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CSIA 1 & 2 Ski Instructor CourseFernie, Canada - 11 Weeks

The Season of a Lifetime

If you love to ski every day, ride deep powder, learn fresh skills and meet new people, this is for you. Created for all levels of skier, this course is all about expert coaching in one of Canada’s most powder-heavy resorts, combined with our favourite big mountain adventures and weekly social events. Coaching takes place four days per week with days off for freeriding, away trips and extra courses. You’ll be out on the hill with Canada’s best coaches riding powder fields, steeps and groomers, boosting your skiing and teaching to land your CSIA Level 1, followed by Level 2 or All Mountain Pro.


Based in our home mountain, Fernie, British Columbia, expect big snowfall, a cool, laid-back town and infectious outdoor spirit. Part of the Powder Highway, you’ve got five huge bowls, epic ridges, perfectly-spaced trees and endless chutes to shred. To get the most from your season, we also lay on workshops, après and a series of local adventures and extra certs, from avalanche safety training to backcountry touring and heli-skiing.


The course includes all your coaching and accommodation in our ski lodge or local houses, plus a season pass, airport transfers, hosting, exam fees, some meals and our 1% For The Planet commitment. You also have access to optional extras and carbon offsetting your trip.


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Who's it for?
Age ranges
Skill level Ability guide >>

Fernie is a ski mecca with cult status for its deep powder and adventurous terrain, one of the best hills to push your skiing. Set in southeast British Colombia, it receives huge amounts of annual snowfall and has the biggest vertical in Canadian Rockies.


The ski area is made up of five big bowls: Cedar, Lizard, Currie, Timber and Siberia. Each bowl has unique character, with steeps, narrow chutes, gladed trees, long runs, ridges, open slopes and hidden powder.


And it’s not just the quantity of snow that’s so good, it’s also the quality of it. A combination of the horse-shoe shape of the mountains, local weather systems and Pacific fronts are to thank for Fernie’s frequent dumps and feather-light flakes. With one of the best snow records in Canada, this is an epic place to ride powder.


Framed by the Rocky Mountains, Fernie is a chilled-out town with a local feel, and promises a real taste of the Canadian life. A genuine mountain settlement rather than a tourist resort, think welcoming locals, sleds and trucks. Downtown Fernie is the place to go to hang out, with ski stores, coffee shops, restaurants and bars.


Our coaching is designed to be challenging, progressive and fun, and features a mix of drills, guided mileage, mini comps and practice scenarios. The goal is to elevate your all-mountain game and prepare you for success in your instructor exams.


Coaching takes place four days per week in dynamic groups. We have so much terrain to choose from in Fernie; you’ll ride groomers, powder, trees and steeps, with one-on-ones, workshops and video analysis to supplement coaching sessions.


Our team of coaches are highly-qualified, brimming with energy and passion for the sport. All Level 4s or 3s, they know how to get the best out of you. We use coach rotation each week so you benefit from exposure to their different styles and insights. Groups are small at 6-8 riders, and we match you up by ability so you’re riding at the correct level.


The first phase of the course prepares you for your Level 1, before moving onto your Level 2. Both consist of skiing and teaching components, and these are the areas of focus throughout. We usually see 90-100% pass rates on the Level 1, and 75-90% for the Level 2. All exam fees are included.


In the second part of the course, you also have the option to pivot to our All Mountain Pro route, rather than Level 2. Here, the focus is entirely on your own skiing and conquering steep and deep. If you are more interested in personal performance than becoming an instructor, our AMP option is a great pathway for freeriding.


If you've set your sights on becoming a ski instructor, we give you the best possible opportunity to succeed. The program will fully prepare you for the CSIA Level 1 and 2, as well as offering park instructor or race instructor exams.


Level 1 in introductory and allows you to teach in Canada, with the Level 2 recognised all over the world in countries like Japan, New Zealand and Italy.


After passing your Level 1 you can also take part in our Community Days - where you'll head to a nearby ski hill to offer free ski lessons to locals. This is a great experience and adds weight to your ski instructor CV/resume. We also put on workshops on getting started in the industry and have a big network of ski school contacts.


