through our partners Meri-beds.com

Self Catered

If you’re planning on renting self catered accommodation for the winter season you will need to organised as, popping out to the resort supermarket everyday to get your shopping might not save you much money due to their inflated prices. The best way to stay full and stay in budget is to head to one of the hypermarkets down in the valley where groceries are more reasonably priced. If you don’t have a car you’ll need to make friends with someone with access to vehicle or is prepared to do a shop for you. Home delivery hasn’t quite caught on in France as it has in the UK yet.

Read our guide to getting fit for the winter.

Eating out

Unless you have incredibly strong willpower you will probably eat out once a week. Even if you have a catered package for the winter, the staff will have one night off leaving you to find your own dinner. Eating out in a ski resort is an expensive thing to do so to make sure you get value for money is to ensure you enjoy your meal. Most of the food on offer in ski resorts tick all the protein and carb boxes and normally the most filling meals on a budget are burger and frites or Pizza.

Lunch for under €5

You won’t always be supplied with pack lunch like your mum used to make so here are 5 ideas for lunch under €5.

  • Head to the bakery and get yourself a filled fougasse
  • Pop to the supermarket and get all the pack lunch essentials and make one like your mum used to.This is the best idea as you will get loads for your money if you go for multibuys.
  • If you want something hot then you will find that a Panni will fit into your budget and are available everywhere.
  • Share a pizza – you can probably get a Margarita for €10.
  • Eat where the instructors eat, they will know the best and affordable spots. Keep and eye out for the plat du jour as it can often be great value.

Where to eat your lunch?

The best thing about being a packed lunch kid in the alps is that you get to eat where the best views are. You can make yourself a lunch spot anywhere you like or you can use the many dedicated picnic areas that are popping up all over the ski resorts. If you haven’t got time to stop then lunch on a lift is a great way to multitask and be economical with time. If the weather is bad then you may want to head back to the resort and find an undercover spot. Some resorts such as Méribel are now creating dedicated indoor picnic areas, complete with kitchens, which could bring a new level to your packup.

The post Your stomachs guide to surviving a ski season in the Alps appeared first on The Basecamp Blog.

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What not to do in a ski resort

We may be known for our world-class ski instructor courses but our wisdom doesn’t end there. To help you look good on and off the piste we have put together a list of things NOT to do in a ski resort.

Once you’ve watched our video ‘tutorial’ and read our comprehensive guide, you will be able to identify many ski faux pas and as a result, avoid looking like an idiot in one of the coolest places in the world. 

10 Things to Avoid Doing in a Ski Resort - Vimeo

10 Things to Avoid Doing in a Ski Resort from TTR Group on Vimeo.

1. Carrying skis in a silly way

Get this one right and everyone in resort will assume you are at the very least a skier worth riding with. Get it wrong and and you will face social exile or even worse – being labelled a punter. To look cool carry your skis over your shoulder with the front of the bindings behind your body and your hands near the tip of your skis. However, if you prefer to look like a complete tool then you could carry your skis in the following ways: drag your skis along the floor behind you trashing what little edges you had; cuddle them like a skinny lover; use your poles to make carry handles; hold your skis like your carrying logs in your arms. Remember when carrying skis that you are a skier and not a comedy children’s TV presenter. The exception to this rule are those skiers who prefer to spend their time in the park, AKA park rats, as they are permitted to carry skis separately in each hand.

2. Punter Gap

Goggle marks are cool, the punter gap is not, both may result in serious skin conditions in later life but that is the price you pay for looking awesome or stupid. The punter gap is the space on the forehead between the hat and goggles which is left exposed and gets tanned or burnt when out on the slope.

This phenomenon is primarily caused by lack of vanity, as experienced skiers know that reflective goggles are not there to provide eye protection, but as a handy mirror for checking how good you look and ensuring that no forehead is exposed. We do expect that one day the punter gap will be in fashion… in an ironic way!

3. Using Tinder while skiing

If you’re thinking that Tinder while skiing maximises the thrill of the chase and is all about flitting and flirting your way through trees while confidently performing tricks, then think again.

In reality, you’re far more likely to injure yourself and others as you ski too fast with your face glued to your phone screen that won’t work properly because your gloves are to big.

4. Sticking your poles in the air for no reason

It won’t make you ski any faster and you look like a dick!

5. Not Having your money ready at the bar

This is a general life rule – be ready to pay! You’ve been in the queue for ages and life has taught you that if you’re going to buy something then you will have to pay for it.

