This was it...the big one...the week every other week had been leading up to so far...EXAM TIME! After a weekend of revising, chilling, recuperating and preparing, Monday arrived and it was time to get going. The skiers met with their NZSIA trainers and the snowboarders met with the SBINZ equivalents and then it was all go go go. Josh decided to give us all a scare when he got taken out during Day 3 of the exam and hurt his back. Luckily, he only missed one afternoon of the test before he pulled through and kept going. After having already been on our Banff course, he knew what was expected of him in the exam and he bossed it.
The L1 exams here are 5 days long and pretty intense. Although they do incorporate training as well as assessment, it is difficult not to feel that you are being watched and judged every second of every day. Luckily, the Skoolers hard work paid off and all the preparation came to the fore as we had a 100% pass rate!!! Whoohoo! Well done to everyone for working so hard. It was great to see it all pay off! Check out a bunch of photos below of the guys in the exams as well as celebrating afterwards ...
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We celebrated the end of the exams with most of us heading to Queenstown for a celebratory weekend of fun! Zak and Arthur decided that the snow conditions were too good to be missed and so they headed off for a weekend of pow at Ohau. Once we’d arrived and got sorted at the hostel, Alex DLP, Alex F and Richard M decided to brave the thing which Q-town is most known for...the AJ Hackett's Bungy. Everyone else enjoyed a wander around the beautiful lakeside town, taking in all the hustle and bustle of what feels like the big smoke after the laidback vibes of much smaller Wanaka.
A few went to the Sensory Rooms which SnowSkool Clark describes as the crystal maze without the crystals, navigating the way through random rooms full of balloons,swiss balls, a room full of trees and uneven floors.
Lunch was of course taken at Fergburger, which some would say provides the best burgers in the world. Queenstown is famous for this burger joint and it was important to be able to compare it to Redstar from Wanaka. The verdict is Ferg wins it!
Then SnowSkool Clark took the bravest of the crew Catherine, Mike, Alex M and Nikola, to Fear Factory, the most terrifying experience of their lives. It’s a haunted house with live actors where guests even get electrocuted at some points! Clark has now done it twice and apparently it doesn’t get any less scary.
Everyone headed back to the hostel where our new arrival, Kirsten, had appeared. After a long journey, she pretty much had time to say hi, have a shower, get changed and then it was time to head to dinner at Thai Siam. SnowSkool was ready to paint Queenstown a bright shade of Cardrona red! After dinner it was on to a few bars among which Nikola was looking for some much wanted house music...Bar Loco stumped up and we got to see some pretty sweet dance moves. One of the guys, who shall remain nameless (SnowSkool rule - what happens in QT stays in QT) managed to work the charm and bridge the Wanaka - Queenstown divide! Take from that what you will... At one point in the evening, Clark received a Facetime from the UK, turns out some of last year’s Skoolers were Facetiming in to say hi to this year’s crew and see what they were missing out on! Once a Snowskooler, always a Snowskooler!
After a full English breakfast on Sunday morning, it was time for a spot of shopping and then a trip up the gondola to the luge track. Turns out we have a pretty competitive bunch on our hands, as luging quickly became quite the race. Olivia took a particularly high speed crash but all in the name of winning! After a Starbucks’ to recuperate and ease those hangovers, we took a visit to XD Dark which is basically an indoors 3D motion rollercoaster. Then all too soon it was time to head back to the hostel and get everything together to head back over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Not surprisingly everybody slept like a baby on the bus and got an early night as the first day of level 2 training in the morning.
All that’s left to say is welcome to Kirsten, who will experience Cardrona for the first time on Monday, and well done to everyone again for such awesome results in the Level 1 exams! Let’s keep it up and rock out the Level 2 as well!
Until next week!
SnowSkool Liz and SnowSkool Clark
Course Hosts - SnowSkool NZ 2015
Join us next time in the northern hemisphere. Info at these links: