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Rote Teufel - Red Devils - ski school in Kitzbuhel

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Rote Teufel - Red Devils - ski school in Kitzbuhel

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi

I was just wondering what your experiences with this ski school have been. Before we went to kitzbuhel, we had heard they were meant to be really good and booked individual lessons for two beginners in our group. The instructor they got was absolutely rubbish!!!

After two full days of individual lessons the rest of us spent the third day skiing with them and discovered he hadn't even told them how you get off a chair lift. He took them up the chair lift for the first time and after they fell off it, he said "oh I should have explained that".....but he didn't take them up again so they never learned it. Confused

One of the beginners was a very anxious middle aged woman, who kept leaning backwards, sitting on her skis and sliding down the slope. As soon as we noticed this, we told her to lean forward and got her to practice skiing with her hands on her knees to emphasise this. The instructor hadn't told her this! Isn't that one of the first things they should tell you?

The other beginner was a 14 year old, cross country runner, who was very enthusiastic and by the end of two days of private lessons, she still couldnt ski a blue run. I know different people learn at different paces but for a young fit person, this seems very slow, especialy considering she had already taken a few lessons at a dry slope, so knew the basics already.

I appreciate the instructor had a difficult time, as the two beginners were different ages, different levels of fittness and had different levels of fear but he seemed totally incompetent.

None of the others in our group are expert skiers or have experience of ski instructing but after we skied with the beginners on the third day, they both said they had learned more from us in one day than from the instructor in two days.

So I was wondering if this is a one off bad experience, or if the rote teufel have been going down hill in the last few years.



Btw Kitzbuhel was amazing snowHead
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I've been to Kitzbuhel a fair number of times and I've never heard anything good about the Rote Teufel ski school, although I have no direct experience. Mind you, you can probably be unlucky in any large ski school.

The Rote Teufel used to have a good reputation, but I understand that they did the usual trick of buying up/merging with such opposition as there was and were the only game in town for quite a while. The ESF used to have an effective monopoly in many French resorts, and look at how good they used to be! There are now a few smaller schools in Kitzbuhel, but not many considering the market.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
sar_m, when did you go? If it was new year or 1/2 term then you run the risk (with most ski schools) of getting anyone who's ever done a basic qual. Especially if you are a beginner.

For instance, the ski school that we used last week in Austria usually emply 9 instructors......last week they had 35 working for them (and they're one of the picky ski schools who will turn away business rather than employ someone dodgy)
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Hi

we did go during the half term week, 9th-16th, but not all austrian and German schools are off at this time and ive heard that some english schools are later this year as well. It might explain why he was bad though, we didnt ask how long he had been working for the school. It still isn't an excuse though, especially with private lessons where you pay a lot of money.

Also I may be wrong here but beginners should be the easiest to teach, they're definately less likely to start asking complicated technical questions. Telling someone how to get off a ski lift isn't exactly rocket science.

I think the lack of competition played a big role in the quality of teaching. We only found one other ski school in Kitzbuhel, Element 3, but they were newly opened and the same price as he rote Teufel, so don't know how good they were, but if I was going again I'd definately try them.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Some of the teachers drafted in for busy periods are likely to be doing it at least as much for fun as for the money, and definitely nore than for the love of teaching novice Brits. It's a kind of paid hol for them. If your chums had someone like that it's perhaps not surprising that the tuition was poor. As you say, it's no excuse.
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I used them many years ago and I had a fantastic experience. A word of warning though, like all ski instructors you get through a school it can be hit and miss. My experience was good.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Roy Hockley wrote:
I used them many years ago and I had a fantastic experience. A word of warning though, like all ski instructors you get through a school it can be hit and miss. My experience was good.