Having your cash ready is even more important in a ski resort.  Firstly, you have spent loads of money on a cool ski outfit which comes with 26 different ways of making you look like a fool. Pockets, don’t let them catch you out!

Secondly, apres ski lasts a very short amount of time so don’t waste precious time looking stupid while locating your money at the bar – save that for dancing to the band.

Also it is very annoying for other folk who are waiting behind you, as they are just as eager to make themselves look foolish in front of the barman by not remembering what drinks they were meant to order.

6. Leave an amigo behind

Fact – once you have lost the person you are skiing with, you won’t find them until you’re back at your accommodation and if you are romantically linked to this person, when you do find them, they will be pretty angry!

Other facts worth mentioning include: Skiing on your own is boring; waiting at the bottom of a run is boring; sitting on a chairlift on your own is boring; apres ski on your own is alcoholism; being lost on your own is scary; standing at the top of a chairlift on your own is boring; shouting instructions at your abandoned friend about where you are heading next from a chairlift is ineffective; using a mobile phone abroad is expensive; having your wallet and phone safely stashed with the person you are separated from is irritating.

For these reasons alone, we urge you – don’t leave an amigo behind, no matter how crap they are at skiing.

7. Dress in an outlandish way

outlandish (aʊtˈlændɪ)
adjective: grotesquely unconventional in appearance 

Let your riding do the talking not your ridiculous grasp on fashion! This is real mountain life with weather and stuff, it is not Saint-Tropez.

8. Laugh at a friend’s misfortune

We all fall over from time to time, as one of our instructors says, “if you’re not falling over then you’re not trying hard enough”. I remember watching a friend stack it in the Méribel Moon Park while I was going up in the bubble and we all had a good old laugh at his misfortune.

However, by the time we had finished laughing, got off the lift and skied down to him, he was in a ‘blood wagon’ and that was the end of his season.

I think what I am trying to say is – don’t laugh, or at the very least wait until you know they are ok.

9. Walk in the road

In the ‘instructional video’ above we use ‘actors’ and ‘stuntmen’ to portray the hazards of walking in the middle of the road in a ski resort.

Just like in the UK, roads are used predominately by cars, and foreign cars are just as likely to hurt you as English ones if they hit you.

Also, foreign drivers in their own country they are just as likely to get as irate as British drivers if you were to walk in the middle of the road back home.

It is worth mentioning that just as the United Kingdom, most towns including ski resorts provide pavements for walking on and just like in the United Kingdom cars are not permitted on the pavements.

10. Drink so much at Apres that you can’t ski down

The 12 Stages Of Drunk Skiing - YouTube

No one likes to look after their drunk mate and no one will if you have to ski back down, as it will be much more fun to ignore rules 6 and 9 and video your inebriated skiing, then upload it to Youtube.

To find out about what you can do in a ski resort, check out our ski instructor courses in Méribel, Val d’Isere, Banff and New Zealand.

The post 10 Things Not to Do in a Ski Resort appeared first on The Basecamp Blog.

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A quick guide to mogul skiing

Moguls just exist! It is a fact of ski life.

Now you could be the sort of skier who avoids them or you can become the sort of skier who masters them.

Just like short turns, off-piste skills and carving, bump skiing is an essential part of a skier tool bag.

Looking good on the mogul field will be physically demanding and will involve a few falls on the way but once you have mastered it you will command a little more respect and have a lot more fun!

Find a place to practice moguls

It is best to practice on some gentle bumps and work your way up to more challenging steeper runs.

Another tip is to find a spot away from a chairlift full of people judging your skills!


Body positioning for mogul skiing

To master bumps you will need to get your skis turning quickly and to do that you need to set your body up for the challenge.

Your upper body should be slightly more upright than your usual skiing position, forcing your weight over the middle of your skis.

As you move through the mogul field you will want your upper body to remain calm and let your legs do the work, turning from the hips.

Ideally, you want your legs to absorb the bumps as your torso and head remain at the same level while keeping your skis in contact with the snow at all times.

Turning on bumps

There are three ways to take on individual bumps but your goal should be to master all of the techniques and go for a holistic approach to taking on the bumps.

First of all, your technique needs to follow the basic rule of allowing the bumps to push your legs up absorbing the impact and then let your legs naturally push out as you decompress.

  • Turn 1. The top turn. Head up it the bump and make your turn at the top when your legs are compressed then let the bump aid your next position.
  • Turn 2. Turn around the bump. There are natural pathways around moguls and often it is easiest to take this line. You will need to narrow your stance a bit for this.
  • Turn 3. In to the back of the bump. This is a great turn to use to the help you slow down and gain control. Make your turn into the back the mogul and use it to decrease your speed.

