Hello to all. We hope Week One’s newsletter reached you well and gave you a bit of insight into what is happening out here in beautiful Banff. We hope to fill in the gaps that your Snowskooler may refer to as “boring bits”, but to friends and family these details are often the most interesting and informative!

The first week of lessons is done and dusted with some very exhausted but happy campers coming out the other end. Five hours of instruction each day for five days in a row is certainly tiring.  Many are reporting marked improvement already but some are feeling quite challenged.  Both responses are perfectly normal.  We have uploaded some photos of the very first day the group hit Sunshine Village – we had to arrive early that day so the groomers were still up on the slopes (headlights blazing) and it was still quite dark.  The troops were divided into groups with a trainer, according to ability.  This is subject to change as the SnowSkoolers improve at different rates.

Conditions for skiing and riding were good on arrival, but at the start of the week, a lack of new snowfall combined with the wear and tear of the weekend crowds made the snow hard-packed, and flat light made visibility a smidgen difficult at times. As luck would have it, Thursday brought 20cm of that light, fluffy Canadian snow we all know and love!

This week also saw the annual Hollywood fund-raiser at Sunshine.  Hosted by Alec Baldwin for the Kennedy family, stars to be spotted included James Gandolfini (from the Sopranos), Kelsey Grammer (Frasier) and Star Trek's William Shatner. The stars spent two days skiing and competing in fun events, including a snowshoe toboggan relay race and a dual giant slalom race.  The ski school usually suspends our training these two days but this year, we were sliding and riding right next to the stars.  Their outfits might be more expensive but after even only one week of training, our style was awesome!

Wednesday night this week saw the best turnout ever for a first social outing in the history of Snowskool (we’re record-breakers, Snowskoolers!) After meeting in the hostel’s Storm Cellar, the town bus took us to Mel’s, a bar complete with a jukebox and free popcorn! Imagine 50+ students all singing at the top of their lungs to YMCA…..brilliant! Those who still felt like partying strolled on down to Hoodoo’s, one of Banff’s two good nightclubs, for a boogie to finish off the night. This was followed on Friday with an 80s karaoke night in the hostel’s home bar.  Henry and Luke were legends!

So far, SnowSkooler birthdays include James Walpole (who turned 21) and on Saturday, Aiden Rooney. Happy Birthday g!

Sadly, we farewelled Charlie Girling, who decided to return to the UK with his broken collar-bone.  With any luck, we’ll see Charlie in SnowSkool New Zealand later this year.

Until next week,

Your hosts Dunk, Sarah and Jordi


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