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Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors

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Humans Of Meribel - January 2016

Posted on
January 20, 2016
Humans Of Meribel - January 2016

Last month I started a new blog post series called 'Humans of the Mountains', inspired by the brilliant Brandon Stanton who runs the 'Humans of New York' project. As a reminder, he is a photographer who goes around New York every day, and asks people for their portrait photo. All fair enough, but then he asks them for an interesting story to accompany the image. I absolutely love the concept, and thought I could use this same idea here in the French Alps. One of the many brilliant things about being a ski instructor is meeting people, and hearing their stories, it is so interesting. Occasionally I will take out my mate Canon up the mountain, perfect for this series. The following people who feature in this post, are those who I have either taught, or have come into contact through the industry. First up this month is Maria, who is Portguese and lives in New York, and is also familiar with Brandon Stanton's work.

Maria - New York

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"When I first arrived in New York five years ago, I wanted to have some independence and start driving as soon as possible. But I didn't quite understand the traffic light laws, especially with green lights. I got stopped by a Police Officer, and when I questioned him, he summoned me and I had to go to court for disordely conduct. He was such a Schmuck. It was a reality check because the case was being held in a Civil Court and I was surrounded by drug dealers and hookers. I was amongst the flower and fauna of New York society! The Judge dismissed my case straight away. Welcome to the USA." 

John - London

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"Although I have been an accountant for 23 years, I did study engineering at University. Every now and again, something reminds me of my studies. One example this holiday was while watching a huge queue of skiers (and boarders to be diverse) coming out of Val Thorens returning back to Méribel. It reminded me of 'fluid dynamics'. The theory goes that particles flowing nearest an obstacle go more slowly. This was clearly the case as the queue went round the corner and some skiers appeared to get stuck on the apex. Fortunately, we took the outside track, and got to the chairlift much faster."

Amy - Méribel

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"Many years ago I was working at the Coronet Peak ski school near Queenstown in New Zealand. There was this French guy who was on holiday, and had just retired from serious ski racing. My first memory of meeting him (Yannick) was in a bar; he showed me his hand where he had written "You have beautiful eye." Which I thought was a bit odd because I have more than one eye! Fast forward a few years....... we are married and have a young family in Méribel. I am the British broadcaster on R Méribel (radio), and Yannick works for the ESF and is responsible for the Olympic and World Cup race piste."

Andrey - Moscow

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"Two days ago I was on my way to Moscow's Sheremelyevo Aerodrome. It was -20C, overcast with disgusting pollution. And here I am now with fresh snow, clean unpolluted alpine air, and skiing. It is my third time here in Méribel, and it is blestyashchiy (brilliant). France is the best country; champagne, wine, cheese and skiing. Zdorovo (awesome)."

Sarah - Manchester

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"The very last time I skied before today, was way back in 1989 when I was on a school ski trip. I couldn't eat lunch today because I was so nervous about this afternoon's lesson. What I had totally forgotten was how fantastic it is, and unexpectedly, how quickly it has come back. It's exhilarating."

Will - Dubai

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"I study and work in Dubai, where the temperatures nudge 50C in the summer. There is this indoor ski slope (with snow) that's part of a huge shopping mall. One day me and my mate booked an hour and a halfs session. But 45 minutes into the session we started getting bored, and decided to go for a drink. We had to walk through the shopping mall in all our ski kit to get to the closest bar. We ordered a large beer, and a jager bomb each. I then stood up on the table and started partying, just like being in the Alps. It didn't take long for some security guards to turn up and take me outside. Apparently the Director of the ski centre was at the table next to us!?!"

There you go, how much fun is this project? I was talking to some of my clients the other day about it; they reckon that every time I take a quick portrait and make a note of their story, that it should be blogged straight away instead of waiting for a whole group of them. Fair enough, your wish is my command. Can't wait to meet new people, and hear about their stories.

If you enjoyed this post, you might like another from earlier this winter, click here for the link. Feel free to share away on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Or leave a comment below. Have a great week everybody. Martin.

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With our skills- based system of learning, we give you the tools to safely negotiate any demands the mountains make on you, helping you to increase your comfort zone and ski in a wider range of conditions. Whether you are a nervous novice, a blue piste cruiser or an all mountain adventurer, we tailor your ski lessons to create a perfect fit. The question is, which one are you?

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