Arms should be a little closer in and you should be making clear & positive pole plants on the back of the mogul. Be careful not to let the pole drag as it will pull you out of your rhythm and you will lose your balance.

Wanna Ski Some Bumps? | Return of the Turn - YouTube

Eyes ahead & focus

Tip: Start off slow and work yourself into a comfortable rhythm.

The path you choose through the mogul field should follow the fall line.

It is for this reason you will be a better mogul skier if you use all a combination of turns.

Navigating a mogul field is a bit like a game of chess in that you should always be looking forward and planning your position 4 moves ahead.

Keep your eyes pointed downhill and don’t fixate on the turn your making think of the turns you are going to make.

If you want to master the mountain then a performance course could be the answer.

We have a range of coaching from 1 week to 11 week courses designed to maximise your potential on the mountains.

What is a Performance Course? - Vimeo

The post Tips for skiing moguls appeared first on The Basecamp Blog.

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Your steps to become a ski instructor

To become a ski or snowboard instructor takes dedication, time and money along with a passion for snow and a love of the mountains.

There are different qualification and skills that allow you to teach different levels and to reach the very top you will need the same commitment and hours you would put into becoming an electrician or completing a degree.

It is all worth it though because once you become a ski instructor your life changes with the opportunities and rewarding experiences the qualifications give you.

How good do I need to be to become a ski instructor

To start on your ski instructor journey you will need a basic level of competency with the general consensus that you could comfortably pass a Level 1 exam if you join a course as an intermediate skier.

Definition of an intermediate skier: Confident and consistent parallel turns on Green, Blue and Red runs. Tough conditions and pistes can slow you down and affect your technique. Experience on easy off-piste. Carving turns on fast runs.

What qualifications do I need to be a ski instructor

There are no entry requirements to start training to become a ski instructor however it is beneficial to have a second language so a qualification in a language relevant to the country you are considering working in will benefit you.

To work as a ski or snowboard instructor you will need to hold a formal ski instructor qualification.

Each country has a governing body that governs ski and snowboard instructors. For example, the UK’s governing body is the British Association of Snowsport Instructors (BASI). In some countries such as Canada, they have separate bodies for Snowboarding and Skiing CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance) and the CASI (Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors).

To work as a ski instructor you will need to maintain a professional membership with the relevant association and will be expected to take a regular refresher and professional developments course.

Most bodies will be signed up to the ISIA, (International Ski Instructor Association) who ensure there is consistency in the qualifications in each country. This also enables instructors to transfer their qualifications or to continue training under a different body.

In other countries such as France, it is seen more like an apprenticeship with instructors required to enter into the Stagiaire process that is linked to professional development within a certified and working ski school.

As you will be working with children you will need to have a CRB check or equivalent.

What steps to take to become a ski instructor
  1. You are probably taking step 1 right now by researching what it takes to become an instructor. So well done you!
  2. The next step is to decide where you want to work as a ski instructor. If it is one particular country then it makes sense to train under their governing body. If you want to travel make sure your qualification will be recognized in multiple countries.
  3. Get on a course. The easiest way to get on the right path is to sign up to a take ski or snowboard instructor course just like one of ours. A course will help correct and improve your skills and prepare you for your instructor exams. Signing onto a structure development course will also help you progress to the next level as well as aid your journey into teaching.
  4. Once you have the desired level of competence, supervised hours and a teaching certificate you can start to look for a job with a ski school.
  5. As you will see there are multiple levels of qualifications. After you have secured your first teaching job you will find that this is just the start of your instructor training so the step of being a ski instructor is deciding what sort of instructor you want to become.

Different levels of ski and snowboard instructor qualifications

On the whole, there are 4 main levels for you to achieve as a ski instructor. Each level will allow you to teach different ability groups and skills across a broader terrain on the mountain.

Along the way you can choose what sort of ski instructor you want to be. There are opportunities for you to diversify and specialises in areas such as freestyle, adaptive coaching or guiding.  You will also need to become multi-disciplined and hold parallel qualifications in a separate snowsport.

Level 1 – A level one certificate will allow the holder to instruct in a controlled environment such as an indoor and dry slopes or under supervision by a Level 2 qualified instructor on the mountain. You would have the opportunity to teach beginner and intermediate skiers with limited experience.

