The real me (Roddy Willis) skiing the bumps in Zermatt

A brief history of time… 30 ski seasons later and still loving skiing and the mountains

My first season as a dishwasher in the Hotel Fjord

Where it all started – Hotel Fjord Val d’Isere

In 1986 I had my first attempt at Higher Education, after a term and a half my tutors thought it best we part company… that was the moment I realised life was about choosing my own course in life, creating my own destiny. In the summer of 1987 I found a job teaching windsurfing in Turkey, my mind was opened to a life outside of the conventional, after an epic summer I arrived back in the UK. All those around me said it was time to get a ‘Real Job’ …’. so, I got a job in London selling ski holidays, I had joined the race race….

Eleven months later I was ready to throw myself in the Thames, it was time to live my life. I managed to wangle a fantastic career move, hydro-ceramic engineer for the 88/89 winter season in Val d’Isere. At the end of my first season dishwashing in Val d’Isere, not only had I had an awesome time. I had more spare cash than at any moment in the real-world job back in London… the future looked bright my career path was set.

In the 30 winter seasons since 1988 I’ve had many resort job, I’ve been a dishwasher, dishwasher ski guide, chalet boy, MBO (Maintenance and building officer), tour operator resort manager, ski rental technician, floor boy for a night club, ski tester for Ski and Board magazine, ski school technical director, ski school director, ski instructor, I even managed 3 winter seasons whilst completing a degree in Fine Craft Furniture Design and Making, I’ve trained as a Master Practitioner of NLP and Sports Hypnosis.

The common thread across the last 30 years is my love of the skiing and the mountains, I still love every day in the mountains and the best days are those when I am helping others to learn to ski and enjoy the mountains.

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