About iSki-Val

Our Story

We are a small, close-knit team of some of Val d’Isere’s most experienced and dedicated ski instructors. We created iSki based on a common desire to re-kindle the “club” atmosphere that we felt was essential to the way in which we wanted to work, and also to be masters of our own destiny. Most of us have known and worked with each other for years already, so the creation of iSki in February 2012, largely at the initiative of founder member, Max Leclerc, was the opportunity for all of us to continue doing what we love with people we appreciate, and on our own terms.

We’re all very different, yet share a passion for the mountains and all this magnificent environment has to offer. Our speciality is off-piste skiing but we also cater for all of the usual ski school activities (check out our Services page for more details) except group lessons for children. Our watchwords are shared experience, friendship and conviviality.

There are currently five permanent members of the team, all fully qualified French ski instructors. Naturally everyone speaks English – the cute French accent is thrown in! If you call or email us, you’ll be dealing with Kiera who is English anyway, but speaks (and writes) fluent French, so you’ll be well looked after.

 

Meet the Team

 

Max Leclerc

Max

Max is our family-friendly piste specialist and principal founder of iSki. It’s mainly thanks to his hard work and perseverance that iSki exists today. His long history with Top Ski (a well-known independent ski school in Val d’Isere) followed by two years as a successful independent instructor convinced him that what he really wanted to do was to part be of a small team who shared the same values. The rest, as they say, is history! Max handles all of the admin and accounts side of iSki with admirable efficiency. He is also our leading piste-based instructor whose knowledge of the mountain (and its restaurants!) and his friendly, outgoing manner have made him a firm favourite with piste-bashers of all levels. Where Max really excels is in helping skiers to overcome their “skier’s block” and learn to enjoy their skiing again after a bad experience has knocked their confidence or they feel they have reached a plateau and simply aren’t progressing. Max’s speciality is to take skiers through that plateau – whatever it may be – and onto the next level in complete confidence and security.

Didier Moreau

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Didier is what you might call a “skier’s skier”. He spent many years as a trainer and coach with ENSA, (Ecole Nationale de Ski et Alpinisme) the national training school for ski instructors, in parallel with his career within the UCPA where he occupied the role of chief instructor at the centres of Tignes, Val d’Isere and Les Deux Alpes, where again, he was responsible for the training of young instructors. Didier is without doubt the best technician of the team, and is constantly seeking to refine his technique and adapt his style to the new technologies and materials that are available to skiers today. Whilst his main activity within iSki remains off piste skiing, he is a passionate and gifted teacher and revels in the opportunity to teach those who are willing to learn, whatever their level. He is also an extraordinary telemarker (and hence telemark instructor) and can often be seen leading his off piste groups on telemark skis.

In the summer months he swaps his skis for a mountain bike or trail running shoes when he can get away from the successful pest control and sanitation business he has built up in the Ardeche in southern France.

Ludo Flandin

Ludo

Ludo, based in Bourg St Maurice, is the co-founder of iSki along with Max. Having grown up in Chamonix, he has been involved in mountain sports all his life – his other passion is for paragliding which he practiced to a very high level before deciding to concentrate more on skiing and boarding.  When he moved to Bourg, he spent ten years looking after the CMA (Centre de Montagne Air) teaching French fighter pilots to snowboard off piste. In fact, you could say that Ludo is the “Swiss Army knife” member of our team – in other words, he can do everything! He’s a great skier, an excellent snowboarder, he telemarks as well and, if you ask him nicely, he can even show you a few tricks in the snowpark! He is also one of the kindest, gentlest and most patient individuals you could hope to meet. His relaxed, easy-going style and ready smile instantly puts people at ease, all of which makes him an excellent teacher and a great favourite with children and adults alike.

Yann Reynal

Yan

Yann is another one of our highly versatile instructors who can turn his hand to most things. He came up through the ranks at the UCPA where he qualified, then taught and finally occupied the position of deputy chief instructor before moving onto other things. He is both an excellent instructor on the piste and a completely professional guide off piste who has built up a loyal clientele over the years. He’s not too shabby on a snowboard either, all of which makes him a much-valued and highly appreciated member of the team. Not to mention one of the funniest (his sketches at the UCPA were just legendary…) We think he could easily have had a stunning career in television or indeed on stage as a stand-up comedian, but no, he chose to become a professional skier instead… Still, their loss is our gain. His understated brand of deadpan humour will have you laughing in spite of yourself.

Yann is based in Seez just above Bourg St Maurice with his better half and young son.

 

Vincent Giraud

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We’re delighted to welcome Vincent to the team this year. We’ve known Vincent for a long time, and many of us have worked with him as well, so we know he’s a perfect fit for us.

Having enjoyed a brief career as a high-level ski racer, Vincent fell in love with the mountains and decided to swap slalom poles and gates for the wide open spaces of back country freeride skiing. Twenty-five years later and here we are! Vincent knows every nook and cranny of the Tarantaise and has also skied extensively in the Beaufortain, Italy and Norway. If you ski with Vincent, you’ll appreciate his calm demeanour and encyclopaedic knowledge of the mountain.

Like many of the team, Vincent lives in Seez with his better half, Marina, who is a pisteur in Tignes. Both also share a passion for water-skiing which they practice to a high level. Somehow, Vincent also finds the time to run a highly successful business in working at height – he’s very definitely a safe pair of hands in every sense!

Kiera Leeming

Kiera

Kiera’s French is as good as her English (or is it the other way round..?)

Her “proper” job as an independent PR Consultant takes her regularly throughout Europe and the US. In the winter she is based in Val d’Isere with her other half, Didier Moreau (iSki’s telemark expert) and does her best to limit her travelling in order to fit in as much skiing as possible! She also manages all the planning as well as email and phone traffic. Kiera’s outgoing personality, go-getter spirit and considerable professional experience make her an important element of the team.

An excellent skier herself, if she doesn’t answer the phone straight away, it’s doubtless because she’s out on the slopes “tail-gating” one of our off-piste groups, enjoying some of her favourite runs with clients she’s known and skied with for years, or getting to know the new clients she’s exchanged with via email or telephone. The occasional case of the heebie-jeebies when it comes to a tricky entrance into a couloir is merely an excuse to come back and try and get it right the next time!

We look forward to skiing with You!

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