Qualified Snowsport Instructor? Yes We Are!

Last week in Saas Fee was the beginning of everyone’s Snowsports career as a qualifed Snowsports Instructor. The BASI trainers were here putting them through their paces on their BASI Level 1. Everyone understandably was quite nervous but very excited at the same time.


The trainers Les, Simon and Henry were great fun and everyone had an awesome time with them improving both their technical skills on the mountain as well as their teaching sessions, the two main parts of the exam to becoming a snowsports instructor. The start of the week started with a bit of a delay with the mountain being shut on the first day … however everyone was loving the powder and bluebird conditions for the second day. After this is was hero conditions and perfect weather for the rest of the week.


The first day of the course was a challenge in itself as their teaching was put to the test off the snow as the mountain was shut. Henry had his group teaching a random skill … Will thought it would be good to teach everyone the Cha Cha; some people picked it up quickly and think they’ll be in the next Strictly series. Meanwhile Les’s group challenged each other to spiderman press-ups, where the girls were holding their own in that group as usual. The star of the snowboarders was Stuart who made it back miraculously after having a bad wrist and then solved his main problem of riding like a T-rex!


Over the last couple of weeks there has been a bit of competition developing between the two ski groups in particular. Each group claiming they are the ‘A Team’ and trying to out do the others, obviously in a healthy friendly way. This was put to the test on the final day of the Level 1 when they had a synchro short turn competition. Les’s group lost and they blamed this on Seonaid, but really they just couldn’t face the fact that they were no longer the ‘A team’! Who said becoming a snowsport instructor was all hard work?!


At the end of the week we had a fantastic outcome for the Level 1 so they all celebrated in style with some après ski drinks and visiting the local night sport later on. One or two people who got carried away didn’t make it past their own hotel room … exhausted from all the training at 3800m high! Most partied the night away until the early hours, with most of the boys now being able to use ‘I’m a ski instructor’ as a chat up line.


Still on cloud 9 from becoming instructors, everyone is now preparing for training next week with Emma, Julian and Graeme towards their next goal of BASI Level 2 … a bit of a leap but everyone keen to get stuck in to the challenge for the next 5 weeks.

The week started with a big fresh dump of powder, perfect conditions for starting our training
towards BASI Level 2. Julian decided that synchronised skiing was the path to success and soon the
‘B’ team were gracefully meandering their way down the slopes whilst Lindsey Vonn looked on in
awe. The resort full of inspirational famous skiers again including the World Number 1 in Giant
Slalom Ted Ligety, who one of the coaches Emma nearly met but was too slow to get a selfie with
her hero!
There were other trainees who were also big fans of the World Cup skiers including James Durbin.
His lifelong goal of dating a celebrity became a reality as Lindsey Vonn tweeted him back. His
excitement turned to dust in his mouth upon realising that his earlier tweets included labelling her
as Tiger’s ‘bird’. He was left heartbroken at the end of this short but intimate relationship.
Tuesday morning started early with conditions on the mountain looking good. Leon continued his
compulsive shopping addiction by purchasing some new ‘tween tips’ skis in order to complete his
dream backflip with fellow steezy skiers Donny Marsden and George Frankland. Other obsessions in
the group is definitely Stuarts love for Tomato Ketchup on everything he eats!
Wednesday rolled on and saw the Crazy Golf tournament reveal people’s true colours. Taylor ‘Rory’
Manning scored a superb 58 despite James ‘Tiger’ Durbin’s best attempt to sabotage his result. Max
‘Rickie’ Kelly gambled on the last to take top spot and the prestigious prize, but was unable to hold
his nerve. Wine Wednesday soon began to take effect as the female contingent took a trip into the
water after a few erratic tee shots.
The rest of the week included highlight from Harry ripping it up and excelling in the fresh powder
conditions which reminded him of his second home in the Dolomites. Ali Walker continued his
unique style of mono skiing with great success as he managed to convince potential employers that
this is the way to ski by landing the first job of the course in the Cairngorms. Pete Ferguson and
Sophie Clowes, bewitched by mountain love, came a close second as they both landed jobs in Banff,
The weekend arrived and after Friday night’s socailising it was the perfect day for Leon to fulfil his
wish … his accomplishment at achieving a back flip. The rest of the group relaxed in the sun and
contentedly sat with a drink looking back on another thoroughly enjoyable week.

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