A Ski Season in Zakopane, Poland
Unlike your average days, getting up to see pure white snow out your window in the morning is one sure way to be put into a great mood before you’ve even had time to yawn. You are instantly awake. That is how I feel virtually every day when I’m working a ski season in Zakopane, Poland as an Addventure Tours Instructor
For those who haven’t heard of it or are wondering why I’m talking about skiing in Poland, Zakopane sits at the base of the Tatra mountains south Poland that boarders Slovakia. A beautiful town made picturesque in winter by the snow that settles covering the highstreet in white. There is so much to do and see here that I’m grateful I have more than a week or two to explore it fully. It is a great bonus that it is very reasonably priced and so I am not limited to staying in my room after a days boarding.
Ski Areas in Zakopane
There are many nice little spots to ski in Zakopane, by far the best though is a resort called Białka. Once I have gotten myself fed and prepped for the day my first port of call is getting on a coach. We then pick up Addventure tours guests from their chalets and hotels dotted around town. It’s great starting the day by being on the coach in the morning with everyone. Talking about the previous days lessons or finding out what they had been doing the previous night in town. During the short journey to the slopes we all have time to get fired up and excited for another day.
On the slopes
Once at the slopes we all gather around our meeting point at the base of one of the runs to confirm lesson times. Guests will then go off and enjoy their day skiing or snowboarding. I usually like to get a run or two in before my first lesson to warm up. To get a feel for how good the snow is and decide where I’d like to take my class. Then I return to the meeting point and wait for the guests in my lesson to join me.
Usually I start with teaching beginners. It is always an amazing first lesson introducing people to snowboarding for the first time. I explain the equipment and guide them as they navigate the basics of moving around on the board. Beginners in their initial lessons are usually the ones laughing the most as they get to grips with strange new movements. Falling over from time to time and joking about it with their friends in the group. I get a real buzz seeing everyone enjoying the process and being there to share their new experience with them, snowboarding is a sport I’m keen to pass on to anyone that wants to try it.
Usually my lessons after lunch will contain people that can snowboard well and get about the slopes on their own. What’s great about this is that it allows this group to practise, have fun doing what they had previously learnt and then get an idea of what they would like to improve on. I really enjoy lessons which are more centred around guided discovery. I then get to help my group fine tune what they have learnt, see them push their limits and show off some incredible snowboarding. It’s like having another group of friends to enjoy your day riding with.
Trying to decide where to have lunch at białka is almost as tricky as learning a new skill in skiing. There are multiple places to eat on almost every slope. Each serving up some of the most delicious food that you’ll find in Poland. I will quite often run into some of the guests who stop off for a nice warm hot chocolate. This is one of my all time favourites on a cold day. It’s also nice to catch up with the rest of the team and talk about the great lessons that day. After lunch, us instructors get ready for the next set of lessons.
After lessons we all meet back at our meeting point and wait for the coach to take us back to town. Tired after a days skiing and snowboarding the coach ride is a little quieter. Some people will go back and eat at their chalets and others will make plans to meet each other in town for food. There is so much to do in the town. Without a doubt you could spend most of your time eating in many of the tradition polish restaurants. There is something for everyone.
Between restaurants, shops and tours by horse and carriage, you will be kept busy after a day at Białka. I like to go and play a few games of pool with anyone that wants to join me. You can get a pizza from the same place and have a nice drink. After,I make my way through the snow and back to my own apartment for the evening.
After the day skiing
Once I get through the door I like to get my snowboard out and ready for the next day. I listen to a bit of relaxing music to wind down. I then get into bed, ready to start over again. Set to enjoy another day snowboarding around a great resort with amazing people.