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Ski Instructor Roddy Willis gives the low down on waps

More Wasps = More Snow | Snow Prediction for Winter 2018-19

Ski Instructor Roddy Willis gives the low down on waps

Is another mega winter coming to Verbier?

Verbier Snow Prediction:- More Wasps = More Snow?

This summer’s high temperatures and sustained warm weather have led to a plague of wasp, at times our garden in Bruson has looked like a wasp super highway – we have been battered all summer by the pesky blighters and the local Val des Bagnes fire service has visited our house twice to remove wasp nests from our roof. Our friendly cow farming neighbour has even suggested the wasps are a sign this winter is going to be super snowy and bigger than last year!

While I don’t personally use wasp’s as part of my magic equation to predict snowfall, I do enjoy the folklore and love the idea of another super snowy winter in Verbier! And there has been a lot of wasps!

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 – If you want 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  

 

Gordon and Florence Tropical Storms

Gordon and Florence | Verbier Snow Predictions Winter 2018/19

Gordon and Florence Tropical Storms

Climate change potentially is very bad for humanity…. extreme weather events… last year we experienced one of the hottest summers on record, massive autumnal tropical storms lined up one after another and then followed by one of the biggest winters on record.

This year average global temperatures are set to be the hottest on record, Europe has seen a blisteringly hot summer (hotter than last year) and today the National Hurricane Center is showing tropical storms Gordon and Florence lining up across the Atlantic.

Does this mean we are in for the biggest winter ever? Only time will tell but I think the signs are looking good for some great skiing this winter – Perhaps now is the time to book some skiing in Verbier?

Tropical Storm Florence Update

 

 

Tropical Storm Florence

Tropical Storm Florence

Florence has been building over the weekend and is now looking like a category ‘M’ storm (M denotes major hurricane). Florence will hit the coast of America later this week.

 

Roddy Willis Verbier Ski instructor

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’ …’ and 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.

Powder in 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.

 

Fresh tracks in Rock Garden Verbier

Epic Powder and Cuckoo clock chalets

Fresh tracks in Rock Garden Verbier

Verbier Snow Report

Errant snow reporter reporting in – the ski addicts out there will love my excuse for being a bit slack on reporting back the good news!

Yes – I have been out there playing in some of the finest snow available, I am now on about ten consecutive days of fantastic powder, starting last week in Zinal for four days with some great clients and then heading back to Verbier in time for Christmas and yet another dump of snow on Christmas eve.

As of today all the classic Verbier itineraries are skied, however with a little walking it was possible to find some great snow.  Particularly good today was Rocky Garden where the snow was just perfect.

 

Rocky Garden Verbier

Let party rock in Rocky Garden Verbier

Rocky Garden Verbier

The party is still chilled in the darkened corners, away from the heat of sun there is still powder to found. Or if corn or spring snow is your thing then the season to be merry is here for those in the know, like all great parties timing is the key, arrive to early and be welcomed by a crusty hard host, arrive to late and all the guests have turned to slush and mush. Please contact me if you need a party guide to Verbier.

 

Wet snow avalanches in Verbier

Verbier After The Storm

Wet snow avalanches in Verbier

After the Avalanches in Verbier

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

Here are some pictures of the aftermath of the events last Sunday; the positive which can be taken from these scenes is that the snow which has slide onto the Piste or close to Piste can be used to maintain the Piste over the Easter holidays.

So, all in all the skiing is still good in Verbier.

 

what do you do in the summer?

Ski instructors | What they do in the summer?

What do ski instrcutors do in the summer

What do ski instructors do in the summer?

“I am a dolphin trainer at Brighton aquarium”
“Gosh, really, how did you become a dolphin trainer?”

Pretty much everyone who works in a ski resort will at some time have been asked about their summer job. At the start of my ski career I would respond with a number of different made up answers, including dolphin trainer!

But what do you really do in the summer?

I am a qualified furniture designer and cabinetmaker. What that really means is I can pretty much make anything from wood. Over the years my summer career has developed. From designing and making furniture to building bespoke kitchens, high spec bathrooms, designing and building shops and the project management of chalet construction projects.

If you need help with your building or renovation project this summer then check out www.vivoverbier.com or contact me.

Or in the winter season book me for some ski lessons in Verbier

 

Another great day skiing in Verbier

Yes another perfect day in paradise – Well…. someone has to live the dream!

Yes another perfect day in paradise – Well someone has to live the dream! Yes I was exclusively living the Verbier dream today and nearly forgot again to bring you the latest skiing conditions and weather updates. Perfect piste, perfect sunshine, and a mixture of variable off piste – all topped of with a lovely dollop of sunshine.

Outlook for the rest of the week: The official weather forecasts are predicting another couple of days of sunshine followed by a heavy snowfall late Thursday.  The slightly un-orthodox meteorologist MysticMikey has smelt the bacon and said it is going to snow!

Yes another perfect day in paradise – Well someone has to live the dream!