Fernie Ski Instructor course
Our 11 week ski instructor course in Fernie is the most popular course on the market, and with good reason! An unbeatable package, excellent accommodation, a massive crew of fellow Nonstoppers and a truly epic mountain (most snow + longest vertical in the Canadian Rockies!) will make this the season of a lifetime.
Fernie's terrain and conditions make it the best place in the world to become a ski instructor
Back in 2002 we picked Fernie as the HQ for Nonstop’s ski instructor courses because of its amazing snow record, its large and varied ski area, its quiet slopes and, equally importantly, the unique experience of living in Fernie's incredible mountain community. No matter what your standard is when you get there, the terrain will challenge and delight you throughout the whole season. It is the perfect place to massively develop your skiing skills. Over 100 happy people every season can’t be wrong!
Our 11 week course in Fernie is the most popular instructor course of all time!
Having dozens of course-mates means that groups are formed with skiers of equal ability.
One of the benefits of having so many people on our ski instructor courses in Fernie is that there are loads of people of the same ability level, age range and mindset as you. Whether you’re looking to tear up some powder, hit the town or stay in and watch a movie, there will always be plenty of people to hang out with.
Top class training from the best in the business
Whether or not you’re looking to become a ski instructor, we’ll take your skiing ability to the highest level with over 220 hours of high level instruction. Our pros are exclusively dedicated to Nonstop’s program and are a joy to be around! As well as fully preparing you for your CSIA level 1 and 2 instructor exams, they’ll take you to the very best parts of the mountain every day so that you can build your technique and enthusiasm for the sport you love!
In Jens we trust - A Course Director that knows his onions!
"Jens is the Guru. I never improved more than I did with him. He had the patience of a saint and technical brilliance." - Elinor Davis, 2012 course
Jens Mende is somewhat of a Fernie legend and has been central to the development of our 11 week courses since 2002. He’s a massively experienced CSIA level 4 instructor and has been a CSIA examiner for 20 years! As well as being our Technical Director, Jens leads our team of coaches and ensures that you develop and have fun every step of the way. Meet Jens and some of our other Fernie instructors in this short video.
Instructing experience included in this course
A massive benefit of Nonstop’s Fernie course is that you have the opportunity to take part in our “Community Days” after passing your Level 1 exam. We organise these events at a local ski hill where we offer free lessons to local people who wouldn’t normally afford to have ski lessons. As a newly qualified instructor, you’ll have the opportunity to take the helm of your own lessons for the first time and get a real taste for the job. As well as being a lot of fun, this is great experience to add to your CV. Watch a short video about Community Days.
If you don't intend to instruct after the course, check out our "AMP" alternative
The "All Mountain Pro" alternative.
Not everyone wants to become an instructor, but that’s no reason why you shouldn’t want to spend 11 weeks training and having fun in one of the world’s best resorts! After the level 1 exams in week five you’ll have the choice of either training for level 2 or joining our “AMP program”, within which you’ll build your all-mountain skiing without having to worry about teaching techniques. Watch a video about our AMP program.
Fernie saw 11.5 meters of snow last season. And you can expect to see 48cm on average every week - that's a whole lot of powder days!
This isn't your average instructor course - we'll make sure you experience more
Living in the mountains is an amazing experience and, with a little guidance, skiing is only the beginning! As part of your package you’ll get access to More - a program packed with extra training courses and weekend activities. You’ll have the opportunity to build and sleep in a snow cave or go cat-skiing, where you’ll ride fresh un-touched powder all day!
Plus our local course host will organise plenty of social activities, like trips to watch ice-hockey, playing street hockey, quiz nights, night skiing and even try curling.
Extra Activities Available In Fernie
We have a massive range of activities available on our Fernie ski instructor courses. Here are a few that you can choose from:
- Avalanche safety training- AST level 1
- Overnight trip to Calgary
- Guided backcountry skiing
- Day trip to Kimberley
- Day Trip to Big Mountain - USA
- Cat skiing day
- Winter first aid
- Dog sledding
- Winter camping
- Weekend trip to Red Mountain
- Weekend trip to Big Mountain and Whitefish – USA
Perfect accommodation to suit you
In 2007 we bought and renovated our own 42 bedroom lodge in the heart of Fernie. While staying at the Red Tree Lodge, you’ll have your own queen sized bed in an ensuite room with access to a fantastic range of facilities: bar, restaurant, sitting rooms, hot tub, sauna, movie theatre, games room and fully equipped kitchens. Alternatively, if you’d rather a more independent “locals” experience, we have several centrally located Nonstop house-shares.
11 consecutive weeks of training (with no breaks)
On every week of the 11 week course you'll receive top class coaching all day from Monday to Thursday. Our coaches are not only the top of their profession but are great people who will inspire you as well as becoming friends. Further training hours include indoor technical sessions, video play back, private lessons, instructor work experience, and our additional training courses.
