As the snow begins to melt the 10 week training programme that a group of eager to learn individuals undertook has now come to a close. All level 2 participants have returned home qualified level 2 ski and snowboard instructors after weeks of rigorous training at Big White Ski Resort in British Columbia, Canada . The snowboard and ski instructor courses students worked extremely hard both on and off the snow. Taking full advantage of the expert training offered by NothinButSnow they put in huge amounts off effort, pushing their limits to ensure they met the standard required to be successful all the while enjoying one of the best snow fall seasons in a decade.
Once again the students on NothinButSnow’s courses have upheld the 100% pass rate by successfully passing all level 2 exams. Everyone at NothinButSnow is extremely proud of all the ski and snowboard students.
Monday everyone looked like a changed person on the hill. They were relaxed and seemed to be looking to really enjoy the last week in the beautiful resort of Big White. A group shred was on the cards as they destroyed the mountain with their newly attained level 2 status. It was also a chance for some of them to hit the park and not have to worry too much about injuring themselves and missing tuition days.
Tuesday was the real park sesh and even NBS Leigh tagged along to get some footage. The boys and girls were throwing themselves off the pristine features while NBS Leigh was on hand to capture the falls and the landings. We did suffer a slight injury when Sam (an 11 week ski instructor student) decided to land on his face and incurred a busted lip and bloody mouth. He did survive.
Not much went down on Wednesday. This is probably due to everyone wearing themselves out over the past two days, throwing themselves around a little too much. Most of the students stayed at home and chilled in the tub, whilst a few others ventured in to the village for something to eat and an afternoon beer.
Thursday NBS Sam drove 4 of the students to Silverstar resort. At only a two hour drive it wasn’t long before we arrived after setting off at 7.30am. What a day they had there as well. Blue bird pow day, it doesn’t get any better. There is some seriously challenging terrain at Silver Star and there was no way they would have attacked it like they did 10 weeks ago. All the training had definitely paid off. Not only are they now level 2 instructors but they are in no way limited to the kind of terrain they can go and ride. On the way home we stopped by a burger place to get something to eat which went down well.
Friday was the start of the park course and a few of our students opted for this. This was an opportunity for them to get qualified as a park instructor, allowing them to not only work on their freestyle skills but be able to deliver them too eager to learn disciples. There were two instructors and were both conveniently called Dom. Both Doms spent the first day really delivering the material with some rider feedback.
The course ran over in to Saturday as well, which gave the students time to deliver their freestyle teaches as well as progress with their own ability. Results time came and to no surprise all our students passed! Not only did they smash their level 1, 2 and avalanche courses we achieved 100% pass rate in the freestyle as well. So 100% pass rate across all exams taken. Once again, well done to everyone. Saturday night was possibly one of the biggest nights out this season. Everyone had a fantastic night and it was also that time of the season for the ‘NothinButSnow Awards’. These awards have some serious awards such as ‘most improved’ and ‘highest achiever’ however it is a good chance to poke fun at each other and recount some embarrassing stories that have occurred through the 11 weeks.
Sunday produced a fair few sore heads. The day to pack was here as all the students would be travelling back to their home destinations. We set off nice and early and before long we were arriving in to Vancouver airport. Everyone checked in with zero problems. Next stop home.
A fantastic end to a fantastic season.
So unfortunately our amazing journey had come to an end and we were into our last week at Big White. The weeks of training were over and for the majority; the nerves and stress of exams were also behind us. This gave us a week to roam free and let loose across Big White playing around with all of the skills we had learnt during our time here, not to mention take lots of videos on the Go Pros and cameras.
It started perfectly Monday morning with 20cm of fresh snow on the ground and sunny skies above, after a slight snooze we headed out to make the most of it. Having experienced Big White for 10 weeks already we all agreed Gem Lake was to be the best stage to perform on, being quiet with lots of trees and untracked runs. We tore down the runs fourth ace and can can, throwing ourselves of cliffs and jumps along the way enjoying the champagne powder with not a care in the world. What a fantastic day it turned out to be, with Tim and Bobby’s brother Dan describing it as the best day they’d ever had on a ski holiday.
