The first week of snowskool has come to an end, a whirlwind week with many good memories and friends already made. A late plane for the group and some long-winded, somewhat pointless interrogation for Harry, Sam and Eoin by the friendly customs officers in Calgary airport didn’t dampen spirits, especially with beers and burgers waiting in ‘The Storm Cellar’ bar at the hostel. The group soon got to know each other around the bar whilst competitive games of pool and table football were going on.
The SnowSkool group got a well deserved lie- in on Tuesday morning before the accommodation and course briefing got underway. With a clear blue sky and the sun shining we proceeded to give the crew a walking tour to introduce them to their new home town for the next 3 months. There to welcome the new group were plenty of wild deer and elk joining us in town and out the window at breakfast. The group was spoilt with lovely weather (a mild -5 degrees), snow sculptures being formed around town and Banff’s wildlife coming out for viewing.
Tuesday evening consisted of an organized visit to the local Ski and Snowboard shops. The skiers went to Ultimate and the Snowboarders to Unlimited, where the staff and their instructors could help everyone with any kit adjustments or advice on purchases. The shops were both generous giving discounts and goodies, deals made especially for the ‘SnowSkoolers’, not to mention the free domino's pizza and beers in store.
With many of the group excited to try out their new skis or boards on the mountain, Wednesday morning was dedicated to the gang having a freeride session for them to explore Sunshine village; their amazing ‘classroom’ for the next 12 weeks.
That afternoon it was time for the learning to begin, everyone was introduced to their group of highly qualified instructors. The rather large group of 66 was divided into groups and off to lessons for the rest of the day. Thursday and Friday were both full days of lessons on the slopes. All the instructors have said how super impressed with the group's ability, Darryl even went as far to say that 9 out of 10 of the students are already at a good standard to pass their level 1 examinations.
Friday evening brings on Karaoke night in the bar at the hostel. This went down a treat with the SnowSkoolers all getting involved on stage. With Phil, Shai and Charlie all smashing out Mr Brightside by the killers. Montana upped the anti with her Karaoke and impressed everyone. A large number of the group then proceeded to experience their first night in town.
A number of the crew beat their hangovers on Saturday with a bluebird day at Sunshine for their first weekend of freeride skiing and boarding. Many others spent their Saturday wisely with a large sleep in and rest. Ben, Tobias, Cedric, Jonty, Nat and Hugh however spent their Saturday evening night skiing at Norquay, where they enjoyed some park laps under the stars.
‘Sunday Funday’ arrived and the team really embraced it in Banff enjoying the organized group pub crawl around the town, with more table football, pool, darts and dancing. Everyone was on great form and finished their first week with a great night of socializing.
That’s all for week one in Banff! See you next week.