At the Ecole Suisse Ski School de Ski et De Snowboard in Villars, Jonathon Baynton works as an Englishman who marries a Russian and works as a ski instructor in Switzerland. Jonathon came to Villars about five years ago, and before that he lived and worked in Russia for another ten years. Russian language in the family – the second official, without it anywhere. And how useful it was in Villars, where every year there are more and more guests from Russia! We were lucky not only to chat with us, but also to take a ride with the most demanded ski school instructor in this connection …
– How many ski schools in Villars?
– There are only two schools at the resort. The largest is ours. Branches of Ecole Suisse de Ski et De Snowboard are in almost all local resorts. You probably already have seen this red form, common to all departments of the school. Villars Ski School also has Villars, their instructors wear a yellow uniform. We have three hundred people in the state, and they have about thirty.
– How do you assess the possibilities of riding in Villars for beginners?
– Villars is a small resort. This is not Chamonix and Verbier with their huge ski areas, between which sometimes you have to move by bus or car. This is a family resort, very compact, ideal to start learning. Here there are tracks of different levels, which is very conducive to learning – we consistently move with students from simple to complex.
– And advanced skiers will have something to do here?
– Yes of course. We have here at an altitude of 3000 m is the glacier Les Diablerets. There are good skaters will find a lot of interesting things. In my opinion, this place is a hundred times better than Chamonix and Grand-Monte. I will not give up all secret spots, I will only say that if in Verbier after the snowfall they open trails and in twenty minutes there is no “living place” there, but here even on three of the glacier there are excellent pristine areas. In the recognized mecca of freeride, you need to take a turn at the lift at seven in the morning in order to get on the Pauder. I have repeatedly seen how fights arise for the right of the “first track”. Everything is much calmer here. Especially when you know the places. Or you go to ride with the conductor. These are not the Four Valleys, of course, but no one will be bored, I promise.
– Is it good to come to Villars to ride with children?
– It is very comfortable here with children. Not at all scary, the complexity of the tracks increases very gently. Up to three years, we do not recommend bringing children to the School. After three you can begin, but much depends on the coordination and physical development of the child. If the baby does not like it at the age of three, then in no case should you press it, but it is better to just wait another year or two.
– Is it true that people with disabilities can ride in Villars?
– Yes, we have several highly qualified instructors who are specially trained to work with people with disabilities. Special equipment allows you to descend in tandem with an instructor, so that these people along with everyone else enjoy riding in the mountains.
– Do you like working with Russian clients?
– Yes, I like it very much. Russians are usually very funny and diligent. I trained your musician Vyacheslav Butusov here last year. He and his wife are very nice people. And I liked the songs – Vyacheslav sent me a couple of compositions by mail. You see, this is not Courchevel, there are no loud parties and different stories related to the super-rich Russians. Therefore, the contingent here is simpler and quieter, as befits a family resort.
– Is it worth it to somehow prepare before coming to you to learn to ski?
– Often, people pay a lot of attention to their legs and, before starting training, they actively shake quadriceps in the gym. In fact, perhaps the most important thing in ski equipment is, oddly enough, the abs, the abdominal muscles that hold the entire rack. If we are talking about ski touring, about skiing up the slope, then here, of course, you need to prepare much more intensively – running, biking, and any other regular load directed at all muscle groups. In fact, we, as instructors, are already looking at the first lessons, assessing the capabilities of the student and adapting our program for him. It should be noted that we build the whole system of our training on three principles:
Security. A person should feel confident and constantly feel that he is in control.
Pleasure. It is important to immediately enjoy the ride and from being in the mountains.
And only in third place we put the technique and improvement of their skating skills.
Of course, our training program is aimed at ensuring that a person masters the technique of skiing as quickly as possible, but we still put safety and pleasure in the first places.