Mark - Under the Microscope
The Boutique Chalet Company has a dedicated team of ski instructor guides available exclusively to our clients. They all hold the highest possible international ski instructor qualifications, and the sought-after carte pro, that allows ski instructors to teach in France. But they also, individually, hold some of the most impressive credentials possible! From race training athletes of the future, to organising some of the few heli-ski experiences allowed in France, to examining the ski instructors of tomorrow. Here we go Under the Microscope with Mark to find out a bit more about his background and more importantly to get some top ski tips.
When did you start skiing?
I started skiing from quite a young age and immediately fell in love with all forms of snow sports.
When did you know that you wanted to make a career from skiing?
I knew almost immediately that I wanted to make a living from skiing.
When I joined the British Army I was appointed as a Military Ski Teacher and worked in Norway teaching Special Forces and supporting forces. I also raced in the Army - Downhill and Super G - and in 1994 was the Land UK Forces Champion.
Greatest personal achievement?
Greatest professional achievement?
I qualified as an instructor for the ESF which as a Brit is quite an achievement. I was a British Army racer and coach and a Race Coach / Trainer for Kandahar Racing, the UK’s most established and prominent ski racing association.
What can someone expect from a lesson / day guiding with you?
The goal is always about enjoyment. Whether we spend the day lapping Green runs, making our way to a specific restaurant, organise more technical sessions or head off piste, it’s always about having fun - especially when teaching kids!
Something unique to skiing with you?
Well, we are a pretty qualified bunch! So you will be hard pushed to find better trainers coaches and teachers. But for me, I love teaching families and kids. And I really really enjoy creating heli-experiences for the guests.
What wouldn't you be without?
My phone! And I cringe as I say that. But my phone gives me instant access to weather updates, it enables me to call for help in an emergency, to receive mountain safety updates. It also means I can organise transfers at the end of my ski day with clients, book restaurants and allows me to do some all important filming so clients can see how they are getting on.
What have you noticed over the years?
3rd day blues! On day three I often see my clients really feeling it. Their energy levels are low. Their bodies are tired. They might have had too much, let's say, over indulgence in terms of alcohol and also food. So Day 3 can be tough. As an instructor it's important to take this into consideration when planning a week. But it's also important for clients to be aware of it. So they don’t get disheartened and so they do what they can to avoid it. By Day 4 everything tends to pick up again.