How a ski school works in 2024

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When winter arrives, the end of the year, and the festive season, many of us feel the calling of the snow: biting air, fresh snow, skis or snowboards on our feet and the desire to feel that feeling of freedom on our faces that only the mountain can give.

So we begin to check the weather forecast, where and when it will snow; we check our gear and plan our outings on the slopes. It is all plain, simple and spontaneous.

Reality, however, as often occurs, is much more complicated.
In fact, to approach the snow in the simplest way possible, it is those managing the ski plants, clubs and schools, who take on the complexities.

In this December, that sees us back on the slopes as we do every year, we have chosen to tell the story of a ski school that has been operating for over 15 years, founded just after the last Italian Winter Olympics, held in Turin in 2006, in one of the landmarks of those competitions: Bardonecchia, the site of the snowboard competitions.

Scuola sci Liberi TuttiScuola sci Liberi Tutti

We wish to share a pleasant chat with Cristina Quartara, director of the Liberi Tutti ski school, and level 3 ski instructor and trainer (certified by FISI, the Italian Winter Sports Federation).

Hello Cristina. Can you briefly tell us about ‘Liberi tutti’ and what it deals with?
Liberi Tutti is a ski school and a ski club at the same time, but it isn’t only a reality that teaches how to ski and gives people the opportunity to do so: first of all we are a community of people of all ages who love winter sports and the mountains.
You can find us in Bardonecchia, with activities both at Campo Smith, and on the slopes of the Jafferau ski resort that reaches an altitude of 2,700 meters.

Common people, with the passion for skiing and the mountains, at one point of the year, feel the ‘urge to go skiing’. Before this moment the idea doesn’t even come to mind, and, once the season is over, thoughts rush to other things, to the heat, to summer.
For a reality like Liberi Tutti in Bardonecchia, with thousands of ski school members each year, does planning, studying, researching novelties for possible customers every end?
How do you organise your job?

Very simply, we never stop :-)
We are a ski school which is rather out of the ordinary. In fact, we actually work all year round. We also plan three months of summer activities: it’s a request that comes from the Bardonecchia market, a need coming from the families. Besides what we offer, we notice that this is a trend in many resorts.

Starting from children, we educate to the territory and the mountains; we teach them to experience nature at altitude all year round and, in doing so, we provide our ski instructors
with an ongoing job, freeing them from the extreme seasonality by which their job has always been characterised.
We have realised that the figure of the ski instructor plays a role that is of great importance in mountain education: we cannot just leave it at the mercy of the amount of snow that falls, of how much it stays at altitude, and so on.

This means one thing only: planning, planning and more planning. Once the winter season is over, we study proposals for the summer season: we only stop for a few weeks in autumn, and two or three weeks in spring.

I think the days are over when the proposal of the ski school was one, maybe different depending on the school, and the client was simply left with which one to choose.
The mountain in winter has changed, and so has the way it is used.

Today, people have different and specific needs: it is difficult for a family to ensure continuity on the slopes for an entire season; instead the ‘use’ of the slopes is more fragmented.
The offer has considerably changed: it is always necessary to invent and offer something new, to understand the needs of the market and know how to meet such needs with as many options as possible.

This is why, for example, Liberi Tutti offers not only skiing, but also snowboarding, telemark skiing, skimo, snowshoe tours, and a lot more: in children and adults, we try to build the passion for different ways of experiencing the snow.

maestri della scuola di sci di bardonecchiamaestri della scuola di sci di bardonecchia

The figure of the ‘ski instructor’ is definitely one of those more at risk of stereotyping. Tell us about the ski instructors at Liberi Tutti; who are they and what relationship do they have with nature and with the mountains? What requirements and preparation must they have to be part of your team and how do they consider their job?

With Liberi Tutti, as I mentioned, our ski instructors can exercise the profession both in summer and in winter.

Our ski instructors are people who have the right flexibility in approaching the mountains, even outside the winter comfort zone: obviously, our connection with the snow is very strong, but we always try to build a team who is willing to get involved and challenge themselves.

We have collaborators who have chosen this mountain life every day of the year, so they live here and have an intimate and deep relationship with the territory. Others, instead, work with us only at the weekends or during the holiday season, and then return for the summer season.

