Advertorial feature

From steel to snow: how one man retrained to become a ski instructor in Canada

 

When passing through the gate for the flight back home from Geneva after a week of skiing in the Three Valleys, a moment’s hesitation can be forgiven; an involuntary paralysis while the mind attempts to conjure up an excuse valid enough to warrant turning round, getting back on the road and back on the skis!

This feeling is familiar to anyone facing an imminent return to the 9-5 routine after a spectacular skiing holiday. But for Danny Featherstone, a 35-year old Advanced Craftsman in the Yorkshire Steel Industry, the seeds of change were more firmly planted. “I didn’t end up turning round on that occasion, but I was dragged kicking and screaming onto the plane” said Featherstone.

Back at home, Danny determinedly set about making plans for a sustained return to the slopes. “People talk about changing their lives by going to the gym or by finding a new route to work…I was looking for something more fundamental.”  Danny started to look at re-training. As a ski instructor! From working with steel to working on snow, this was a significant change of direction!

Less than a year later, Danny was listening to a talk given by the Director of Snowsports at Big White, a ski resort in British Columbia, Canada, about the instructor training course schedule that was to begin the following day:

“The course was fantastic. We were training five hours per day, five days per week with the most senior instructors in the Ski School. I never knew how bad my technique was – the video analysis sessions were a real eye-opener - but it improved beyond measure over the course of the 11 week programme and I am now an expert skier and fully-fledged ski instructor!”

Danny passed the Level 1 & Level 2 exams of the CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance) and is now permitted to teach skiing extensively throughout the world. “There are a few restrictions…I can’t teach in France until I have passed additional qualifications but apart from that, the world is my oyster!”

For 2012/13, Danny is returning to Big White to put the theory into practice. He is expecting his rookie season to be tough but rewarding. “The wage drop will be something that I will have to get used to [a first season ski instructor in Canada will typically earn $16 (£10) per hour and expect to work 25-35 hours per week] but, on the flip side, I’ll be skiing every day, keeping fit, being in the mountains…being happy!”

Danny booked a course with SnowSkool which offers ski instructor courses and snowboard instructor courses in Canada, France, New Zealand and the USA.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballStriker in talks over £17m move from Manchester United
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
News
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

    £30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

    Day In a Page

    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

    ... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
    Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

    Europe's biggest steampunk convention

    Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

    The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor