The end of SnowSkool in Banff is quickly coming up on us! And with this week came warm weather, crazy snow, birthdays and mountain climbing.

It’s the last full week for both skiers and snowboarders before their level two exams kick off next week. Monday and Tuesday we experienced some of our first rain storms in Banff, melting a lot of the snow around the streets and trees. However, a little higher up in the mountains we continued to get lots of snow at Sunshine Village. Seeing that exam lessons are just around the corner the groups focused much of the week on perfecting their teaching techniques, skills and technical vocabulary. Plenty of mock lessons were set up and everyone got several turns leading their groups down the mountain.

Kirsten Mclean celebrated her birthday on Tuesday and the group were on hand to serve cake and sparklers and sing her happy birthday. Happy Birthday to you, Happy birthday to you!

The weird, warm, foggy weather continued on Wednesday - as did the mock lessons and training. Kenji’s ski group spent Wednesday afternoon focusing on their skiing technique down the goats eye moguls.

5cm of fresh snow was predicted for Thursday but instead the group woke up to over a foot of powder at Sunshine Village. An all time pow day was had, skiers and snowboarders spent the morning in some of the best snow of the season. Waist deep turns, cliff drops and face shots were the theme of the day. Darryl’s snowboarders, along with Mark's ski group hiked the South Side Chutes on Goats Eye Mountain and rode some of the best snow and best terrain to be found anywhere in the world! Keir Coupland was attempting a massive cliff drop in the Chutes to varying success. Dan G and Harry King with the instructor Darryl headed to an area called the “ Garbage Chutes” off the Standish chairlift and hit some crazy lines and drops in the afternoon.

Kenji’s ski group, including AJ, Emily, Sommerset, Hayley and Tom MT, got fresh tracks on a crazy black run called “SuperModel” under the Goats Eye chairlift.

Luke Merry celebrated his birthday on Thursday. The group once again got their singing voices out and Luke enjoyed a chocolate cake and a night on the town!

The great conditions continued into Friday for an eventful St Patrick's Day, and a lot of the snowboarders enjoyed a ‘freeride’ morning under the supervision of their instructors to celebrate their last exams. Leftovers from the snow on Thursday were aplenty and the group still were hitting cliffs and drops all over the mountain. Darryl lead his group, including Dan, Harry, Louie and Alex Woods lapped wolverine and the park on Friday morning. Dan and Harry returned to the Garbage Chutes to try a monstrous drop in the cliff area. All snowboarders combined on Friday for a giant final group lesson, snaking the mountain in a line of nearly 30 people before heading to the hill Bar ‘Trappers’ for final beers and a season debrief.

The weekend was spent studying for a lot of the guys, given exams start on Monday for the boarders - and Wednesday for the Skiers. Helen, Rachel, Lana, Ali, Luke, James K, Meg, Chris and Milo survived a treacherous, slippery hike up the nearby Tunnel Mountain. A run-in with local Parks Wardens at the summit proved the crawl/climb up the mountain with no climbing spikes, or crampons was truly brave. Plenty of slipping and sliding made for an hilarious climb back down the iced walkways.

Good luck next week!

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