This is the original Nonstop course, set in one of the world’s best powder zones. With five interconnected bowls, steep and deep, plus the biggest vert in the Rockies, you’ll push your skiing to the max to land your CSIA Level 1 and 2 qualifications. Suitable for riders from intermediate to expert, this course features pro coaching, a funky town and a stack of local Canadian adventures, all shared with a huge crew of fellow Nonstoppers.
Fernie is a ski mecca with cult status for its deep powder, adventurous terrain and authentically Canadian town, just a few of the reasons Nonstop was founded here. Set in southeast British Columbia, it receives mega amounts of annual snowfall and has the biggest vertical in Canadian Rockies.
The ski area is made up of five alpine bowls: Cedar, Lizard, Currie, Timber and Siberia. Each bowl has unique character, with steeps, narrow chutes, gladed trees, open slopes and powder fields to ride between. There are 142 marked runs, with 75 rated as black or double black. Whether you love carving groomers, weaving through the trees, bounding through pow, or navigating steep chutes, Fernie has it all – and some.
With one of the best snow records in Canada, Fernie is an epic place to ride powder. On average, more than 10m falls each winter. And it’s not just the quantity of snow that’s so good, it’s also the quality of it. A combination of the horse-shoe shape of the mountains, local weather systems and Pacific fronts are to thank for Fernie’s frequent dumps and feather-light flakes.
The town is located a short distance from the ski hill, connected via a 10-minute shuttle, and promises a real taste of Canadian mountain life. Downtown has a funky, welcoming and laid-back vibe, with plenty of indie shops, bars, restaurants and coffee stores to stay social on down days. Whether its wild nights, live music or a fresh coffee, every vibe and venue is covered. There’s a cinema, swim centre, gym and climbing wall, beautiful nature and walks, and a rich menu of events through the season.
One of the best and most rewarding parts of this course is the coaching from Fernie pros. Combining personal improvement with instructor training, we’ll not only prepare you to pass your CSIA Level 1 and 2, we’ll show you the best parts of the mountain, ride all kinds of terrain and boost your freeriding. The goal is that, by the end, you’ll be an all-round skier – able to ride anywhere on the mountain – with qualifications in your back pocket.
With a varied schedule no week is the same, but coaching generally takes place four days per week – with technical sessions, teaching practice and freeride clinics. We’ll be dialling in your technique, learning about the CSIA framework, and riding everything that Fernie has to offer. And when it’s a powder day, we’ll be taking full advantage and finding the best lines in resort.
We arrange ski groups by ability and your general attitude with no more than 8 skiers per coach. You’ll be introduced to your first week’s pro who will quickly start analysing your technique and helping you achieve your goals on snow. Each week you’ll rotate between instructors, so you benefit from all their different styles and experiences.
The course is split into two phases. The first part of the course beds you in and prepares you for your Level 1. We then up the ante and move onto the Level 2. Ahead of each exam phase, you’ll enjoy a private one-on-one session to maximise your progression and put in your final preparations.
In the second part of the course, you also have the option to follow to our All Mountain Pro route. Here, the focus is entirely on your own skiing and riding as much of the mountain as possible. If you are more interested in personal performance than becoming an instructor, this is an awesome pathway.
If you've set your sights on becoming a ski instructor, we give you the best possible opportunity to succeed. The program will fully prepare you for the CSIA Level 1 and 2, as well as offering park instructor or race instructor exams.
Level 1 in introductory and allows you to teach in Canada, with the Level 2 recognised all over the world in countries like Japan, New Zealand and Italy.
After passing your Level 1 you can also take part in our Community Days - where you'll head to a nearby ski hill to offer free ski lessons to locals. This is a great experience and adds weight to your ski instructor CV/resume. We also put on workshops on getting started in the industry and have a big network of ski school contacts.
You can achieve the following qualifications:
The added extras on our courses can’t be hyped up enough. We’ve made a fine art out of weaving the most epic local adventures into your schedule and each week we lay on an activity or trip as part of our MORE Program.
One of the highlights is cat-skiing, where you head into the backcountry with a modified snowcat before floating back down through untouched pow. Other activities include a road trip to hardcore ski hill Castle Mountain, skating on a nearby frozen lake, ski touring in the Fernie slackcountry, and winter survival camping – where you’ll build and sleep in your own igloo. We also lay on weekly socials and workshops too – so the schedule is truly rammed.
