Ski Course Reviews

Here’s what people are saying about ski courses with Mark Gear…

“I just got back from the intermediate course Jan 19 having started the course confident on piste but never really venturing off piste, apart from off to the sides. From day 1, the drills Mark gives you on piste were really informative and each day I definitely felt progression in my skiing. Monday off piste was hard work but with Marks help I was improving day by day culminating on Thursday, Friday being my best skiing of my life! I Couldn’t recommend this course enough and will be booking again with Mark!”  Andrew Keen

“I first did an intermediate course with Mark in 2014. Whilst I was a strong piste skier, I had never really done any off piste before. From the first couple of runs with Mark, I immediately felt that Mark was an excellent coach, breaking down the fundamentals of skiing to its core components. The intermediate course was a great pruner for anyone looking to venture off the piste in a safe yet challenging environment. The next year Mark said I could do his advanced level course, which was a step up from intermediate. I ended up doing three more advanced courses with Mark, in each year my skiing progressed where I became more proficient in deeper snow, bumps and steeper terrain. After the third course, Mark said I was ready to do his Expert level course, for which I was elated.

I thoroughly recommend Mark’s courses for anyone who is passionate about skiing and wants to improve. Mark takes the time and care to help his students progress with their skiing, with daily video analysis being really helpful in identifying strengths and weaknesses in each student’s skiing ability.

Most of all, I feel safe with Mark off the piste, with his Expert local knowledge of Chamonix Mont Blanc, helping to guide his groups to find the best snow.” Scott Robinson

“We did Mark’s All-Mountain Performance intermediate 5 day course in Chamonix in March 2017.  Both myself and my partner picked up skiing in adulthood and the week course with Mark was by far the best week of skiing we have ever done. Mark’s technique of teaching fills you with knowledge and confidence so that by the end you are able to tackle any terrain or piste thrown at you. Before I would have avoid mogally blacks, I now have all the tools to get down them and even started to enjoy them! Mark also knows Chamonix and the surrounding valleys like the back of his hand, taking us to all the best areas given the conditions that day.”Katie Ferry

“Having returned from Chamonix in the French Alps after attending a 5 day Advanced Off Piste Ski Course with Mark Gear of “All Mountain Performance” I would like to take this opportunity to provide a personal recommendation for the knowledge & service that Mark has provided.

When I arrived in the resort of Chamonix I was made very welcome with an opportunity to meet and greet the other candidates attending the course. I was also put at ease after receiving an introduction and summary of what was to follow over the coming days.

From day one through to day five Mark provided clear and concise instruction for the skills required to enable all of us in attendance to progress our practical and theoretical skills for both on and off piste skiing.

I received practical mountain training in respect to avalanche safety and procedures for a rescue along with a better understanding of snow and mountain conditions. I personally feel that my skiing ability/technique has been rebuilt in order that I can comfortably deal with all on/off piste conditions following continual verbal and daily video feedback. Most importantly of all, and in the words of Mark himself ” to enjoy the sport of skiing.”

I will most certainly use Mark again to continue my personal development in the area of off piste skiing. Therefore, and in conclusion, I would whole heartedly recommend Mark Gear of “All Mountain Performance” for all your ski instruction.” Mark McKensie