We have always considered the mountains as an all-year-round experience: and we even wanted to underline this with the colours of our logo, four like the seasons. Liberi Tutti is a way of thinking out of the box, even when considering the ski school itself. And
Bardonecchia, with its family-friendly nature, is the perfect place to propose activities that go from skiing and snowboarding in winter to downhill skiing in summer.

Then, of course, winter, snow and skis are our roots: we count 80 ski instructors who include experts in downhill skiing, snowboarding, and ski instructors for children, as we must never forget that children are not mini adults.

This is another reason why we leave a lot of space for friendliness and sociability in our job: we organise torchlight ski events for children, ski-club parties with competitions that every year sees between 500 and 600 people, and every year we offer our members a ‘starred’ dinner from a ‘starred’ chef who cooks here at our location.


We can easily imagine that coordinating a large and structured ski school like yours is a complex job that requires a lot of time. You are a level 3 ski instructor who has spent countless hours on the slopes and on the snow, do you still find the time to enjoy it as you would like to? How much time can a ski school manager spend with skis on each day?

Unfortunately I ski a lot less than I would like to.

This is partly due to my knees that are beginning to take a toll after long years of strain on the slopes, and partly because there is actually so much work to be done to ensure that the instructors can go out on the slopes for eight hours, that everything is in order and properly working, and that the people who choose our ski school will go home with a smile, a good memory and the desire to return.

una divisa One More in azione a Bardonecchiauna divisa One More in azione a Bardonecchia

Another question still halfway between office and slopes: what criteria do you follow in choosing the equipment that you will use so intensively during the most demanding months of your job? How can technology applied to equipment, but also to your ‘work clothes’ (ski suits, pants, jackets), help you in your daily routine?

It helps a lot, actually a real lot.
I can say that the year in which a ski school changes its uniforms is a year of much effort: it takes a lot of time, for example, to search for suitable suppliers and select them from those available on the market.

We strongly focus on the aesthetics and technology of the garments: these are our first discriminating factors.
Then we delve into an element that for us is very important. It is the customisation of the garments. This is undoubtedly a fundamental aspect, which comes immediately after the selection of the supplier. Not all companies guarantee this option as they often offer the products directly to retailers.

For a while now, we have addressed our attention to the ‘green’ aspect of our business: within the limits of the snow system in which we are immersed, we try to do our part.
As I said before, we work a lot with children, and we strive to take care of the ecological
aspect of our job because we try to protect what we will leave behind to them one day.

With OneMore we were immediately on the same standpoint.
We chose you for the design and the ability to customise the garments to extremes: a top quality product, with an artisanal customisation which benefits from working in close contact, bringing forward our needs with your different skills. This obviously led us towards OneMore.
Then the ecological issue added to this: our OneMore ski uniforms are made of ECONYL®, a nylon obtained with sustainable processes, and derived from the regeneration of plastic waste. A fabric, that intensely used by us ski instructors, is very warm, yet at the same time lightweight: these are two features that are usually difficult to find together, and in fact, generally pants and jackets are either too resistant and difficult to wear or too stretchy.
After eight hours on the slopes, you appreciate clothes like the ones we have now, after choosing OneMore: the jackets aren’t tight, and the pants aren’t freezing cold.

Our almost 300 young ski club members, who are the hard core of the local competitive and non-competitive skiing activities, and whose target is their technical growth, also have a OneMore uniform: they appreciated it and even took it around Europe on various trips.

snowboard a bardonecchiasnowboard a bardonecchia

Cristina, thank you.
Talking to you was great and the perfect way to let everyone know the complexity behind the ski schools over the years. One last question now that Christmas is just around the corner: how do you imagine Christmas and the beginning of 2024 for Liberi Tutti?

I, actually we, have great expectations: there is a lot of interest, a lot of desire to ski after half, skipped and hiccupping seasons due to COVID and little snow.
The snow that fell here in October created a good starting point and kindled spirits.

Even the number of memberships proves that there is a strong desire: a genuine desire for family time in settings that are simpler than in the city. And the mountain, this mountain, goes straight in that direction.