Vallandry ski school

Snow arrives in Vallandry!

Here is a short video blog to show it like it is at the moment!

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At last, more snow has fallen today making the slopes complete again. We have had a few minor flakes falling last week but today we witnessed a heavier fall of snow to top it all up.  The New Generation Ski School here is booked up again for this week with only a few slots available for private lessons and some space on our group sessions.

We are looking for more ski teachers so if you hold the British qualification I.S.T.D. and are registered with the French authorities get in touch!  It is a great place to live and work. The area has some perfect teaching slopes and has very easy access to La Plagne and Les Arcs.  Friendly piste patrol and local ski schools make it a real pleasure to be here.

Happy skiing!

Spring Skiing!

News just sent out to all members today..Bookings open for the Spring skiing week in Hintertux!

Dear skiers,

Welcome to the 20th year of World Class Skiing! This year we are celebrating our anniversary with a special autumn showcase to Hintertux. Calling all World Class devotees…it will be a great time to meet up with old friends again on the glacier. More news as we go through the summer for updates on the events proposed. Simply go to the booking page… here…. .and download a booking form and send just £50 deposit to secure your place.

22nd October – 29th October Week 1

29th October – 5th November Week 2

Take your pick, or have both!

To whet your appetite we will be returning this Spring, 28th May – 4th June,  to the Hintertux glacier for some ‘pre summer’ skiing. Staying at the Sport Hotel Kirchler in Lanersbach with a luxurious wellness suite for some great relaxation after skiing.

Prices from £749.00.  Bookings are being taken already so hurry to secure a place as the hotel availability is limited on this special week. Go to the World Class Skiing website to download a booking form for any of the above dates.

Breaking news.

Alex Leaf (Director of World Class Skiing) has recently been voted onto the board of British Association of Snowsport Instructors as Alpine Director! See the link to read the press release.

More news…

It is half term week here in Les Arcs…some snow has arrived and helped to soften the base layer up and make the snow more grippy…although we could do with some more!

With the hard pistes in much of France this winter and a long period of very little snow, the resorts are experiencing a  high incidence of collision accidents. This highlights the reason for wearing a good helmet. The main issues appear to be ‘out of control’ skiers. People may not realise or be aware that they are out of control, as skiing has become a very accessible sport with new skis and very well groomed pistes making the experience easier.  If you are on the mountain take care and always check who is skiing behind you! Remember, it is the skier above you who needs to avoid you; the lower skier has the right of way…always.  Never stop over the brow of a hill, on hidden corners or in the middle of the piste….

Would you like to teach skiing?

We need more internationally qualified ski teachers! The I.S.T.D.  (International Ski Teaching Diploma) is the highest qualification awarded by BASI. It is a very prestigious achievement and takes years of training to acquire.  This is the only recognised qualification that the French authorities will accept.

British Ski Schools here in France need more of them, so if you are looking for a new career, then explore the route to becoming  a ski instructor. Mind you, it is likely to take you 5 -6 years to get and at an estimated cost of maybe £30000!

REMEMBER!  Our next World Class Skiing week in May…..Join us for some great coaching in a fabulous location!


The World Class Skiing team!


Alpine Director BASI

I suppose I should get this on the blog. I’ve been told I should!

This was the press release sent out 10 days ago about my new role as Alpine Director for our association. I was voted in by the members. As the good old boy scouts saying goes, (as I was one once!)  ‘I PROMISE TO DO MY BEST’!



February 3rd 2011




At the BASI General Meeting held in Geneva last weekend and a subsequent Member’s Forum, Alex Leaf was voted in as the new Alpine Director. The position on the Board was left vacant at the AGM in October when former Alpine Director Gareth Roberts was voted in as the new Chairman.


Originally from Torbay and now based in Les Arcs, Alex, a popular figure within the snowsports industry, has been a BASI member since 1977 and a trainer for the last 20 years. He has represented BASI at Interski events in Norway and Japan and his career has involved working in many corners of the world including Europe, Canada, the USA and Argentina.   Before setting up his own snowsports training company, World Class Skiing, with fellow BASI trainers, he managed Plymouth Ski Centre prior to running a retail, events and online sales company in the adventure sports industry.


Upon taking up the Alpine Director’s role on the BASI Board, Alex commented, “I am proud to have been voted on the Board of Directors for BASI.  I have been a member of BASI for over 30 years and in that time I have seen many changes and developments. I feel that the association is in a stable and positive position from which it can grow and develop, with this in mind,  I am looking forward to the challenges which no doubt will arise and to the role of being the voice for our membership.”


