Two excited members of NothinButSnow greeted me at Heathrow airport early Monday afternoon, where I learnt their names to be Sam and Harry. After the initial small talk and introducing the boys to my mum, I collected my complementary goodies and began to mingle with the rest of the guys who had signed up for the Big White course. All apprehensive and excited we went onto baggage drop off, trying to maneuver trollies safely, which were pilled high with ski equipment, suitcases and hand luggage. Everyone wanting to get to know the people we would be spending the next 11 weeks with as soon as possible. Like excitable children on Christmas morning we mingled and got to know others, talking about our common interests and hobbies, naturally skiing and boarding came up untold amounts and in no time at all we were boarding the plane. Upon arrival Sam and Harry were super organised in getting us through immigration with receipts of our course, accommodation and return flight information as these are requested by Canadian officials before being granted entry into the country. On the other side of Vancouver airport we had a coach transfer up to the ski resort and met our housemates, everyone equally as eager to see our new home and then climb into bed after the long, but worthwhile journey.
Tuesday morning we regrouped again in the flutter of snow covering the 65miles worth of marked runs on the mountain. We collected lift passes, shiny new equipment and had a tour of the village with the NBS representatives. We also met those members who had joined the course from further a field like Australia, New Zealand and the USA, as well as the head ski and snowboard instructors and were given our CSIA workbooks to help us with our courses. Everyone still supporting gleaming faces and itching to get on the fresh powder. Tuesday night was our first dinner together which was extremely tasty; the food packages we received held easy ‘how to’ instructions and dessert was a hot tub session on the balcony with a few drinks. No better way to get to know people than sitting in a bubbling hot tub with a picturesque backdrop.
Wednesday brought more snow and happy faces. We had a group ski and a tour of the mountain, followed by group drinks in the evening. Each and everyone of us dying to tell the next about how much fun our first day was.
Thursday arrived with bluebird conditions and we met at 9am ready for our first day at ski school. We met our first instructors and were spilt equally into groups, dying to learn something new. We introduced ourselves, had a few warm-up runs and then got straight into the five basic skills, working mainly on stance & balance making sure we were completely centered, comfortable and confident in our new habitat. The day flew and we got back into the hot tub to rest our soar and fragile bodies.
Friday was day two of ski school, sadly the sunshine didn’t last but it did not dampen our spirits. We were shown new drills, new runs and had a visit to the TELUS Park. Friday evening was another social gathering and NBS meal. We dined in Santé, devoured another delicious meal and headed onto Snow Shoe Sam’s for more fun and games. The weekend was met with free time and we embarked on a housemate ski session, despite the jet lag and late nights we were out early and taking advantage of the famous Okanagan champagne powder. Everyone still excited about making new friends, settling in and what the forthcoming weeks hold.