The freedom of not having training anymore gave the group a chance to ski with friends they had met during their time here or family they had visiting. It gave me the chance to put on a pair of skis again after months on a board. It was a great change and after a mornings lesson, courtesy of NBS Leigh, I was finding my feet again.
I opted for skis on Wednesday and once again enjoyed the opportunity to be with some of the skiers for a change. We headed to Black Forest and with some great tips from Max and Lydia we flew down the runs. After some beers in the hot tub watching the sun descend, we headed to Sam’s for an emotional final wing night of the season. Our session started with a pitcher of Canadian at seven and as per usual, ended with a large glass of water on Thursday morning.
Unfortunately the weather on Thursday morning and the feeling in our heads shared a lot in common: thick, cloudy, and quite frankly not a lot of use. Nevertheless I had my freestyle exam looming on Friday and wanted to get back on the board and get some practice in the park. They say there’s not a better way to sober up than a face full of snow, and so it proved as I hit a few boxes and kickers, with the heaviest pounding the sound of Theophilus London in my ears.
For Rob, Stephen and I it was that exam feeling again, an early morning start and an 8:30 meet at the VCM. The only difference was we were feeling quite relaxed about this one and to be honest were looking forward to it. It was another fantastic day on the mountain despite the drop in temperature. Our evaluators were Dom & Dom and it was going to be a fun two days. The first morning’s focus was rider improvement. This consisted of playing around the mountain with tricks such as tripods, butters and pretzels etc. The afternoon introduced us to freestyle lessons with the emphasis on progressive teaching and safety. They taught us about park etiquette and prepared us to teach the following morning.
We were in the middle of an exam, but we still couldn’t resist a swift brewski at Sams, it was our last Friday at Big White and Corona were hosting the night.
Saturday morning arrived and as the weather continued to impress, we hoped we would do the same as we got stuck into teaching our lessons. After a lunch down at happy valley we had an afternoon session of rider improvement and a chance for us to show the evaluators what they wanted to pass our Freestyle Level 1. We had to show board movement on boxes and smooth backside and frontside 180s. The group was confident and as the afternoon progressed, so did our rotations with a couple of the group landing their first 540s. The exam ended and for the final time we met in the village and successfully passed our Park instructor level 1. This gave Nothinbutsnow a 100% pass rate in every single exam that was taken during the 11 weeks, an incredible effort from everyone. This only led to one thing, and rightly so, party time and more celebrations!
The rest of the group was to meet for the final meal of our trip together and the Gunbarrel Grill was the chosen venue. We feasted on roast beef for main before the hugely popular peanut-butter pie for dessert. The meal ended with the NothinButSnow annual awards 2013, where we proudly collected our nominated awards for the season to many laughs and applause. The award I received was ‘Chalet Girl of the Year’ due to my culinary exploits and cooking for the house.
Sunday arrived and unfortunately meant we had one final day in Big White before heading home. We used the opportunity to get some last minute photos and video ourselves in the park ready to show friends and family back home. The last lift came around all too quickly with every run consisting of pauses to stop and take in the surroundings that we were sure to miss. After some final packing, we had some leftover beers remaining, so thought it would be rude not to put them to good use and drink up before the final Sunday Doubles of our season.
We said our goodbyes to the friends we had met, and enjoyed one last visit to Sam’s before heading home.
We loaded up the bus and deserted Forest Bear Lodge for the final time and began our long journey across BC to Vancouver Airport. Unfortunately for us, as we didn’t want to leave, we made good progress and after a couple of McDonalds stops we arrived in plenty of time. We said our goodbyes to Sam and Leigh and spent any last bits of change in the airport before boarding our 747 back to Britain.
For me the past 11 weeks have been a real life changing experience and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. We arrived as strangers but said our goodbyes as friends. We had all passed our exams and were back home as qualified Ski/Snowboard Instructors. I hope the next few months go as quickly as the last few and I get back out there next season!
If you would like to receive some FREE STICKERS from NothinButSnow simply fill out your details below.
* Donotes required fields