You can achieve the following qualifications:

  • CSIA Level 1
  • CSIA Level 2
  • CSIA Park Level 1
  • CSCF Race Coach
  • Avalanche Safety Training Level 1
  • First Aid

Whether its cat skiing in the backcountry, or road trips to the USA, we’ve got you covered. We’ve scoped out the best local adventures and weaved them into a weekly schedule alongside events, workshops and socials. The result is our MORE program. Some are included and others can be to be added as optional extras. We include $250 of credit for you to use on the activities of your choice.


Opt for a ski-lodge experience in our Red Tree Lodge, or stay in a local house in downtown Fernie for a true seasonaire lifestyle. Our lodge has amazing facilities from a hot tub and sauna to movie room and bar.

Course Milestones It will be an action-packed 11 weeks... here's how it'll go down!
Weeks 1-2
Settle in to your mountain home. Explore Fernie’s five bowls. The focus will be on ironing out any bad habits. Option to do avalanche safety training and go snowmobiling.
Weeks 3-4
Training ramps up. You’ll be exploring more challenging terrain, working on your core skiing and teaching skills ahead of the CSIA assessment. Head snowshoeing or snowbiking.
Week 5
Level 1 exams. A fun three days full of learning and progression. You’ll be assessed on both your skiing and teaching. Big celebrations to follow. Go cat skiing at the weekend. Start shadowing a local ski instructor.
Week 6
Decision time as you choose whether to continue with Level 2 training or opt for the All Mountain Pro program. Go heli skiing or take a trip to Whitefish, USA.
Weeks 7-8
Level 2 training will focus on advanced ski technique and teaching skills. AMP will focus on steep terrain and powder. Try backcountry touring or go winter camping.
Weeks 9-10
Work on your short radius, carving, freeriding and teaching ahead of the Level 2 exam. Go to Castle Mountain for a day. Opportunity to do a race coach or snow park qualification.
Week 11
Level 2 exams are here. After a season with our coaches you’ll be raring to go. Celebrate with all your course mates in the spring sun. Bid farewell or stay on for an extra week.
Dates & Prices

What's Included

Professional Ski Coaching +

During the 11 week course you will recieve coaching from some of Canada's leading instructor trainers. The weekly schedule varies through the course but typically, coaching sessions are Mon, Tue, Thu and Fri, with Wednesdays and the weekends for free skiing, consolidating what you've learnt and the away-trips, activities and additional courses offered on our "More Program". The maximum group size is 8 people per pro but typically they are even smaller.

1-1 Private Coaching Sessions +

You'll get private coaching sessions with just you and your coach, one before your Level 1 and another before your Level 2. These will enable you to work on specific areas you want to focus on, or simply talk about upcoming exams of your future plans.

CSIA Level 1 Exam +

This important milestone is held in week 5 after which we have a massive celebration.

CSIA Level 2 Exam (~$935) +

Unusually for this type of course, the Nonstop package includes the cost of both the exam fees for the CSIA Level 1 AND Level 2 (circa $935). (Please note if you decide to go for AMP instead of level 2 training, you will recieve ski coaching instead of taking level 2).


Work Experience +

Unique to this course - and essential to your instructor career prospects - is a wealth of work experience. If you are serious about an instructor career then this is one of the most valuable parts of the entire course. There are two formats: 1. Shadowing a local instrutor weekly (after you have obtained your level 1) for a half day session. 2. Taking your own real-life lessons as the lead instructor. Our "Community Days" events, enable you to put your newly aquired level 1 instructor qualification to use and teach local families. It's an amazing experience that will look great on your CV/resume and will help you establish a successful career as an instructor.

Weekly Technical Sessions +

Each week you'll receive a technical talk on subjects like biomechanics, looking after your gear, injury prevention, and topics relating to becomign a successful instructor.

Video Analysis +

Throughout the program our coaches will make the most of technical video analysis to help with your development.

