The Week That Was in Wanaka – Week Ten

Posted: September 20, 2010 in Course Diaries

Hello from Wanaka for the very last time.  Hard to believe our time here is over and most of us are already on our way to our respective homes, new travels and new adventures.

It’s been a tough week not only because of the Level 2 exams but because, as luck would have it, we encountered the worst week of consistently poor weather since we’ve been here.  It all started last Saturday with the skiers’ Level 2 exams starting in difficult conditions with very limited visibility. For the boarders it was just a typical weekend as their exam was not due to start until Tuesday.  With nothing better to do, Kirk, James and Matt went hunting for the day and came back with six rabbits for dinner!  Anna and Bex went horse riding but, perhaps not surprisingly, returned without anything to add to the dinner plate!  With that first day of exams under their belts, the skiers came home a little more relaxed and everyone turned in for an early night.

The limited vis continued on Sunday to the point where the skiers went indoors for a two-hour classroom session. The boarders rested up and studied some more before everyone went out to one of our faves – Amigos – for the last group meal and another early night.

Both Monday and Tuesday featured more cloudy conditions with poor vis.  It snowed most of Tuesday as the boarders started their exams but even so, most were glad to have things underway.

The gloom turned to zoom on Wednesday with a perfect combo of fresh snow and sunshine.  With such great conditions for the exam, lots of riding was done both off piste and on. The boarders had a classroom session before another early night for all.

The brief interlude of good weather gave over on Thursday to a big storm of snow, strong winds and bad vis, which made it very difficult for everyone.  Unfortunately our bus driver Simon injured his ankle and was unable to drive us anymore.  An early night for all after some revision.

On Friday there was 30 cm of fresh snow after heavy snowfalls all night and day but vis was again poor and riding was tough.  Practice teaching was the main task of the day and many of the students were getting worried as the last day approached. They all had their individual 30 minute movement analysis exams in the evening before preparing for the final day which would include the teaching exam.

The culmination of all the hard work came yesterday with the announcement of the results of the Level 2 exams.  After ten weeks of training and lengthy exams, everyone had given of their best but a couple of disappointed skiers and some boarders just missed getting their second certification.  While we congratulate all those who passed, we genuinely feel for those who didn’t quite make it.

Click HERE for some pix from this last week – rabbits and all! – as the snow starts to melt and make way for spring as we head on home.

The cohesion and unity among the group have been truly impressive.  The spread of ages, differing personalities and backgrounds were completely irrelevant.  Everyone was here for the same reason – to train hard – and they supported and protected each other extraordinarily well and melded into a cohesive team.

We hope you have enjoyed our weekly updates and that they have achieved their purpose of connecting us all in different parts of the world.  We also hope you’ve had a taste of what we’ve experienced, the fun we’ve had and a feel for this fabulous country.

Before we go, we would like to thank all those who worked so hard on our behalf – the awesome team of trainers at the HPC in Cardrona; John and Avril at the Belvedere; our caterers, Brent and Maxine; our bus driver, Simon.  Special mention to the SnowSkool team spread far and wide:  to the guys back in the UK – Phil, Dunk and Steve – thanks for setting it all up so well in advance and for your ongoing support during our time here.  To Heather in Edinburgh and Marion in Sydney – thanks for the help with the weekly newsletter.

And to you as parents and friends, whether your SnowSkooler passed the final L2s or not, know that they take with them great experience for life far beyond skiing or riding exceptionally well.  They are more mature and independent, they are more self-assured and confident, they are better communicators and teachers, they are more tolerant and supportive of others.  They took on a tough physical and mental challenge and met it head on.  Be proud of them – they are terrific young people and we wish each and every one of them the very best.

We have thoroughly enjoyed sharing this time with together. They will be back with you very shortly and we know you will have a great reunion.   We sincerely hope we have delivered on the SnowSkool promise…..the best days of your life….with some fabulous memories, experiences and lessons for life.

Kia ora and poroporoaki – thank you and farewell.


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