Friday, February 13, 2009


Since the day after Christmas I have been working as a Austrian certified ski instructor at a small local ski area and at two different beginner hills. "Östtereiches Schilehrer" sounds pretty impressive, but in reality you don't ski endless powder runs or philosophize about the fine points of edging or weighting the skis.

First off, the work is demanding. Try to bring a four or five year old with zero experience to link turns with a snow plough in five days. Do it in a group of 8 to 10 kids and add some cold, wind and bad weather - that is more the reality of what a typical ski instructor does. There are also things that you don't even think about at first: getting into the bindings, riding a T-bar or chair lift, side-stepping, getting up once you fall over, etc., etc.

Last week I was rewarded with a good group of 10 and 11 year old kids who I could start getting to ski parallel and edge with their hips and knees. In addition there was fresh snow every day (20cm-30cm) and very few people on the slopes. I have to say that last week was more what I had always imagined work as a ski instructor would be like.

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