All Mountain Pro +

Opt for our All Mountain Pro route in the second phase of the course to purely focus on your on skiing. If you are more interested in personal performance than becoming an instructor, the AMP certification is the perfect solution to focus on your freeriding.

Instructor Career Advice +

You'll be given an 'Instructor Starter Kit' booklet with a directory of ski school contacts, receive seminars on topics such as life as a ski instructor, job application and interview techniques, and be given constant advice from our coaches. Additionally, job interviews with the local ski school are available.

Guaranteed Interviews +

For those wanting to start a career as a ski instructor you'll massively benefit from a guaranteed interview with the ski school. Fernie is owned by Resort of the Canadian Rockies (RCR) who own many ski resorts in both western and eastern Canada. These interviews are a great practice experience and if you impress, could set you up with a job the following winter.

Optional Qualifications +

You'll have the opportunity to gain the following additional qualifications:

Avalanche Safety Training Level 1 +
Learn all you need to know to explore the backcountry.
First Aid +
Get qualified in first aid. A valuable qualification in all walks of life.
CSCF Race Coach Level 1 +
Learn the basics of racing drills and teaching young kids.
CSIA Snow Park +
Work on your freestyle skills and how to pass them on to others.
The More Program +

A contender for the highlight of this course! The More Program let's you get involved with dozens of winter activities and experiences during your time with us, from cat skiing to ice hockey, from weekend road trips to photography courses. We'll give you 25 "More credits" to select the activities you want to experience. Download the Course Brochure to see the full list.

Season Lift Pass +

You'll be given a season lift pass so you can ski as much as you please. Come out early or stay on after, your lift pass will cover you. 85% of people stay on after the course for a "12th week" and about 30% arrive a week early.

Accommodation +

Choose to stay in the Red Tree Lodge or local houses in downtown Fernie. You'll have access to all the Red Tree Lodge facilities, including:

Breakfasts +

You'll be treated to an awesome breakfast at the Red Tree Lodge five days per week. Options include a coffee/tea, juices, cereals, toast, pastries, yogurt, fruit, porridge oats, as well as hot items like eggs, beans, sausages, hash browns or bacon.

Dinners +

Enjoy a hearty three course meal at the Red Tree Lodge four evenings a week. A soup and salad buffet will get you started, followed by a choice of healthy and filling nutritionally balanced main dishes before a well earned desert.

Transport +

If you arrive with the group flight (or land before), you can join the Nonstop airport transfer to the resort. All your transport within the resort is taken care of.

24 Hour Hosting +

Experienced, fun, welcoming, knowledgeable and local, the Nonstop hosts are central to your course experience. Your host will ensure your course runs smoothly so you can focus on achieving your goals and having fun. They'll be on hand 24/7 for a chat, laugh, or to solve any problems.

Weekly Socials +

Each week your host will organise team socials and après for all the group to get involved in

Optional Pre and Post Stay +

Come out before the course begins or stay on at the end. You'll have a season lift pass so it's just a case of booking extra accommodation.

Not Included +

These things are not included in the package:

Flights +
We can give you advice on the best flights to get.
Travel Insurance +
We can point you to insurance policies that previous clients have rated. Some offer discounts to Nonstop participants.
Ski Equipment +
It's best to buy your equipment when in resort, if you don't already have it. Our coaches will give you advice on the best skis to get, and you can get a Nonstop discount at some local shops.
Lunches & Weekend Meals +
Make your own or try out some of the local restaurants or resort options.
Download Course Guide Everything you need to know about this course, at your fingertips.


Why choose this course? +

In brief, here’s why our Fernie 11-week course remains the unrivalled leading instructor course in Canada:


Snow: Fernie is famed for getting the deepest and lightest powder each winter. Fernie will make you a better off-piste skier and you’ll have way more fun. Terrain: Great snow is only as useful as the quality of the slopes it falls on and Fernie is unrivalled in this aspect; it’s a huge off-piste playground complemented by wide groomed pistes.


