European Snowsport has been established in Verbier since 2003 and can provide lessons in 6 different languages. Their instructors are hand-picked, 100% qualified and will visit your chalet the day prior to your lessons to discuss your exact requirements and objectives. From adult lessons to kid’s camps, free-ski academy to kid’s academy, instructor training to adaptive lessons… there’s something for all!
We caught up with Julian Griffiths, the founder and owner of European Snowsports, for a quick Q&A session… and here’s what he had to say;
Q. How long have you lived in Verbier? And Why Verbier?
A. I’ve been in Verbier for about 17 Years, our ski school is 15 years old. Before Verbier I lived and taught skiing in the French Alps, the US, Australia and New Zealand. Verbier is our home now, but I enjoy getting out to other resorts as well. It’s quite a nice thing to visit one of the other resorts nearby sometimes.
Q. And why Verbier?
A. Unusually for a Brit who’s skied in a lot of places, we’d never been to Verbier before we came to work here. Verbier really is unlike any other resort when it comes to its itineraries. The lift-accessed off-piste is impressive, the scale of the mountains huge, and the view out to the Mt Blanc massif is fantastic. One of the best things about Verbier is its situation. In the western Alps, a lot of resorts sit in the valley which is often narrow, and so can be shady and cold. Verbier lies on a sunny wide pasture which means there is a lot of sun.
Q. Best memory so far in Verbier?
A. Skiing in Verbier is full of secrets it can take years to uncover, I take great pleasure in showing people corners of Verbier and the 4 Valleys that they never knew existed. Some of my best memories have been entertaining people for excellent lunches on the other side of the 4 Valleys, then making our way back to Verbier and finishing the day with a cold beer on a beautiful sunny terrace or in a bar.
Q. What else makes Verbier so special?
A. Away from the fantastic lift accessed off-piste and vast piste network and sunny aspect, it’s the community. In some ski resorts, there are tourists and locals. Verbier, has locals, expat residents, weekly visitors, weekenders from Milan, Geneva and London, ski bums, celebs, people coming and going for all sorts of reasons, all rubbing shoulders and bonded by a lot of skiing. It creates a great vibe with mostly skiing as a great common passion.
Q. Top tips for Ski Armadillo clients wanting to get the most out of Verbier?
1. Explore all the areas of Verbier, Savoleyeres, Bruson, Nendaz and beyond. The 4 valleys is a large and impressive ski area, make the most of it! Most people tend to ski on the Medran side of the mountain. This is great, but there is so much more to ski, so many more mountain restaurant to visit great dishes to try, slopes to ski, and off-piste runs to explore.
2. Book lessons, all-day lessons, and stick with the same ski instructor. They will get to know you, and you’ll get to know him or her. You’ll save a lot of time and effort at the beginning of each holiday, and your instructor will let you know what’s going on in town and let you in on the secrets. Invites them for dinner and be a good tipper. My instructors will thank me for that one.
3. In busy weeks, book tables at mountain restaurants ahead of time. Ski Armadillo or your ES instructor can help with this. There is nothing worse than turning up hungry at a full restaurant.
4. Verbier is famous for its off-piste and if you’re not completely confident and equipped to go off-piste, take a mountain guide, they can go anywhere and are well versed in the local snow conditions and secret spots. Mountain guides work independently but can be booked via your rep or ski school.
To book a skiing instructor / guide with European Snowsport, head to: www.europeansnowsport.com