Guest Blog by European Snowsport//

European Snowsport offers a wide variety of experienced and talented ski and snowboard instructors. To find the perfect ski instructor in Verbier for your unique needs, we always recommend booking your lessons well in advance of your trip. Securing your ski instruction early will give you the broadest possible range of available ski instructors. All our clients are unique and have different goals and expectations – and our friendly team are ready to step in whatever you require; with some specialising in teaching kids and beginners, and others who are more experienced in providing freestyle and off-piste private lessons to those looking to fine-tune their skills on the hill. 

We asked Kate St Clair Tisdall, our Kids Academy manager what the best part of being a ski instructor is and how she ensures each group or individual has the best time possible on the slopes:

“My role within ES is the Kids Academy Manager and I love it. Teaching children and seeing them grow into incredible skiers is so rewarding. As I have been here for so many years, I have seen so many kids go from 3-year-olds who have never skied before to teenagers who are inspired to become ski instructors themselves. I’m a very caring and patient person, and I like my lessons to be fun while including safety and learning. I want my clients to feel comfortable and share my passion for skiing. I’m usually the one with glitter (magic fairy dust) on my face, balloons and evergreen ‘reindeer’ antlers on my helmet.” – Kate

Booking your lessons ahead of time will not only let us match you to the best ski instructor – you also get to pick your preferred time slot! 

Morning lessons are always very popular, and the availability fills up quickly, especially during peak weeks. Our snowboard and ski instructor Stephanie Mugnier loves waking up early to see the dawn: “The sky is a beautiful pink and you can see the air is cold, something you learn to notice when living in a place like this”, she says. Once up the mountain, she will make her way to her favourite off-piste areas – such as the impressive Mont Gelé. “When you are high up away from all the people, that’s when you get the real feeling of freedom”. 

Best Kept Secrets – A Guide to Après & Lunch Spots by Verbier Ski Instructors.Collage of Ski Instructors, Landscape and Après ski Images

Many of our ski instructors in Verbier have lived here for multiple years, and know the resort (and mountain) inside-out. Ski Instruction is about so much more than simply helping you perfect your technique and improve your confidence; Our ski instructors are ready to show you all the secret spots; lunch places and après ski parties. 

We asked our ski instructors what their personal favourite on-mountain lunch stop is in Verbier;

“Cabane du Mont Fort has the best croute de fromage in the 4 Valleys. There is nothing like it at any other winter resort in the world. Getting to eat outside on a sunny day makes it taste even better.!” – Marc 

“I love Chez Simon, but not for lunch – I’ll head there simply because they have the best apple pie!” – Stephanie

“I like the little bar at the entrance to Le Dahu. They have a great tapas menu including tartar, oysters and other delicious bites; it’s quick and there’s no need to queue.” – Julian

“It’s got to be Chez Dany. Getting there can sometimes be difficult so we recommend asking your ski instructor to show you the route, but once you’re there you can’t beat the views and the food is also amazing. Another favourite spot to go to is Carrefour… Rosti Creblet every time.” – Kate 

Next, we had to find out where their favourite après ski spot is (and which song is guaranteed to get them dancing!)

“This is a tough one as there are so many great places! On the mountain, Bar 1936 is always fun with live music in the sun. In town, Lumi is great as well – whether it’s to play darts and listen to the live band, or sit on the sunny terrace with a nice chilled Aperol. If I feel like some dancing (and possibly being covered in beer) then it has to be Le Farinet après. The bands that play are amazing and you can still be in bed by 9pm!” – Kate

“Le Farinet has a special place in my heart. “Why?” you may ask…  Well, I got married there! They have great live music and there is nothing like singing ‘Sweet Caroline’ with a hundred of your closest new friends.” – Marc

Get To Know Some of European Snowsport’s Most Experienced Ski Instructors

ES Ski Instructor Skiing in Verbier

Meet: Julian 

How did your passion for skiing begin, and how did you come to Verbier?

“I learned to ski at the same time as my dad, first in Alpbach, Austria, then it became a family obsession and we went all over; a stint racing in my teens led to the decision to make it a career. No regrets.”

What is your favourite part of being a ski instructor and how do you ensure each group or individual has the best time possible on the slopes?

“My favourite part is meeting lots of different and exciting people. There are only a few careers where you can meet so many people with fascinating stories and backgrounds. The key is to listen to them, slow things down, and give them what they want. There are a vast number of reasons people take a ski instructor. All in some way want help with their skiing, but even then, plenty of people just want to be shown around and given the odd tip to make their day more enjoyable. Some want a lot of technique, and this is also fun.”

Do you have a favourite skiing memory or story?

