Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Snowboard instructor in Whistler, Banff or Big White?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello there snow lovers!!

I'm looking at doing a snowboard instructor course (probably internship with job offer) in Canada next year.. hopefully!!! But not sure whether to go to Whistler, Banff or Big White.. or any other recommendations?

I'm leaning towards Whistler, just for the amount of varied terrain, I'll be 29 next year and not that bothered about going out partying all the time but more bothered about boarding!!
Happy shredding!! Razz
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Disclaimer, have only been to Banff....

Whistler from what I understand gives you a more "European" feel than most resorts on that side of the Pond. If you want to be living right by the lifts, then that's a good place to be.
Big white also gives you that same advantage of being right by the runs. I imagine there's less going on in Big White then there is in Whistler.

Banff will involve a drive/bus every morning to the lifts, varying between Norquay at 15 minutes, Sunshine around 30 minutes and Lake Louise at 45 minutes. That does give you some added variety in where you board though. Banff will have more going on in the town given that it's not just a purpose built ski town/village unlike the other two.

If i were in your shoes it'd be a toss up between Whistler or Banff. I would imagine it costs me to be in Whistler than it does in terms of day to day costs. Then you've just got the question around whether the bus/driving everyday would bother you.

A nice predicament to have though
ski holidays
 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?
How do instructor certification travel to other destinations?

I was under the impression Canada teach differently to other country. head to toe rather than toe to head - or the otherway around. Anyway, I seem to recall they do something funky & no the opposite to what is done USA & Europe
snow conditions
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
They're very different places. I would be surprised if you'll be able to get by with snowboard alone,
although not surprised people will try to sell you expensive courses you may well not need.

You'll probably be best finding people who have done what you intend to do because their experience will be different from holidaymakers.
You're unlikely to find staff housing "right by the lifts", that's where the customers are going to be.
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
"You're unlikely to find staff housing "right by the lifts", that's where the customers are going to be."

especially in Whistler where you might not actually be in Whistler, but that said if the OP is doing a course then he is a customer

@swskier, Big White - loved it, but next to no nightlife
snow conditions
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
An option which an old acquaintance of mine took when seasoning in Banff was to stay in Canmore and drive (bought himself a cheap truck for the season) to whichever mountain he wanted to each day. That way you've got access to places like Kicking Horse, Panorama, etc. Rent and the cost of living is a LOT cheaper too outside the park area. How that ties in with the instructor courses you're looking at, I don't know.
latest report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Mr.Egg wrote:
How do instructor certification travel to other destinations?

I was under the impression Canada teach differently to other country. head to toe rather than toe to head - or the otherway around. Anyway, I seem to recall they do something funky & no the opposite to what is done USA & Europe


My wife was Canadian trained and certified, and now works here in CH. The progression is more or less the same as BASI and the Swiss ski school, no difficulties.
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

although not surprised people will try to sell you expensive courses you may well not need


Probably a lot of truth in that!

Unless you plan to make instructing your livelihood going forward there are better (and much cheaper) ways to spend a season in Canada. As pointed out above there may be less work than you imagine as solely a snowboard instructor.

Imo Whistler is the best ski area. It's also the most expensive, you may well find working as a snowboard instructor doesn't come close to covering costs. Banff is a little cheaper, but still expensive and you may still not cover your costs.

If you just want to snowboard a lot forget the course. You will save loads of money. Get a job working evenings (bar/restaurant) freeing up all your days for snowboarding. (I have friends that went down the instructor route, realised that babysitting kids on a pow day isn't fun - as a newly qualified coach you are not getting the expert groups, ended up quitting for evening jobs so they could snowboard all day). To be an instructor you've got to love teaching, which is not necessarily the same as loving snowboarding.
snow conditions
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
holidayloverxx wrote:
@swskier, Big White - loved it, but next to no nightlife


Thought as much. Was hoping to get there in February for the first time when I visit some friends who have moved from the UK to Kelowna, but won't be happening this season! Maybe, 2022.

Guess my first thoughts still stand then, Whistler or Banff.
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
swskier wrote:
holidayloverxx wrote:
@swskier, Big White - loved it, but next to no nightlife


Thought as much. Was hoping to get there in February for the first time when I visit some friends who have moved from the UK to Kelowna, but won't be happening this season! Maybe, 2022.

Guess my first thoughts still stand then, Whistler or Banff.


Or perhaps if the OP is on the better end of the boarding scale, Red Mountain (Rossland), or Revelstoke?...
Personally, that's where I'd go (and I did a couple of seasons in Whistler way back) - probably Revelstoke as the town is a bit bigger/less remote - though could stay in Nelson I guess and drive the hour or so to Red, or 20 mins or so to Whitewater. I skied 3 days at Big White last season, and felt that was plenty.

I assume you are talking 21/22 season? At the moment I'm going to be grateful if we even get any days in at Whistler Sad
snow conditions
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Thanks heaps guys for all the great replies, i've got a lot to think about now!!
snow report
 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.
holidayloverxx wrote:
@swskier, Big White - loved it, but next to no nightlife

It depends what you're after. There is a very active party scene amongst the Australian staff there.
ski holidays
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Quote:

Or perhaps if the OP is on the better end of the boarding scale, Red Mountain (Rossland), or Revelstoke?


There are a lot of great options outside Whistler and Banff. Fernie gets a lot of snow. Kicking horse is arguably the best resort for in bounds steeps in n America. Revelstoke and red are also good options. All have their pros and cons, but they all offer plenty enough terrain to keep you busy for a season. As a ski bum (don't have a visa so work is not an option), they are also far more affordable - renting a room in a shared house is less than half the cost of Whistler.

Out of curiosity I just looked at the cost of the Whistler internship course and it's £5k for 4 weeks which seems insane. Ok you get accomodation (looks like shared room), but they don't even cover your season pass. Then you have the issue of housing, as staff housing is likely to all be gone by the time you finish your course and are offered a job. If you get staff accomodation it was around $450 per month, if you can't you are looking at $800+ per month. As a ski instructor you earn about $14 per hour, so could earn around $1600 per month. The emphasis on could, as it's a zero hours contract and as someone that can only instruct snowboarding you probably won't always have work. For reference you can probably get similar pay from a waiter job, free up your days for snowboarding, are guaranteed hours, and get tips.

For £5k total (including everything - flights, insurance, accomodation, food, lift pass etc.) you could have a fantastic full season in a good Canadian ski resort without needing to even think about working.

Like I said the instructor course only makes sense if going forward in life you really want to be a snowboard instructor. I think your first decision should be deciding if that's the career for you. If you just want to live in the mountains and snowboard lots there are better options! I would suggest speaking to some instructors (and ex instructors!) and ideally shadowing a few snowboard lessons at a snowdome (not easy right now I'm sure). It's too much money to drop I to something that you may realise isn't for you.
snow report
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
FWIW when I did a season in BC, a long time ago, I was very glad indeed I wasn’t working. I worked hard saving up before we went, bought transport in Whistler and did a road trip of lots of resorts.

The last thing you want on a powder day is to be teaching a beginner at the foot of the hill. Or a job which means you get the left overs. Save up, get around and make the most of it. My favourite resorts were Red, Whitewater and Fernie. Ended up spending 3 months in Fernie as the backcountry you can hike to from the lifts is superb from what I can remember.
snow report



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy