Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Highs and lows of ski teaching

Last week it was a delightful group of Kenyans all learning how to ski and generally ski teaching was fun and happy. This week I’ve been plunged into Christmas week ‘cours collectifs’ and I’m grasping for the French, Dutch and German phrases for ‘get up yourself you lazy enfant, it’s the millionth time you’ve fallen over for no reason today’…

Jardin - 2 days ago.  Is raining now.

It’s amazing to see the differences in kids that, on the surface, are apparently the same. As soon as they click into (or spend ten minutes kicking) their skis, some kids grasp the simple skill behind skiing in a snowplough and some look like they are trying amateur breakdancing on ice. Beginner plus is apparently the worst group to teach because the parents think they can ski but actually they can’t. They really can’t.

Of course, this is now my job and it’s important that I do all I can to make sure these little skiers and ‘cours privé’ of the future have fun and learn something but for some, you can’t help but feel they don’t want to be there and are only there so their parents can go ski, especially the little German kid who has thrown up on the piste for the last 2-days.

Still, picking up the flotsam and jetson of my ski group after every other turn is good for fitness and given the diet that I’ve been eating (beer and pizza) since I got here in November, every kid I help to their feet negates a demi Becks in the Av.

To compound my worries of an expanding waistline and inept ski group, the whole of Holland, the UK and France appears to have arrived in Chatel in the last 2-days causing parking and traffic chaos. Someone recently mentioned to me that it wasn’t the French’s fault that they were rubbish drivers, it’s just not something that they do well and they are all crap. It’s just how it is. Well, you can lump the Dutch into that category as well and the majority of the English that have arrived here.

It hasn’t snowed here for a week, it’s raining at the moment but because they’ve seen a bit of snow, they drive at 2km/h everywhere and stop in random places. The main issue I suppose is that the village isn’t set up for this many people. Outside of the season, only 1200 people actually live here so parking is at a premium. Even the Sherpa supermarket has caught onto the fact that nipping in there to buy a chocolate bar doesn’t mean that you can park there all night while you get wasted in the bars of Chatel.

An exciting development this week will be that my mates from home arrive to spend New Year here with us. Tempted by the après ski, copious quantities of Jager and hot snowboard chicks (in limited supply but I haven’t told them this) Cheeko, Hughsey and Afghan Nick arrive tomorrow to smash it up in Chatel for a week.

As a prediction for the future, my guess will be the Beginner Plus group will be having to pick themselves up a little more than previously due to their instructor trying not to be sick like the German kid…

published here

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