“Skiing with one client once, he started talking to the birds (literally). An accomplished hunter, he could speak to them using a range of noises. Later, he raced me while smoking giant cigars. Non-stop entertainment, I now carry a cigar cutter and some cheap chocolate, which he insisted dramatically enhances the experience; Although I haven’t had a cigar-smoking client since.”

ES Ski Instructor Kate in Verbier

Meet: Kate

How did your passion for skiing begin, and how did you come to Verbier?

“I only started skiing when I was around 10 when I went to Austria on a school trip. Then when I was older I had a few friends who worked here in Verbier as ski instructors for European Snowsport. Instead of going to uni, I did a 6-month cookery course, and there was a lot of talk about ski seasons which I was very interested in, so I came out to Verbier to ski with my friends. Whilst I was here, I had an interview with Ski Armadillo and got a Private Chef job for the following winter. I had only planned to do one season, but – like so many others – I quickly fell in love with the mountains and the people (and being able to ski every day was a bonus). So, after a few seasons spent cheffing from 2008 onwards, I decided to get my qualifications and became a ski instructor for ES. I now live here all year round.”

If you could design your ideal ski day itinerary in Verbier, what would it include?

“You should get out and explore the incredible 4 Valleés. Start up at Tortin and make your way down to Siviez, stopping off at the Tipi for a quick bite to eat and a beer. The soup of the day and sandwiches are always great. Then, head from Plan de Fou over to Nendaz, and discover the excellent terrain at Combatseline. Make your way back to Verbier by getting up to Gentianes. On the long ski down, I would stop at Ice Cube at Ruinettes, followed by Bar 1936 and finish off at Lumi for some live music après. If it’s a powder day – don’t miss Bruson (but also, don’t tell anyone).”

What’s your number 1 top insider Verbier tip (on or off the slopes)?

“If it is your first time in Verbier, then book a ski instructor. The area to ski is huge, so eliminate the stress of figuring out where to go and where to eat, and leave that up to your instructor. If you don’t feel like skiing, then walking the track from Ruinettes to La Chaux is a lovely alternative way to spend a sunny day. If you are skiing with kids, always have snacks in your pocket!”

ES Ski Instructor Marc in Verbier

Meet: Marc

If you could design your ideal ski day itinerary in Verbier, what would it include?

“Meet me at Médran and let’s go up. Grab the Funi to Attelas, ride across the Lac des Vaux ridge line and down to Lac 2. Head up to Tortin, and find your line. There are so many fun variations! Grab a coffee or hot chocolate at the bottom, before heading up to Gentianes and Mont Fort. Take an obligatory selfie on the observation deck, do a quick beacon check and head to the Backside. This is the best of what Verbier has to offer, but you should do it with a mountain guide. A whole valley just for you and your friends – what more could you want? Stop to catch your breath at the church, then ride the trees down to Siviez. Rest on the lifts back to Lac des Vaux… because we are not done yet. Vallon d’Arbi awaits. Slide down the ‘bobsled’ run past Col des Mines and drop in through the trees. Grab the gondola in La Tzoumas and then head to the Croix de Coeur restaurant. We are not eating there, just regrouping before we go down through the trees to Carrefour, then through the tunnel to Mayenzet. Don’t worry, we are almost back at Médran. Congratulations!  You just completed a huge lap around Verbier. Now it’s time to head to the Pub Mont Fort and order a big plate of nachos, you deserve it!”

How did your passion for skiing begin, and how did you come to Verbier?

“When I was 11, I saw a picture of a snowboarder in Powder magazine. At that time, there were only 3 ski areas on the East Coast of the US that allowed snowboards.  It took me a year to convince my parents to take me to one of them – Stratton Mountain in Vermont. On my first day, I broke my wrist!  It didn’t matter, I was hooked. I first came to Verbier in the late 90’s. Verbier was unknown to Americans – it had no internet presence – no website, no online piste map, no My girlfriend’s (now wife’s) family lived in Lausanne, so we went on vacation to visit them. I was excited to snowboard in Switzerland, but really had no idea what was in store. My mind was blown! Verbier was far bigger than any place I had ever ridden. The ski mountain where I taught in New York was only 300m high. I knew immediately that Verbier was the place for me, and 25 years later I still consider myself incredibly lucky to live and teach here.”

ES Ski Instructors Group Shot

Booking your ski and snowboard lessons beforehand will allow you to enjoy the weeks prior to your trip without any stress or uncertainties. Your booking is already confirmed, your ski instructor is waiting to welcome you and you will have plenty of time to ask any questions you may have. 

If you’d like to get the most out of your time in Verbier, let European Snowsport know what you want to achieve and we will help you find the perfect ski instructor in Verbier for your holiday!

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