They Think Its All Over – It’s Not Now

Phil Smith, director of Snoworks discusses the skiing journey and the evolution of the Snoworks programme.

“They Think Its All Over”

A reference to moments before the final goal of the 1966 World Cup final just before Geoff Hurst scored the third goal of his historic hat-trick and entered into the history books. The commentator concluded just after the goal “It is now!”

It reminds me of the skiing journey. You’ve arrived. The journey is over. You’ve reached your peak. But have you? Is it ever over? Where does the journey end? Tackling your first red run, skiing the fall line on blacks, skiing bottomless Japanese powder, skiing off the top of a volcano in Chile, hairing down a race course at warp factor 5, cracking leg rotation, ripping out a perfect carved turn.

At Snoworks we’re committed to the skiing journey ‘never ending’. Changing yes, switching to-and-fro yes, ending no. I started skiing at 12, competed for England at 18, became a BASI Trainer in my late 20’s and trained instructors to the highest level. In the early years performance and racing was my thing and as a BASI Trainer I was definitely on a technical journey that was for sure. Then the wild mountains, off-piste and adventures beckoned and sent a smile right across my face, now it’s back to racing as a coach and I love it. Where will the next journey take me, who knows?

The skiing journey can be endlessly varied. It can be developing technical excellence, tackling more and more demanding terrain, searching for deeper and deeper powder. It can be discovering new destinations, integrating into a new cultures, meeting new skiing friends. Your skiing journey can be as open and varied as the mountains themselves.

So what is the Snoworks journey?

Over the years we’ve worked hard structuring a programme to help with many different journeys. We’re totally aware of all the different journeys available and structured a programme catering for them all. Here’s a brief look at the different journeys.

The performance Journey is about getting better at tackling the mountain environment moving from Blues, to Reds, to Blacks, to Frontside Off-Piste, to Backside Off-Piste, to Steeper and Deeper. Discovering how to cope with ice, bumps, bad visibility, fresh snow. We even created a new performance level last year years ago – Steep. We’ve worked hard on developing philosophies to help skiers perform better and better in the mountain environment. The All-Terrain and Off-Piste were the courses originally developed with the Performance Journey in mind and remain to this day amongst our most popular courses.

The technical Journey is for those who are interested in developing their technical expertise. This journey originally begun in the All-Terrain and Off-Piste courses but for those more dedicated to developing technique we’ve recently gone a step further and structured courses specifically around this journey. The Spring, Summer and Autumn aptly named Ski Skills Courses are for those skiers who revel in technical development. For some the journey continues and may even culminate in enrolling on the Snoworks GAP level 1, 2, and 3 Ski Instructor Courses where technical precision is a pre-requisite.

This Mountain Journey is for the pure joy of skiing in the mountains where every run is different, every slope is unique. The Mountain Journey is for skiers who revel in the sheer excitement of skiing amazing destinations. A Backcountry route off the back of Stuben in St Anton, a small traverse from the piste to some untracked powder, a skin up to the top of the Foglieta in Ste Foy. Those on the Mountain Journey ski with a smile on their face all the time and just love being in the mountains. All-Terrain Safaris, Backcountry and Backcountry Access were specifically developed with this journey in mind.

The Adventure Journey is something very dear to our hearts. We begun this journey many years ago with our first ever trip to South America and were blown away with the scenery, the culture, the skiing and most of all the people. Since, we’ve added, Japan, Kashmir, Norway, Iceland, Turkey. We’re working on Kyrgyzstan and Iran and hoping to add Lebanon and China. The adventure journey is for those who like to travel, like to see the world, like to integrate into new cultures and love meeting new people. We try to add a new Adventure every year or two. Our objective – ski and see and experience the world! new adventures for this year include Georgia Cat Skiing.

This journey is for everyone in every journey described above. But particular dear to our hearts is a course we’ve introduced recently. The Legends. For those that wish to keep on skiing and nothing will stop them.

“In my teens there was no stopping me. In my 20’s I competed internationally. In my 30’s I jumped off everything there was and skied as fast as I could. In my 40’s I trained like a madman, trying to defy the natural laws and keep up with my young boys to little avail. In my 50’s I started to notice the beauty of the mountains, relish the sensation of skiing powder, slowed down, accepted the natural order of things, worked on my technique, connected more with the mountain and I’m now enjoying skiing off-piste more than ever before. Yes, more than ever before at a different pace. I’m looking forward to skiing into my sixties, seventies and even my eighties like many of our guests. Guests that I like to refer to as true ski legends, why? Simply because they are!”
Phil Smith, Director Snoworks.

The skiing journey, just as other journeys in life is not linear, it’s full of twists and turns and toing and froing, even breaks from skiing here and there. I remember vividly at around 16 years old taking a break. Other things took my interest. Looking back I cannot believe I had a break but at the time I did. Many factors effect the journey, fitness, age, weather, snow and experience. The Snoworks programme has been shaped with all these journeys in mind catering for everyone and every journey. Every season shapes the next. Every course the next. Enjoy the moment. What’s your journey?

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