1-to-1 private coaching sessions
These are run before your Level 1 and Level 2 exams and offer you the chance of individual tuition to iron out any problems you may have.
25 Activity Credits
Choose from a host of great activities like Avalanche training, winter camping, trips to other resorts and a whole lot more. Please refer to the 'extra activities' page for more information.
Guaranteed instructor job interview and priority hiring.
By successfully qualifying as an instructor with us you are eligible for a guaranteed job interview with Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, who give priority to Nonstop graduates when hiring.
Full season lift pass for 4 resorts
The RCR season pass includes Fernie, Kicking Horse, Kimberley and Nakiska.
We have two great accommodation options. The first at our purpose built "Red Tree Lodge". Alternatively we have several houses in the immediate vicinity, for those wanting a more independent experience.
Served four nights per week. Meals are healthy and hearty to help you recharge after a day of lessons.
Served five days per week
Lift queue priority during lessons
Airport transfers (if coinciding with group flights)
We include a shuttle service between the airport and the resort. The departure date and times are coordinated with the times of the group flights we arrange from London to Canada. If travelling at other times or on different dates then we can advise you on the public transfer services available.
Shuttle to the resort
We own our own buses in Fernie and provide a weekday morning and afternoon shuttle to/from the resort.
24 hour staffing
Level 1 CSIA/CASI examination fees
Training for CSIA/CASI Level 2 Instructor Certification
If becoming an instructor is your goal you should set your sights on gaining your level 2. We'll train you up to take the level 2 course either at the end of the 11 weeks or you can take it just after the course has ended giving you more time to train and prepare.
A great tool which we use on a weekly basis. The resorts have some great feedback facilities.
Weekly technical sessions
Work experience in local ski school
Once you have gained your Level 1 you are able to gain work experience at the local ski school. This will make your CV stand out from the crowd and also allow you to develop your teaching technique - an all round good experience.
Instructor career advice
During the course there will be a seminar on working as a ski instructor covering job applications, work visas and typical hours and wages. In addition you will receive our 40 page advice handbook on "working as an instructor" which includes a directory of snow schools around the world.
Day trip to Kimberley Ski Resort
As part of the Fernie 11 week course we will take the whole group, plus their instructors, to a local ski resort called Kimberley. It's a great road trip and a good chance to ride some new slopes and experience a new ski resort.
Ski/snowboard maintenance tuition
Weekly social events
10% Discount on meals at resort restaurants
A 10% discount is available in Fernie to Nonstop clients at the resort day lodge (cafeteria) and also after 6pm, Mon - Wed, at Kelseys, a smarter on-mountain restaurant.
10% Discount on Ski/Snowboard Equipment
Available in several local shops.
We arrange return flights on Air Canada for those travelling between the UK and Canada. Flights cost from £600. You can opt for a flight on your booking form. If you arrange your own flight you can meet us at the airport for the group transfer bus to the resort. Please contact us with any questions.
Additional Activity Credits
The activity credit experiences are a key part of the 11 week course and form some of the main highlights of your trip. $250 worth of credit activities will be included in the cost of the course, however if you want to pack your season full of trips to other resorts, additional training courses, and new experiences such as dog sledding, cat-skiing, snowmobiling, etc. you can choose to buy additional credits at $10/credit. Make sure you check out all the information on the "Extra Activities" page. You can either pay for the additional credits when you book your course or when you get to Canada you can sign up for just a few select activities that you really want to experience.
This is a highlight of most people's trips to Canada and is available in the 'Credit Activities' package.
There are a range of evening classes available from sports massage to photography. These cost around $70 - $120 depending on the course. Details will be provided in the lead up to the course.
We can provide some information on suitable cover upon booking.
If you don't yet own equipment it tends to be cheaper to buy rather than rent. We have arranged discounts in local stores - plus you'll get much better advice and service in the resort you do your course in. Skis, bindings, poles and ski boots range from $1,100 (£700 approx) - $2,800 (£1,800 approx). Snowboard, boots and bindings will be slightly less.
Lunches and weekend meals
Typical costs: Lunch: $15, Dinner: $15-35. Pint of beer: $5.50. Glass of wine: $7.
Additional instructor level exam fees
The Level 1 exam fee is included, but because not everyone chooses to take further instructor exams their fees are payable in Canada direct to the governing bodies. The Level 2 exam will be approx. $550 - $650 depending on when you book and the Race Coach and Park courses are approx. $300 each. The training for these additional courses is included.
Want to know more?
Settling in, exploring & lessons
Lose bad habits & hone technique
Level 1 prep & private lessons
Off-piste skills & Level 1 practice
Level 1 exams & celebrations!
Chose Level 2 or AMP path
Level 2 training / speed & carving
Powder, bumps & short radius turns
Level 2, all-mountain & freestyle
Demo teaching, tree skiing & drops
Condensed Level 2 & tight lines
Level 2 exams, skiing & partying!