Before we get stuck into the week’s activities, it’s only appropriate to apologise for missing some vital news last week. After being plagued with injuries and missing out on their Level 1's, Michael, Danny and Patrick can all officially call themselves snowboard instructors! Well done lads!  As we came to the last full week of training before the Level 2 exams kick off, the team seemed plagued by illness and injuries which took many out of action for several days. Pleased to report now though that the lesson groups are back to full strength with everyone ready to cram in as much information as possible before the exams.  Check out the pix below ...
 

 

 
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Last weekend we had 15 of our Skoolers attend the second Avalanche Safety Training course. For two days, they learned to interpret weather patterns, read the signs from the snowpack and work on companion recovery. Everyone came away with new skills and another qualification to add to the resumé.
 
Six of our Skoolers signed up for the Send it Sunday park course where the theme of the day was half-pipe and hand plants. The sun was out and layers were stripped off as everyone hiked up the side of the pipe ready to drop in for another go, Will R started his assault on Olly's park rat title and busted some sweet air over the XL jumps, producing on demand for the camera. Olly and Medea made an appearance and went about killing it on the boxes and rails.
 
We started the last week of lessons with dark clouds and cold winds, silently hoping for snow but keeping quiet in case we jinxed it. Around 2pm we were finally blessed with some fluffy stuff but the wind stayed strong so our groups made a dash into the shelter of the trees and bumps to make the most of the new snow. This week’s group dinner was held at Sante’s Bar but everyone was pretty quiet as all the hard training has tired everyone out.
 
With the sun back out on Tuesday, everyone practised their teaches and analysis skills, critiquing each other’s riding and working on techniques to improve. After the sun set most of our Skoolers chilled out and did some revision work while others went out for a quiet bite to eat before heading home.
 
Wednesday brought the snowboarders a heavy day of practice-teaching. Everyone in Dom's group had to challenge themselves by teaching their weakest skill.  Ieuan chose bumps and started the lesson with everyone doing ollies. All was going well until Ray had a missed timed pop and introduced himself to a tree. One tree branch destruction later and everyone headed into paradise glades to continue the lesson.  In the afternoon Jamie's boarding group swapped boards between themselves to better understand how to adapt quickly to different equipment and to appreciate how the slightest change can affect your riding. Some liked the other boards while some hated them but everyone struggled when it came to fitting into Cat's board, because as the only girl in the group, she had the smallest bindings.
 
Thursday morning saw a return of the bamboo poles and wheelbarrow-style skiing, this time concentrating on short radius turns while controlling the speed of their partner. At the end of the run everyone collected a pole and Carly had a glimmer in her eye that suggested she was ready for a joust. In the afternoon, Scott took his skiing group down Flagpole to put their short radius turns into action on moguls. Much to the group’s surprise, the snow was awesome and everyone blasted down the bumps better than ever before. The whole group lapped the same run a few times and even had time to fly a few metres off a natural kicker. Unfortunately the trusty camera man ended up in a heap and missed most of said flying – sorry guys!
 
Friday was review day with the chance to go over anything the Skoolers weren't too comfortable with before exams next week. Laura's group worked on a little bit of everything – carving, teaching, Moguls and analysis and improvement. After lessons ended everyone met up in Sam's for the final review and everyone came out with a lot of positive feedback. The weekend lies ahead to work on the feedback and shadow lessons to help fine tune teaching skills.  
 
We'll be back next week with exam results and hopefully, a heap of photos of smiley faces.  Good luck, SnowSkoolers. Go smash it!!!
 
SowSkool Dave and SnowSkool Scott
Course Hosts - SnowSkool Big White 2015
 
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