Photo by Jordan Revah
Photo by Seb Baritussio
What age were you when you learnt to ski and where was this?
I was 13 when I learnt to ski. It was at the Hemel Hempstead Dry Ski Slope.
What is your favorite ski resort and why?
My favorite resort is probably Verbier. I’ve been there since 1994 and it’s my ski home town. Been a great place for me to develop my skiing ability and ride with such talented skiers. It’s a very humbling place with regards to the level of many freeride skiers. It’s also a resort where you learn a huge amount of respect for the mountains. General ambiance is nice and there’s plenty to do there.
Describe your perfect day out skiing in the mountains.
My perfect day out skiing in the mountains would be to ride untouched deep powder snow on long steep faces with a great snowpack and reliable and safety conscious friends. Exhaust myself with hiking and skiing to the best of my ability and taking an element of risk. End of the day a few jars on the mountain to talk over the days exploits.
What is your greatest achievement in skiing to date?
My greatest achievement to date in skiing is making it into the Voelkl International Freeski Team. There are only a handful of British skiers that have achieved this and I’m the only Irish skier. I’ve managed to have 5 poster adverts of international campaigns for skis published since 2008. I’m hoping to remain on the team for few more years.
What languages do you speak and to what level?
French but very limited. Languages are not my thing really.
What is your favorite ski run?
My favorite ski run is the Backside of Mont Fort. I’ve had so many great descents off the back of that area and it’s probably where I’ve made the majority of my powder turns. Once you’re over there you’ve got lots of different options of ways to get down.
What are you looking forwards to most at the forthcoming Interski Congress in Ushuaia, Argentina?
I’m really looking forward to seeing other nations ski and hear their opinions of the development of the sport. I’m looking forward to skiing on the slope there and representing Ireland. Will be a very proud moment, especially for my family in Ireland.
Have you taught any famous celebrities and if so who?
I’ve skied with several celebs. Prince Harry, Lawrence Dallaglio, Heston Blumenthal, Claudia Schiffer, Mike Tindall, Melinda Messenger, Carl Foggerty, James Blunt, Damon Hill, Sir Steve Redgrave, Matthew Vaughn, Phil Tufnell, Steve O from Jackass. To be honest these are the one’s I can remember. There are a lot more. Main reason is that Verbier attracts a lot of celebs for some reason and they usually get recommend to use me. Also, I’m the Ski Coach for Channel 4’s, The Jump tv series. It’s usually celebs that I teach on that.
What’s the best bit of advice you have ever received?
Best bit of advice I’ve ever received was actually during a time when I was injured. I was advised at the time, back in 2001, to take a closer look at anatomy and what is going on with my body. It was mainly to do with a lumbar spine injury but the advice helped me back on track and really opened my mind as to how we move. What I took from this area I was made aware of has helped me teach how I do today.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of making a career in snowsports teaching?
Tell them to go for it as always. Just be aware that to get to the top is like taking a degree and requires a lot of hard work and focus. However, ski hard and well and the money will come. Try to appreciate every moment on the mountains, whether teaching or freeskiing. It’s such a lucky place to be able to hang out, you need to pinch yourself sometimes and never take any view for granted.
Apart from skiing what other sports do you regularly participate in?
I do a lot of road cycling. Love climbing mountains on the bike. Currently riding the 2015 Scott Addict Di2 Team Issue which is a dream! I also like to play basketball and swim.
Who is you skiing idol and why?
There are so many but I think it has to be Glen Plake. He’s a person I watched time and time again on sunny summer afternoons itching to go skiing again. He moved our sport on a huge amount and is still out there pushing his limits.
In terms of your skiing what will you be doing 10 years from now?
I hope I’m fit enough and that my lumbar hasn’t ran out of juice in 10 years time. Ideally I’ll be skiing strong and continuing to find deep powder snow in many places around the world.
What is your favorite quote and who wrote it?
"Skiing is a dance, and the mountain always leads". ~Author Unknown