You can add as many extras as take your fancy. We include $250 of credit for you to use on the activities of your choice. Here’s a sample.
Maximise your season and extend to our 13-week package, by adding our pre- and post-stay weeks for extra mountain and freeride time, making the most of your season pass. You can upgrade to 13 weeks from just £445 // $715.
Ask us for more or you can simply add when you book online.
During the 11 week course you will recieve coaching from some of Canada's leading instructor trainers. The weekly schedule varies through the course but typically, coaching sessions are Mon, Tue, Thu and Fri, with Wednesdays and the weekends for free skiing, consolidating what you've learnt and the away-trips, activities and additional courses offered on our "More Program". The maximum group size is 8 people per pro but typically they are even smaller.
You'll be given a season lift pass so you can ski as much as you please.
Come out early or stay on after, your lift pass will cover you. 85% of people stay on after the course for a "12th week" and about 30% arrive a week early.
This important milestone is held in week 5 after which we have a massive celebration.
Unusually for this type of course, the Nonstop package includes the cost of both the exam fees for the CSIA Level 1 AND Level 2 (circa $1000). (Please note if you decide to go for AMP instead of level 2 training, you will receive ski coaching instead of taking level 2).
Unique to this course - and essential to your instructor career prospects - is a wealth of work experience. If you are serious about an instructor career then this is one of the most valuable parts of the entire course. There are two formats: 1. Shadowing a local instrutor weekly (after you have obtained your level 1) for a half day session. 2. Taking your own real-life lessons as the lead instructor. Our "Community Days" events, enable you to put your newly aquired level 1 instructor qualification to use and teach local families. It's an amazing experience that will look great on your CV/resume and will help you establish a successful career as an instructor.
Throughout the course we run regular technical talks on subjects like biomechanics, looking after your gear, and injury prevention.
Throughout the program our coaches will make the most of technical video analysis to help with your development.
Opt for our All Mountain Pro route in the second phase of the course to purely focus on your on skiing. If you are more interested in personal performance than becoming an instructor, the AMP certification is the perfect solution to focus on your freeriding.
You'll be given an 'Instructor Starter Kit' booklet with a directory of ski school contacts, receive seminars on topics such as life as a ski instructor, job application and interview techniques, and be given constant advice from our coaches. Additionally, job interviews with the local ski school are available.
For those wanting to start a career as a ski instructor you'll massively benefit from a guaranteed interview with the ski school. Fernie is owned by Resort of the Canadian Rockies (RCR) who own many ski resorts in both western and eastern Canada. These interviews are a great practice experience and if you impress, could set you up with a job the following winter.
You'll have the opportunity to gain the following additional qualifications:
A contender for the highlight of this course! The More Program let's you get involved with dozens of winter activities and experiences during your time with us, from cat skiing to ice hockey, from weekend road trips to photography courses. We'll give you 25 "More credits" to select the activities you want to experience. Download the Course Brochure to see the full list.
You'll get private coaching sessions with just you and your coach, one before your Level 1 and another before your Level 2. These will enable you to work on specific areas you want to focus on, or simply talk about upcoming exams of your future plans.
You'll be treated to an awesome breakfast at the Red Tree Lodge five days per week. Options include a coffee/tea, juices, cereals, toast, pastries, yogurt, fruit, porridge oats, as well as hot items like eggs, beans, sausages, hash browns or bacon.
Enjoy a hearty three course meal at the Red Tree Lodge four evenings a week. A soup and salad buffet will get you started, followed by a choice of healthy and filling nutritionally balanced main dishes before a well earned desert.
If you arrive with the group flight (or land before), you can join the Nonstop airport transfer to the resort.
Daily shuttle to and from the slopes.
Experienced, fun, welcoming, knowledgeable and local, the Nonstop hosts are central to your course experience. Your host will ensure your course runs smoothly so you can focus on achieving your goals and having fun. They'll be on hand 24/7 for a chat, laugh, or to solve any problems.
Each week your host will organise team socials and après for all the group to get involved in
1% of revenues support environmental non-profits, including Protect Our Winters
We make your trip carbon neutral by offsetting emissions we can't reduce, including flights.
On behalf of all participants, we offset the measurable carbon emissions of your trip based on the duration, location and type of course, as well as the journey you’re taking to reach your course. Through our partnership with Climate Impact, we contribute to reputable and effective carbon reduction projects.
