Becoming a ski instructor – Craig Tyner – final blog!

25th March 2014

The winter season is drawing to a close and Craig Tyner is one of the EA interns who will be packing their bags and planning what the next big adventure will be. Check out his final blog from Cypress Mountain, Canada....


Ok, to expand on my opening sentence, all of the precipitation and cold weather that had decided to take a winter holiday in the American Midwest decided to come back to Canada for the month. The entire mountain opened in the space of two weeks, and in our spare time, the entire EA crew has been doing black runs and tree-runs, and making trips on our days off to the neighbouring mountains! The current favourites are Mt. Baker and Mt. Crystal in the USA, and, of course, the famous Whistler Blackcomb, only 2 hours’ drive away!

[caption id="attachment_8489" align="alignleft" width="590" caption=" Aw yeah, we got paid to make a snowman with a balloon hat on the first day of the snow-dumping! That was actually a thing that happened."]  Aw yeah[/caption]

This will be my final blog post, as I’ll be ending my time here at Cypress at the end of this month. It’s been a fantastic journey, but since I’ve been in Canada since last May, I’m really starting to miss my family and home back in Ireland. I do wonder how much has changed in the last 10 months since I’ve been home. I should probably have grown a beard since I’ve been out here, just to get the “well-travelled” look just right. The first thing I plan on doing is having a decent pint of Guinness, and having a nice cup of tea.

Saying that, I’ll probably be coming back for the second half of my two-year visa, but spending a year in Toronto! I would love to come back to Cypress, but I’ll come to that decision when it’s due time. Right now it’s time to focus on the present, and the present is good!

Working as a skiing instructor here has given me an incredible opportunity to expand my knowledge and experience, especially in teaching and working in an outdoors environment. I’ve practically perfected skiing down blue slopes backwards while shouting random nonsense at a class of 8 year old girls to keep them entertained. I’ve thrown myself through trees and moguls to keep up with trainer sessions. I’ve picked up 3-year-old children for 6 hours straight and given each of them high fives every time. Where else would I have the opportunity to learn those kinds of skills? Where else would I need to?
You learn to quickly adjust your style of skiing to adapt to the students’ mindset, age, quantity, skills, interests, and a whole plethora of other parameters that are constantly changing with each and every day. Do the students prefer demonstrations? Do they prefer to interact with each other rather than the teacher? Should you push them to improve or make the class as silly as you can?

[caption id="attachment_8491" align="alignleft" width="590" caption="Ooooooh. Purdy."]Ooooooh. Purdy.[/caption]

I think the thing I loved most about this particular resort was the proximity to the beautiful delta-wide sprawl that is Vancouver. While other mountains are quite isolated and anything outside the scope of the area requires a lot of time and travel, we have a metropolis on our doorstep that has so much to offer us on any given day. From parks to paintball to bowling to cinema, these are just some of the variety of things I’ve been able to do with my new friends in the EA course, in the spaces in between tearing up the powder and exploring the new routes that open after each new dump of snow.

And saving my biggest piece of news for last, I plan on getting dual-certified in teaching both skiing and snowboarding! I’ve had a lot of experience in snowboarding before this year, the trainers say I’ve got a decent shot at it if I keep my cool, and I’d love the opportunity to prove my utility by showing I can teach as many sports as I can! Unfortunately I was too late in booking the test at Cypress, meaning I’ll have to take the test at the lovely, huge Canadian resort of Big White! What a, uh, what a shame. I guess I’ll just have to take a week off to practice and make the trip to the big mountains of the interior.


Craig out!

Epic stuff Craig, all the best for what comes next! Want to kick-start your ski industry career or just have an epic year off work... then you are in the right place! Check out more about the EA internships and training courses here!