SOLDEU-EL TARTER SKI SCHOOL
The Soldeu-El Tarter (SET) ski school has offices overlooking the principal beginners' zones at all three sectors in this region of Grandvalira: at the top of the gondolas at Canillo, El Tarter & Soldeu. These spacious beginners' zones have ‘Slope School’ equipment, children's Snow Gardens
and crèche buildings, spread out around roomy green-graded snowfields.
The school has been specifically tailored to meet the needs of British & Irish tour-operator clients; it is widely regarded as one of the best ski schools in the world, and boasts many awards for excellence.
It is also the biggest of its type in Europe, employing more than 230 instructors, over 100 of whom are of British or Commonwealth nationality. Mother-tongue English and a similar sense of humour means there is no language barrier and the emphasis is on having fun; the effectiveness of the instruction delivered and the rate of student progress are excellent; plus there is an easier, more flowing rapport between instructor and client.
Over 20,000 British & Irish guests pass through the SET school each winter, with up to 2300 individuals per week in high season, spread around the three sectors.
On Sundays, at every major tour operator's welcome briefing to newly arrived guests, at least one SET instructor also attends to make a short presentation: explaining the procedures for the first morning on the mountains, and giving information about private lessons and flexible taster-lesson swaps between ski and snowboard disciplines.
One of the most impressive aspects of the SET ski school operation is how they organise the public group lessons on the first day. Unlike in some other ski resorts, where beginners are simply counted off into classes, here they separate out groups of 44 guests, with four instructors taking each big group for an initial fun ‘team teach’ to observe each person's natural ability. Then, after an hour or so, these large groups are split into four separate classes, with a dedicated instructor for each; the aim being for each class thus to be best matched to each individual's aptitude, age and character. Therefore, everyone learns at an optimum pace.
This procedure is repeated through all four ability levels of tuition offered (beginner, novice, intermediate and advanced), giving 16 possible permutations of tuition grades.
Tourists usually see more of the ski school instructors than any other station personnel; the quality and professionalism of this team is therefore paramount, uniquely influencing and affecting the quality of each visitor's holiday experience. The SET ski school can definitely be relied upon to deliver to a high standard.
SKI & SNOWBOARD INSTRUCTION
Public Group Classes
Package holiday guests generally join the public group classes, graded according to ability level, age group, and language, for either skiers or snowboarders:
these provide 3 hours tuition daily for 5 days (Monday–Friday); 4-hour public group lessons are also offered on Saturdays and Sundays, at an additional cost.
Children aged 3–6 years have their own Snow Garden zones; and from the age of 6 they can join the regular classes out on the pistes, with every effort being made to ensure that, where possible, they are placed in similar age groups. Reduced rate prices apply for children aged 6–11 years old.
Private lessons are also available (for skiing, snowboarding, and Telemark skiing); these must be arranged direct with the ski school. Private instruction is priced per person per hour; prices are the same for adults and children all season, but are reduced by around 12 per cent if taken during the hours of 09:00–11:00 and 15:00–17:00 each day. For private groups, prices vary depending on group size.
Snowboarding & Freestyle Skills
The school also offers snowboarders a dedicated ‘Surf School’, based at the Soldeu and El Tarter sectors. This twin operation also promotes an initiative called Freestyle Camps, which offers a more adventurous programme of instruction to introduce snowboarders and skiers to freestyle features such as jumps, rails, boxes and halfpipes. Video appraisals and security equipment is provided in the additional cost of this service; book directly with the ski school.
SET Ski School
Tel. +376 890 591
Ski & Snowboard School
Snowsports Accident Cover
Accident rescue services are not automatically included with standard lift pass or instruction packages: it is your responsibility to make sure that you are adequately covered by your travel insurance policy, or to purchase a supplemental piste-rescue upgrade from the lift pass office in resort.