BARILOCHE 2017 – WEEK 2
We’re back with the latest update from our unique 9-week ski instructor course here in Bariloche, Argentina.
It’s end of the second week and it couldn’t have gone any better. The weather has really been on our side from the start with huge dumps of snow followed by clear blue skies throughout our first week. That was just the start of it!
Every day this week has been bluebird days with incredible views over Lago Nahuel Huapi. If you look East you’ll see the Patagonian steppe, the dry, arid landscape that makes up the bulk of southern Argentina, fading gradually out to the horizon. In stark contrast, if you turn 180 degrees to peer West you’re instantly reminded that you’re in the heart of the Andes! Enormous spires, volcanic peaks, glaciers and valleys dominate the landscape stretching deep into neighbouring Chile.
Jack had been here for 8 days before the weather even started to turn stormy….
Combine the perfect snow conditions for training with these views and you’ve got the world’s best classroom!
This week on the mountain we’ve been training hard to really build up the new techniques required to be a great instructor and all-round skier. To help achieve the goal we’ve enlisted the help of local trainer Yago. His coaching abilities combine well with a passion for freeskiing so he has been skiing fast and hard all week with ‘the birds of war’ (aka the youngsters). They’ve certainly kept him on his toes!
Jorge and Yago have both been focussing specifically on short and long turns on piste. We took the opportunity to exploit the brilliant weather for a hike into Lagunita for a spot of freeride training in the incredible off-piste, variable terrain bordering the resort. Later in the week the video camera came out to capture some useful runs on film. Video analysis sessions are really useful for improving skiing technique because often the way you think you ski is not how it appears in reality! We’ve seen some big improvements in technique on the mountain during week 2.
Irene is our latest addition to the group this week, catching up quickly with the others on the mountain. Her first practice runs actually coincided with a photo shoot and the video analysis session so the pressure was certainly on!
Off the mountain Ned and Sam volunteered to be team leaders for the week. They really got stuck in with the ‘organised fun’ during the week with a hilarious quiz (most of the humour came from sam’s Zoolander-esque attire) and even a talent show on Friday after the asado. Ned’s attempts at singing lead to things like this happening….
During the week we’ve also had a full schedule after training of Spanish lessons which are seeing quick improvements and stretching/fitness sessions.
At the weekend there’s always time to relax and recover from a potentially big Friday night! The guys all ventured to the main apres bar, Samsara, until the early hours of Saturday morning so I was surprised to see so many fresh faces heading up to the mountain to go freeskiing on Saturday.
Some of us decided to try something a bit different so we rented bicycles and set off on a little adventure. Cycling 19km around lakes and surrounding hills of Circuito Chico gave enough of an excuse to order huge pizzas in Colonia Suiza (the oldest Swiss Colony in Patagonia) and a visit to Patagonia Cervezeria (brewery). Amazing locally produced beers are big business around Bariloche. Sitting in the beer garden overlooking the lake is a good way to end a big cycle!
Looking ahead to week 3 we’ll have new team leaders – Charlie and Cameron – we’ll combine daily training with an opportunity to shadow local instructors in ‘real’ lesson scenarios and hopefully build up enough courage to get some tango lessons! Dancing shoes at the ready.