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Another great powder day in Verbier

Verbier Powder

Another amazing week in Verbier – Empty slopes and great snow. 

 

 

Powder Skiing in Verbier

Another Epic Powder Day in Verbier

Another epic powder day in Verbier

This winter ski season has produce the goods again – If you are interested in taking your skiing from the piste to the powder then do contact me the next time you are visiting 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 skied endless fresh tracks. Simply EPIC. If you want to take your skiing from the piste to the powder then let me know.

Highest Level Swiss Ski Instructor Badge

How to choose a ski instructor

Off Piste tracks on Savoleyres Verbier

Choosing Ski Instructors in Verbier

Ski Instructors come in many types, shapes and sizes! With varying levels of ability and customer care skills and often at approximately the same price. So, if you are coming to Verbier it can be slightly confusing on who to book to help you with your skiing. There are 20 plus ski schools and any number of independents. Here is a little (I hope helpful) information to aid you with your selection.

Independent Ski Instructors in Verbier

There are generally two categories of ski instructors working independently in Verbier. There are ones that are qualified to the highest level in Switzerland with appropriate insurance and registered with the Swiss authorities and who can legally teach skiing independently: And there are those that are working illegally.

So, here are some points to remember when booking ski lessons with an independent ski instructor.

  1. Only a Brevet Federal (Swiss top-level qualification) instructor can teach independently – Lower level instructors are required to work within a ski school under the supervision of a Brevet Federal instructor.
  2. Independent ski instructors are legally required to be registered with the Canton of Valais and hold third party liability insurance and registered with the AVS.
  3. Only Brevet Federal Instructors can teach off piste skiing.
  4. If your instructor is an independent and is legal then you can be sure you are getting a ski instructor who holds the highest qualification.
  5. You met your ski instructor in a bar last night and he or she can’t show you, they are registered or their ski instructor licence (Brevet Federal / Snow Pro) or their responsibility civil (RC or 3rd party) insurance then it is highly probably they are not legal.

If you want to be sure you are skiing with a  legal and qualified instructor then check out their credentials on the MontagnePro website. So, if your instructor is not registered, then he or she is probably working illegally and  probably without insurance etc.

Ski Instructors with Verbier Ski Schools

If your ski instructor is wearing a ski school uniform and you have booked him through the ski school office or website, then you can be fairly-certain they are working legally, as the ski school will have registered and insured their instructor. However, be aware of what you are actually paying for:- Ski schools can employ all levels of instructor, from a top level Brevet Federal ski instructors to someone who has completed a five day in house training course with the ski school at the start of the season.

Ski schools in Verbier can employ four lower level instructors for one Brevet Federal. The point being you will probably pay the same price for the experienced fully qualified instructor as for the fresh-faced newbie. So, my tip is to asked the school what level of instructor you are booking or if the instructor can take you off piste as only a Brevet Federal can teach off piste skiing!

Ski Instructor Reviews

Once you’ve established the legal credentials and the type of ski instructor you have chosen maybe ask to see some reviews from their previous clients.

Booking

Now with their reviews and credentials checked. It’s time to book your carefully selected instructor and have some fun on the mountain.

 

 

 

 

Pow Pow Verbier

Bluebird Powder Day December 11 2018

First powder day winter 18-19 Verbier

Pow Pow Verbier

Today in Verbier – Say no more….

Ski Instructor Roddy Willis gives the low down on waps

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

Ski Instructor Roddy Willis gives the low down on waps

Is a 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 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. However, I do enjoy the folklore and love the idea of another super snowy winter in Verbier! And there has been a lot of wasps!

If you are interested in talking climate change? or just wanting some banter on a chair lift then please do book some ski lessons with me in Verbier.

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  

 

Gordon and Florence Tropical Storms

Gordon and Florence | Verbier Snow Predictions Winter 2018/19

Gordon and Florence Tropical Storms

Verbier Snow Prediction

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.

If you are interested in some other snow-forecasting techniques then read my blog on Smart Snow-Forecasting. Or, if you just want the current real weather in Verbier check out the my weather forecast 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.

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!