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Becoming a ski instructor on my gap

Evan completed NonStopSki's 11-week instructor course as part of his gap year after school.  He then combined part-time ski instructing in Italy with his degree at university.

Evan and fellow NonStopSki students pass their CSIA Level 1I had just finished my A-Levels and had loads of aspirations for an amazing gap year, I'd been looking forward to this year for the whole of my teenage life but when I was suddenly faced with the reality of it I actually had no idea what I was going to do.  I knew I needed to save some money to go away so I'd started working doing tedious jobs in catering and bar work at exhibition centres in London.  By the time I'd saved any decent money it was November and already a quarter of the way through my year - I had nothing planned.  I was pretty unhappy in my job to say the least, working long hours and for not very much pay.  It was when I was skiving off work at the Ski and Snowboard show looking at all the exhibits that I stumbled across NONSTOP, and suddenly it hit me.  I'd always loved skiing but had ruled out doing a season because I didn't want to be working in a chalet with equally bad hours and similar pay to what I was getting at home, but NONSTOP seemed to offer something different.

I got home that night and sent off an email straightaway, to my surprise I got an instantaneous reply and before I knew it I had booked my course within a couple of weeks and would be heading out to Red Mountain in January.  Red had not jumped out at me as the obvious choice, it was by no means the most popular destination, and I don't think I'd even heard of it before NONSTOP.  Because I was so late to book, I didn't have much choice but the guys at NONSTOP raved about it, and I'm glad they did - the choice to go there was one of the best things that cEvan and his NonStopSki housemate outside their home in Rosslandould've happened to me.

We flew out to Red in January; I'd had a bit of contact with other guys on the course through facebook and the majority of us all met at Heathrow before the flight.  After a long day of flying and coach transfers we finally arrived in Rossland.  It was fairly late in the evening and snow was falling, suddenly my dream gap year was beginning.  I learnt who my housemates would be for the season and all of us being jet-lagged and excited we were up till about 7 in the morning.  After all the introductory stuff and a few days to settle into life in Rossland and getting our ski legs fully prepared we began lessons.

Our house was great, it was strange for me living in my own house considering I had just finished school and was still living at home but once I'd settled in I loved it.  We had a hot tub, pool and table tennis tables and proper wood burning fires that we got going religiously after a long day on the slopes.  Rossland is a really cool town, the kind of place where you get to recognise everyone's face and everyone is super friendly.  I've never had a 20 minute conservation in a supermarket about ski equipment but I did here!  Although we hCelebrating Stacey's Birthday, the NonStop course host for Evan's coursead our own bus service up to the hill it was so easy just to hitch a ride up with one of Rossland's friendly citizens.  We had hearty meals in downtown Rossland, drinks in the 'Shovel' pub and après-ski at 'Rafters'.  Although it's not the biggest party town we soon found the best spots to go and heaps of people threw house parties through the season.  Our course host Stacey was amazing, she seemed to be everywhere in Rossland at once.  From picking us up in the mornings to chatting to us at dinner to flying past us on the hill, I don't think the experience would have been the same without her and a lot of us are still in contact.

The terrain at Red is unreal; quite daunting at first but once you get used to itNonStopSki students survey a run on the Powderfields and taught how to ski properly, it is amazing!  Steep and deep and on powder days there is no place on this planet that I would rather be.  I was also amazed at how good our instructors were, I'd had lessons when I was younger and felt I'd always learnt quickly but these guys were unreal.  The stuff we learned in such a short space of time and the things they picked up on in our techniques was astonishing.  Everyone was skiing like pro's by the middle of the course, let alone the end.  We skied "NONSTOP" quite literally, at every spare minute we would either be on the hill skiing or down in Rossland talking about it.  I loved every single minute of my time in Red and ended up leaving with my CSIA level 2 and friends that I will keep for life.  I got on with everyone on the course, I was one of the youngest at 18 and the oldest was in their mid-40s, we had people from Australia, Japan and even Latvia as well as loads from the UK.  My 11 weeks in Red were the best time of my life and it was really sad to leave.

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