Wednesday, 09 January 2013 18:20

What to Know in Selecting a Guided Tour

DreamSki Guest Helen Clark Chewing up the Powder in Utah DreamSki Guest Helen Clark Chewing up the Powder in Utah Gerry Winchester

Choosing the best type of tour for you is important in having the best experience possible. You are investing a lot of time and money to go long distances for a great ski experience so you want to be sure you get it right. Following are some things you should know that can help you get it right.

First of course is whether you are looking for a tour with a “back country” focus or a “resort” focus. Once you know this you must then determine who can offer the best experience in your selected area. Some tour companies do one or the other and some do both. Here are some important things to consider for each type of tour.

For a back country based tour you need to assure yourself that the guides are properly qualified (guiding, avalanche safety, first aid) and have ample experience including experience conducting tours in the given region you are planning to ski. Your safety is in their hands when it comes to avalanche risk so don’t view this lightly.

For resort based tours you need to look at what they offer in the way of services. Most offer guiding around the various ski areas and transport between multiple ski areas with local knowledge. A few will offer ski improvement or “how to ski powder”.  

If ski improvement interests you then it’s important to consider the qualifications and experience of the guides related to teaching. It’s not a life or death safety issue like a back country tour, but it’s definitely a value for your dollar issue. In addition to qualifications it is critical that you consider the experience and commitment to teaching of the guides and the tour company.

It is important to know that many guides are highly qualified and experienced as back country guides who happened to also have taken some instructor certifications along the way. Thus they are marketed as offering ski improvement or how to ski powder better. However in most cases, if these guides have a instructing certification, they most likely never obtained any substantial teaching experience. This is common in the ski teaching industry as people take ski instructor courses to improve their personal skiing only, not to become a professional ski instructor.

 “Fantastic trip for serious skiers keen to challenge themselves in a supportive environment.  Good balance between instruction and free skiing.  Great opportunity to improve my skiing in a way rarely available to those with only a couple of weeks to spare. All ski trips are not the same!  DreamSki Adventures has refreshed my enthusiasm for what the sport can offer.” 
                    - Helen Clark – England

Therefore the ski improvement received in these cases usually results in the guest receiving “ski tips” such as “you need to be more forward” This is a great idea but how is the guest suppose to achieve this? That’s where an experienced teaching professional comes in.

Be aware of this if you are expecting to receive some ski improvement. Ask the questions up front to assure yourself that your ski improvement will be provided by a current and active ski instructing professional. It will make a big difference in what you can achieve on the snow!

At DreamSki Adventures we specialize in guided resort based tours and we are the only ones offering guided tours in Chile and Argentina with ski improvement provided by full time professional ski instructors as your guides. In fact our guides also conduct ski instructor courses which mean you will be receiving top caliber instruction for your time and money.

See you on the snow!

Gerry Winchester
Founder – DreamSki Adventures

Gerry's Blog