Instructor Course Diaries Begin...Big White Blog 1 from Charmaine

Calendar December 8th, 2010

Kia Ora everyone! I’m Charmaine and I’ll be your guide to the EA Ski & Snowboard Training’s Ski Ultimate Plus Internship Programme from the champagne powder at Big White Ski Resort. I’ll fill you in from the beginning to the end of the season. All the good stuff so you will have an in depth insight into what really happens when you take a season to turn a passion into a job. Let’s face it, we never get enough time to ski because we need to work, so why not get paid to do it? Then we can do it all the time! Every week I’ll update you on the course, snow, and crazy happenings that tend to happen at a ski resort full of likeminded, spontaneous people who are out for kicks and kickers.


And so it begins…

Like many of you who are looking at this blog, it began at the end of something. I was finishing my last year at university with a month to go and no idea what I was going to do when I finished. My second season on snow was melting away with the coming spring, like most skiers I was in denial, in no way ready to stop just yet, I was just getting good. It was decided! I needed a job in snow…within a fortnight I was hooked up with a Lifty job at SugarBowl, Lake Tahoe.

Two days before finishing, my Internship Manager came to me with an opportunity to be a ski instructor. I was thrilled, terrified, doubtful, excited, hesitant to the point I was sure I was going to have a heart attack right there from the conflicting emotions. Ski instructors are the rock stars of a ski resort, they’re the all knowing masters of snow, she had been a ski instructor for 13 years and had given me my only ski lesson before the NZ Uni Games so I knew all too well the power of the ski instructor, but like rock stars people dream of being ski instructors but never think it will actually happen, was I ready? She seemed to think so, being a ski instructor she knows what she’s talking about. It was decided, after two seasons on skis I would not be just another lifty working to chase the snow in Tahoe, I would now be among the elite at Big White.


Fourteen hours on a flight from Auckland to Vancouver, arriving 9 hours before I left New Zealand, I was met outside the gate by my EA Rep and others going to Lake Louise, Revelstoke and Big White. When we swapped some history, I found he was from Wanaka close to Queenstown where I’d learnt to ski. He said I’d love my first taste of powder, and as we played Tetris with our luggage to fit the shuttle that would take us to the hotel and Orientation, I stuck my tongue out to catch the falling flurries, he was right.