My SnowSkool Scholarship in Banff by Shauna Rigby – Week Two

Posted: January 27, 2011 in Course Diaries

Week 2 in Banff started off with another cold and early morning on the slopes with many SnowSkoolers ready for a week with a new instructor and a new group. I was put into a group of boys who are lots of fun to ski with and sing with on the chairlifts! Our instructor was Doug, who is a very experienced trainer, qualified to the very top level.  He helped us all improve over the week, which was really noticable on the “before and after” videos of us all skiing.

Monday night was the start of the round-robin SnowSkool soccer competition – eight teams of six players, with at least one girl per team. My team plays next week but the competition went really well and surprisingly, all the girls played a lot better than the boys! Poor Elly (fellow Aussie but from Melbourne) played goal-keeper had the ball kicked into her face but she kept playing with a big smile :-).  Another Aussie girl from Sydney, Glenn, scored a goal for her team.

It snowed overnight which made Tuesday morning some of the best skiing so far. Doug took us down some awesome runs which worked my legs like crazy! Thigh-burning is quite common in Banff with its long runs, especially when the weather is perfect, the snow is deep and the energy is non-stop running through our bodies.

Wednesday saw the majority of the lifts closed with only Standish, Strawberry and Wa Wa running due to ‘mountain operations’ in the less than great weather.But Doug still found us some challenging – but fun – free-skiing runs to do. We went over jumps and powder drop-offs, which topped off the day. He helped us with our balance on skis which proved to be very helpful going over the moguls, except Rob managed a few faceplants 🙂

Later that night, our confident SnowSkool singers took to the stage for open mike night and sang us some great songs while the locals kept up their winning streak in the pool competition.

The morning of Thursday brought with it great weather and the view from the chairlift was amazing. It was just a continuous mountain range that seemed to go on for kilometres. My coach, Doug, unfortunately had suffered the horrors of frostbite on his big toes last week, and had to finish up early today because they were going cold again!  Even though it’s sunny, the temperature tends to be -25 degrees C so you have to take special care to be well-prepared. We all ended the day with a yummy hot chocolate and then a sleep on the bus-ride back to the hostel.

Finally Friday arrived – the best day of the week because not only does the skiing seem more exciting, the food at the end of the day tastes even better!  All SnowSkoolers stopped their lessons an hour early today and went inside to talk about how we skied during the week. It was a great way to relax with everyone and consider our own progress this week.  Back at the hostel, dinner was chicken burgers and chips with salad – ahh the perfect way to end a day of intense skiing. After dinner, we went into town in desperate search of some costumes for Saturday’s 80’s karaoke night – headbands, tight pants, bright colours…it was all we needed! Singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” with Joey was a highlight of the night for me, especially trying to reach those extremely high notes! Karaoke is always better when you can’t sing right?!  80’s night turned out to be a whole lot of fun and everyone got into it. Dan Drago from Melbourne should get a special mention for having the best costume – curly blonde wig, short shorts, arm warmers AND leg warmers, sunnies and bright red lipstick – a total 80’s man, or should I say woman? Best night out so far for sure!

The weekend was spent resting up the body and shopping for next week’s food supplies as we all usually make our own lunch to take up to the mountain each day. It was great fun and I look forward to what next week brings, especially celebrating Australia Day!

Ciao from Banff!

Shauna

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