60 seconds with Basecamp's Tom Allport.
Course Advisor and Val D’Isere resort manager .
Ski or Snowboard?
Both, I firstly learnt to ski at the age of 7 and then quickly took to snowboarding and in more recent years have got back onto skis, but snowboarding is where the passion lies.
NZSIA Snowboarding Level 1 and 2. I spent a season in Queenstown, New Zealand doing a level 1 and 2 instructor course. I’d recommend an instructor course to anyone who is up for a challenge and having the time of their life. I had an incredible 10 weeks in New Zealand and learnt to snowboard to a high level. If you want to take your riding to the next level do an instructor course.
Number of years skiing and snowboarding?
I’ve been skiing for 18 years and snowboarding for 13 years.
I Ski and Snowboard because?
There’s nothing better than waking up to blue skies and fresh snow with your mates and catching the first lift up…
Number of years with Basecamp?
Almost a year now
Val d’Isere and Zermatt. Having skied at both these resorts quite a few times they have to be my favourite because of the combination of a huge amount of terrain, amazing après and challenging off pistse. These resorts let you hit it hard on the snow and in the bars.
A great day on the mountain is all about…?
Empty lifts, being with friends and learning new tricks. There’s nothing better than being engulfed by mountains pushing friends to their limits and having a few beers on the mountain to reflect on an epic day.
What equipment do you use ?
Boards: Burton Un Inc 152, Nitro Suprateam 155.
Bindings: Burton Cartels
The Burton is the freestyle board and the Nitro is designed for carving. Both suit me very well, but perhaps this season in Val d’Isere is time for a new one. Ski wise, again I have my eye on a pair of K2’s, so Val this winter could get quite expensive… but it’s definately worth it!
A bad day on the mountain?
Hmmm… do they exist? They do, white out’s, thick heavy snow and lots of people usually combine to provide a day where you may rather be in a cosy bar with a fire, but that would be a waste. In New Zealand, my favourite day was typically a bad day (heavy snow, white out), but riding off piste down the steep shoots of The Remarkables in fresh snow having done an avalanche course was definitely the season highlight.
On piste /off piste or in the park?
If I’m skiing I like to be on the piste carving, that’s what skiing is about for me. If there has been a fresh dump I’ll be straight on the board and take to the powder but also love spending afternoons in the park hiking up hitting kickers and rails. Hiking off the beaten track has got to be my favourite thing to do, getting knackered from walking through deep snow is so worth finding a fresh un ridden face.
When you’re not on the mountain, what are you doing?
This depends, if I am totally away from the mountains I’ll try and be by the coast for some waves. If I’m off the mountain but still in a ski resort I do enjoy chilling out back at a hotel/apartment after a long day on the hill planning the evenings entertainment. Food in the mountains is also a favourite, you gotta love a Swiss roste or steak and chips in France…
Best advice you have ever been given?
Having tried to pull off a rotation off a pub bench in New Zealand a few times, an instructor said, twist your head slightly more to the right, I did it and landed it. This coupled with being advised to always pre ride a kicker before hitting it, something that saved a few injuries for sure.
Do you reckon I’ll need a helmet for the avalanche awareness course? This is a questions I posed to a friend who had already done it. No mate you’ll be fine was his response! Two hours later I find myself riding 38degree shoots in a white out with no helmet, dumb!
What keeps you skiing and snowboarding?
The thrill of not knowing what exactly to expect before you go to the mountains, ok you can check out the weather forecast and snow conditions, but you never know until you get there exactly what you are in for. Being blessed with awesome scenery and the possibility of great snow has got to be the reason why I go back to The Alps year after year. Aside from that, it’s just a lot of fun!
To spend the up and coming winter season in the mountains with Tom check out Basecamp Ski and Snowboard courses in Val D'Isere!!!