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.
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 31 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.
"I think Ian was incredible for us this year. Especially for my 15year old son RAFI it worked super well with the different challenges we all came with! Thank you!" - Jessica 2022
"Really enjoyed my lesson with Ian - he was really helpful and patient with me" - Rebecca 2023
After a long gap in skiing, asked Ian to rub off my rough spots and iron out any bad habits, and that's exactly what he did. He taught me to adapt my style to a smoother, easier turn and (in his words) to ski like the 60 year-old that I am. In doing so, he unlocked my superpower and I spent a truly enjoyable week ticking off the red runs as if i'd never been away! Will definitely rebook." - Justin 2023
"Ian was very helpful and patient in a very informal manner. He was down to earth and quickly ascertained what we needed to work on. Would definitely book a lesson or two next season." - Martin 2023
Ski & Snowboard Instructor
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.
Thank you so much Laurent - Phoebe, Rosie, Poppy and Bonnie had so much fun and developed their skills. Their happy faces at the end of each day showed how superb an instructor Laurent was. We will definitely hope to book with him next year!! Best wishes for the summer season! - Daisy 2022
"We have had a wonderful week, their progression has been brilliant and their confidence is sky high. The grown ups have learned a huge amount too. Mission accomplished. But please don’t publish this review until we’ve rebooked Laurent for next year." - James 2023
"Booked a private lesson with Laurent. I felt the improvement in both the technical aspects of my skiing and general confidence. As a family we've used you many times over the years, and as always the service was excellent. We'll definitely use you again in the future, both for group and private lessons." - David 2022
Laurent, Grey's instructor, was great, informative, relaxed and fab at putting Grey at ease and feeling confident. Would definitely book again. - Helen 2023
Ski Instructor &
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.
He was senior beach lifeguard for the RNLI in North Devon and is now based in Morzine where he continues his adventures in the summer guiding clients round the mountains.
"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
Mark help both my wife and I improve our skiing during our lessons. He has a relaxed and self assuring style which made us both feel more confident and positive in our ability." - Nick 2023
I couldn't fault the service you offer and would definitely use you again next time we are back. The kids loved their lessons, and as a parent it was great that each day at the start and end of the lessons the instructors would give you a personal update on what the plan was for the lesson at the start, and how the child got on during the lesson." - Douglas 2023
Mark was brilliant in terms of flexibility (for meeting-up and collecting points, even coming to our piste-side chalet, which made our life easy), and our children went from absolute beginners to competent gentle blue slope skiers in 5 sessions." - Charles 2022
Ski Touring Guide
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.
The boys had George for the first day and then Isla. Both brilliant instructors, the boys really improved and were on red runs by the end of the week, would definitely use again! - Julie 2022
"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." Nikky 2022
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
Ski & Snowboard Instructor
Pierre has been teaching in the Portes du Soleil for over 35 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
Pierre taught my 9 year old son William, who had never skied before. They got on like a house on fire and William loved his first experience of skiing and cannot wait to return next year - Alex 2022
"We had two lessons with Pierre, and he gave us exactly what we needed. First lesson focused on fixing some technique issues and reviving our confidence... second lesson allowed us to have some fun, pushing our comfort zone a little and letting us explore parts of the mountain we otherwise wouldn't have seen. It set us up perfectly for the rest of the holiday." - Richard 2023
Pierre was amazing. This is the second time we have used avoriaz alpine ski school and they have been great both times. I would totally recommend them." - Sarah 2023
"Pierre was fantastic. He gave us useful technical feedback while taking us in varied and interesting terrain and he was very good at adapting the lesson to my younger son who was less advanced (and not happy about it!) We really enjoyed the lesson and wish we’d booked another one. We’ll be back next year." - Lizzie 2023
Ski & Snowboard Instructor
Unfortunately Isla will not be with us for 23/24 season.
"Isla was utterly amazing with my daughter. On the Friday before coming skiing Ava was in tears about coming skiing and dreading it, however five days with Isla completely changed her views, it was wonderful to watch her progress and her confidence grow as the week went on." - Sam 2022
"Thanks again for all that you did for us to make our week perfect. The kids really enjoyed all of the sessions and were complete novices at the start of the week.
Been able to ski with the children down a green run as a family at the end of the week will live with me forever." - Paul 2023
Isla was great. She is a great communicator and knew how to organize our small group of five, as we were all different levels. We hope to return next year and will ask for Isla again. My oldest son even said that he won't take private ski lessons again unless it's with Isla!" - Aleksandra 2023
"Amazing experience with both Isla & Laurent. Had my 13 yr old son skiing competently after 3 private lessons. Absolutely changed the dynamic of the holiday & made it so enjoyable. Wouldn't ski without these guys!" - Alan 2022
(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.
"Entire booking process was very easy and got confirmation straight away, even a reminder text the day before." - Helen 2023
"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." - Rachel 2023
"Thanks also have to go to Sam in the office for her help with Jack who hurt his knee on the first day and didn’t make it to ski school. Your phone calls and emails were much appreciated." - Sam - 2022
The team (including Sam in the office) were all extremely helpful. Huge thanks from us all." - Paula 2023
Company rep & Instructor
David is a kind ski instructor who also works as our company rep. You may encounter his friendly face when visiting the hut or calling or booking with us. We hope David will be able to teach skiing in France as soon as possible.
IFMGA mountain guide
Simon holds the highest IFMGA mountain guide certification. He joins us in Avoriaz to guide and instruct clients from hard blues upwards and is a fountain of knowledge of all things mountains, skiing and Les Portes du Soleil
Simon was amazing. He was patient, kind and also helped me track outside of my comfort zone. Really enjoyed the lessons and building my skiing. Thank you! - Sarah 2023
Professional Skier &
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.
Ski Instructor and Freeride Coach
We hope Amy will return for a few weeks winter 23/24. 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."