The first week of Snowskool Banff is done and dusted! A late plane for the group and some long-winded somewhat pointless interrogation for poor Sammy Jeffrey by the always friendly customs officers in Calgary airport didn’t dampen spirits! Luckily beers and burgers were on hand in the Hostel bar to welcome the gang to Banff, to help overcome the jetlag for a few more hours.
The group got a well deserved sleep in on Tuesday morning before the orientations got underway. A 60-person walking tour of the Township of Banff introduced the crew to their hometown for the next 3 months.
While it has been a particularly cold week (negative 30 for a few mornings) the sun has been shining and the lessons have got underway without a hitch! The snow is awesome at the moment with Sunshine Village boasting one of their largest bases of snow for this time of the year in decades and the instructors have wasted no time throwing the Snowskool gang straight into the deep end! By midday on Wednesday everyone had had a bit of a freeride to explore Sunshine village and were introduced to their group of amazing instructors.
Thursday was the first full day of lessons and the first chance for those with new gear to try it out and really see what they got! One snowboarder, Chris Granger, found himself on real snow for the first time but despite this disadvantage has excelled in his group! According to his instructor Darryl his progression has been out of sight and, all remaining well, he shouldn’t have any problems getting his qualifications in the end.
By Friday the cold temps had backed off a little bit on the hill and the group had a great day of lessons. Kenji, the ski boss, took his group through the black moguls on the Goats Eye Mountain which they skied expertly. Karaoke in the Hostel Bar, the Storm Cellar, on Friday was a popular event for the group, and a large number experienced their first night in town. The SnowDays festival in town, celebrating 150 years of Canadian independence, was also on and they put on an ‘IceBar’! The nightclub ‘Sasquatch’ was also a popular spot for a bunch of the Snowskool group.
A number of the crew braved nasty hangovers and a windy morning to spend their first day off on the hill. However, the vast majority used this time wisely and had a rather large sleep in.
The rest will be well needed as we approach the first ‘Sunday Funday’ in Banff tonight! Despite an early start in Monday morning a big snowskool town is expected to descend on town and terrorize the night spots of town.
So in summary this week has been a bit cold but great and it’s getting even better, until soon…