Become part of The Nonstop Collective with a Nonstop-branded gift
Exclusive Nonstop discount at select local stores, 10-20%
These things are not included in the package:
In brief, here’s why our Fernie 11-week course remains the unrivalled leading instructor course in Canada:
Snow: Fernie is famed for getting the deepest and lightest powder each winter. Fernie will make you a better off-piste skier and you’ll have way more fun. Terrain: Great snow is only as useful as the quality of the slopes it falls on and Fernie is unrivalled in this aspect; it’s a huge off-piste playground complemented by wide groomed pistes.
Scene: Fernie is a super cool, lively-but-not-spoilt-by-tourism, community of skiers who have searched and found the best skiing and snow in Canada. Incredibly friendly, you’ll soon find yourself saying hi to strangers and walking around your new home with a permanent grin.
Coaching: With 17 years of experience, and over 40 11-week courses under our belt, we’ve delivered more instructor training than anyone else. Our ski coaches are the best in the business and will completely transform your skiing.
Social: When 70 passionate skiers from all over the globe come together to spend a winter in Fernie, the friendships and shared experiences are nothing short of epic. We guarantee that some of your life’s best memories will be made in Fernie.
Extras: With Nonstop, it’s not all about ski coaching: we put a huge emphasis on enjoying as many Canadian mountain experiences as possible and organise a massive program of activities, away-trips, courses and socials to make this the richest, most enjoyable, winter possible.
Accommodation: Uniquely, we own our own 43-bedroom lodge designed specifically for Nonstop clients, with amazing facilities. Alternatively, we have the option in staying in houses like a true local (with your coursemates)
Meals: Again, unlike any other training company, we own and run a restaurant with an awesome team of chefs and a delicious and nutritious menu designed for our hungry skiers. With complete control over the meals, we’re confident our meals are the best available on any ski instructor course. Reassurance: Choosing to take an instructor course is massive investment. We not only have unrivalled experience built over nearly two decades, but our clients have shown their appreciation by voting us to victory in three consecutive “World Snow Awards”.
Skiers & snowboarders fall in love with Fernie because of the combination of awesome snow & incredible terrain. Choosing a resort with challenging terrain is so important, because you’ll only ever progress as far as the terrain you’re skiing / riding. Rest assured you’ll push yourself to the limit in Fernie. Off the snow, Fernie is a super friendly town with a chilled-out vibe, yet there’s an awesome nightlife for anyone that’s so inclined. Get in touch to learn more!
We cater for a really broad range of skiers / snowboarders on our course in Fernie and the advantage of this being the most popular instructor course in Canada is that we can have several ski groups all catered to a specific ability & confidence level. Generally, we cater from early intermediates right through to experts. If you have any doubts about your ability, you can always join us for some coaching beforehand to boost your skills and confidence. Get in touch to learn more.
One of the best things about our course in Fernie is the range of people we get involved. With around 70 participants on the course each winter, you can be confident of finding likeminded people, as well as meeting others you wouldn’t necessarily have met! The recommended minimum age is 18; however, we are open to mature & independent 17-year-olds. There is no upper age limit; as long as you consider yourself fit enough to ski most days for 77 days! The average age on our course in Fernie is 24, but each season we have people from almost every stage of life.
We do not recommend this, and we don’t have any examples of past clients who have managed it. In other words, no! This experience should be treated as a once in a lifetime winter to purely focus on your skiing / riding & having as much fun as possible. You would need a working holiday visa in order to work – most people only ever get to have one of these (lasting for two years), so you should save yours for when you may be working as an instructor in the future.
During the course we host a seminar that will help prepare you for work in the industry. Towards the end of the course, there is the the opportunity to take advantage of an interview with Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (who own several ski resorts) if you have applied for your work visa. Beyond the course, we’re always on hand to offer support on applications and we’re regularly contacted by snow schools looking for new recruits each winter.
We provide inclusive airport transfers at set departure times from Calgary airport; these are available on the advertised start & end date of the course. For those that want to arrive early, we have a transfer available 1 week before; likewise, for anyone wanting to stick around in Fernie after the course, we have an option 1 week later. Full details are provided so you know all your options.
As a ballpark figure, we suggest having a budget of $200 - $250 per week to cover your spending money. By preparing packed lunches for the mountain and cooking your own meals at the weekends, you can certainly make your budget go further. Between coaching 4-days per week, free skiing & the activities available on the MORE programme, we keep you busy. For many people, how much they spend will really come down to night time habits.
We look forward to speaking with you.