This weeks course diary is written by one of our International students Hannah, from Germany, and she tells you all about the week of the Level 1 CSIA Ski Instructors course with Nothinbutsnow….


Exam week! To be honest, all of us were a tad bit nervous heading into exam week – who wouldn’t? Monday + Tuesday are set out to be prep days, with the focus on Monday being on ski improvement and perfecting our snow-plow and intermediate parallel, which will be assessed during the exam. Whilst you might expect snow-plow to be an easy exercise for ski instructors to be, it’s really not. After 10+ years of using it only for occasional lazy stop most of us did struggle quite a bit to get our it up to standard. My evening was a chill one with my flat mates, since we needed the rest for the week ahead.


2nd day of exam prep! We practiced teaching and kid-proofing most of the lesson plans, which break down the progression from ‘never ever’ to parallel skiing. If you choose to become a ski instructor with your level 1 qualification, teaching kids is what you would be doing most of the time, so an intro to making lessons fun for kids is a must! It also takes you back to childhood – as a kid I, for one, loved all the games. Plus, seeing your mates act 5 years old whilst “rowing” down the mountain makes a slower day in in “Happy valley” (the beginner slope) with less skiing worth it. Oh, days like this also punish you for not waxing your skis, as the magic carpet attaches ice and snow to the bottom of your skis if you haven’t. Overall, we had great time though – reviewing the teaching content did help with calming my nerves prior to the exam.


First day of level 1 exams! After a fairly early start to get our registration out of the way we watched a video introducing the skiing and teaching criteria we would be assessed against. Fortunately, the course conductors were flexible and decided to use the low vis day we had to focus on theory and teaching rather than ski improvement – another day in Happy Valley for us! We went through the progression of teaching beginners and did some practice teaching, which was a review for us really, as we had covered and practice-taught the content with our instructors the week before. It’s moments like these in which I realised how much we’ve learnt and covered all ready. The 3 weeks of instructor training we had prior to the exam meant that we were well prepared and made the course seem quite similar to the “normal” lessons we had beforehand. Since most of us felt pretty good after the first day, a large part of the NBS group went to Sam’s for a fun night out – I stayed in to review the content of the course and have a bit of a chat with my flat mates though.


Day 2! I was pleasantly surprised that the level 1 course involved so much skiing and no class room work! We used the good visibility to work on our skiing in general and to improve the demonstrations we need for beginner lessons. My course conductor Bill really made this second day fun with loads of runs and I felt that skiing under his guidance helped improve my skiing quite a bit for such a short time. Personally, it didn’t really feel like an examined course at all, I just really enjoyed being able to work on my skiing for a full day. Many people met up at Sam’s (the local pub) that night but knowing I would regret going out, as I wouldn’t do well the next day, I stayed in and reviewed the lesson plans to prepare for the practice teaching, which is the main point on the agenda for the final day of the level 1 course.


ALMOST DONE!! Most of the morning was spent up top to work on our own skiing before we headed down to Happy Valley for some more practice teaching. Getting out in front of your peers to “teach” them really isn’t as scary as it seems at first and the course conductors try to make everyone feel comfortable. Plus, we could ask our course conductors any questions beforehand and we knew what to expect and what was expected of us. We finished a bit early, so that the course conductors had enough time to fill out everyone’s evaluation form and we could rush back home to change and get back out there in time to receive our certificates.  The mood after the certificates were awarded was amazing and we headed for our Friday night meal. After indulging in the best pizza in town at Underground, everyone had a good night out to celebrate our successful 1 exams.


After the big Friday night out most of us stayed in for a pretty relaxed rest day – Generally, Saturday is the best day to have a rest day when you need one, as the slopes fill up with locals driving up from Kelowna for a ski day and after 5 days of lessons your legs might enjoy the break as well.


Finally a bluebird day!! After skiing on my own in the morning, a few of us met up at 11:00 and had an amazing time out there, enjoying the sunny mountain. Since it was Superbowl Sunday we met up at Sam’s after skiing to watch the game and had a good laugh. Whilst some are still out at the moment to make the most of Sunday Doubles, I’m looking forward to the next week out there, a fresh dump of powder and some fun skiing.