My SnowSkool Scholarship in Banff by Shauna Rigby – Week Three

Posted: February 1, 2011 in Course Diaries

Here we are again with the end of a fun week in Banff!

It all started on Monday with another new instructor, Andrew. One word can describe him – hilarious! I have never met an instructor with so much energy. Even when it was cold, he found a way to keep us warm with random bear jokes and stories. It was a great way to start the week and my group had a lot of fun. We did heaps of free skiing on Monday but incorporated all our new techniques into it. We were taken over moguls and other challenging terrain which helped build the group’s confidence and by the end of the day, we were conquering the steep runs.

Tuesday proved to be one of the best days so far with perfect weather conditions and freshly groomed runs. It was nice to let the skis rip down a smooth, fast run. The resort is generally powder packed, so to have a groomed run was really nice! Throughout the day, Andrew made me focus on folding at the hip and leaning down the hill to improve my turn. Everyone in my group was given something different to focus on. The sessions this week saw us practice teaching others as well as learning from the instructor with regard to our own skiing. Andrew put us into pairs and we had to watch one another ski down the run, pick out what we thought was something the other skier had to change about their skiing, and then show them a drill that would help fix it. This was really helpful – it made it seem like we were instructors and it was great fun. I can’t wait to be an actual instructor!

After a good night’s sleep I woke up to the morning of Australia Day! The first thing we do in the morning is go down to breakfast…this time all the Aussies wore their Australian spirit to the breakfast table. I wore some boxer shorts that say ‘Young and Free’ with the Australian flag next to them. There were all sorts of outfits ranging from the Rugby jerseys, the Socceroo’s flag, green and gold face paint – the list goes on. However, compared to the rest of the day, breakfast was just a warm up! Once we were all on the mountain, a group of us including Dan, Jake, Elliot and Tim changed our ski clothes and put on some shorts, singlets, flags, Aussie scarves and tattoos and took to the cold outside! In true Australian spirit we skied two runs in summer gear!. The cold didn’t bother us though, most likely due to the fact that we were completely numb so we couldn’t feel anything anyway!  After a great day of skiing we went back to the hostel and chilled as a big Aussie group in the lobby. Dinner arrived and once that was eaten we all went back to our rooms and painted ourselves up and put our costumes on for a big night. Down in the Storm Cellar, they had Jam night on again and Rob and Joe did some great performances – the room was filled with Australian spirit! There were many flags and heaps of green and gold.  Even some of the English boys got into the spirit. Unfortunately, I had a bad cough and went to bed early but I know all the Australian SnowSkoolers had a blast.

Thursday morning was very quiet because I was still feeling sick so I took the day off. I did my washing and sent a few emails but mainly stayed in bed and watched some DVDs.

Friday was a warm day which made it all the more fun up on the mountain. It was our last day with Andrew so he made it quite enjoyable. He asked me what I liked most about his teaching and I said I loved the fact that he incorporates our drills and free skiing together really well. Andrew laughed and said, “But we don’t do any free skiing!”.  During the day, both Peter and Fraser felt really sick after lunch and had to go in for a while, reducing our group from 7 to 5. Rob, unfortunately, had a tumble on the moguls and landed on his head. Andrew decided to take him to ski patrol, who said he had light concussion, so our group went down to 4. We ended up spending the afternoon practicing our snowploughs for the Level 1 exam. It’s suprisingly hard to perfect a snowplough! By the end of the day we did our evaluations together and had a hot chocolate. It was a great week with Andrew and he prepared our group really well for the Level 1 exam which is being held in one week’s time!

Week 3 in Banff has been really enjoyable and I’m looking forward to the soccer comp next Monday and our final week of training before our first round of exams.

Shauna

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