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Andermatt Swiss Alps

Trails in the snow

The word “ski instructor” brings to mind powder snow, sun and relaxing breaks at the snow bar. Or, if you’ve been in the winter sports scene a bit longer, you might even think of the legendary womanizer “Gigi from Arosa“. The new heads of the Snow Sports School Andermatt, Marco Arnold (in the picture on the right) and Daniel Brand, have sun-bronzed faces too, “but the days of Gigi are definitely over,” confirm both with a laugh. “The profession of ski instructor has changed greatly in recent years. It used to be that the ski day didn’t end with the evening but continued with an après ski party. Nowadays, many guests go to a wellness centre,”tells Marco Arnold. “And yet we are not just there to teach guests how to ski. We are actually ambassadors of the region. This includes, for example, that we show them the unique panorama from the Gemsstock. Or take a day trip to Sedrun,” adds Daniel Brand with a twinkle in his eye: “And après ski still doesn’t get missed.”

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The two Uri pros each have eleven years of experience as a ski instructor and training manager. They earned their stripes in Davos. “At age 20, I didn’t necessarily want to work as a ski instructor at home,” tells Daniel Brand, “But a year ago the time was ripe. We had been following the Andermatt Swiss Alps project and the plans for the SkiArena Andermatt- Sedrun from the beginning, and we decided to come back home.” The two cousins ​​have been skiing together since they were boys. When the Snow Sports School Andermatt sought a new manager, they grabbed their chance. Together with 15 permanent and 15 seasonal part-time staff, they take beginners onto the sunny pistes of Nätschen and turn them into confident skiers ready to venture onto the steep slopes of the black diamond, the Gemsstock.

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The ski area of Andermatt is quite diverse, and so are the guests. “Only a good ski instructor can notice what each guest wants,” says Marco Arnold. “Some people want a relaxed pace on the piste with lots of stops for talking, whereas others are keen to benefit the utmost from the technique and our know-how. One must be able to adapt to this.” And that’s the greatest challenge of the job. Marco Arnold and Daniel Brand have seen a lot in all the years they’ve spent on the slopes with guests – but when asked for an anecdote they both just laugh: “Priests have their confessional seal, and we have the ski instructors’ secret.”

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