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Ski instructor

A little bit about Sophia

20-year-old Sophia is a citizen of both US and Taiwan. She has previously instructed at Fall's Creek in Australia, as well as roller-skiing on a casual basis in Edinburgh.

What do you like to teach? ‘It depends on the level. Skate is fun... So the saying is always, classic is easy to learn but harder to master and skate is harder to learn but easy to master. And it's fun with skate when people get that 'ah-ha' moment and start moving naturally after struggling for a couple of weeks.'

Why Wanaka? ‘Last year I was working in Fall’s Creek and I came over for the Merino Muster and it seemed like a fun place to work and Wanaka seemed like a hot-spot for outdoorsy stuff. My friend also used to work in a backpackers out here and told me stories, which got me even more excited.'

Summer or winter? ‘I don’t know. I can’t choose. They’re both so wonderfully different. I’d like more of winter and less of summer. But I love summer. I like summer recreational activities like swimming in the lake, kayaking, paddleboarding, canoeing. But I feel like doing that for a few months is enough. If we could have nine months of winter that would be good.’

What is your preferred cold weather snack/drink? ‘Ahh, peanut butter and maple syrup.’

What is your best ski-related memory? ‘There are so many good ones. I think, just in general, as a kid we would go skiing and my dad, every few hundred metres or whenever we got tired, would whip out a bag of gummies to motivate us. And we’d always try to make the snow fall on each other. So we would raise the pole and try get the snow down from the tree.’

What are your life dreams/career goals?  ‘The plan is to finish up bachelor in Medical Sciences and then take a few years out to bum around and maybe do some outdoor leadership stuff. I would love to go to Med School, hopefully at the University of Minnesota cos they’ve got a good Med School there and it’s a good place to ski and my parents want to retire there -- so might as well check out the area. Then I’d like to practise remotely or itinerantly, maybe with Doctors Without Borders.’