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Helen Parker La Chaux - Epic

Verbier Beginner Ski Lessons

 


Mastering La Chaux Verbier after 4 hours skiing

The power of a positive mental approach and some good base-level-fitness makes skiing easy. There is no mystique, just simple logical steps and skiing can be easy.

The video above is Helen skiing la Chaux in Verbier after only 4 hours skiing – She was super happy and pleased that she will now be able to have fun and ski with her children and husband.

If you think you’d like to master La Chaux? Then maybe contact me and book some beginner ski lessons in Verbier.

Savoleyres Powder

Verbier Snow – Powder Day

Savoleyres Powder

Emma finds fresh tracks – It’s a Pow-E-der day. This winter has been amazing with many days of great cold snow. Today the clouds cleared above Savoleyres and we ski endless fresh tracks. Simply EPIC. If you want to take your skiing from the piste to the powder then let me know.

New Logo overlaid on photo of Roddy Willis skiing in Verbier

Roddy Willis Ski Instructor | New Logo and Website

Ski Instructor Roddy Willis new logo

Roddy Willis Ski Instructor | New Logo and Website

As you can see I’ve got a new website and a new logo. To be certain you are booking me, Roddy Willis, for your ski lessons in Verbier, then please contact me directly via my new website www.roddywillis.com or email me at roddy@roddywillis.com.

You can also follow me on Instagram, Twitter and my Facebook page  

 

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.

#Verbierrammassage 2017

Verbier Ski Piste | The Big Clean Up

‘Come and help us clean up the mountains we all love: let’s collect all the rubbish that doesn’t belong there!’ Well that’s what the leaflet said’

It didn’t sound like the greatest of family days out, trudging around the Verbier ski pistes collecting up other’s detritus…. but our collective civic responsibility kicked-in and off we trotted to collect up soggy tissues and wot-not left on the mountain after the skiing has finished and the snow has melted. I couldn’t have gauged the day more wrongly.

We met at Medran where the organiser provided free rubber gloves, plastic rubbish bags, a free oe day lift pass, coffee & croissants for breakfast, packed lunch, an end of day BBQ, and a 1 DAY SKI PASS WINTER 2017/2018 and … one BEANIE for the first 50 inscriptions online… plus the chance of winning the rubbish sculpture and the Instagram competition #verbierrammasage.

The day was a great success with a total of over 1000 kilograms of rubbish collect from Verbiers main ski areas.

Rubbish Sculpture Competition – May the Filth be with you.

Seven teams entered the sculpture competition, everyone was looking competitive, there was 150CHF first prize to be won. With an interesting selection of creations being built: Rubbish President with the soundbite ‘Make our mountains great again’, a wigwam affair and others. My team (Me, my wife Emma and our boys Thomas 5 and Jamie nearly 2) set about building Darth Rubbish. ‘May the filth be with you’.

Verbier clean up 2017

Kato Kim does the President proud

 

 

We won...

And the winner is Darth Rubbish, we won! ‘May the filth be with you’

#verbierrammasage Instagram competition and Facebook page

Instagram competition was a great success with some great entries and won by Kato Kim with his image ‘what a toad of rubbish’

 

 

La croûte au fromage Chez Dany

Chez Dany | Restaurant Musical Chairs & the Democratic Republic of Clambin

 La croûte au fromage Chez Dany

If you, like us, love great meals out in and around Verbier then you’ll probably also know there is a bit of ‘musical chairs’ going on with the restaurants in Verbier. And a bit like the drivers in Formula 1, everyone is looking for the hot seat, when one moves they all move. So what is the gossip?

What is the story at Chez Dany?

The executive chef and his team have done a bunk leaving a power vacuum. For a while it was a little uncertain as to what was happening in Clambin – However we can report that Chez Dany has been taken over by the rebel forces of the Democratic Republic of Clambin (DRC). These same rebel forces once were the original founders of P.A.A.R.T.E.E. at Farinet Après.  We’ve also heard on the grape vine, that the DRC are offering refuge to the Dicktators who are building their own secret mountain hideaway. Apparently the infamous Yellow Mike will be helping the DRC and the Dicktators write their P.A.A.R.T.E.E. manifesto.

It looks like Chez Dany is going to be the place this winter for rebellious rocking Après Ski in Verbier. We are unsure how the Popular Peoples Front of Clambin will respond, however we will keep you posted on developments in Clambin.

Where is Nomad Sushi?

Nomad in the Nevai Hotel has always been a bit nomadic, setting up in a number of different locations around town. As far as we can tell Nomad at its last locations, in the Nevai Hotel, has closed. However, the owners of Nomad just happened to be the original founders of Farinet Après and they are now in Chez Dany. Confused?!

If you have a penchant for high altitude sushi, then there is no need to worry!  You’ll still be able to satisfy your desire for uncooked fish in Verbier this winter – The rumour is: The former Nomad sushi chefs are doing three nights a week in T-Bar.

L’Ecurie

The former executive chef of Chez Dany Claude Alain Besse and his team have taken on the L’Ecurie in the hotel Ermitage. This is great news as one of Verbiers’ best restaurateurs is now on the mountain and in the town. Lunch and dinner is sorted! If we can survive a round or two of fine Gentianes we’ll post our review of L’Ecurie very soon.

