The Snoworks Experience

Phil Smith, Director of Snoworks and a Snoworks instructor lists his top 10 reasons why skiing with a Snoworks Instructor is not just another lesson it’s an experience.

We’re passionate about skiing. We live and breathe skiing. To a Snoworks Instructor skiing is not just another job – it’s THE job. It’s the job of our dreams. Ever since I was at school I remember vividly being called to see the careers officer. I was schooled in a comprehensive school in Harlow. Not the place you would consider to be a breeding ground of future skiers. The careers officer asked me my plans for leaving school. I was 15. “Heading to the Alps and teaching skiing, sir”. I responded.

Every Snoworks instructor you’ll ski with has the same passion. Why? Gravity, mountains and off course snow! Watch any kid that wakes up on a crisp morning to the sight of snow. A smile envelopes their face and that says it all. It transforms the landscape, covers everything with a virginal beauty and what else exists in this world that is made up of millions upon millions of unique building blocks. Every flake singular in its entity. You can pick it up, throw it, make things with it, jump in it, walk through it, lie in it, play in it and above all stick a pair of skis on and slide on it.

The sheer passion and joy of skiing will shine from every single Snoworks instructor. Nick Quinn (Tignes) epitomizes the Snoworks passion for skiing. He has a permanent smile on his face. And when guests ask why? He just gives a 360 degree glance and with the same smile replies – “wouldn’t you?”

Snoworks Ski Courses are an extension of our passion for skiing. Ski everywhere and experience everything to do with the mountains.

The first ever ‘ski everywhere’ course was the All-Terrain. This has remained with us ever since and is still the number one selling ski course in the program. It sums up our whole philosophy – to ski everywhere and experience all of the mountains.

From the All-Terrain were born Bumps, Off-Piste, Race Carve. Each one an extension of one aspect of All-Terrain. Then from the Off-Piste came Backcountry and more recently Backcountry Access. Each designed to lead you further into the world of all-mountain skiing.

Then the ultimate experience combining everything about Snoworks in one unforgettable skiing experience called Adventure. Seeking out exotic places, extraordinary people and cultures. Combining everything into an experience of a lifetime – Japan, Kashmir, Chile.

We love travelling. Going places, meeting local people and seeing different cultures. This year we’ll be skiing in the Espace Killy, Trois Valee, St Anton, St Foy,  Paradiski, Hintertux, Gressoney, Courmayeur along with Chile, Japan, Kashmir and Telluride. Plus day trips to Bonneval, Valmorel, Pralognan and Rosiere. Every day with Snoworks is an adventure.

Our skiing epitomizes freedom and individuality. We want to express ourselves through our skiing and we want you to be able do the same. Develop your own style like we have. We don’t ski the same and we would not want you too either. We want you to let go, to ski for yourself, to gain joy from an interaction with the mountain. Not to be hindered by perception or fear or shackled by ‘trying to do it right’ or ‘to fit in’.

We want you to be able to experience the freedom of skiing like we do.

Ski lessons for Snoworks instructor are not about ‘how you ski’, they’re about ‘where you want to ski’. There’s a difference and it’s as deep and wide as the Grand Canyon itself.

We want you to be able to enjoy skiing the mountains like we do. Experience their beauty and never-ending variation. We want to go places, to travel, to experience stunning scenery to finish a lesson and go WOW! That was amazing. We want every lesson to be a memorable experience.

To achieve this our teaching has developed into what is known as goal oriented outcomes. It’s all about getting you around safely and in control, adjusting to all the different types of snow and terrain the mountain offers.

See: Where Do You Want To Ski?

For years we’ve been harping on about open versus closed and how your perception of this will determine how you can learn.

Closed = Repetitive, pre-planned, rehearsed, orchestrated and samey.
Open = Varied, spontaneous, immediate, adaptable and free.

To understand this and the consequences for All-Mountain skiing and your learning you need to understand the nature of closed and open sports and how they differ and are learnt.

See: Open Versus Closed

To achieve all of our and your goals our skills teaching has developed around what are called the ‘Steering Skills’ – ‘Twisting’, ‘Pushing’ and ‘Edging’ and are the key to all-mountain skiing.

Twisting – For slow speed skiing and going places with awkward tight situations.
Pushing – For medium speed skiing and going places with heavy or deeper snow.
Edging – For going places at higher speeds.

The three skills overlap and provide a never ending blend as varied as the mountains themselves.

It’s why we coined the name Snoworks. It’s about the edges and base of your skis and the snow. Learning how to interact with the snow, to work with it, use it and adjust it.

It’s the ‘unseen skill’. It’s what the eye doesn’t see but what Issac Newton the great ski instructor himself observed and described in his three skiing laws.

Law 1
Push off on a slope and you will travel downhill – great.
Law 2

The steeper the slope the faster you go – yippee.
Law 3

Learn to interact with the snow, get the Sno Working and you can control your direction and speed – eureka!

We’ve summed the third law up into a simple working model and called it ‘Snow Displacement’. It’s all about you learning to use the edges and base of your skis to control how much snow you move. Move more you go slower, move less you go faster. It’s not ‘rocket science’ as they say.

Of course there are many other laws such as:
The Enjoyment Law
The better you become the more of the mountains you can enjoy.
The Confidence Law
Confidence is directly proportional to the level of control you have.
The Skiing Is Great Whatever The Weather Law
Being directly related to the ‘glass half full law’.

When you love doing what you do it shines through. Snoworks ski instructors are doing what they love. We’ve built a whole program around what we love doing – going skiing. We don’t get bored, frustrated or tired. We ski with one group a day on our all-day courses and two groups a day on our half-day courses. We teach 5 days a week and have the weekend off when more often than not we go free skiing and exploring for ourselves. What this leaves is plenty of energy for you.

You have been the architects of our courses and our teaching. Our teaching is a reflection of your ambitions, desire and drive. Our philosophies developed in response to your needs and aspirations. You keep us on our toes. Keep us thinking of new places to go, better ways to teach. We can’t afford complacency.

Bon ski