Meet The Trainers

We are a hand selected group of high end training professionals who are dedicated to your learning and skill development. We are ski & snowboard scholars, professors of the snow crystal, scientists who shred and academics of alpine adventure. We are mountain people who want to share our connection to the alps and the outdoor experiences that drive our lifestyle, so you can live the dream with us here in Hakuba.

Bumsti Ratschiller

Bumsti Ratschiller

Head Freeride Trainer


“Bumsti” grew up as a little mountain dwarf in the Austrian alps and learned to ski before he could walk. In his early years while he ski raced, he spent all his spare time in the mountains learning from his Dad who had 30 years mountain rescue experience. Before long, Bumsti was using an avalanche transceiver before he got his first gameboy, and knew about putting people into the rescue recovery position before he could do the chicken dance in kindergarten.

After attending an Austrian skiing high school and studying architecture in college, he joined the mountain infantry in Austria for about 6 years before he started training ski instructors and guiding as a full time job. In these years after the army this little mountain dwarf completed the Austrian Ski Diploma (The ‘Staatlicher’ – full cert trainer/examinator qualification), then had a role in two international freeride movies, competed in various freeride competitions and shared his love/passion for sking from St.Anton, Austria, to Australia and now Japan.

Skiing with Bumsti is an experience in itself… A high energy alpine adventurer who can’t live without mountains and nature for more than two weeks, who simply thinks life without snow would be a mistake!



james hyland guide profileJames Hyland

Evergreen Head Snowboard Trainer / Chief Examiner


James Hyland was born, as all Canadians are, with skis and a toque on. James started skiing at the young age of 4 and grew up skiing, racing competitively and eventually became an instructor and race coach. His snowboard journey began in 1990 when he switched from ski racing in preference for riding sideways like one of the all-time legends, Damien Sanders. Soon after he began competing at a national level in freestyle competitions, representing Ontario.

James started freestyle coaching, training and certifying instructors at 21 years of age at his hometown ski club Snow Valley (Ontario) and internationally throughout Europe and Japan. After moving to the Canadian Rockies James obtained his level 4 CASI and became Head Trainer for programs like Nonstop in Fernie, BC, and now at Evergreen International Ski School in Hakuba. Snowboarding is James’ life, his love of the sport and leadership is second to none and if there is anyone to spread the love to shred, it’s this guy.



Luke Smith

Snowboard Trainer


Originally from the UK, after travelling around the world for a while, Luke finally settled in Hakuba, Japan where he now lives year round working in the beautiful Japanese Alps.

Always an ‘enjoyer’ of the outdoors and the sports that go with it, Luke finally found a sport that had it all…. Snowboarding! He now spends his winters as a CASI Level 3 instructor, trainer and CASI course evaluator for the Alpine Academy. When not at work he gets out into the amazing Hakuba Backcountry as often as possible. With his local knowledge and time spent in the Hakuba mountains, ask him nicely and he might just tell you one of his secret shred spots!

It’s the Japanese snow and his passion for snowboarding that keeps his stoke level maxed out all winter. But his expertise in the mountains does not stop there…! In Summer Luke is an ACA Pro Canyon guide so you’ll find him in a wetsuit and harness with a bag of rope on his back guiding people through the local canyons. If not in the canyon then he’ll be out rafting or mountain bike guiding.

With his variety of guiding and teaching experience he’ll be sure to get you improving and having fun in no time!



stefan gassner profile photoStefan Gassner

Ski Trainer

Stefan was born and raised in Austria and started skiing when he was 4. He grew up competing in alpine and skier cross races and basically spends his entire live in the Alps whether it’s rock climbing, ski touring or canyoning.

After graduating from an Austrian ski racing high school he followed his passion and shared his experience for the last 6 years coaching race teams and ski instructors in Austria, Australia and now Japan. Stefan is usually a man of not too many words but when it comes to skiing you can see his passion in his eyes, always on the hunt for the perfect turn or the best lines in the backcountry.

Stefan completed his Austrian ski diploma (The ‘Staatlicher’- full cert trainer/examinator qualification), D-Trainer (Race coach qualification) and his Skiführer diploma (Austrian guiding certificate) as well. He loves sharing his knowledge about the alpine environment and boosting peoples skiing abilities, so weather you look out for a great day in the powder or shredding down groomed slopes, he knows his stuff.



sean horne - profileSean Horne

Ski Trainer

Originally born in Omachi, Nagano, Sean was raised in England where he learned to ski on a dry ski slope from the age of 5. He got his first taste of real skiing in Scotland where he really learned to appreciate a good hot chocolate. The following year he was hooked after he went skiing in the Tignes (French Alps) and was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the resort and the nice weather, (a change from the gale force winds of Scotland)!

After completing an instructor course in Meribel, France, he made his fateful return back to Nagano where he landed his first ski instructing Job in Hakuba. Sean is an extremely hard working skier who is always looking to improve his technique. You would be more likely to find him on the pistes of Happo than in the powder, to him, nothing is better than a sunny day with good groomers. He is happy to ski with anyone in the mornings before lessons, as long as you know how to hold a video camera straight!



simon svoboda instructor profile

Simon Svoboda

Ski & Snowboard Freeride Trainer

Simon grew up in Czech republic at town worldknown for nordic skiing and biathlon worldcup competition. He was competing on top national level in long distance sports athletics and nordic skiing. In age 19 he found snowboarding comunity more cool and became instructor. His wide sport backround helped him to become strong crossover instructor. He is snowboard headtrainer and examiner in Czech Instructor Association APUL, he is finishing his lvl 4 skiing licence, he teaches telemark and he can share his racing experience from nordic skiing. He also teaches off-piste clinics focused on riding technique.

This guy is also a traveler. He is in his season number 17 and has taught in 7 different countries. Yeah, Simon has dedicated his life to winter sport and he follows the snow all year around. His patience for teaching and helping people reach their goals makes him ideal companion to shred mountains in the amazing Hakuba valley.



  • Evergreen International Ski School
  • Evergreen Outdoor Center
  • Evergreen Backcountry Guides