Living the dream – Jamie Dalgliesh, aged 41, becomes a BASI ski instructor

Author: Jacob Harley-Beckett

Jamie Dalgliesh, BASI Ski Instructor at Snowskool

When Jamie Dalgliesh (age 41 from Perth, Scotland) signed one final document to complete the sale of a business he and his father set-up in 2000, he knew that life was going to take a change in direction. “I love the old man, but we had been in each other’s pockets for almost 15 years and I wanted to get away. As far away as possible!

On a whim in October 2015, Jamie booked on to the SnowSkool course that took place in Big White, Canada from January to March 2016. Apart from the odd school ski trip, he had skied a grand total of 30 days between the age of 25 and 38 years old and so was a touch on the rusty side! Over the course of the next eleven weeks, however, he honed his skiing skills and passed the CSIA Level 1 and Level 2 instructor exams as well as the CSCF Race Coach Level 1 qualification. “Liver took a hit, but it was a great season. I thought I was a half-decent skier in powder, but the BC powder takes no prisoners! I got there in the end though…

Following a Summer of tying up loose ends back in Scotland (and working part-time at the local dry slope), Jamie headed out to Méribel for the 2016/ 17 season to work as a Resort Manager for The Chalet Company. “It was a great job but pretty full-on and the main take-away from the season was how much I missed being on the snow all-day, every-day.” Encouraged by some friends who worked for Parallel Lines in Méribel, Jamie sat and passed the BASI Level 2 exam on the basis that ski schools in Europe were more aware of the BASI qualifications and their quality reputation for turning out professional and adaptable instructors than those from outside Europe and that, at his age, getting a working visa for outside Europe would be difficult.

Jamie Dalgliesh Ski Instructor racing Giant Slalom

I think perhaps the CSIA style of skiing is more instinctive but, to be honest, the BASI way suits me better as it is more technical and more logical and made more sense. It is a much tougher exam too and so passing it gave me an amazing sense of achievement. With BASI, it felt like the more work you put in, the more you got out. Fortunately, I was a diligent student…!”

In April 2017 Jamie moved to Zell-am-See in Austria… “I met a girl there on a school trip in 1993…she was from Stoke-on-Trent, but I figured it was as good a place as any to start!” …and spent the summer getting to know the place, learning German and getting fit through hiking and swimming in the lake. As Autumn beckoned, Jamie started to approach some of the Ski Schools in Zell and was offered a post by Skischule Zell-am-See based in Schmittenhöhe. “I liked what Christoph Tuschner; Ski School Director had to offer as it was a five-month contract with a guaranteed income every month

2019/20 will be Jamie’s third consecutive season in Zell-am-See and he is now the proud owner of a two-bedroom apartment very close to the centre of Zell-am-See where he lives with his Welsh Terrier, Woody.

I love Zell-am-See and I love teaching people to ski or teaching people to ski better. The plan from here is to stick in the BASI system and take the step up to ISIA level as soon as possible.” Jamie did his ski instructor course with BASI Business Partner – SnowSkool