I too have only praise for the Red Devils. Lovely people and skied all day with us, including sharing lunch and the occasional night out too Shocked Laughing
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
First of all can i just say that i worked for Kitzbuhel Rote Teufel (thats Red Devil's) for the whole of the 2010/11 season and the previous comments here cannot be fully justified without the experienced knowledge of teaching skiing. Yes i will concede that some of my colleagues may have lacked in comparison to others but you have also made some very judgemental points. First of all saying that they throw the instructors with the most basic qualifications at you is false. In Austria it doesn't matter if you have any BASI or CSIA international standard because everyone is still required to do the Austrian Anwarter which is higher than the BASI first stage. Also the best skiers don't necessarily make the best instructors, and vice versa. You mention that you told one of your friends to lean forward instead of back but its not as simple as this and by attempting to teach them yourself you are creating more faults. It's a common thing that is found among many of the Brits who refuse to take lessons because they have the arrogant belief that they understand how it should be done, when in fact they do not. Also you mentioned she couldn't ski a blue run? Care to expand on this? Because it is entirely dependant on the guest as well as the instructor, although i will say that your progression seemed particularly slow. For example i have had guests that are so afraid of being on the mountain they were too terrified to ski the simplest blue (16) which therefore meant that they were unable to progress with the rest of the group. On the other hand i tought a guest for 2 and a half days from a complete beginner and after the 2.5 days they skied down the Strief (includes sections of the world cup downhill run) confidently with correct parallel technique. The other comment about teaching beginners is easier is a completely wrong comment, it can often and to be honest usually is worse with beginners, but personally i get the most satisfaction from teaching complete novices. And you will be surprised how many people ignore your guidance when using lifts. For example on T-Bar's the basics are to stand up, skis parallel and DONT SIT DOWN! 50% of the time they try to sit down and end up crashing the lift. To sum it up i think you were unfortunate to have lessons with an instructor that probably didn't suit you.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Welcome to snowHeads SHUNTER, snowHead

Just a small point that you might like to note - the original complaint and subsequent discussion occurred in Feb 2008 ie. 3.5 years ago.
It's a shame no-one from Rote Teufel noticed it at the time.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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Hi SHUNTER, welcome to Snowheads Very Happy

As admin says the thread has been up for a while but there are some points I found interesting in your post as well as in the original post.

I think you make some very valid points about the different rates of progress there are with different clients and I think it's worth pointing out that in any ski school if clients are booking into beginner group lessons it's probably fair to say that the rate of progress may be relatively slow and they might not be skiing blues by the end of the second day even if they are relatively athletic. However I would expect a relatively athletic person who has private lessons (especially if they'd also had some lessons on dry) to be on blues by the end of the second day unless there were some fundamental issues which might, as you suggest, include fear of the mountain - I have had clients who were shaking with fear on even the gentlest inclines (green nursery slopes). I'm not sure if this would be the case though with someone who had had successful lessons on a dry slope where typically pitches even on nursery slopes are greater than on most green runs on snow. However we don't know how successful the lessons were for the person mentioned in the original post I guess.

I totally agree with you about the skills necessary for teaching beginners, do it wrong and their skiing can be messed up for a long time or they can be put off for life!

I teach at Cairngorm in Scotland (as well as on a dry slope) where there are a lot of t-bars and I actually find beginners have marginally less problems on these than on button lifts where I'd say probably over 50% immediately sit down no matter how many times you tell them not to before they first get on. There are strategies to combat this though and I'd say all but a tiny percentage have no issues after the first or second attempt on a button. If anything I'd say the success rate is much higher on t-bars and although there are some who will try to sit down no matter how many times they've been told not to the vast majority won't and manage their first run reasonably successfully, in fact getting off at the other end (or getting to the other end in the first place after a successful 'launch') is more the issue I've faced.

Interesting what you say about the Anwarter - do BASI L2s and 3s have to it too? I'm presuming L4s are exempt though or are they?

Anyway as I say interesting to read your comments and welcome Very Happy
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Hi I just wanted to warn everyone about my terrible, near-death experience at the Rote Teufel - www.rote-teufel.at Ski School in Kitzbuhel.

