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Kate Gray

Kate writes: At 32 I was ready for a career break. Working in the marine industry in Scotland I also wanted to get a few more qualifications to further my career.

After a lot of research, I decided to use Flying Fish to achieve my goals in a four month timeframe. However, when I saw they also offered a ski instructor course in Whistler, I decided two more months wouldn't hurt!

Spectacular mountains

I arrived in Vancouver in late November and had an amazing first day in the most spectacular mountains I've ever experienced. Under the watchful eyes of the instructors we were sized up in terms of stance, dedication, attitude, flair, confidence and gear. And for our ability to shake off impressive face-plants, edge clips and wipe-outs without embarrassment ...

Thanks to incredible teaching and support, we quickly found we had the confidence and skills to tackle not just the techniques of ski-ing but more importantly the dynamics of teaching and presenting to groups of people.

Exam weeks

Evening workshops and extra guided ski-ing days are always available. The instructor exam weeks were tough but so worth the effort. When your name is called and you haul your exhausted body up to receive your qualification at the end of the week – it's the greatest feeling of pride.

There are lots of other activities too, such as snowmobiling, ziptrek, games nights and local walks. Creekside is a great base for the course with a good variety of bars, restaurants, shops and services. The gondola takes you straight up to the slopes every morning without huge queues – it really is a breathtaking commute!

Pinch yourself

The facilities and atmosphere are incredible throughout your time in Whistler and you sometimes have to pinch your self (or one of your many bruises) to remind yourself you aren't actually dreaming.

I look back on my time in Whistler as the best decision I have made in years. I will definitely be back to do more in the future.

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