Kia ora!  Welcome to the first official newsletter of SnowSkool NZ 2014.  We’ll be reporting in each week with news of what we’ve been up to, plus some great photos of us going through our moves.  FYI, the weekly blogs will be posted each Monday and are always available online for you to visit at your convenience at www.snowskool.com/myskool/ 
 
Have to admit … we were somewhat apprehensive while we waited for the SnowSkool students to arrive.  It was really warm up the hill on the Thursday and Friday prior to arrival – it had rained quite heavily and puddles had accumulated at Cardrona.   Needn’t have worried though – the guys bought the snow with them! The wind turned south-westerly, the temps dropped and the snow started dumping on Sunday.  Phew!  The stage was set for a great start to the course.  Check out photos of our first week below, noting you can click on the icon in the lower right hand corner to view themup big and beautiful ...
 
  
  
 
And if you're battling with technology, CLICK HERE to view it "old skool".
 
Everyone arrived safely with a few of the Aussies checking in during the day on Saturday before the main group descended later.  Barbora and Ben turned up a little later than their travel agents had planned while Dan turned up well in advance of his luggage.  We chowed down on 17 pizzas while everyone proceeded to get to know each other and try and stay awake until a respectable hour to keep the jet lag at bay. Sunday would be an early start to a long day so sleep was definitely in order.
 
Sunday kicked off with a meeting with Yoyo, who is the co-ordinator for Instructor Training Centre (ITC) up at Cardrona and responsible for all the training the guys will receive in preparation for their exams. It was a chance for everyone to get a feeling for how much time and effort would be required to pass the Level 2, while also to meet some of the other people who would be training alongside them. We then headed off to Outside Sports for an informative chat about skis, boards and boots.  Most people had arrived well organised and already had their own gear so there was only a quick round of retail therapy. George came away with a sweet looking new board and Clark invested in a new pair of skis. Dan went about spending the $100 Air NZ had given him as compensation for his missing luggage.  It was well spent on thermals and socks.  We were also treated to a session in the Wax Room, with the guys there responsible for servicing all the NZ Park and Pipe team’s equipment. These guys certainly know their onions!  It was interesting to see how much work goes into servicing a ski and Ben and Nick got to give it a go first hand. Some of the guys headed back into town that evening to put their equipment in for a service, ready for the first day of training. 
 
After lunch came a pretty epic gym work-out.  Ouch!  The Skoolers had an hour-long introductory session focusing on fitness, core strength and nutrition.  A few eyes were definitely opened as to the level of fitness required in the coming weeks. Standing on the edge and taking photos didn’t seem such a bad deal at that point!  And we reckon Barbora could have been feeling pretty good about having been stuck in Christchurch for the night and missing the session!  After a first night’s dinner at Relishes (which will be our regular haunt for evening meals throughout the season) we had a few drinks with the trainers – mostly to celebrate still being able to walk after the gym session!  Everyone headed home hoping for a good night’s sleep in preparation for the 7.30am bus departure to get up the hill for the first day’s training. 
 
With much self-congratulation, everyone made it to the bus on time for the first day. They met their trainers for the week – Ben, Sem and Simon for the skiers and Thommo and Sam for the boarders – and off they went. Understandably, everyone seemed pretty tired that evening as the realities of a full day’s training kicked in on top of the jet lag.
 
After training on Tuesday, the evening was spent in Base, another of the shops in town where Nick and Ben arranged demos for the next few days so they could try out some new skis. The shop was kind enough to close early and provide beer ... not a bad shopping experience!
 
Wednesday was a day off from training and while some people decided to stay in town and get their new life in Wanaka under control, most headed up the hill for a slide around and to try out the new equipment. Luckily, after Sunday’s snow falls, every day had been bluebird and while more snow is always welcome, it’s been nice to spend the first week in the sun. 
 
Thursday didn’t start in the best way when Christie had a fall in her warm-up run and literally knocked herself out. Luckily Scott, Astyn and Katie were on hand to call patrol and look after her and after spending quite a while in the medical centre, it was determined she had suffered a concussion and whiplash. Thankfully, she followed medical instructions and is already on her way to a pretty speedy recovery. It made for a sombre start to the day but the trainers made everyone head back to the scene of the incident and attempt the same jump. Getting back on the horse and all that. 
 
After a long, tiring but pretty awesome first week, Friday night was definitely a well-earned party night. Everyone headed to the local curry house, The Spice Room, to take advantage of their early-bird deal before heading home for a quick shower, after which the fun and games began. Special mention has to go to Astyn for being gullible enough to not realise everyone was cheating when it came to her turn, and to Nick and Scott for some pretty epic dance routines to Beyonce’s Single Ladies! Waterbar will see a lot more of that as we have been promised an N’Sync style performance from Clark, Nick, Scott, Luke and Dan among others with several expected to volunteer in support as back-up dancers.  No lack of starters, that’s for sure.
 
Saturday was spent recovering, chilling and doing some chores before a big group headed out to play Frisbee golf. Yep … 18 holes, par 3’s and 4’s ... but with a Frisbee. If Frisbee-throwing is a hidden talent, it’s very well hidden among SnowSkoolers.  Astyn, Gemma and Katie improved throughout, particularly once they realised it worked better to throw the Frisbee in front of you rather than behind.  Boarders Harry and George teamed up to come third with Clark and Luke being beaten into second by Nick and Dan. After a relaxing drink in Bullock Bar it was time to head home and cook dinner, Skype absent family and friends and just plain chill out. Everyone was pretty interested to hear how Ben’s day had been as he had headed up the hill to shadow a lesson.  He was also lucky enough to catch sight of Sam who had entered the Peanut Butter Rail Jam which, we’re reliably informed, he stomped. Go Sam! Matty and Barbora had headed to Queenstown for the day to see some friends and looked pretty stoked when they returned.  Sunday was a chill-out day for most, although Heather and Emily headed up to shadow some lessons.  
 
All in all, a pretty sweet start to the course. Apart from lost bags, trying to wash clothes in a tumble dryer and putting laundry powder in a dishwasher (boys of 105), an accident and some residual jet lag, things have settled well and we can’t wait to get back to training.  Only two weeks to go until exam time!
 
Back in touch next week with more news from Wanaka.
 
Until then
 
SnowSkool Liz
Course Host - SnowSkool NZ 2014
 
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