Do I still need a working visa for the Instructor Training camps, even if I don’t want to get a job afterwards?

No, if you have no plans of working after the camp, you’ll just need a regular Tourist Visa for the length of your stay in Canada… just like you would on any other holiday.

What working visa would I need if I want to apply for a job with Whistler Bike Park or ZEP, after the Instructor Training camp?

Regardless of where you are coming from, you will need an International Experience Canada (IEC) Working Holiday Visa. You will need to apply for this visa before coming to Canada as the processing times can be a few weeks. For more information on these visas and how to apply, please visit the IEC page on the Government of Canada website, here: http:/ic.gc.ca/english/work/iec/

When would my employment begin, IF I am successful passing my PMBI Level 1 course and the job interview with Whistler Blackcomb?

Employment for the May/June camps begins approximately in the last week of June. This means for the three-week campers, you will have some time between the camp finishing and your employment starting. Employment for the August camps is only available for the following summer season. 

August campers would need to follow up with Whistler Blackcomb as part of the normal hiring process. Details will be provided during the camp. 

References will be provided on request, for all ZEP Instructor Training Camp participants who show the correct skills, experience, qualities and professionalism.  

IF I am offered a job, how much work can I expect to get in my first season of teaching and guiding? 

It is recommended you come to Canada with enough finance to support you for the length of your stay. First season employees can typically expect a part time role, potentially moving towards a full time role during the busy periods of July and August. Try to aim for an average of 20hrs per week, at approximately $12-14/hr.

What level of rider do I need to be for the camp?

Most riders on our Instructor Training Camps are strong-intermediate to advanced riders. Some experience and confidence getting the wheels off the ground, is a good place to start. Front and rear wheel lifts, drops offs and roll downs should all be within your “doable” bag or tricks, before the camp.

If you are comfortable and consistent on small to medium (4 to 10ft from lip to knuckle) table top jumps, then you’ll be shredding! On the other hand, there is plenty of time to learn this during the camp, should you still be working up to jumps.

Confidence and experience on steeper, technical, rough, rooty terrain, will also give you the skills to tackle the Whistler technical trails. Any concerns on your riding ability? Email us with your questions.

What bike would be best for the Instructor Camp?

Ideally, because the three and five week camps are mostly in the Whistler Bike Park, a downhill bike is best. From a “wear and tear” perspective, downhill bikes are stronger and can handle the multiple laps in the bike park, much better. However, this will limit your ability to explore the valley xc and enduro trails. With this in mind, many Whistler Instructors and Guides who only have one bike, have swapped to using enduro bikes for the job.

However, these are modern enduro bikes with six inches of suspension front and rear, downhill (or heavier casing) tires, heavy duty rims, 180 or 200mm disc brakes and slack head tube angles, around 66 degrees. The Transition Patrol with downhill or enduro tires, is a perfect example.

What preparation can I do before the camp?

Ride your bikes lots, get fit, eat well, sleep well and try to gain some experience teaching or leading others. It doesn’t have to be with mountain biking specifically. Public speaking, training other co-workers, leading people on a hike, or maybe teaching music or another sport. Anything that’s puts you in a “teacher” role, can act as great preparation for becoming a confident mountain bike instructor and guide.

More specific riding skills would include trying to be comfortable on drop offs, small tabletop jumps, and technical, steeper descents. As always, progress one step at a time, building your skills gradually, over time.

Are there any testimonials I can check out?

For sure! Check out Sam’s, Rory’s and Jo’s thoughts from the 2017 camps, here.

How can I learn more about ZEP?

Check out our ABOUT page and PRESS page, (including features articles in magazines and many pieces on Pinkbike) for all the info behind ZEP’s work as the industry leading coaching provider, and pioneers of the most widely adopted and recognized mountain bike instructor certifications in the world, through the PMBIA.