Proof you can quit the day job for good
Our owners and MDs, Karen and Steve La Borde, tell their story: how they came into the industry, how The Winter Sports Company began – and why they know you can find a dream career on the slopes, too.
In 2006, our children had all fledged the nest. The youngest had just started university, so we sold our house and business to move to Cornwall. We wanted to spend more time on snow in the winter, and thought a seasonal business in Cornwall would give us the opportunity to do so.
It did not turn out quite as planned, for in October at the ski show where we had gone to look for work, we bumped into a company which specialised in school holidays, and who wanted to start a ski instructor training course in Jasper, Canada. On our return home to Cornwall, the company called us offering us places on their ski instructor course to start in January – if we would manage the course for them. We agreed.
In January 2007, we travelled to Jasper. We spent an amazing season training to become instructors. It was a true adventure. I never thought I would hike up a mountain and then ski down it – but there I did. And, after three months intensive training, we both passed our CSIA level 2 ski instructor certification.
We’d had a great time, made loads of new friends, were better skiers than we ever believed we would be, and we had a job – for we were invited to return the following year to manage the course again.
After two years managing ski and snowboard instructor courses in Jasper for another company, we thought we could do it better. Jasper, though a beautiful and remote Canadian town, is a long way from the actual ski slopes, and we had to travel at least 45 minutes each way every day to get up to the snow. We could select a resort with ski-in ski-out facilities – a larger resort with more terrain, and a larger snow school with more higher level instructors. When we found Sun Peaks Resort, we knew we had found the perfect place.
The rest as, they say, is history. We’ve never returned to the day jobs. We are now fully occupied with the snow sports industry and our own very precious Winter Sports Company. We hope to help others achieve their dreams as we did.