How not to be a ski Instructor

All I can say is that this ski instructor business is harder than it looks, and I’m just looking at the moment!

During each lesson, I have to ski properly, to the standard being taught, and no higher (or lower), observe the instructor and what and how he teaches, and observe the pupils and try to recognise the same points that the instructor is picking up. Then write up a summary of each lesson at the end of the day.

What I shouldn’t be doing is:

– demonstrating how to fall off a chairlift

– getting left four chairs behind the entire class, while they wait patiently

– dropping my pole and having a pupil retrieve it for me

– running over small children on the exit from the moving magic carpet on the nursery slopes

– skiing in the opposite formation to a client, down a steep slope and have him describe it as the helix of death

And finally today I learned that when a small child falls over and loses a ski, the instructor should never try to help the small child to put its ski back on, while holding the child and maintaining a snow plough position for balance.  This performance on the nursery slopes today resulted in me doing the splits, with the small child pinned underneath me with its skis akimbo, while I asked it politely to duck lower so I could slither over the top of its head to get my skis off.

On explaining this public debacle to my instructor Gordon, who sauntered over without skis to sort out this manoeuvre,  he said in his languid Scots accent, you’ll soon learn!

I expect I will….


5 people like this post.


  1. Comment by Trish:

    Oh dear!! tomorrow is another year! If only all these children were as good skiers as your wee Patrick! Drown your sorrows tonight and have a fantastic new year!

    Trish & Robert

  2. Comment by Ruth Mackie:

    ROFL! What else can I say…
    Happy New Year!
    Ruth xx

  3. Comment by Shelley:

    Oh what a classic! I was imagining that it would be difficult for a good skiier to ski at a lesser level to suit the class, but it seems you’re managing to do so quite well. Happy New Year and I’m looking forward to hearing the 2013 adventures.
    Shelley xxx

  4. Comment by Richard, temporary alias Hopalong Dick:

    A lovely and very modest account of your adventures, Karen!
    I think you’ll eventually have to expand the completed daily essays into a book, whereupon it will become a bestseller, albeit principally aimed at the relatively limited market of aspiring ski instructors who also possess a good sense of humour.
    We’ve had a lovely Christmas, with family now departing in ones and twos – the weather has been surprising clement for the most part.

  5. Comment by Liz Cullen:

    Lol. Reminds me of my experience on the magic carpet. Happy new year!

  6. Comment by Karen Sleat:

    Hahahah How could we ever forget the instructor’s call to watch for the black lines at the edges of the escalator and our Liz interpreting this as advice to step on them ……