This is it; the final week before the level 1 exams kick off and it has been a week of demonstration skiing and riding.
The skiers have been working pretty much non-stop at fine-tuning their wedge turns to absolute perfection, ready to knock the examiners out of the park with their precision.
The snowboarders have been fine tuning their own J-turns all week too.
To help facilitate this we welcomed some new trainers to the mix. On the ski side, Campbell stepped in for Ali this week. Also the groups switched trainers over to mix things up a bit – with Bob taking Ali’s old group and Campbell taking Bob’s group.
The snowboarders also had a new trainer enter the mix for a few days – with expert instructor Andy White helping out for Monday and Tuesday.
Skiing/riding is not the only part of this exam though! Solid teaching is needed. This week, the trainees have been working on this by peer teaching each other with some supervision from their trainers.
On Thursday I had to pleasure of shadowing Bob’s ski group and got the chance to go lap coaching with them for the day. Conditions were a bit challenging but it was great to see the massive difference 3 weeks has made.
Outside of teaching, training, shadowing and mock lessons, Cardrona has had quite a mixed bag of weather this week – with a lot of windy white-out earlier in the week and on Thursday.
However, to round off the final day of the week, someone had a word with the Weather Gods and they responded in kind with a beautiful blue bird day! With a later start for dinner on Friday everyone enjoyed a few well deserved cold ones before a good sized feed at Alchemy.
Despite the up-and-down weather during the week, yet again New Zealand really delivered over the weekend with some stunning weather.
Saturday saw some committed SnowSkoolers hold back on Friday in order to go up the hill to enjoy a sensational blue bird day, where they got in some final practise on their demo skiing and free riding.
Some of the others showed dedication to the cause and saved themselves for Sunday to go and do their final practise before the exams.
For the ones who went up on Saturday they then took the opportunity to make up for lost Friday time and check out a DJ set that was happening in town on Saturday night. Among this intrepid crew of Trainee Instructor were Josh, St John & Jayden.
Josh was yet again catering for the masses on Sunday night (as I write this) and I hope his cooking lived up to last week’s delicious standard. While he has been busy slaving away at the stove, Andrew, Ben & Yuval went to explore mini golf in town as a little break from the mountain.
I must say, with the exams just around the corner, I have been extremely impressed with the commitment to training outside of scheduled training over the last couple of weeks. Everyone has made it up to shadow at least a lesson – as well as working on their own riding/ skiing.
I wish everyone the best of luck in their exam this week, hopefully next week I will be writing about a 100% pass rate!
And a special mention to Surya this week - despite taking a considerable shoulder hit on Thursday he is still going ahead with his exam this week! (round of applause).
Once again good luck to everyone with the exam this week team Clark and I are both rooting for you!!!
Catch you next week,
SnowSkool Richard & SnowSkool Clark