Less than six months ago, Charlie Guest feared her sporting career was over. Having been given the devastating news that she, along with her GB compatriots in the alpine ski team, had lost all their funding, Guest faced the prospect of never being able to compete again.

However, that nightmarish time now feels, like “it was years ago”, rather than just last summer, says one of Britain’s best-ever female slalom skiers.

Such has been the turnaround in Guest’s fortunes, she now goes into the Alpine Skiing World Championships – which begin today in the French Alps – hoping to establish herself in the world’s top 15 with her best-ever placing.

However, as is all too often the case, things have not gone quite to plan for the 29-year-old from Perthshire. Just a few weeks ago, on New Year’s eve, Guest dislocated her collarbone. It was a devastating blow, not only as it happened during the busiest part of the season, but also because it came just weeks after she had produced some of her best performances.

But, with such high-level skiing comes increased expectations which, says Guest, is exactly what led to her injury.

“The collarbone dislocation was a nightmare,” she says. “My skiing in training had been the best it’s ever been and my skiing in the early part of the season was the best it’s ever been so because of that, my expectations rose and I put far too much pressure on myself and my form got a bit dodgy through December.

“Knowing what I was capable of, I put myself under far too much pressure and so I wasn’t loose and wasn’t flowing and as a result, I wasn’t picking up the results I wanted which compounded everything. So I pushed too hard in training, crashed and ended up injured.”

It would have been understandable if Guest had wallowed in self pity given the poor timing of her injury and, she admits she did have moments when she cursed her luck, but she quickly saw that perhaps an enforced break was just what she needed.

Having overcome serious obstacles already in her career – she broke her back in 2014 but recovered quickly and returned to competitive action less than three months later – she believes she can bounce back again.

“When I first did my collarbone, I had times of feeling really sorry for myself,” she says. “I got really good support from the Scottish Institute of Sport which helped my mindset a lot and I feel like everything happens for a reason because good has come out of this injury.

“It made me pause for reflection and because of that, I’m in a much better head space than I was and I’m in good shape and I’m fresh mentally, so I’m hoping for a good week at the Worlds.”

If Guest can rediscover her early season form in the French Alps, these World Championships could prove to be a major milestone. Guest already made history last year by finishing 13th in the Schladming World Cup in Austria, the best finish by a British woman in a World Cup race for 50 years, backing up a string of World Cup top 20 results during the season.

So while Guest is mindful that her less than ideal preparation may impact her result this fortnight, she is refusing to lesson her ambitions.

“It’s always difficult to set a target in terms of placings because for that, you’re so reliant on how other people ski,” she says. “My form early in the season was very good and my skiing in training recently has been great so I haven’t lost that side of things.

“I know I have to be aware of my disrupted preparation because of my injury but if I’m performing to my best, I’d expect to be top 15. That’s where I’d want to be finishing.”

Much of Guest’s impressive form has been due to the financial pressures being removed.

When the news broke that GB Snowsport had lost their funding, there seemed no way forward for Guest and her compatriots.

However, with personal sponsors and donors having been found, Guest feels relatively secure financially which allows her to concentrate on what she does best, and that is hurtling down a mountain on skis.

“Considering the way things looked a few months ago, things are going well money-wise and have completely exceeded my expectations,” she says. “As soon as the financial stress was lifted off my shoulders, that’s when the form started to come and my skiing started to excel.

“Earlier in the season, I put down my best run ever in World Cup and the following day, I was leading for 75 per cent of the run and that’s mega. That kind of confident skiing is massive and the money issue getting sorted was such a big part of that because it felt like a huge weight off my shoulders.

“Longer term, I don’t know what’s going to happen but for now, I’m just focusing on the World Championships.”

Also in action in the Alps, will be Guest’s fellow Scot, Alex Tilley, who goes in the giant slalom, while GB’s brightest medal hopeful is Dave Ryding in the slalom.