Marmot Basin 11-week CSIA Ski Instructor Course
Gain your CSIA Level 1 and 2 ski instructor qualifications on our 11 week instructor course. Your skiing will improve and you’ll learn the new skills necessary to find work as an instructor next season, or just have the most amazing gap year in the Canadian Rockies!
We have worked closely with Marmot Basin and our in-resort partner to make this ski instructor programme as interesting and useful as possible. The 11 week programme is designed to improve your skiing ability, as well as to get you fully trained up to instruct your favourite snow sport. You’ll take an avalanche awareness course and gain real life work experience shadowing qualified instructors. The programme is split into set weeks of training so that you will know what the focus is for any given week before you head out to Canada.
In addition to the professional ski instruction (most of our instructors are Level 4 themselves) there are a number of extra elements that make our courses at Marmot Basin unique:
- Avalanche skills training
- Emergency situations
- Natural hazards
- Navigation tech training
- Ski area management seminar
- Equipment tuning seminar
For more information on each of these elements, read our Course Elements section.
Expect to complete your CSIA Level 1 after the first 4 weeks of training. The focus then turns to getting you ready for your CSIA Level 2 assessment at the end of the season. The skills and technique needed for Level 2 are, understandably, at a higher level than your Level 1 exam so hard work and dedication is required, but it is so worth it!
The Oyster programme includes the cost of both the CSIA Level 1 and Level 2 examinations. You can read more about each qualification and the assessment on our More Information page.
With the CSIA Level 2 you get to tailor the course to your own interests by choosing one of two modules to focus on, either all-terrain training or working with children. For more information about the Level 2 options and assessment, check out our CSIA Level 2 guide.
Our partners in Marmot Basin have been running this gap year programme since 2007. We are delighted to be working with them to help provide people from around the world gain professional ski instructor training. On this programme you become immersed in the authentic mountain town community of Jasper which sits in the middle of the spectacular Jasper National Park – a World Heritage Site.
Even though you are on a course, you will be treated like a member of staff at Marmot and therefore be eligible for discounts at the resort. You’ll be able to get 30% off food (outside peak lunch hour), 15% off at the retail store and 50% off weekday rental and repairs.
“You’ll be taught by some of the best instructors in the sport, who just happen to be really nice people! You’ll live in a beautiful part of the world and meet tons of new friends from all over the world” – Karl, January 2015
What experience do I need?
To succeed in this programme you don’t need to have been skiing all your life. Ideally you should be comfortable getting down red runs in Europe or blues in North America. If you are new to the sport, don’t worry, your skills and technique will vastly improve during the 11 weeks!
Accommodation and Food
You will stay in a central hotel in the town of Jasper (20 minutes from Marmot Basin – transfers to and from the mountain 7 days per week are included). This programme includes 79 nights accommodation. You will be sharing a standard hotel room on a twin basis and have access to all of the hotel amenities – such as swimming pool and hot tub, a perfect way to unwind after a day out on the mountain! WiFi is provided free of charge at the hotel.
A hot breakfast is provided by the hotel 7 days a week and we will give you $25 per night as a dinner allowance so you just need to pay for drinks and any lunch that you want on the mountain. There is a huge range of restaurants to enjoy- you will soon get to know your favourites!
Once a week you’ll have dinner in Jasper with our representative and the rest of the group so that you can all share your stories from the week. At the end of the season, we host a leaving dinner for you and your fellow instructors. The people you have been working with at Marmot Basin are also invited and this is always a popular event.
- Receive training from fully qualified Level 4 instructors in a quiet resort – spend your season skiing, not queuing for lifts!
- All CSIA Level 1 and Level 2 costs included, as well as a season ski pass.
- No need for a Canadian Working Holiday visa.
- Future employment possibilities at Marmot Basin and elsewhere.
- Live and socialise with like-minded people in Canada’s highest resort – base elevation 5800 feet.
- Feel fully supported throughout the programme through weekly meetings with Paul, our country rep.
- Breakfast, dinner and hotel accommodation included 7 days a week.
Whyshould I do this?
Whether you are new to skiing or have been perfecting the skill since before you could walk, our instructor training course is for you.
You will get expert tuition from the best ski instructors at Marmot Basin who are dedicated to ensuring that your skills and technique dramatically improve. You’ll get 200 hours of training from the instructors and be set targets on things to improve between lessons.
On completing this programme you will leave with more than just a certificate stating you are an instructor. You will leave with new friends, experiences and memories that will remain with you forever.
If you are flying from the UK, we will see your group of skiers and snowboarders off at Heathrow Airport and you’ll fly to Edmonton Airport (usually with Iceland Air via Reykjavik) where you will be met by Paul, our representative, and taken to Jasper. This is a 4 hour journey and goes through some spectacular scenery, particularly as you journey through Jasper National Park.
If you are travelling from outside of the UK we will arrange for you to meet the group on arrival in Canada.
Paul is originally from Quebec and has had an extensive career working for the Canadian Military Police and the Canadian government as a fraud investigator. Deciding to take on a completely different route, Paul has followed his hobbies to become a ski instructor during the winter and rafting guide in the summer.
Paul has spent many seasons working and skiing at Marmot Basin as a CSIA Level 2 instructor. Paul is also an active ice hockey player, keen cyclist and hiker. Paul is well connected in Jasper and looks forward to sharing his knowledge and experience with you.
Paul is on hand should you need any help or advice and will become a helpful friend to you. He will host regular meet ups with the Oyster group where we will provide a few drinks and snacks and give you the opportunity to talk through any issues you have or pass on any feedback.
What is provided
- Informal interview to assess your suitability and briefing
- Access to your personal ‘My Oyster’ account – our online portal where you can find out much more about the programme and manage your booking.
- Pre departure briefing
- Help and advice from our UK office before departure and whilst in Canada
- Full support from our representative whilst you are in Jasper, including regular dinners to discuss your progress
- Optional return flight from London to Edmonton. Total cost including flight £8450.
- Full financial protection through ATOL (if we book your flights) or IPP (if you book your own)
- Airport transfers to and from Jasper
- Daily transfers from your hotel to Marmot Basin, and back again
- Full season ski pass
- 200 hours tuition from the best instructors in town
- CSIA Level 1 Instructor Qualification
- CSIA Level 2 Instructor Qualification
- Real life work experience
- Avalanche Awareness Course
- Mountain Management and Customer Service Course
- Equipment Tuning Class
- 79 nights accommodation in a central Jasper hotel, twin rooms, free WiFi provided in each room
- Hot breakfast and dinner allowance 7 days a week
- End of season leaving meal
- Oyster hoody
- Oyster luggage tag
- Free access to InterHealth’s Travel Health Advice Service
On your return:
- Welcome home pack
- Certificate of Recognition (on request)
- References (on request)
What do I need
- Insurance to cover the duration of your stay (covering any planned adventurous activities)
- Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) before heading to Canada. This costs $7 and is valid for up to 5 years
- Money to cover your social life in Jasper and any trips that you want to go on
- All home-country travel costs (eg to the airport)
- Up to date Passport valid for the duration of your stay in Canada, plus a day
- Take your own equipment or buy locally when you arrive