Dahu

Claude Alain Besse is still at the Dahu.

Club Vie Verbier | Rosalp Hotel

The Rosalp in the good old days was home to a Michelin starred restaurant. Over the last few years the Rosalp has been another Verbier building site making the rue de Medran look like a Swiss cheese.  The Club Vie Verbier will open this December in the Rosalp and has potential to rock with some serious talent in the kitchen. Gerwin Brand, who’s CV looks like he should be a judge on Master Chef, is running the kitchen and we are excited. We’ll bring you a review as soon as possible.

Pergola

The Pergola has had a bit of face lift this summer and has got a lovely new wooden pergola. Who knows if the menu is getting a face lift? Please do send in your reviews.

Brasserie No.1

Sadly Brasserie No.1 in Le Chable has closed. We’ll miss the fine food that was served by Jamie and the boys. The rumour is,  Jamie is going to be sous chef to Gerwin Brand at Club Vie Verbier.

If you’ve got any other gossip or reviews of Verbier restaurants, then I,d love to hear from you. Or if you need help finding your way to Chez Dany then maybe book some ski lessons with me!

 

Telemark turn in Verbier

Telemark Skiing | Verbier Day Off Skiing

Telemark turn in Verbier

‘Well, I gave my mind a thorough rest by plunging into a chemical analysis’. Conan Doyle in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine 1890

With this in mind over the last few season I have ploughed my days off skiing into more skiing but of a different kind, the one that is said ‘frees the mind’. In past seasons I might have spent, as I saw them, my precious days off doing not very much, getting up late hanging around watching the ski racing or generally not doing much in a bid to have a rest. Often resulting in not really feeling that rested and a little frustrated with wasting my time, lift ticket, sunshine and everything else that springs to mind right now.

So recently I have plunged myself into more skiing, the kind with a free heel, which I cannot say actually has freed my mind but it is interesting how learning to do something new can actually be more refreshing than lazing around at home all day in the belief that I will be refreshed from doing nothing.

The result of my endeavours freeing my mind, kindly record by Julian Griffiths (European Snowsport), can be seen above. It may not be a technically perfect turn but I am pleased with my progress and I have now passed a Telemark instructor qualification with Swiss Snowsports.

If you are interested in some free heeling ski lessons then hit me up with an email or a ski lesson booking enquiry!

 

Powder in Verbier

Off Piste Conditions | Verbier | North South Divide

Powder in Verbier

Off Piste Conditions in Verbier

There is definitely a wealth divide in Verbier, only the divide isn’t being measured with cash but with snow. And interestingly it is the north which has more than the south. The south facing slopes of Verbier are no longer white, or shades of white and brown, they are green! Spring really is here very early. However the recent snow fall last weekend has help keep the north rich in the white stuff, with north facing skiing in good condition. More snow is forecast for the coming weekend, I’ll keep you posted as to how the wealth is divided!

If you need some help over coming the divide this winter in Verbier then please do contact me Roddy Willis Verbier Ski Instructor.

 

Wet snow avalanches in Verbier

Verbier After The Storm

Wet snow avalanches in Verbier

After the Storm – Wet Snow Avalanches in Verbier

You might be thinking from my last blog ‘The storm is brewing‘ that it is all doom and gloom in Verbier. I can report that there is still skiing on the pistes in Verbier. Above 2800 meters the snow is still dry and crisp. All north facing itineraries are now open again. The itineraries Vallon d’Arbi, Col de Mines are closed. In the morning the pistes are firm and defrost with heat of the day, turning to slushy bumps in afternoon. So, the afternoons are fantastic fun for the keen mogul skiers.

Here are some pictures of the aftermath of the events last Sunday. So, the positive side is the snow which has fallen onto the piste can be used to maintain the skiing over the Easter holidays.

All in all the skiing is still very good in Verbier. Maybe time to book your Easter ski lessons.

 

Intersting snow has fallen in Verbier

Carnival Snowfall Verbier

Intersting snow has fallen in Verbier

Carnival Snow Verbier

An interesting phenomenon appeared on Saturday, a new form of snow fell on the streets of Le Chable, consisting of flat colourful discs and falling in a localised area on the main road through la Chable. All very interesting and I have decided to call the Swiss weather service to report my findings. See picture above.

Anyway onto the real news, my skiing partners for today arrived at the meeting point looking a little bedraggled from the previous evenings carnival festivities. They talk of visiting all sorts dancing spots and strange bars as it is the 25th anniversary of the Carnival des Bagnes.  All this leaves me wondering if this has anything to with the strange snow I have seen!

It is half term week and the slopes are getting are busy and with a low temperatures there are still pockets of powder to be found in a few secret stashes around the four valleys. Closer to home the pistes in Verbier are firm and well groomed in the morning then turning to bumps and ice in the afternoon with the half term traffic. The skiing off the groomed pistes in Verbier is turning to moguls as can be seen in the second of my photos which is lots of fun if that if moguls are your thing!