Best gap year as Ski Instructor in Canada

Calendar March 13th, 2012


Jess is having the Best Gap Year ever on her ski instructor course in Canada. EA's ski instructor courses have full season options so you get to live like a local, experience the culture and get way more powder snow dumps! Plus you get a guaranteed job offer. In Jess's latest blog - find out what awesome Canadian winter activities there are to do when your not skiing, working or partying!


Jess's Gap year as a Ski Instructor in Canada - part 4

Hello again from Banff, which has been practically buried in snow from (rumour has it) the biggest snowstorm in 40 years! We woke up this morning to 50cm of fresh powder!

Norquay has had 70cm in the past 48hrs, which is apparently more than Lake Louise and Sunshine (the other two local resorts) put together. To put this into perspective, the total snowfall at Norquay all year before this week was around a metre and a half.

The snowstorm coincided perfectly with my first trip to Lake Louise, and I spent most of the day skiing awesomely powdery tree runs and the infamous bowls that I’d heard so much about.

Back to work tomorrow after a couple of days off, but I’m actually pretty excited; the avalanche blasting should be finished so I’ll be able to ski the best runs at Norquay with knee deep powder! Fingers crossed for no lessons…although I’m fairly sure there’ll be a snow shovel waiting with my name on it.

Aside from the excitement about the weather (I’m so British), plenty of other stuff has been going on here. As our days off have become more regular, and we’ve started to get bored of skiing at Norquay, we’ve managed to take a few trips to some different ski areas. As staff members, we’re entitled to “reciprocal skiing” at most of the nearby resorts.


So far, I’ve made it to Lake Louise, Kicking Horse, Revelstoke and Sunshine Village. Revelstoke was by far the most fun – I rented a pair of powder skis, which were so much fun to ski on, and the ski area is incredible. The highlight of the trip was definitely hiking over to the farthest bowls, which turned into a 2-hour long expedition and just scraping our way onto the last chairlift back!

We spent the rest of our time skiing knee-deep powder in the gladed runs (this means runs that look like forests, I’ve learnt) despite the fact that it hadn’t snowed in a few days. The trip was made complete by the hilarious movie-style motel we stayed in, the Revelstoke Lodge; “your mum called and said to stay here”.

We also made it to Calgary to watch an ice hockey match; Calgary Flames vs Chicago Blackhawks. The game was averagely interesting, but the atmosphere was great and the food was surprisingly good (much better than British football stadium food…).


February also saw Norquay’s annual “cardboard sled derby”. The rules were simple: build a sled out of only cardboard, duct tape and bin bags and ride in it down the ski slope. Prizes went to the most interesting sleds, as well as the ones that stayed in one piece at the end of the race! Lucky for us, Grace, one of the other EA interns here, is a civil engineer by background. As “chief engineer”, she designed us an amazing sled, which came third in the race, but somehow escaped winning a prize we’re still bitter! (see photo above)

Finally, in an effort to become more Canadian, we also gave curling a go. The conclusion from this, for me at least, is that curling looks quite cool and is fun for a while, but it’s actually quite boring.


This blog is full of exciting things that we’ve been doing, but we’ve definitely not been slacking off the partying side of things. Parties recently include: Hawaiian night, Hick, superheroes, TOWIE and pub golf! And we’ve also managed to play some bingo.