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BASS Chamonix Ski School

BASS Chamonix is part of the British Alpine Ski School network which currently covers 10 resorts in France. The network has been in operation for over 25 years delivering quality and professionalism to our enthusiastic English speaking clients.

All BASS Instructors & Guides are fully qualified with full equivalence paperwork to work legally in France.  All our staff have years of experience delivering at all levels including training other aspirant instructors and guides. The whole team are passionate about skiing and we look forward to sharing this passion with you in Chamonix this season

British Association of Snowsport Instructors IASI

Derek Tate

Author of ‘Learn, Enjoy, Flow & Grow’ and ‘Six Steps for Training the Mind’


BASI ISTD (British Association of Snowsport Instructors, International Snowsports Teacher Diploma), Full French Equivalence

IASI Back Country Euro Security Award (Irish Association of Snowsports Instructors)

AIARE Level 1 (American Institute of Avalanche Research Education)

UKCP Level 2 Alpine Coach 

Masters in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP)

Diploma Professional Studies Education, Sports Coaching (Heriot Watt University)

Meditation and Mindfulness Teacher

I began skiing quite late in life, at the age of seventeen but was always a very keen sports person. I grew up in Dublin and in those days skiing was not a big thing in Ireland! Football, Karate and Athletics were very much my sports. However I was introduced to skiing through my school in 1983 and enjoyed a couple of trips to Pamporovo in Bulgaria, joined the Ski Club of Ireland, started skiing regularly at the dry ski slope and never looked back….. 

And today I am still totally in love with the sport and “life in the mountains”. Over the years I have been involved in racing, race coaching, ski school, instructor training and have taught just about everything from 2-year-olds to top level instructors. I have been lucky enough to work in many countries around the world including the USA, France, Austria and of course Scotland to name but a few. 

During those many years of ski teaching I also fell in love with Chamonix and the Mont Blanc region and now this has become my home and the base for our ski school. Every day I spend in the mountains of this region I like to stop and take in the awesome scenery, and I know that I chose both the right career and one of the best places in the world to live and work.

Before starting BASS Chamonix with my wife and co-director in season 2004/05, I worked in Courchevel for three seasons and before that managed an artificial ski slope in the UK for four years. I love working in all aspects of the sport and have been heavily involved over the years in training and assessing ski instructors. More recently I have gone back to school so to speak to do a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology, and this has developed my mission to understand how people learn so that I can help our guest experience great enjoyment and meaning in their lives. It has also led to me writing books such as ‘Learn, Enjoy, Flow & Grow’ and ‘Six Steps for Training the Mind’.  

I look forward to meeting you this season and sharing with you my passion for skiing and the mountains and where could be better than the home of skiing – Chamonix!

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Shona Tate

Contributing writer in Parallel Dreams Alpine skiing.

BASI ISTD (British Association of Snowsport Instructors, International Snowsports Teacher Diploma), Full French Equivalence

AIARE Level 1 (American Institute of Avalanche Research Education)

UKCP Level 2 Alpine Coach

I was brought up in a skiing family, my parents were instructors in Scotland and my older brother was into racing. I was soon following my brother around the mountain hot on his heels in all terrain and in all typical Scottish weather! 
After spending several years in the Scottish Ski Team I gained my first instructor qualification which enabled me to teach on artificial slopes. From there I moved on and gained my full qualifications for snow and traveled Europe and America teaching clients of all levels including working for the Instructor Associations in both the UK (BASI) and Ireland (IASI).

Loving the sport and loving teaching has now brought me to Chamonix, the centre of skiing history. Everyone in Chamonix shares the same passion for the mountains & the outdoors, we are one big family.

I love teaching all ages and levels and helping my clients experience the mountains in a safe and enjoyable way.  I now live in Saint Gervais Les Bains, just round the corner from Chamonix and can meet clients in any of the 5 Chamonix ski locations and all the Evasion (Saint Gervais, Les Contamines-Montjoie, Megeve) areas, depending on availability.

I also run the office (when I am not teaching) so you know who you are speaking to and emailing behind the scenes.

Dee O'Neill

Full French Equivalence

IASI Alpine Trainer (Irish Association of Snowsports Instructors)

AIARE Level 1 (American Institute of Avalanche Research Education)

I was introduced to skiing at a relatively early age and spent winters zipping around the slopes. I quickly became addicted to skiing and being from Ireland this did prove a slight problem – no snow! In order to ski regularly I joined the Ski Club of Ireland where I was able to ski on more regular basis. Getting involved at an early age introduced me to racing and this proved a useful stepping stone in training towards becoming a ski instructor. After receiving my first level qualification I realised that I wanted to develop more as a skier so I furthered my training which led me to gain my professional qualification and enable me to live in the Alps as a professional ski instructor. 
I was also heavily involved for a number of years with the Irish Association of Snowsports Instructors (IASI) as Chairperson which is the Irish body responsible for training and assessing ski instructors to international standards. I am still involved now as an IASI Alpine Level 1 Trainer. With such a passion for skiing, cycling and running I couldn’t think of a better place to be than Chamonix!

Alison Culshaw - Ski Performance For Mountaineers Course Leader

      Alison Culshaw

About our Instructors

All our Instructors and Mountain Guides are fully qualified and have French Equivalence with the Carte Professionnelle card which allows each individual to work in France as an independent Instructor/Guide.