Verbier Dream Jobs

Meet the people who are living the dream in Verbier with their job

For many, living and working in Verbier is the dream lifestyle. There are countless people who arrived in Verbier on a week-long holiday or for one season, then decided not to go home, instead building a new life in the Alps. We meet some of the people who have created their own dream jobs in the Alps…

SOFIA M. SOMMER – SNOWBOARD INSTRUCTOR 

I’m originally from Argentina and first came to Verbier in 2003. At first it was all about snowboarding, so I found whatever job paid my rent and gave me the freedom to ride a lot. Soon enough, I realised I wanted to combine my passion for snowboarding while gaining the satisfaction of teaching others.

In those early years I was doing winter seasons in Verbier followed by winters in Argentina. My life was an endless winter for 14 years. I was so happy! I did all my teaching levels, and after five years became a trainer and then did my Swiss qualifications. I went on to work for different schools and ran a snowboard club in Argentina. I was aways prioritising snowboarding and travelling, but mostly POW days! 

After a few years working for another school, my husband, his brother and I decided to set up Independent Snowboard School. We wanted something different, totally snowboard-orientated.  Later we started the Snowboard Club with the idea of bringing snowboarding closer to the local community, especially kids. 

Instructing is such a fun job and always changing. Teaching what you truly love is very fulfilling and is a lifestyle which brings me a lot of happiness. Now, I have kids of my own and my favourite thing is to ride with them. Time flies by, you know, but children of winter never grow old! 

OSKAR  HALL – PHOTOGRAPHER  

I’ve been lucky enough to roam these mountains since the 90’s, witnessing Verbier’s evolution from an Alpine village to a world-renown ski resort. When I was about 12 years old, inspired by countless ski films, my local buddies and I started documenting our exploits; whether it was our first tricks or small couloirs. Growing up in Verbier also meant we would often see pro riders filming here.

In awe, I watched the synchronicity and flow of this crew, from the skiers to the filmers/photographers, making me dream of one day being part of it all. A few years later, after a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art, I started with an internship at Faction – making orders, live chat, etc. I was stoked just to have a foot in the door of one of my favourite brands. Throughout my tenure, I was bugging my good friend and Content Manager, Tim, about my passion for photography and that he should send me on shoots where I’d work for free and gain experience. Eventually at the age of 25, and thankfully for me, Tim gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to go and shoot for the feature film, ‘The Collective’. In Candide’s backyard of Balme, I found myself with all my idols and my camera. We shot for nearly two weeks and it was all pretty surreal – I was seeing all my favourite riders flying around right in front of my lens. Skip to present time – I’m now resident photographer and part of a family at Faction and FW Gear, the dream job.

CLARE PARKER – EVENTS PLANNER 

I first arrived in Verbier fresh out of university in UK ready to embark on a ski season working as a chalet host before heading back home. But I stayed and 2020 marks my 20th year here – how time flies! After a few seasons, I decided if I wanted to stay, so I needed to find a year-round job. I started working for the Kings Group with marketing, communications and events. It was the event planning that I loved so much, so five years ago I set up my own company, RSVP Events Verbier.

We organise weddings in some spectacular locations, parties and bespoke corporate trips. Last week we had just 24 hours’ notice to host a party in Courchevel, our team were taken there and back by helicopter and it was all a bit manic, but we pulled it off.  I love the sense of excitement, the diversity, un-ending challenges and the people I meet.  Having an events business here can also be tough. There is a lot of work behind the scenes, working hours can be very unsocial and it can be stressful. It’s also quite seasonal although, compared to 20 years ago, Verbier is becoming more and more of a year-round resort.  

GUIDO PERRINI – CAMERMAN 

I’m a ski cameraman based around the Verbier area. Originally from Italy and the UK, I’ve been shooting skiing for the for over 20 years. I could have never imagined where this job has taken me, from Antarctica, to Greenland, Alaska, Svalbard, South America, Japan and Georgia to name a few. 

The appeal of riding a lift to the top of Mont Gélé and skiing freely off in any direction without being chased by the ski patrol really appealed to me then. I wanted to stay another season so got a job tuning skis at Ski Service. My skills leading people off the back of Mont Fort have evolved into worldwide adventures, from heliskiing trips each spring from my base in West Greenland, to off-piste skiing in India, and chartering/skippering small yachts in the Mediterranean. Summer guiding e-bike tours is now my off-piste in summer. Spending day after day with other like-minded people, in amazing destinations around the world, is truly rewarding. I’ve been guiding clients for over 30 years now, and the bonds that are created after having so many adventures together, are incredibly deep. I wouldn’t trade my job for the world. 

Victor LiebenguthFreeride Snowboarder / Marketing & Commercial Specialist   

Originally from Chamonix, I was lucky enough to cross paths with great people who helped me discover Verbier and the surrounding mountains. I fell in love with life and people here and I never left. Recently I’ve mixed my passion and career snowboarding with some interesting projects, which allow me to work and enjoy life in Verbier. (I’m sponsored by THE NORTH FACE, Rossignol snowboards, GIRO Optics, Smartwool, Arctic Juice & Café, Backside Verbier shop, Verbier Promotion). 

Snowboarding nowadays represents only half of my activity. After a communication school at IDRAC Business School, I quickly found my interest in the marketing field, more precisely in event planning and coordination, as well as in business development. This has now resulted in two major projects: Gotham Coworking. A startup created in Lausanne, today the company has positioned itself as the leader in Coworking spaces in Switzerland. I was lucky enough to cross paths with Guilhem Sirven, CEO of the company, and Patrick Polli, one of the main investors, who gave me my chance and commissioned me to develop the concept here in Valais. We have just opened a space in Martigny and also here in Verbier. Within the next two years, Brig and Sion will also host Gotham sites – it’s a really motivating project! 

Parallel to all this, I am about to create my own marketing agency, THE EDGE Agency. The major objective of this agency is to be the organising company for an event project that will take place in January 2021 here in the Val de Bagnes – the SUMMIT Festival.  

We felt Verbier lacked a sporting and cultural event that would bring together freeride and freestyle practices, but also out of a desire to pass on my passion for the mountains and its snow sports and showcase the region. Without saying too much yet, this event will host a freestyle competition on an international scale, a series of freeride competitions, concerts with headliners worthy of the most beautiful venues, conferences and workshops on current themes, film previews and of course crazy evenings. 

Verbier is a great year-round resort with lots of opportunities to create your dream job and make the most of living in the mountains.” 

HANS SOLMSSEN – MOUNTAIN GUIDE  

I grew up riding horses on the Big Island of Hawaii. Who could have imagined that I’d one day be a Swiss Mountain Guide in Verbier? As fate would have it, I got hooked on skiing whilst attending Northern University in Vermont, and then came to Verbier to spend a season. That was over 35 years ago! 

I have witnessed first hand the evolution of skiing and snowboarding, getting to work with some of the best in the game including Xavier De Le Rue, Sam Anthamatten, Jérémie Heitz and many more (see Twenty & La Liste). The sport had progressed far beyond what I could have imagined. Cameras have become lighter and better. Now, instead of putting an old 16mm camera with two lenses in my pack, I have a digital camera with six lenses, a stills camera, a drone and gimbal and the pack still weighs the same! I’m not sure what else I want to do in skiing, but every year in Verbier I seem to discover a new line and that puts a smile on my face –  or a stain in my pants!