I was taken to an extremely icy and dangerous slope, completely unsuited to beginners, and with a steep drop on each side. Also it was at a bend after a red run finished, so completely unsafe as fast skiers flying around all the time! Nearly taken out twice and nearly put my off skiing for life.

When I complained I was told that Kitzbuhel is not a place for beginners, unless it's your very first day when you can use the baby slope! Be warned though-baby slope is full of small children and no place to practice for longer than an hour.

Do NOT use this ski school. Were it not for another excellent school in Switzerland persuading me to try again, I think it would have put me off for life. Crying or Very sad
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
SuzieK What level class were you taking?, and which school in Switzerland would you recommend?

Welcome to Snowheads
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Thanks Tricky,

I didn't take a class-that's the worst bit. I paid for a private instructor for the weekend for 4 hours each day, thinking it would be better to get one-on-one attention. How wrong I was.

It was my second time skiing so I could already do basic snow plough turns etc, so what I needed was instruction to get me more confident with them, and then into parallels.

I was initially taken to the baby slope, which is for absolute beginners and was impossible to ski on for all the children, and far too easy for me. Wasted 90 mins there and when I asked him when we were going to a slope I could actually practice on, he said that there weren't many in Kitzbuhel unless you travelled further up the mountain which would involve a four hour lesson. I told him that as I had in fact booked a four hour lesson I should have been taken there in the morning, but by this point nearly two hours into the day it was apparently too late to go there.

He then took me to this dangerous S-Bend just up the hill from the baby slope which was sheer ice, with a good thirty foot drop on either side, and asked me to practice my turns there. There were skiers flying around the corner off the red run every few seconds, and I was nearly hit twice.

When I complained, he just said that it was impossible to take me anywhere else as we only had two hours. He also said that I should have known that Kitzbuhel is not a place for beginners! I ended up crying, shaken and absolutely put off skiing.

In addition, when I called the ski school and complained I was spoken to in a disgusting way. I was told that there was nothing wrong with teaching on this S-Bend even although another instructor from the school when he saw me crying told me that he would never EVER have taken anyone to practice turning on a busy S Bend, let alone an icy one!

They refused to refund the lesson, and in addition they still owe me 60 Euros for a group session that I had previously paid for for the next day, which I cancelled due to being so shaken up. They had assured me that it would be refunded onto my card, but when I called the office chasing it they told me that I would have been given a cash refund (not card) and that I had already received it! My partner (who was with me at the time) is a lwayer, and he is so angry about not only the cooaching but they way we have been treated that he is seriously considering taking legal action.

Thank goodness for the incredible people at Verbier Ski School, and then St Moritz Ski School who taught me on the perfect slopes, and made me realise that skiing is in fact fun.

I am sure that there may be some better instructors at Rote Teufel, but I would still urge you not to use them because their attitude is so disgraceful that they should not be allowed to make any money. In addition, my partner has since found out how badly they pay their instructors. Seemingly these guys only get to keep 15 Euros an hour, out of the 85 Euros that they charged me.

It's no wonder they can't attract good instructors if this is the case.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Holy thread resurrection Batman!!! Twisted Evil

When I was in Kitzbuhel there seemed to be enough Rote Teufels for every skier in the town. I'm lead to believe the Austrian Anwarter is around the same level as BASI Lv 1 but the next level- Landesskilehrer is much more difficult and perhaps more difficult than BASI lv 2.

Bit like anything else you get the good and the bad and the bigger the school the more 'you pays your money you takes your chances.'
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I just come back from kitzbuhel and had lessons with the Red Devils and they were fantastic. Really Sussed out who was capable of what and put in a group accordingly, and if you wasn't happy you could change instructors, I'm an intermediate skier and would highly recommend them.
My son snowboarded. With them and had the best time they really looked after the children
Very Happy Very Happy
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