Posts Tagged ‘Education’

The day had finally arrived – the morning of our Level 2 exams. The sun was shining but not everyone was keen for the  start of a very long and stressful week!  Despite the dread, all of our skiers headed out to the front of Sunshine Village to meet our new test conductors and sort things out. We met at the ODD cabin and were split into 4 groups. Our conductors for the week were Ben, Casey, Kenji and Don – four very experienced Level 4 instructors. I was in a group with Ben. The day took off quickly when Ben had us skiing bumps straight away. The main focus was on being more aggressive and keeping forward the whole time. Everyone had different things to work on and by the end of the day quite a few of us had accomplished those goals.

We swapped course conductors on Tuesday morning so that it was a fair assessment of us. This time I got Casey, who is Technical Director at Sunshine. He was a lot more serious than Ben, which had it’s good and bad moments! Casey got us doing a little bit of teaching but mainly focused on our skiing ability. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were probably the most stressful days of my life!!  The course conductors gave no insight into whether or not you were going to pass so everyone was freaking out. The pressure of Level 2 got to a lot people throughout the week but Friday morning brought some smiles with it – the conductors seemed to be a bit more happy than usual which put everyone more at ease. The snow was in perfect condition and the temperature was nigh on hoody weather! It was the last day of exams and everyone was putting in 100% to make sure their skiing and teaching were up to scratch but it was still non-stop exam pressure until 2pm when we finished. The worst part, however, was the 2 hour wait for results as still no one had any clue as to what their results would be.  As we gathered upstairs after the longest two hours of our lives, we sat in a big group and listened to the conductors announce individually who had successfully completed and passed their CSIA Level 2 exam. Everyone was applauded individually, which made the atmosphere great!  I have never seen so many happy faces at once. We even had a few tears of happiness from the boys (Fraser McGougan) haha. All of the Banff SnowSkoolers should be congratualted for an amazing set of achievements with 100% of the boarders passing and about 97% of the skiers passing!

After a loud a cheerful busride back to the hostel everyone headed straight to the kitchen for fish and chips to celebrate our awesome results! There was karaoke in the Storm Cellar and lots of graduation banners put up for us which got everyone in the best mood. For some it was their last night with SnowSkool as they were getting up early for a long plane trip back home. With only 2 weeks left on the course, we are all starting to fit in as much as we can.  Race coaching course starts on Sunday, followed by the avalanche and back country courses. There is no rest for a lot of SnowSkoolers – we tough it all out!

The SnowSkool course has been an amazing experience and all the weeks of training paid off on Friday afternoon. Fingers crossed for the people completeing courses next week – another badge to add to the collection!!



For more info about the SnowSkool scholarship, click here.



Our last week of training with SnowSkool before our Level 2 exam – how exciting!

This week has been one of the best weeks so far. I got to ski with the instructor Dom this week which turned out to be great. It was the first time I had him for a whole week of teaching. We got into groups for the last time ever and I got to ski with people I had not skied with throughout the whole course – aussie boys Sam D’Arcy and Tim Sanderson plus Joost, Euan and Johnny were in my group. We had a blast! On Monday morning Dom took us for some intermediate parallel to start off the day. The weather was warming up but it kept snowing occasionally. The group had a great morning but the afternoon was even better! We got to rip up around the resort and did some teaching at the same time. Dom knew how to mix it all up well and keep us entertained.

We spent Tuesday and Wednesday having a go at teaching the groups. Everyone seemed to be pretty confident in what they were doing which is a good sign for our Level 2s. Wednesday’s weather brought some great powder for us and Dom let us spend most of the day just shredding. We got some great shots of the group skiing knee deep on Shoulder run. It was amazing!!

Thursday was St Patrick’s Day! Shane and Rob were dressed up in big green costumes all day and they represented Ireland in style. It was a nice sunny day up at Sunshine Village and Dom decided to let us work on our technique and teaching in the morning and then we did a bit of free skiing in the afternoon. It was a lovely, relaxing day and everyone seemed to have smiles on their faces for all of it. After we finished, I went into town with Kirstin and we bought some clothes to make a St Paddy’s day outfit. Table cloths work really well for anyone who is interested haha! We had a great night down in the Storm Cellar with Shane and Rob setting the Irish tone. The barmen changed the colour of our drinks to green as well – it looked awesome!

Friday was amazing. The snow was perfect, the sun was out and it was possible to ski in hoodies! Dom let us take over for the day so we could practise some last minute teaching – but in our own fun way! We got to take turns going wherever we wanted on the mountain whether it be bumps, tree skiing, terrain park, groomed runs or skiing off drops. It was such a nice day and we finished at 2pm instead of 4pm and went to Trappers Bar with everyone. Luckily it was warm so we sat on the balcony outside and enjoyed the afternoon sun. All the instructors joined us for some food and drinks and we all talked about what we would be doing after the course and life in general. Once the day was over we went back to the hostel for a great barbeque dinner and prepared for a big night in the Storm Cellar with a Hawaiian-themed karaoke night. We were also celebrating Tom Kershaw’s birthday that night which was good fun. Friday night was the best way to end of the last week of training.

As we come close to the Level 2s starting on Monday I would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone the best of luck for their exams and fingers crossed we all pass with flying colours! I’d also like to congratulate all those in Big White who successfully passed their exams.


For more info about the SnowSkool scholarship, click here.