Tag Archives: rep

Tignes (again) with Wasteland Ski winter 15/16

So I was fortunate to get sent back over to Tignes this December to Head Rep for Wasteland Ski


IMG_20151210_143850After 3 weeks in the resort last year, Tignes became one of my favourite resorts in Europe, I got to know the parks, the runs, the bars and even a couple of secret spots ‘off piste’, so when I got my request to work the resort for a week this winter I was very happy. I’ve got a lot less free time this year, so to be heading to one of the largest ski areas was something to look forward to.

It was also to be my first time as a proper Head Rep. I’d done it for SCUK (Snowboard Club UK) a group of 100+ adults or various ages, but they stayed in a nice hotel, and didn’t need supervision every night, so once they were all there, it was a very simple week indeed. I’d also been Zone Manager for BUSC Main Event in Tignes, but with so many support staff, I found the week pretty simple, and didn’t have too much hassle at all. So heading out with a good friend, and one of the great new BUSC team to be the ‘bosses’ for a team of 7 reps and about 250 students, I certainly anticipated a bit more of a challenge.

IMG_20151215_130101And a challenge was an understatement! Within less than 12 hours we’d lost a rep and had to send him home, which meant all the preparations we’d done were for nothing as we rushed to prepare for arrivals. But prepared we were, and within 12 hours of the students arriving we had two more missing people, some minor injuries, a couple of rooms with no water and a handful of other complaints and issues. Certainly it looked like we wouldn’t be getting much sleep that week! I think the earliest night was 3am, and the latest lie-in 9am, although I blame myself for the early starts, most mornings anyway. I had come to the mountains to ride, and ride I would do.

IMG_20151215_130136Most days I’d complete a couple of laps before joining with the reps to explore the mountains, get the typical selfies and group photos. We even had a sprinkling of powder, so to make the most of that one of our crew let her snowboard lose, and we got to adventure into the unknown to find it. Some lovely slash turns and rock hopping and even a cheeky little cliff drop to get out of some tight spots made the riding varied and exciting. I got plenty of time to ride through both the Tignes and Val D’isere parks, both of which while incomplete were big enough for me. I certainly got more comfortable riding the mid-line and might have tidied my ugly 3’s up a little. Grab for the week was the Stalefish. I think what I really like about the rideable area in Tignes is the pure variety, and the options from every point on the piste map. There’s always a couple of choices if not more from the main chairs, and whether you want something fun and easy, or to beat your speed record there chance is right there.

Weather wise it felt more like spring riding than December, with warm days and blue skies for most of the week. A little cloud which brought us just enough snow to freshen the runs didn’t cause a white-out. Not great for the resort for the rest of the season, but for us there that week we couldn’t ask for better conditions.

IMG_20151216_111558The nightlife is still great fun, although a little limited for options compared to somewhere like Val Thorens. The usual favourite Saloon and old faithful Dropzone provide different vibes but good fun until it’s time to head to the clubs – which I find hard to differentiate really, it’s club tunes and house, it’s dark and a bit smelly but get the right group in and before you know it, you’re raving with a lot of semi-naked people.

The student groups, (with a couple exceptions) were great fun, and the committees certainly helped throughout the week, there’s plenty of opportunities for them to be a huge time sink for the head reps, but on the whole they were pretty chilled out and happy with the week. I’d be happy to work with them again, if they’d have me!

Benjamin Duff



Wasteland Ski Training Weekend – Okehampton Camp, Dartmoor

This weekend I spent sleeping in an army barracks on Dartmoor waking up at 6.45am.

Dartmoor Morning

DartmoorDoesn’t sound so great, but it was all part of the test for the Wasteland Ski training and selection weekend, an intense weekend of classes, talks and parties testing our ability to work hard and play hard! The location was very strange, a military base on the edge of Dartmoor, with epic views down across the Devon countryside. A little exploring led to some impressive views of what could appropriately be described as a wasteland. We shared the camp with cadets, marines and hikers, so meal times were an interesting mix.

CluesMost importantly the classes threw groups of strangers all with one thing in common (snow!) together to learn and work to solve problems. Coming away with the knowledge of how best to take care of our clients from bus pickup, to resort, to slopes, to bars, to bed, and back home again. How to deal with problems, the best way to deal with common questions and your general attitude towards the work. There was lots to learn, but it was well taught, most of us seemed to get it pretty well.

SwordBoth nights there the bar was open and the drinks flowed. Partying is as much a part of the job as everything else, and the fancy dress competition was hotly contested. With the theme as ‘W’ there were lots of Where’s Wallys, a few wizards, a web, a couple Wall-Es and Washing machines and 4 William Wallaces (my choice) A great night out with the Wasteland crew and the 150 potential reps.

IĀ can only hope that IĀ impressed the staff enough to get a ticket out to the Alps this year. Either way, a good weekend was had – fingers crossed!

Benjamin Duff