BASI Chairman, Gareth Roberts welcomed Alex’s appointment at Board level, “It is great to have someone of Alex’s calibre and experience joining us on the Board.  We want to ensure that we represent the views of the members as a whole and it is vitally important to have nominated representative for each discipline.  With such a strong team at Board level and the support of the staff at HQ and the membership we are adequately resourced to ensure that we maintain the high profile and status that BASI commands within international circles.”





Skiing in Les Arcs

It’s been some time since I last got to grips with the blog! I have been very busy, with almost nonstop skiing since the last entry here from Saas Fee. Most of the winter will be here in France and skiing the amazing area  from La Plagne to Les Arcs.  Based in Vallandry we are strategically placed for access to the entire area.

Snow conditions here are superb, albeit a little hard packed as you ski the lower slopes. We are lucky to have access to high glaciated areas with fine snow however.

The New Generation Ski school here is managed by John Thomas and from this year I am here to assist in the development of  the ski school.  Currently we are booked up and could do with more Instructors! Any BASI, I.S.T.D.  fully qualified ski teachers out there? It is a fine place to work. Here also is a good friend of mine, John Arnold, we have both been in skiing since…well..a long time! John and I were in the 1995 Japan Interski team, it’s great to be working alongside him again. Between the three of us we have worked out that there is well over 120 years of combined teaching experience!

Seen here I am busy delivering a lesson to two keen skiers.  The very bright New Generation Ski School uniform is highly visible and an Ideal uniform!

The Piste security and management is probably some of the best I have seen and just fantastic customer service…now that’s saying something!  They are well organised and very efficient. Today some lift rescue training was taking place and was a spectacle to see, it certainly makes you feel safer when you know that there are well trained staff to help in difficulties.  The pistes are exceptionally well groomed and in perfect condition bearing in mind the last time it snowed here.

Last week my time was taken up delivering a BASI  level 1 ski teachers training and assessment in Courmayeur Italy. Seen below are the candidates and a few breathtaking views of Mont Blanc! The snow conditions there were very good given the fact that there has been next to no snow since the middle of December!

To know more about New Generation Ski Schools visit

More news soon about the World Class Skiing Autumn showcase Birthday party week!

Dynafit Mustagh ATA skis

A few hours off in Saas Fee!

Our plan was to take a quick tour in the area and take in some great views….the weather was against us however!

Roy Henderson, BASI mountain safety advisor has some new touring skis to test so we took advantage of the time and decided to get a few turns in on these new skis.


The DYNAFIT MUSTAGH ATA skis are a new ski on the market for the keen ski tourer. They are very lightweight and a pleasure to use and just feel great. Roy says. The binding system is very versatile, seen here in the video, and is also extremely lightweight.  We had some fairly difficult conditions to ski in and the Mustagh’s made the going easy.

This is what Dynafit say..

The Mustagh Ata Superlight was developed based on successful model Mustagh Ata. The lightest ski in its class. Equipped with patented technology Dynafit inserts and modern waist. The 88mm medium width and balanced core construction ensures maximum driving pleasure in all snow conditions. In this case when climbing so little weight that the ski is quite ideal for long high mountain tours and expeditions.

SPECIFICATIONS…. From the Dynafit web site.

Product Length: 161 | 169 | 178 | 187
Product Sidecut: 116-86-109 | 116-86-109 | 122-88-111 | 122-88-111
Product Range: 16.0 / 21.5 m | 23.7 / 18.2 | 26.3 / 21.8 | 26.8 / 24
Weight (g): 1150 | 1255 | 1335 | 1490
Product Fieldsofuse: Freeride Touring
Core Construction Isocore Paulownia Ultra Light
Laminate Biaxial layers in the lower and upper layer of fiberglass and carbon reinforcement
Lauff Äch Sintered graphite base – resistant, with improved sliding characteristics and better wax absorption


So, if you are into touring it sounds like these are the skis to have!


Saas Fee in November

Saas Fee, Switzerland

I’m lucky enough to be taking a BASI level 2 group here in Saas Fee for 2 weeks, for Peak Leaders gap course providers.

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Having never been here before I was excited to get the opportunity to ski here.  Travel from Geneva airport could not be easier by train. 2 and half hours will get you to Visp, a main town on the express line. From here it is a short bus ride up to the resort.  Saas Fee is a very cosy resort and has far more ‘Village’ feel than Zermatt for example which is only a few miles up the road.

The snow here at the moment is fantastic, heavy falls for a day and a half have set the scene for the season here by the looks of it! The glacier is a very impressive looking one with steep mountains and hanging ice all over the place! As yet, the whole resort is not open and we are skiing on the main glaciated runs, I understand that the area may be fully open within a week or two, they are certainly busy preparing the area.  The forecast for the week end, however, looks like there will be even more snow. On a good note though this means we will have even MORE snow to ski on next week! I had better prepare my skis again for some powder days.

