This week was one of déjà-vu all over again!  Sun, sun and more sun.  Two dozen days of bluebird skies in a row, not something we’re all that used to here in NZ’s Southern Alps. Under all that burning sun the snow has held up remarkably well, which was good news for this past week’s mock exam for L2.  This was a great chance for everyone to get a real idea of how close they are to clearing the bar. No niceties from the trainers, no ‘well done, but you might like to think about this’ – just the cold hard truth of numbers on a piece of paper, but it was a big help to everyone in deciding whether to sign up for the Level 2 or not.   Check out the photos below, which include a few extra from last week's fancy dress efforts ...


CLICK HERE to have the photos open in a new window.
With such tight focus on training, there hasn’t been much time nor interest in the après scene.  Days off this week were mostly spent skiing and riding with the guys working really hard to get everything set before they exam - these guys are heart-set on passing!  The skiers spent Monday on the mock exam and at home that night, everyone decided they wanted to give the real version a red hot go.  With everyone signed up for the L2 exam, it reinforced the intent to train as hard as possible in the remaining few sessions in the coming week.  The skiers welcomed back local legend Bob Irwin with his years of experience and said a new hello to Dave DT Taylor, a senior examiner with the NZSIA, a great trainer to have the week before your exam and a Scotsman to boot!  DT examines the other trainers within the NZSIA so he’s not a bad guy to have in your corner!  The snowboarders waited a few days for their mock exam until Kyle, a senior SBINZ examiner and Cardrona snow sports school supervisor, was available to help with the assessments.  It was time to impress. Luckily lots did and most of the guys have followed the skiers' lead and signed up for the exam. Good luck guys!
Cardrona was a pretty quiet place this week, and with the crowds went any semblance of a lift line so those laps were getting quicker and quicker.  The lack of tourists also made it way easier to spot all the pro skiers and riders who were around for the NZ North Face Freeski Open.  Our friend from earlier in the season, James ‘Woodsy’ Woods, put down an epic run to win the slopestyle and the girls were given a peek into the future when Kelly Sidaru, the 12 year old genius, won slopestyle and took second in pipe behind Janina Kusma, a Wanaka local we have all seen around. Wanaka really is a pretty inspirational place to come to train.  
The weekend saw most of the guys head up the hill and on Saturday, unfortunately Harry had a pretty epic stack off of one of the kickers.  He managed to dislocate his wrist, sprain the other one and damage his shoulder, which is not great when you are flying home in a few days.  If you are going to do it, the last few days instead of the first few is definitely the better option. We all wish him a speedy recovery and a good flight home. Farewell friend!
Only three days of training this coming week before we get into the exam period. The skiers start their test a few days earlier than the snowboarders, whose exam is shorter but everyone  finishes at the end of next week and is gearing up for it. Let’s go guys! 
Back again next week with a progress report on the L2s - keep sending good thoughts our way as they guys take on their biggest challenge yet.
All the best
SnowSkool Liz
Course Host - SnowSkool NZ 2014
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