The Avoriaz Alpine ski school is a team of British and French ski and snowboard instructors who are highly experienced and passionate about sharing snowsports and Les Portes du Soleil with their guests. You can click on any of the instructors below to see more information and client reviews.

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Ian Mckellar - Ski School Director,
Ski & Snowboard Instructor

After competing in World Cup moguls Ian set up one of the first British ski schools in the Alps when he established the Avoriaz Alpine Ski School in 1992. After 29 seasons managing a team of highly professional instructors, Ian is running a well-oiled machine and enjoying it as much as ever.

Ian continues teaching during the summer and runs a successful driving school in North Devon.

 

"Rory had another great week with Ian. His skiing improved so much but most importantly he had a great time!" - Sarah, February 2019

"The boys had a fab 3 lessons with Ian, Jean-Marie & Laurent. They enjoyed the variation on slopes and teaching styles, improved again, in a short space of time. Thanks again and see you next year!" -  Sam 2020

"All of the children really enjoyed their lessons and we noticed a marked improvement in all of them over the week. Many thanks!" - Sam 2019

Laurent Calvet - Co-Director
Snowboard Specialist & Ski Instructor
Mountain biking on snow guide!

Laurent Calvet is equally at home on both skis and on snowboard and was one of the original top freestyle riders in the Portes du Soleil. Son of the engineer who masterminded the lift infrastructure in Avoriaz, Laurent has spent a lifetime sharing the Portes du Soleil with people and loving every minute.

When the lifts shut, he also takes guided fat bike tours to watch the sunset!

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"I want to say a massive thankyou to Laurent, in a short couple of hours; he fundamentally changed my skiing in an enormous way.
My final couple of days on the mountain after my lesson were an entirely different experience to what my skiing had been previously.
I was now skiing the entire day without leg fatigue, the mogul fields I'd hated before were now relatively simple to get down and my skis just suddenly seemed so much more buttery and fluid. Without exaggeration, all of this was just from a couple of hours of technique change with Laurent. Very excited to take what I've learned onto my next trip in a few weeks." - Edward 2019

 

"Excellent afternoon with Laurent in La Vallee de la Manche. Top man." - Jonathan 2020

"The technical focus of the lessons and coaching on technique was very good. Laurent worked hard to find good terrain and snow. Laurent also passed on a lot of advice and tips e.g. skinning on difficult wind crust snow and with equipment."

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Amy Marwick - Ski Instructor and Freeride Coach

Amy will return to the Avoriaz Alpine Ski School part time for her fourth season with us. Happy, inspiring and awesome at skiing - Amy is a self confessed gear geek, serial snow seeker and avid adventurer. 

"Feeling most at home amongst the mountains, I spend my time between the Portes du Soleil in the French Alps, and Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands."

 
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Mark Mckellar
Ski Instructor, Off-piste guide and Adaptive specialist

Mark was the youngest British instructor to gain the full International Ski Teaching Diploma from BASI in 2010 and has been teaching in Avoriaz ever since. Mark is experienced working with clients with special needs.

A true adventurer Mark sailed across the Atlantic on a 3 month climbing trip to Greenland to set some new clibing routes.

He was senior beach lifeguard for the RNLI in North Devon and is now based in Morzine where he continues his adventures.

 

"We were extremely happy with everything about our choice of ski school and instructor. Our young boys LOVED their lessons with Mark, he put them at ease, gave them a great balance of fun vs instruction and we are delighted that they are now keen little skiers who can’t wait to come again. Thank you!" - Jo - 2019

"The lesson was for my wife, who is a 50+ year old beginner. Perfect series of lessons from Mark, with the personal approach really helping her. Very grateful, will definitely recommend and use again in the future." - David 2020

George Treble
Ski & Snowboard Instructor
Backcountry guide & photographer

George spent 6 years working as our ski school rep whilst he went through the training system. He gained his BASI level 4 in 2018 and has tought, coached and guided skiing in New Zealand, Japan and Norway. He has chosen Avoriaz as his favourite place and loves teaching all ages and all abilities as he shares his love for the Portes du Soleil.

A backcountry specialist and passionate ski tourer, George also loves photography and making videos. Check them out on the video page.

