Bariloche Argentina Ski Instructor Course 2015: BASI, bandages and backcountry hikes

Week 4 of the Peak Leaders ski instructor training in Argentina meant the arrival of the BASI trainers … and a chance to put first aid skills to the test (all in the name of getting the certificate, luckily!). More fresh snow, backcountry hiking and a mountain refuge made for an amazing week. Our course leader Steve reports in …

It’s BASI time

As the fourth week of training comes to a close here in Bariloche, we are prepared for the beginning of the BASI Alpine Level 1 course next week.

First lifts above an awesome (and snowy) Cerro Catedral

Peak Leaders Bariloche Argentina_BASI week 4 on chair

This week has included A-level results (see our other blog on A-levels), birthdays and the departure of Tom (who completed the 4-week course) on top of some intense training both on and off the mountain.

The long and short of skiing

At the start of the week the conditions were ideal for practicing long and short radius turns with our Argentine trainers Jorge and Agustin.

One final check on what’s required for the demo

Peak Leaders Bariloche Argentina_BASI week 4 waiting

The sun was out, the pistes were well groomed and there was a light layer of soft snow sitting on top for added fun!

Piste perfect (and empty!) for getting some practice in

Peak Leaders Bariloche Argentina_BASI week 4 fresh snow

The skiing level continues to improve as we gain more experience in a range of environments.

Ready to impress for the start of the BASI exams

Peak Leaders Bariloche Argentina_BASI week 4 looking good

We even had a chance to practice GS and Slalom racing on our own private course.

Dedication while training on the course

Peak Leaders Bariloche Argentina_BASI week 4 walk to the top

Hike to freedom (and freshies)

Tuesday afternoon was an incredible experience as we hiked out of the ski area – and to the freedom of Lagunita, a huge off-piste bowl in the next valley over, with Peak Leaders mountain guides Colo and Ivan.

Unforgettable hike and ski experience in the backcountry of Cerro Catedral

Peak Leaders Bariloche Argentina_BASI week 4 hike to freedom

The hike itself was challenging but totally worth the effort as we had amazing views of the surrounding lakes and were even lucky enough to see two condors flying close to the ridge.

Shadowing and learning on the job

The trainees have been enjoying shadowing local instructors as they deliver lessons to groups in the beginner areas.

It’s always useful to watch, learn and get hands on experience in a practical teaching environment – and start to feel the unrivaled satisfaction that you get from passing on your skills to another.

A-level results and a refuge retreat

In the early hours of Thursday morning, some trainees received their A-level results which relieved a lot of pressure!

On Thursday night we had the unique opportunity to visit Refugio Berghof – a mountain refuge sitting atop Cerro Otto – which overlooks the town of Bariloche and the surrounding lakes.

Relaxing in the Refugio Berghof

Peak Leaders Bariloche Argentina_BASI week 4 refuge retreat

A delicious meal, red wine by the wood fire, live music by a local Argentine trio and outstanding views helped cure any sore heads from the night before.

This was topped off by an interesting stroll down a snowy trail skirting the side of the mountain – a classic Ivan plan!

BASI comes to town

This week has also seen the arrival of our BASI trainers – Mike and Lesley.

Mike arrived slightly earlier in the week to deliver a well structured and engaging first aid course.

How you like my bandaging skills!

Peak Leaders Bariloche Argentina_BASI week 4 first aid

On Friday night we went into Bariloche to watch an open-air live gig in the centre with a band known in Argentina as the “steamrollers of rock” – Divididos.

Enjoying some aprés-time

Peak Leaders Bariloche Argentina_BASI concert

Tom’s off on his travels

The weekly asado was pushed back to Saturday this week to coincide with the arrival of Lesley and the sad departure of Tom.

The crew really didn’t want Tom to leave!

Peak Leaders Bariloche Argentina_BASI week 4 Tom stretching

This well loved american has been a huge part of the group and a delight to have around for the past four weeks.

We wish him all the best on his travels and hope to see him again in the future (at least!)

One month to go

For the remaining four weeks we will be in the hands of our lovely BASI trainers.

Keep up to date with all the happenings in Argentina on our instagram @peakleaders

Hopefully, by this time next week we will have a group of BASI Alpine Level 1 qualified ski instructors.

Then it’s on to a week of intense training and BASI Alpine Level 2 … no pressure?!?

We’re ready for it, wish us luck …

Peak Leaders has ski instructor courses starting pre-season in Saas Fee (Switzerland) and St Anton (Austria), plus winter courses in Morzine (France) and Verbier (Switzerland).

For a chat about any of our courses get in touch here.