It doesn’t take a genius to work-out that the emphasis of a ski and snowboard instructor course is placed firmly on skiing and snowboarding. However, all work and no play would make Jack, in particular, a very dull boy – even if that ‘work’ happens to be skiing all day. For this reason Peak Leaders try to make life a little bit more varied for the trainees. Everybody knows that ‘variety’ is often referred to as the ‘spice of life’ so it’s fair to say that Magnus and his team down in NZ have been cooking up a Vindaloo this week.
Firstly there was ten-pin bowling. With a six-lane bowling alley as part of the hotel, the New Zealand trainees are particularly well-placed to smash the skittles, as well as the moguls. A regular Sunday night bowl-off keeps a healthy level of competition alive among the trainees. Here’s a shot of one of the trainees in action, demonstrating (if nothing else) how hard Magnus has found it to take a good shot of bowling ‘in action’…
There’s also been Disc Golf. If, like our trainees before their arrival in New Zealand, you aren’t overly familiar with this popular Kiwi pastime: it’s like golf, but with a disc (aka Frisbee). Simples. Here’s one of the trainees ‘putting’ for the hole (aka the chains); holding your breath when throwing the disc is optional.
As previously mentioned the focus of the course is skiing and snowboarding, not Disc Golf. This was never more apparent than with John who spent a sizeable portion of the day attempting to demonstrate how ‘easy’ it would be to bounce his disc across the ornamental pond. Needless to say he learnt the hard way! See the pictures below chronicling his three attempts – we’ll let you decide how many were successful:
As exciting and awe-inspiring as Disc Golf and ten-pin bowling sounds the trainees have been involved in some slightly more adventurous activities. This time the guns were out, the paint was loaded and war was declared. Queenstown Paintball proved to be: more painful than learning to snowboard (which is saying something), arguably scarier than a disappointed NZSIA ski trainer and considerably more dangerous than the pro jumps at the top of The Remarkables park. Paintball was great adrenaline-boosting fun.
Not forgetting the ski and snowboard training… Last week saw the trainee instructors largely enjoying near-empty pistes. With the sun out, and the wide open piste beckoning, we’ve been lucky to benefit from some of the best conditions New Zealand has had to offer this season.