A Private Ski Instructor or Mountain Guide in The Alps

If you’re a skier and you’ve not skied the Alps, it’s a whole new world. There are big differences between skiing in Europe – where skiing was invented – and skiing in the States. Consider hiring a ski instructor to guide you, or a Mountain Guide if you want to venture off-piste.

First, interlinked resorts in Europe are huge (the 3 Valleys in France encompasses over 400 miles of connected groomers), and you’re free to explore the whole mountain. Austria’s Arlberg connects 9 villages with 97 ski lifts, its overwhelming. The entire alpine experience is different, no trail names, rarely ropes or signage marking cliffs, confusing trail maps. On the flip side, the cuisine served in chalets is next level, delicious homemade local fare at 6,000 feet), and there’s so much alpine history in the pretty chalet-lined ski village. Teh après ski is next level too.

We hired a Mountain Guide on a ski trip to Kitzbühel, we were matched with the perfect skier for the day – a pro ski instructor and certified mountain guide. It was a best-ski-day-ever experience – Marcus found us fresh powder, untouched snowfields, managed our ski terrain aspects all day with the sun and snow changes, reserved a great chalet for lunch with the best table, took our photos, and joined us for après ski at Kitzbühel. It was more untracked skiing, far better than some of our heli-ski days, we recommend you hire a Bergfuhrer Mountain Guide.
See our Guide to Mountain Guides and Berg Fuhrers

If you just want a ski companion and knowledgeable expert to tour you around the ski resort’s prepared slopes, hire a ski instructor guide for a great ski day. Ask for someone particularly knowledgeable about the terrain and the local history. You’ll find a ski instructor guide will maximize your time, take you to hidden gems, and circumnavigate any crowds or terrain not worth skiing. And they likely know the best on-mountain chalets. Having a ski instructor tour guide on your first or second day at any new ski resort – especially a huge resort like Verbier and Les 4 Vallees or The Arlberg of Austria can prove invaluable, fun and really makes your ski trip!

The best guides start early, with a few cruisy runs to warm up your legs and enjoy the scenery before you start exploring. This is also an opportunity for the instructor or guide to assess your skiing ability before they take you on an adventure, or off-piste. Europe doesn’t impose out-of-bounds restrictions, so you go at your own risk. Having a ski instructor or guide to bring you safely to amazing ‘secret runs’ that you don’t find on a piste map – is worth it!

One ski guide day, our guide led us off the side of a groomed run, passing between two majestic rocks into a narrow, beautiful gulley running the length of the mountain. We had to duck down and slowly ski through a hole in the rock face before the run opened to magical untouched snow bowl. Truly one-of-a-kind terrain we would not have discovered on our own. After skiing a few exciting untouched powdery aspects, we were ready for lunch. Our guide took us to the far side of the mountain to a place we also would never find on our own.  Nestled into the snow was a small rustic restaurant, where we were greeted like old friends by the owner since we were with our rock-star guide. We were treated like royalty with the most amazing Soupe à l’Oignon (French onion soup) ever, followed by an outstanding fondue made of their local farm cheese, and schnapps! We enjoyed more amazingly long powder runs before it was time for après-ski. A charming mid-mountain chalet was the perfect respite for a glühwein, on a comfy VIP balcony.  What a day – we toasted our vertical and our new friendship!

Another amazing ski guide in The Dolomites is Paolo, who delivered fresh untracked powder, gorgeous scenery, the best Italian lunch (all reserved for us), and fantastic anecdotal stories about Cortina – ski history and humor – all day long and well into après ski.

Austria’s Obergurgl, near Solden,  Hannes from Alpin Sport found us fresh tracks all morning, then led us to a perfect table at the best umbrella bar. At Pitztal Glacier in Austria, Bergfuherer Harald Fichtinger brought us to amazing snow, a steep long chute with a minimal AT ski hike, then a gorgeous glacier run at Pitztal. Stefan at Ischgl Ski School is a 25-year instructor and mountain guide knows Ischgl intimately and delivers a great guided ski day!

Our best ski days in The Alps have been with a Bergfuhrer, Mountain Guide, or a ski instructor tour guide, including St Anton Arlberg, Trois Vallées, Zermatt, Verbier, Portes Du Soleil, so if you’re skiing in Europe and want to discover the slopes like a local, get yourself a Ski Guide.

See More
Tips on Hiring a Mountain Guide in the Alps
Guide to Skiing the Alps
Top European Ski Resorts