Lessons continued pretty much as normal this week but were somewhat curtailed by the first proper cold snap of the season. Temperatures plummeted to -30 degrees C, and much colder in the brisk northerly wind - cold enough to partially shut the resort. With Sunshine Village opening late in the day, and then with only a few of the lower lifts running, lessons were gratefully postponed for two days to allow the most brutal of the days to pass. (These were made up for by running full days on the forthcoming Mondays, as opposed to the usual half day).
At the weekend, those doing the AST course had a very informative day of practical skill building, learning more about staying safe in the backcountry. Some opted to rent ski touring equipment so that they could actually travel in the backcountry and get some good first hand experience of being out of resort boundaries.
The level 2 ski development course took place on the Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. It was widely agreed that this was a great course and it was interesting to see the Level 4 instructors at work.
On Saturday night, the ‘Cherries vs. Jerries’ contest in the Storm Cellar (the hostel bar) was good fun. All hostel guests can submit their best clips of epic wins and fails on skis and snowboards. The entries are screened in the bar and winners are voted for by everyone present.
Level 2 teaching development course for the skiers this week. Meanwhile, the snowboarders are all making good progress under the tutorage of the Sunshine Village instructors.
On Monday night there was a free ice hockey lesson on the hostel ice rink. Many people have been taking advantage of the free skate hire and rink here at the HI Alpine Centre hostel and this was a chance to progress with some specific skills.
Pre-exam week. A final week of learning the skills needed to effectively teach skiing and snowboarding, and also to work on refining ski and boarding technique and form to the level required to be a Level 2 instructor.
It was a relatively quiet weekend with some opting to get some final time on the slopes, and others having a well-deserved rest before the exams start in earnest.
Level 2 exam week. For the snowboarders, the exams started first thing on Monday, while the skiers had a final couple of full days of lessons to polish their skiing and teaching skills.
Exam days mean early starts and breakfast was ready to go at 6.30am all week, with the bus leaving for the slopes at 7.45am.
We were blessed with fantastic weather all week for the exams. The sun was shining and it was relatively mild. This made for a very positive week of demonstrating all that had been learnt over the last couple of months to the Level 4 examiners.
Thursday was results day and we were thrilled with the near perfect outcome from the group – All the snowboarders passed with flying colours and only a couple of the skiers missed out on the full pass, requiring a single day of retake for the skiing proficiency component.
There was much celebration that evening and through the weekend as well. Additionally, some fresh snow on Friday and Saturday night made for some excellent days both on and off the hill.