So after many hours of work back at home and careful saving, Saturday 8th of July finally came around. Or Friday the 7th for keen early SnowSkoolers.

From the 12 o’clock check-in right until 22:30 Clark and I were checking people in - and helping everyone get settled into their new home for the next 11 weeks.

To help everyone get settled we treated the team to a mountain of 30 Pizzas from the local Dominoes which went down extremely quickly! We made sure some was saved for our late-comer Daz who arrived at 22:30. With a belly-full of Pizza, some of the SnowSkoolers continued the evening with some quiet chilled drinks to get to know each other better.

No rest for the wicked though, 9am was kick off time on Sunday for a welcome to Wanaka. This included visits to key retail emporiums such as ski/snowboard shops, tuning workshops, and the gym.

Personally we think that the gym was the highlight of the day. Some of the SnowSkoolers might disagree with us though - especially Raz, who took this opportunity to go and pick up a new setup for her first day snowboarding!

After a good evening’s feed at Relishes restaurant it was off to Gin and Raspberry for some welcome drinks with the rest of the ITC (Instructor Training Centre).

Day one on the hill started a little earlier than some had expected with a sociable 7:30 bus ride to the mountain. Although there were a few weary grumbles, the early get up is always worth it to see a 10/10 run rise over New Zealand, as you ascend to the mighty Cardrona.

In Cardrona, the trainers were eagerly waiting for the students. We have Leo, Damo, Greg (OG) and Luke taking the snowboarders for training. With Ali and Bob taking the skiers out.

On Tuesday it was time for the first birthday of the season, so the SnowSkoolers took it upon themselves to celebrate in style knowing that they had a day off on Wednesday, so yet more chilled social drinks.

The ones with clearer heads still went up on Wednesday to do some shadowing with the Cardrona instructors. Well done to Jayden, Ben, Joose, Lucas for making it up. Others took this as a good excuse for a well-deserved sleep in. Wednesday night we had another evening session planned with the local physio on how to stay fit and healthy throughout the season. With some surprise stretching and exercising, which went down very well.

By Thursday the daily morning routine was starting to become a little easier and training was running smoothly. And with some minor injuries picked up throughout the week it was great to see everyone back in training and loving it.

On Friday the snowboarders were treated to freestyle Fridays where they got to hit the park in the afternoon to find out who’s got the best tricks in the locker, pictures included below. Among the skiers Matty found his inner Eddie the Eagle and sent it Large off the medium line kickers.

After a hard week of training Friday night came around and what better was to celebrate the end of week one than by going to Water Bar for some chilled social happy-hour-priced drinks. With spirits running high a fantastic evening was had by all.

As we rode into Saturday, celebrations continued at 114 on Saturday night where Jamie, Edwin & Matty kindly offered to host drinks for the evening. With a quieter day on Sunday a cinema trip was planned to see ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’.

So after a hectic first week, with many first time experiences in New Zealand, we have arrived safely into week 2 - where training is getting turned up a notch. The skiers have been challenged to deliver a practice lesson to their group on Monday, good luck!

Check back in next week for a run down of the antics and happenings of the previous week.

Cheers all!

Snowskool Clark & Snowskool Richard

Snowskool resort team NZ 2017

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