This week in Banff we welcomed back Chris Granger to the Snow! Chris came to the course with little or no snowboarding experience. Despite this, he worked his butt off with his instructors and within the first week of the course had got his standard of riding up high enough to be cruising towards his level 1 instructor certification. Unfortunately, Chris underwent some emergency surgery to remove his appendix only weeks later, the lad spent over a week in a hospital bed in sever pain and was bed ridden back at the Hostel for weeks further. Throughout all this hardship and illness he kept his head up and never lost sight of his goals. Told he wouldn’t be snowboarding for months he returned triumphantly to Sunshine Village on Monday and picked up right where he left off. Hitting his first park jumps and rails and sitting back in on lessons all week. Chris is a certified legend and a lot of credit must go to his positive attitude, never without a smile we all knew Chris would be back!
The week kicked off with some colder temps, back down around the negative 25 mark, though the sun was shining the cold wind was definitely felt. However, the SnowSkool gang braved the frigid morning to get straight into lessons. With Level 2 exams quickly approaching at the end of the month the instructors at Sunshine Village wasted no time getting into a variety of teaching techniques for the guys. This has been, and will continue to be, the main focus for a lot of the groups for the remainder of the course. The ability to see issues in others’ skiing and snowboarding and then find specific ways to fix that problem.
Tuesday up at Sunshine brought some slightly warmer weather and a bit of sunshine. Continuing with teaching technique Darryl spent the day with his group taking turns leading mock lessons and practicing exaggerated carving movements.
The snow starting falling on Wednesday and the groups got to spend some time shredding the powder in the trees and off some drops. Kaz’s Snowboarders lapped the Strawberry for a chunk of the day practicing tail presses. Some super impressive maneuvers saw some of the group spinning effortlessly on their tails all the way down the Strawberry valley run.
More mock lessons on Thursday went down despite some extremely gusty conditions. Fraser Kerr lead Mark and the rest of the ski group down the black moguls on the Divide chair on Thursday afternoon and instructed them. The group used the fresh snow to their advantage and Fraser expertly taught and lead the group. Alex Woods lead Tom’s snowboard group for mock lessons down WaWa, preparing himself and his ‘students’ for their upcoming Level 2 exams.
Friday was an amazing Powder day at Sunshine Village. For the first time in a while the temperatures were positive early in the morning and the SnowSkool gang spent the morning ripping fresh lines through trees and untouched powder fields. Dan G, Harry King, Damian and Will Hunt built a jump in the ‘SideDoor’ area off the WaWa chairlift and were throwing their bodies into the deep snow, trying frontflips and all sorts of crazy tricks. SkiBoss Kenji spent much time practicing simple techniques with his group under the JackRabbit chair. Snowplow was the theme of the day for those guys who went back to basics to better understand teaching techniques.
Frazer Monkhouse and Gav Marpole shared birthdays on Friday and boy did they celebrate. A special ‘PubCrawl’ was set up by Hostel staff for these guys and huge cohort of the Snowskool gang headed to down to wreak havoc at Mel’s and the nightclub ‘The Dancing Sasquatch’.
Earlier in the night the group had the sports gym booked out for just them at the Sally Borden gym in Banff. Alex Johnson, Lana Culley, Sam Vaugn, Hayley and Mason were amongst the group sweating it out in football, basketball and dodgeball. Christian Blanchard was a stand out in between the posts, goalie of the trip by far!