Our New Zealand trainees are now in countdown mode; level 2 ski instructor exams start in a week, and the snowboard instructor exams start a couple of days after that. I guess you could say it’s almost ‘crunch time’. Fortunately, the weather’s been great all week (including some snow at the start). This is a view looking down on The Remarkables, the trainees’ second mountain, complete with; large snowpark, awesome off-piste and even a tubing park.
With a ratio of four students to one ski-trainer the skiers have been making the most of their training opportunities. They’ve also been enjoying some fairly empty pistes.
Meanwhile, the snowboarders are starting to feel that they’ve got the whole thing ‘nailed’ and have therefore been practising teaching 50-50′s and boardslides in the mini-rail park.
At least that’s what they’d have the skiers believe; all jokes aside they’ve been studying just as hard as the skiers including plenty of ‘rider analysis’ and indoor video feedback sessions.
“Queenstown: adventure capital of the world” – that’s what it says on the tin. Although the price you pay for adrenalin sports can be the occasional injury, it’s a price that our trainees are willing to pay in pursuit of the ultimate (legal) high. Step up ‘fearless’ George who takes this week’s Purple Heart while ten-pin bowling. Eyes firmly fixed on taking the no.1 spot on the bowling ladder, unfortunately not with eyes fixed on correct bowling posture: George neatly bowled into his own ankle. He’s ‘manned up’ and is going to be okay for the Level 2 exam in a week’s time. Next stop the X Games.
It was possible to take the excitement-levels up several notches beyond bowling, and the trainee instructors did just that earlier this week with the much-anticipated heli-skiing day. Fresh powder all day and no chairlifts! Heli Skiing/Boarding was an opportunity for the trainees to be whisked ‘James Bond style’ up to the top of untouched faces then cut fresh tracks over and over again. It was the experience of a lifetime.
Nevertheless, not every activity can be as adrenalin-filled as Heli Skiing, and aside from skiing and snowboarding under the watchful eyes of their expert instructors, the trainees have further sampled some of the other activities available in Queenstown. These activities included New Zealand’s alleged ‘largest mini-golf’, luging, and even a toboggan-racing day sponsored by Red Bull. Which Magnus just so happened to win! He is now the proud owner of a years’ supply of Red Bull…..which will undoubtedly lead to Magnus loosing all of his teeth, having a severe case of Insomnia and being on the verge of a some serious heart problems.
Exams start next week!