Snow Safety Educator, Search and Rescue (SAR) Avalanche Dog Handler and Inspirational Speaker.
THRIVING ON CHALLENGE
I first embarked on a ski trip to the Alps when I was 10, enticed into the Winter Wonderland. From then on I found every possible opportunity to return to the mountains and their snowy folds, working first as a ski rep for PGL, then instructing children's ski classes. I even had a quick flurry in the world of freestyle skiing, training in the disciplines of both ski ballet and aerials. After completing a bachelors degree in German and Spanish, I soon realised that I needed to search for 'a serious job' and put my passion to work in the snow on hold. I tried a varity of careers from guiding, to interpreting, to working as a 'jilaroo' on a cattle station out in the bush in Australia only to find myself gradually being drawn back up to altitude. Realising that my desire to do something which held meaning: helping others outdoors; I channelled my energies into becoming a ski patroller. My ease on skis helped me progress quickly and my fascination in this area of work made learning a pleasure. I completed my initial training in Thredbo in the Australian Alps. I soon realised upon my return to Europe that my diplomas with the kangaroos were not going to stand up against 'le coq français!', and the qualification would not be recognised in France.
In 2007, I started the long complicated process from the ski test to the final examination to become a 'pisteur secouriste 1er degré, and subsequently I attended the Ecole National de Ski et d'Alpinisme (Chamonix) in 2011 to gain the pisteur secouriste 2éme degré. At the same time I followed parallel courses to enrich my knowledge, including 'Observateur NivoMétéo' with Météo France to study the weather systems and snow environment along with the qualification to detonate potential snow masses as an 'Artificier' with the ANENA. One of my favourite moments has to be when I entered the Fire and Rescue Mountain Rescue unit to become a Search and Rescue dog handler in 2010 with Fjord my French Flat Coated Retriever.
My inspiratonal talks, education programmes and new book, 'Fjord's Mountain Mission', are all designed to keep people safe in the snow, but to also develop a deep love of the environment.
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