“If you are reading this review with the intention of booking a course ,then quick response just go ahead and do it .you will not be disappointed .
If you want to read my review please read on. But firstly a little of my background experience .
Currently approaching sixty ,despite not starting skiing until the age of 48, I now have some 25 weeks skiing experience. like lots of skiers I was self taught and once I thought was good enough on piste quickly progressed to skiing on the sides of piste runs dabbling in off piste. Although I could get down any black run, and was able to negotiate the odd mogul run ,though not with the style and grace I would like . I new I was still lacking in the technical movements and techniques required.. Previous to this course I had done a couple of weeks introduction to off-piste with other companies and also many years ago did piste course .
I researched Marks company a little and went ahead and booked a course.
Initially I thought I may of been to advanced for this course but Mark advised prior to my booking that he thought with my experience I would benefit from his course .
The first two days were taught mainly on piste. Mark was very accurate about the technique required in order for us to progress onto off-piste. These were mainly, centred balance, speed control, pivoting and lateral disengagement of the body.  I may well have left a couple of items out. But never the less he was very orthodox in his ways and followed a certain route of teaching that I would image he has perfected by results/progress of his student .
By day four personally I would have been content with what I had learnt, and still had one day to go . I could see an improvement in my piste and off-piste skiing and I personally saw a good amount of improvement in the rest of the group.
Prior to taking this course it was explained that at the end of the day we would look at the video footage and Mark would address us one by one on our performance and how we could improve on this information the following day. I did not expect this to be so enjoyable and interesting ,but it was.
For me the main difference between Mark and other instructors is that this is his own business, he is passionate about teaching and it shows in the results at the end of the week.
All students said, if we were to be skiing in the same area again we would use his services over anyone else.
Thank you Mark for a great week.” Steve Jones

“Mark is a consummate professional and a great teacher who runs a very fun ski course! My 5 day Advanced All Mountain course delivered everything in the description and so much more. His knowledge of the mountains and focus on each participant ensured a safe environment where we felt comfortable pushing our abilities.

My technique and confidence skiing Chamonix’s variable off-piste conditions have drastically improved from the course and I would not hesitate to join the program again in the future.” Clarissa Tang

“I was really pleased to have done the week’s course and was amazed by the results.  To find yourself standing at the top of an untracked run and be able to link turns in deep snow after only five days says everything you need to know about just how good a week it was.” Nicholas Ball

“After retiring as a musician with no skiing since teenage years for fear of job ­threatening injuries,I returned to it with a passion, did some on-­piste courses achieving a competent standard and thenwanted to consolidate off­-piste skills.

I enlisted for the Intermediate and Advanced All Mountain Ski Courses with Mark Gear on two consecutive weeks in January 2016. This proved to be a revelation! Mark is an inspirational skier to watch and a highly skilled and qualified teacher. His approach is based on modern ski teaching with a real concern for seeing the individual pupil progress. The groups consisted of up to six students of similar standard, each experiencing very specific individual attention.

We were taken through the fundamental skills needed for the day’s skiing in the morning and applied these therafter. Each student was filmed skiing at a place chosen by Mark which would highlight these skills. We would then be given video feed­back at the end of the day which made us aware of areas needing improvement. Mark then offered solutions which we incorporated into our skiing on the slopes the following day. Apart from this very thorough and flexible teaching approach, he also encouraged a sense of enjoyment, fun and adventure on the snow which I found very motivational.

I feel that after these two weeks my skiing has improved beyond all my expectations and I am now more equipped to tackle challenging terrain and snow conditions. Thank you, Mark!” Dieter Hellebronth

“Having scratched around for ten years trying to get better, to see some genuine improvement within a day was fantastic. I’ve been buzzing off it since.” James Mosley

“As a nervous skier, Mark was very patient with me and with varying techniques, using both visual and descriptions, I was able to progress throughout the lesson.  Will definately be using Mark again next year.” Racheal Hollingsbee

“Thank you for the amazing week of skiing we got early this month. Thanks to your coaching my skiing has improved a lot, and it is still moving forward.” Eduardo, Freeride skiing competitor

“Without sounding too much like a testimonial advert, I think the instructor delivered on the organisation’s promise of providing dedicated or focused coaching rather than the happy – go – lucky ski along approach which I have previously encountered.” Dr Darrel Crilley

“By the penultimate day, alas missed by the cameras, I produce a deft, slaloming run through deep snow and trees”. Gwyn Topham travel writer for the Guardian, read the full article here:

“With Mark’s help my skiing went from the 1980’s to bang up to date in a season. A very talented teacher.”Chris Dorward

“Although I’ve been skiing and taking lessons since I was six, one weekend course from Mark raised my skiing to a new level. He provided individual attention and video to find underlying problems then showed us new skiing techniques that really worked!” Kimberly VanLandingham

“Soooo enthusiastic—- probably the only ski teacher you will ever need (-:” Ray Keighley