Scene: Fernie is a super cool, lively-but-not-spoilt-by-tourism, community of skiers who have searched and found the best skiing and snow in Canada. Incredibly friendly, you’ll soon find yourself saying hi to strangers and walking around your new home with a permanent grin.


Coaching: With 17 years of experience, and over 40 11-week courses under our belt, we’ve delivered more instructor training than anyone else. Our ski coaches are the best in the business and will completely transform your skiing.


Social: When 70 passionate skiers from all over the globe come together to spend a winter in Fernie, the friendships and shared experiences are nothing short of epic. We guarantee that some of your life’s best memories will be made in Fernie.


Extras: With Nonstop, it’s not all about ski coaching: we put a huge emphasis on enjoying as many Canadian mountain experiences as possible and organise a massive program of activities, away-trips, courses and socials to make this the richest, most enjoyable, winter possible.


Accommodation: Uniquely, we own our own 43-bedroom lodge designed specifically for Nonstop clients, with amazing facilities. Alternatively, we have the option in staying in houses like a true local (with your coursemates)


Meals: Again, unlike any other training company, we own and run a restaurant with an awesome team of chefs and a delicious and nutritious menu designed for our hungry skiers. With complete control over the meals, we’re confident our meals are the best available on any ski instructor course. Reassurance: Choosing to take an instructor course is massive investment. We not only have unrivalled experience built over nearly two decades, but our clients have shown their appreciation by voting us to victory in three consecutive “World Snow Awards”.

Why should I choose Fernie? +

Skiers & snowboarders fall in love with Fernie because of the combination of awesome snow & incredible terrain. Choosing a resort with challenging terrain is so important, because you’ll only ever progress as far as the terrain you’re skiing / riding. Rest assured you’ll push yourself to the limit in Fernie. Off the snow, Fernie is a super friendly town with a chilled-out vibe, yet there’s an awesome nightlife for anyone that’s so inclined. Get in touch to learn more!

How good do I need to be? +

We cater for a really broad range of skiers / snowboarders on our course in Fernie and the advantage of this being the most popular instructor course in Canada is that we can have several ski groups all catered to a specific ability & confidence level. Generally, we cater from early intermediates right through to experts. If you have any doubts about your ability, you can always join us for some coaching beforehand to boost your skills and confidence. Get in touch to learn more.

How old do you need to be? +

One of the best things about our course in Fernie is the range of people we get involved. With around 70 participants on the course each winter, you can be confident of finding likeminded people, as well as meeting others you wouldn’t necessarily have met! The recommended minimum age is 18; however, we are open to mature & independent 17-year-olds. There is no upper age limit; as long as you consider yourself fit enough to ski most days for 77 days! The average age on our course in Fernie is 24, but each season we have people from almost every stage of life.

Can I work whilst on the course? +

We do not recommend this, and we don’t have any examples of past clients who have managed it. In other words, no! This experience should be treated as a once in a lifetime winter to purely focus on your skiing / riding & having as much fun as possible. You would need a working holiday visa in order to work – most people only ever get to have one of these (lasting for two years), so you should save yours for when you may be working as an instructor in the future.

Will you help me find a job as an instructor? +

During the course we host a seminar that will help prepare you for work in the industry. Towards the end of the course, there is the the opportunity to take advantage of an interview with Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (who own several ski resorts) if you have applied for your work visa. Beyond the course, we’re always on hand to offer support on applications and we’re regularly contacted by snow schools looking for new recruits each winter.

Which airport should I fly to? +

We provide inclusive airport transfers at set departure times from Calgary airport; these are available on the advertised start & end date of the course. For those that want to arrive early, we have a transfer available 1 week before; likewise, for anyone wanting to stick around in Fernie after the course, we have an option 1 week later. Full details are provided so you know all your options.

How much money will I need? +

As a ballpark figure, we suggest having a budget of $200 - $250 per week to cover your spending money.  By preparing packed lunches for the mountain and cooking your own meals at the weekends, you can certainly make your budget go further. Between coaching 4-days per week, free skiing & the activities available on the MORE programme, we keep you busy. For many people, how much they spend will really come down to night time habits.

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