Level 2 – This level will allow you to teach in other ISIA member countries. You can instruct intermediate level skiers and snowboarders on any marked ski run.

Level 3 – When you reach this level you will have completed 100’s of teaching hours and some intense training. All this hard work will give you the skill you need to teach advanced skiers across a wide range of mountain terrain.

Level 4 – One you have attained this level you have become the ultimate ski instructor. You will be able to instruct skiers of all levels on all terrains, you will also be able to train others who want to be ski instructors.

How to become a ski instructor in…

If you are a native English speaker it is pretty straightforward to become an instructor in countries that share your languages such as Australia, The United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand and the USA. These are all members of the ISIA making your qualification easily transferable.

To work full time as an instructor in many other countries such as Italy, Austria, Norway and other European countries you will be expected to be able to converse in the native language. However, you may be able to work as an individual instructor for limited periods or for a company such as Interski.

There is a call for English speaking instructors in Asia making it possible to work in Japan & China with minimal language skills.

Becoming a ski instructor in Canada

If you are keen to follow your dream in Canada then there is good news as it is one of the simplest ways to get a working as an instructor.

Often you will find each resort runs it’s own ski school and takes its instructors from training programs running in the resort.

We have been running ski instructor courses in Lake Louise for  a long time and many of our student go on to work for the resort ski school after they have pass their exams.

Don’t forget you will need a visa to be able to work in Canada. 

Becoming a ski instructor in France 

Some say it is impossible to become a ski instructor in France, but that is not true. The only thing that will hold you back is poor French language skils.

The traditional route for French instructors is to join a ski school as a Stagiaire and work your way through the system including the infamous Test Technique.

A second option is to gain a Level 4 certificate and complete a European Speed Test.

Or you can work up to a BASI Level 3, pass the Test Technique and then seek a job with a certified ski school as a Stagiaire.

The post How to become a ski instructor appeared first on The Basecamp Blog.

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Find out all you need to know about a season with Basecamp in Banff: Video Guide

Every year a group of us Journey to Canada and our winter home of Banff where we set up camp and spend the season riding the trails and exploring the backcountry of Lake Louise. We are joined by individuals some are looking to learn, progress or become a ski or snowboard instructors, but all are looking to have the best winter season experience ever!

If you have never been to the Banff National Park you might wonder what the skiing is like and if you haven’t ever done a winter season or training before you may want to get a better feel for what happens out in the mountain. That is why we have put together this video guide to a season in Canada with Basecamp.

Basecamp – Banff/Lake Louise Overview

Basecamp - Banff/Lake Louise Overview - Vimeo

Basecamp – Banff/Lake Louise Overview from Ticket to Ride Group on Vimeo.

Resort manager Andrew gives you a short guide to what it’s like to do a course in Banff with us.

What are the course that we run?

CSIA Level One Ski Instructor Courses

CSIA Level One Exam Overview - YouTube

Find out more about this course…

CSIA Level Two Ski Instructor Courses

CSIA Level Two Overview - Vimeo

CSIA Level Two Overview from Ticket to Ride Group on Vimeo.

Find out more about this course…

CASI Level Two Overview Snowboard Instructor Courses

CASI Level One Overview from Ticket to Ride Group on Vimeo.

Find out more about this course

CASI Level One Overview Snowboard Instructor Courses

CASI Level Two Overview from Ticket to Ride Group on Vimeo.

Find out more about this course… 

We also run courses for skiers and snowboarders who want to focus on their style and technique but not work towards becoming an instructor.

Take a video tour around Banff

Basecamp - Banff Town - Vimeo

Basecamp – Banff Town from Ticket to Ride Group on Vimeo.

When in Banff we stay at the Banff Ptarmigan Inn in the center of town where we also eat and chill out most of the week!

Ticket To Ride – Banff – Accommodation and Food from Ticket to Ride Group on Vimeo.

Adventures in Banff

Ticket To Ride – Banff – Accommodation and Food from Ticket to Ride Group on Vimeo.

When we aren’t training on the slopes we like to find ways to enjoy ourselves on the mountain from heli-skiing to curling we experinece it all.

Life after Basecamp

#BCBanff - Life After Basecamp - Vimeo

#BCBanff – Life After Basecamp from Ticket to Ride Group on Vimeo.

We talked to a few of the former Basecampers, current ski and snowboard instructors working out in Lake Louise to get a sense of what life is like after doing a Basecamp course.

Find out more about all our course or download a brochure.

The post Video Guide: Basecamp in Banff appeared first on The Basecamp Blog.

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