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Ski Tour with FREEFLO


SKI TOUR WITH FREEFLO

Floss is the Director of FREEFLO and specialises in progressive on and off-piste ski coaching, backcountry ski touring and women specific ski courses. Not only is Floss completely fearless in her approach to skiing, but making clients feel at ease and confident on the mountains is at the heart of every adventure. That, combined with a big smile, chat for days and a personal life filled with ambitious outdoor challenges, makes Floss Cockle the ultimate backcountry adventurer.

 

We caught up with Floss after our Inspiring Adventure talk on her life skiing and the backcountry ski courses she’s collaborating on with Snow+Rock and Squash Falconer in early 2017. 


The Back Story to Floss Cockle

Real name Jocelyn Ann, born a triplet and named after a horse that came second to last in a race, she was nicknamed Floss after her blonde curly ‘candy floss’ like hair. Growing up in London and nowhere near snow, she left home and travelled the world at 18 years old and a year later working as a chalet girl in Courmayeur.

Skiing didn’t come easy at first. At 9 years old on a family holiday and with an instructor that didn’t speak English, turning by the end of the week was still a struggle. It was purely through sheer determination and hard work the following years that it clicked at age 16. 

“I wanted an outdoor lifestyle but my parents didn’t believe in that. I went to University but that was short lived and it was on my season that I went after my goal of becoming a ski instructor”. 

Floss on a Mission

“My friends didn’t ski much because they’d be too hungover so one day I ended up on a chair lift with all round ski God, Bryan Fern. He had a cancellation on the first level of the ski instructor courses so I signed up (after my dad lent me the money). Unfortunately, I dislocated my left shoulder in the first week but carried on through and ended up finishing with 2 legs and 1 arm. The trainer at the end of the week said he would pass me purely on determination. I even had to get a friend to carry my skis and poles!”

 

That was just the start to Floss’s career as a ski instructor and she has continued to branch out to make her the most desirable instructor and guide on the mountain. In 2009, after a bad accident, she spent a long period of time rehabbing in Cardiff. Already qualified as a Swedish masseuse, Floss put herself through university part-time to become a level 4 sports massage practitioner on top of a full time job. Now, armed with the understanding of muscle groups and knowing what the client needs to do to make a turn, comes with ease. 

Mind Over Matter

Skiing has taken Floss worldwide- from teaching in Australia to seasons in Italy and America. Before taking on a big challenge, mental attitude plays a huge part. For English people to teach in France they need to pass the ‘Euro Test’. It’s a 40 gate giant slalom run that only 3-8 people pass each year.

 

“To pass, it took 11 goes’.  I really had to work on the mental side of skiing. Going to a Hypnotherapist really helped along with watching videos of me having a blast on a powder run. It reminded me the reasons why I was doing this”. 

Physical training is still important and especially challenging during pre-season training. During this time, the snow line is higher and breathing is harder.

“By mid-season, I’m up onto longer and more difficult tours. End of season is my strongest time and although most people see Easter holidays as the end, my last ski tour in 2016 was on 7th June. There’s the most amazing snow, the snow pact is safer and when you’re fit enough to go off when the lifts are closed, then it’s incredible”. 

Mountains of Dreams

Duke is Floss’s Portuguese rescue dog and loves the slope as much as his owner. Early morning and night ski tours with Duke are a winter must but while talking to Floss, it’s quite clear that pushing the boundaries for what is possible in skiing is what sets her apart. Never complaisant and always striving to improve ski technique, Floss has lined up numerous challenges for the coming winter season.

  • Ski tour La Grande Sassiere (3,737m) – 2000m worth of ski touring, last pitch up to 50°.
  • Make new summits which no one else has been on.
  • Conquer 2-3 ridgeline and pick different routes which no one else has done.
  • Work on linking turns, in particular the left turn and have more upper and lower separation because no one is ever perfect.
  • Log quality days in mountain areas for the Mountain Leader qualification. 

Backcountry Ski Adventures with Floss and Squash Falconer

Floss has joined up with Squash Falconer and Snow+Rock to present an exciting 5 full day adventure opportunity for intermediate skiers in Tignes and Val D’Isere. This will happen across two different dates in January and April 2017. The course will improve your off-piste skills and have you enjoying a new and exciting world of ski touring. Escape from the crowds and enjoy the peace, tranquillity and the beauty of the backcountry whilst learning how to be safe when skiing in the mountains.

 

Read more about this opportunity here. 


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