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"I can’t open the feedback from but just wanted to say we were hugely impressed with the quality of service we received from all at Avoriaz Alpine Ski - whether in relation to booking or George’s instruction. Oliver loved George and he was fantastic with Oliver - both in his manner and in his instruction. We trusted him implicitly with our just turned 5yo. They had great fun together and Oliver advanced in his skiing. He also go a little jealous if he saw George on the slope with another lesson - so that can only be a compliment to George. So very sorry your season came to an abrupt end. If / when we are back in Avoriaz we will definitely use the school again and would have no hesitation in recommending you." - Claire & Neil 2020

"George was amazing. I had so much fun and he taught me some really cool skills. I definitely want a private lesson with him again next year."

"George was extremely helpful and patient as an instructor. It was my first time skiing and I learned a lot of the basics of the equipment as well as skiing in his lesson. I particularly appreciated the quality of lesson provided by him because the day before I had booked a different instructor at a different ski company and my and my group were extremely unsatisfied with how the instructor in that lesson did not account for a complete beginner skier when teaching." - Yusra 2020

"Avoriaz was only my third skiing trip, so I began my four day course an utterly terrified pupil: I was physically shaking! George quickly put me at ease and really helped my confidence. Within two days I was traversing blue runs I wouldn't otherwise have dared tackle. I got a huge sense of achievement every step of the way and by combining patience, friendliness, understanding of a nervous skier and technical skill, George proved an outstanding tutor. Thanks for every thing and see you again soon." - Nige 2020

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Jean Marie a.k.a Happy Feet!
Ski & Snowboard Instructor

The legend himself, Jean Marie or 'Happy Feet' is notoriously the happiest man on the mountain. He has been teaching skiing and snowboarding in the Portes du Soleil for 32 winters and he is extremely kind and patient. If he is not singing parts of his lesson he will be coining hilarious catchphrases guaranteed to put a smile on anyone's face and make your holiday all the more memorable!  

During the summer holidays JM is senior life guard at the swimming lac above Les Gets. Say hello if you are there.

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"Absolutely fantastic week with Jean Marie, lots of fun, put us at ease immediately and provided excellent tuition. Would highly recommend."  - Ryan 2019

 

"The booking process and customer service was prompt and user friendly. My husband and I very much enjoyed our beginners lessons with Jean Marie who was a fantastic instructor, enthusiastic, encouraging and patient, and made the experience a lot of fun. We would thoroughly recommend him and the ski school to our friends." - Gaye January 2020

"My 6 year old son loved being taught by Jean-Marie - the happiest man in the Alps! He made so much progress and grew in confidence to such an extent that I wil now need lessons to keep up with him. Friendly and professional - we would not go anywhere else." - Jill 2019

"Jean Marie made the lesson a lot of fun, even taking a video for us with commentary! We felt we learned a huge amount that morning and look forward to improving further with future lessons." - Ana 2020

Pierre Bayet
Ski & Snowboard Instructor
Backcountry Guide

Pierre has been teaching in the Portes du Soleil for over 31 years. There are few who know the entire ski area inside out as well as Pierre who has been exploring the backcountry and summits passionately and is certain to find you the best terrain for your lesson. An excellent and very patient instructor 

 

"I approached three companies to try to book a day's guiding. Your communication was excellent - quick response, detailed info, personal - and it made you the natural choice and also very easy to book with.

On the day Pierre was great - I've been with some Guides where they are a bit distant and it feels like a job, but Pierre was great company, clearly knew the mountains like the back of his hand and seemed to enjoy it just as much as we did, which goes a long way."

All in all - amazing. Thank you"

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Isla Marsh
Ski & Snowboard Instructor

Isla has been skiing in Les Portes du Soleil since she was three years old. After a number of seasons spent teaching and coaching In Japan and Australia, Isla is returning to teach in Avoriaz this winter and we are thrilled to have her on our team.

 
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Ben Cavet - Professional Skier &
Mogul Coach

Having grown up in England, Ben moved to Avoriaz aged 10 and is now the French Mogul Champion and currently 2nd in the World Cup Mogul skiing circuit. When not competing all over the world he joins our team to run Mogul Masterclass clinics. His mogul skiing and freestyle aerial skills seem to defy the laws of physics and it is a pleasure to have his insight each season.

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Sam Johnson (Samantha) - Office Manager

Sam is the perfect mother hen who super-glues our entire team together and keeps everything running smoothly. It is likely that you will liase with Sam when you call our office and make a booking or enquiry.

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