What a week!  100% pass rate for SnowSkoolers taking their Level 1 exams in both boarding and skiing.  It doesn’t get any better than that!  But first, back to where we left off last week…

Saturday brought with it poor visibility up on the mountain so most rested up at home for the day, a little the worse for Jake’s birthday celebrations the previous night.  The group had gone on a pub crawl around town dressed in beachwear – despite the chilly weather! – and so some opted for an early night in on Saturday while others went out to HQ to watch the rugby – All Blacks vs Wallabies – and just a few celebratory beers when the local team won.

Everyone rested on Sunday with exams due to start on Monday for boarders and Tuesday for skiers.  Some went to lunch at the Wanaka Ale House, Chris went fishing again (without Freddie this time) and caught a sizeable fish which he is planning to barbeque for the group one day.  Most had their heads in their text books in the afternoon, revising lesson plans and demos.  We all went for dinner at the Thai Siam restaurant and had an early night.

Crunch time!  Andy decided to sit his exam after all as, despite the cast on his arm, he was confident he could still ride and teach OK.  The boarders headed straight into the exam but the skiers had a day of last minute prep and cramming.  The skiers also had college that evening, which was followed by an early night all round.  The first day was finally over and most felt OK about it.

Come Tuesday, everyone was in exam mode.  New and unfamiliar faces appeared in the groups, as did new and unfamiliar trainers and testers.  All groups faced assessment today, mostly looking for improvement through lots of drills and exercises.  It was a tiring day for the muscles so all SnowSkoolers had an early night, happy with their progress.

All the guys felt confident and comfortable with the exam on Wednesday, which featured more improvement drills, some practice teaching and lap training as part of the assessment, followed by another night at the college for the skiers.  There was also a written assignment to complete but once this was done, it was off to the weekly pub quiz at Bullock Bar.

Come Thursday, the day was mostly spent doing practice teaching and demos.  The pressure was on but most students felt confident about their performance.  They were given time slots for their teaching assessment the next day, with excitement in the camp building as the finish line fast approached.  The night was spent with most playing a Mario Kart tournament in Marcus and Vicky’s apartment – a good way to unwind and avoid the nerves kicking in.

And then came the last day –which just had to be Friday 13th!  The students were pretty excited on the way up the hill but there were some very nervous faces as the pressure started to mount. Everyone was scheduled to get their teaching demo all over and done with in the morning so the plan was to spend the afternoon watching the final of the Burton Open slope style.  Unfortunately, this didn’t quite pan out as after lunch, the weather worsened and visibility deteriorated to close to zero.  Plan B saw everyone set up camp in the base building and enjoy some well deserved beers.  Some games were played while waiting for the snowboarders’ results at 3pm and the skiers’ results at 6pm.  Time dragged but it was worth the wait when the snowboarders found out they had all passed and then later on at the Oakridge Resort, the skiers received the same news. Success all round!! Celebrations were big, as were the smiles – check them out HERE

Partying continued into the small hours of the morning and for the whole weekend in fact, as we all headed to Queenstown on Saturday morning…but that’s another story for another newsletter.

Happily, the first part of the mission is accomplished but it all steps up a big gear when training re-commences on Monday with eyes firmly on the prize of the Level 2 qualification.  It’s usually a bit of a let-down at the start of Week 6 but as soon as it dawns just how much work there is still left to do, the group knuckles back down.  In the meantime, we drew breath and enjoyed the moment of glory.  Yay us!


  1. Awesome result everyone…hope you had a great weekend in QT and all gorged on at least one Fergburger! Wish I was (still) there…Phil

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