The BASI level 2 exam is for two weeks and my class of 6 are keen and committed to achieving their goals. I am working alongside Roy Henderson and Mark Petty, My two Trainer associates!. All in all we have 2 alpine ski groups and one snowboard level 2 group.   This time of year is an ideal period to commence snowsport instructor exams just prior to the winter season starting.  I’m sure they will find work in the mountains for this season.

Working here also for several weeks is Amanda Pirie and Lynn Sharp, seen here, Lynn next to the remainder of a large avalanche set off just a few hours before the piste was opened! Lynn and Amanda run Performance ski coaching for racers of all levels. Lynn is Head Ski coach at the British Ski Academy in Chamonix. You can find their web site at

If the weather  does hold out I might even get some touring in at the week end!

Easy ski warm up

Whilst in Hintertux on the World Class Skiing second week , we were lucky enough to have skiing with us a chartered Physiotherapist, (Jo Dafforn BSc(Hons) MSc Physio). We discussed the best ways in which to warm the body up effectively and easily before your first run. Seen here, Jo demonstrates a ‘soft’ warm up to get those muscles and tendons ready for your days enjoyment!


Remember however, once you have carried out this routine before you ski, your first run should still be a gentle, controlled descent, for say 15 mins or so, rather than shoot off at your highest speed! That would be dangerous for you and for other mountain users.

Take care and enjoy your skiing.

Autumn Skiing in Hintertux 2010

HINTERTUX October 2010-10-26

After 1 metre of snow fall over 36 hours the skiing here is superb.  So much snow that even the steepest of gradients here is not enough to get you moving due to so much resistance! The snow is, however, light and fluffy, just as it should be. What a start to the season!

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This, our 19th Year in Hintertux for World Class Skiing is quite a prelude for our 20th party next year

John Thomas and myself are the trainers for the week and it is a pleasure to be working alongside John.  During the winter months John runs the New Generation ski school in Vallandry/Les Arcs and is kept very busy with many British clients. I will be working with John In les Arcs and together we will be growing the Ski School in that area.

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The group are enjoying the skiing and having a ball!

“My skiing has improved since I have been with World Class Skiing over the past two years. The trainers are dedicated to ensuring we all benefit from the time on snow. Both Alex and John  are fantastic  and have made the experience very enjoyable” Ruth Swarbrick, Devon

The Danish Interski demo team are here training in preparation for the congress in St Anton in January 2011. Seen here in their Helly Hansen suits looking great!  As we in BASI work closely with the Danish association it was great to here them talk about their ‘BASI’ friends in the snowsports Industry! Their demos were looking great and I’m sure they will make an impact at the congress in January.

World Class Skiing has 2 weeks here this year and after this amount of snow we will, I’m sure, be having a great week next week!

More reports on snow and conditions as they arise, so keep an eye on Twitter at world_class_ski

See you soon In Hintertux!


BASI Advanced Ski Instructor course

For those of you who are working through the  British Association of Snowsport Instructors system.

The BASI Advanced Instructor course is not widely known as yet, however, it is a superb qualification which sets itself between the Level one and Level two qualifications In the BASI system. Latest course was delivered at the Hemel Hempstead Snow centre.

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Many Level one teachers who work on dry slopes, or the ever expanding snow centres throughout the UK, now have this qualification to progress towards.  It fits in neatly for those who either do not wish to, or cannot commit themselves to a two week course on snow for the level 2 award. You can, however, use the UKAI course as a stepping stone towards the Level 2 as it also acts as a module for this.

If you are already a level 1 and are keen to progress through the BASI system but cannot commit to the two weeks on snow then this course may be for you.

Focusing on the drills and skills required for skiing beyond the central theme it is also a superb personal development 5 days course.  There is also a good degree of teaching involved which again, will stretch your knowledge on improving skier’s performance at the central theme level and beyond.

To attend this course you will need a total of 35 hours shadowing PLUS, 35 hours teaching experience after your level one. It shows, however, that the shadowing and teaching work between these courses produces good ski teachers and as a result, builds a real professional ethos. This was seen last week.

Delivered over 5 days either continuous or over two weekends.

So, if you have a level one and want to move on, what are you waiting for! Book on! call the BASI office on 01479 861717 or e mail them


The other side of Bariloche…

A short drive into the city of Bariloche reveals some stunning, less attractive images…here’s a couple…more to come…

Skiing and all it’s great images and enjoyment is only 20 minutes away…do we choose to ignore them..looks like we do.

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