A mixed bag of weather this week with Cardrona on hold in the morning a couple of times before fab weather came our way towards the end.  The bus had to fit chains to get up the hill early in the week but somehow, each day managed to clear for a bit and some good skiing and visibility was to be enjoyed.  When the weather was good, the groups would head out for free skiing to improve their own technique and when it was poor, they’d practice their teaching on the beginner slope.  There has been a heap of new snow so conditions improved dramatically and should be good for the L1 exams, which start on Tuesday and run for four days.  The test involves assessment of both free skiing/riding ability as well as teaching skills while skiers also have to complete a written, open-book exam. Each candidate needs to pass both components with a score of at least six out of ten to attain Level 1 certification.  The approach is a rigorous one and should anyone miss the mark, under recommendation from the HPC they can re-take the exam immediately prior to the L2s in September. 

Jamie took the camera up on sunny Thursday and managed to get pix of most as they practiced teaching each other for the exams. They help each other out, pretending to learn to snowplough all over again.  It’s an important part of the process so the one teaching can see how their communication is working, assess the response and give further advice – all the while being positive and encouraging.  One of those lessons useful in life for more than just skiing or riding!  Check out loads of Pix from Week 4.


Food wise, on Wednesday we headed out to local landmark, Muzza’s, for bangers, mash and peas and then last night, we hit Finchy’s.  It will be a quiet one mid-week before we return - by popular demand - to the local Mexican next Sunday for what we hope is to be a celebratory dinner for all.

On Tuesday, we said adieu to Bradley who headed home to the UK for his sister’s wedding – two days traveling there, two days at the wedding and then two days coming back to join the group.  He arrives back here Monday, just in time for the briefing session that night and then hits the slopes the next day.  What a bro!

This weekend was a quiet one for most because of looming exams.  Several ventured up the hill to practice or hit the books at home. Adam M’s aunt, Jan, was in town from Singapore the whole week and met up with the group at Cardrona on Tuesday before she and I skied on Thursday in glorious conditions.  Adam and Jan headed out on Thursday night to the glaciers on the West Coast as well as to do some whale watching north of Christchurch.  Adam advises they saw three whales and a thousand dolphins (based on average there being 100 dolphins a pod, and they saw ten pods). 

An interesting aside for this week – did you hear that last Friday, at 5 minutes and 6 seconds past 4 o’clock in the morning, the time and date read as 04 : 05 : 06 : 07 : 08 : 09?  It won’t happen again until three-thousand-and-something, so we hope you enjoyed the moment!  Such is the nature of news in Wanaka.  Haven’t heard mention of the NASDAQ or FTSE and the only time we’ve come across Obama’s name was in the name of hamburger featuring pineapple, in honour of his time spent in Hawaii!

And that’s the week that was in Wanaka.  Please send lots of positive thoughts our way as the group takes on the L1s this week.

Marion and Jamie


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