Adam Sebba telemark skiing in the Vallée Blanche

The Story Behind OffPeaks

OffPeak’s story started with a question “Would you like to Telemark Ski the Vallée Blanche with me?”

It seemed like a slightly innocuous question… doesn’t everyone who skis want to ski it?

So after an evening of research spent watching the Heroes of Telemark, and then the Real Heroes of Telemark with Ray Mears, I booked myself into a 2 day telemark ski clinic to address the immediate problem that I no clue how to telemark ski. So it was with a some trepidation I said yes.

The next question was how would we find a Mountain Guide?

Actually, it turned out easier than we thought because we had a personal recommendation. We hired a British Mountain Guide called Phil Ashby. We had a great two day trip, over nighting in the Requin Hut and did the Breche Piuseux variation.

Here’s a short (and very cheesy) video of our trip.

I wouldn’t say the trip turned me into a Telemark God (I was definitely the worst skier of group, and skied like a penguin) let alone a good Telemark skier like these guys in the video below, but it was epic and we had loads of fun.

What the trip did do was get me thinking.

  • Finding a Mountain Guide (or any Instructor) is easy as their details are all over the Internet.
  • Booking them is more problematic, many live and work in beautiful but inaccessible places. Mountain Guides aren’t always in a position to quickly answer a phone call / SMS / email.
  • Without a personal recommendation how do you really know if they’re any good?
  • I know they’re qualified (because I can check their qualifications) but are they good teachers? Are they pleasant to talk to? Would I want to spend multiple nights in a tent or a Mountain Hut with them? Would I want them to teach my children?

So the idea was formed

I just thought there had to be a better way of finding Instructors.  It would take into account how some great online businesses work and it should help both the Instructors and their Clients.

So we’re building OffPeaks.

Our mission

We want to be The Technology Partner for instructors.

We are building a platform for instructors that allows new clients to find them more easily, that helps them manage their diaries and bookings, and to run their businesses more efficiently.

It’s also important to explain what OffPeaks isn’t going to be.

OffPeaks is not a listing site. I don’t believe (that other than for sites such as Google or Yext) that listing sites work well. Over time circumstances change, people forget to update their listing and the information goes stale. Ultimately it’s not a great experience for anyone using the site.

If you like our story, or just want to say Hi, please feel free to reach out to me.


PS. If you really like what we’re doing, please Like us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter.

PPS. If you’re an Instructor like to hear more about what we do, or keep abreast of all our developments please sign up to our Instructors Blog. We promise we won’t spam you or sell / pass on your email to anyone! Hugo


About the Author Hugo Elliott

Hugo's an endurance and adventure sports nut who's completed the Swiss KIM, London Marathon and Ironman Switzerland. When he's not in the 'office' he can be found out cycling or ski touring. He co-founded OffPeaks.

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