Here’s a catch up with our NZ crew who are now over half way through their ski instructor course, which means Level 1 exams are on the horizon.
As usual the week started with a night of drinking, as is the customary night of the instructors, and Lucia getting close to one of the lifties. To cure sore heads and uneasy stomachs we drove to Craigieburn to tick off another of the legendary club fields.
Despite the fresh snow being a little sticky in spots we found some good spots including an hour spent in the middle of a slope after Ingrid’s old hip injury decided it was time to resurface. A highlight was checking out an awesome rope swing on our skis in the magical Fangorn forest.
A couple of days later we did our first hiking, walking up Allisons peak to score sick lines and fresh pow. We also skied some super early spring corn above the cafe to get some of the best turns of the season followed by a tricky exit navigating down through rocks and tussocks .
For the weekend we planned an excursion to Hanmer Springs. The group separated with boys opting for mountain biking, involving a gruelling 12 km trek and trails far above Angus and Alex’s ability. The girls took the easy option of relaxing in the local, thermal pools. After reconvening Richard, Lucia, Georgie and Jenny braved up for bungee jumping off a local bridge and the sound of Jenny’s screaming was heard far along the valley. Check out the video:
We then headed back to the pools before heading out for the night. However as we went from bar to pub for two hours we soon realised we should have brought our passports, though Macou maintained, “I do not need I.D.!” whilst wearing some of Jason’s undersized camo trousers. Richard and Angus had also forgotten footwear but in the end we settled down for a Thai dinner without alcohol. Once we finished supper the bars had relaxed and we snuck our way into a pub to watch the rugby. On the way back Ingrid attempted to steal a lawnmower.We partied late into the night singing the tequila song, filming segments from Lord of the Rings and Alex trying not to vomit!
Week six also started with drinking but to the theme of Aspen Extreme, a ski movie. Angus and Jase put their D.I.Y. Skills to use and fashioned a shot ski in the workshop. With open invite to the quiz and viewing there was a fair crowd. Standing up and shouting the answers to win shots, it was a great night though Georgie did far too well and stumbled around trying to trade either her jagermeister poncho or her iphone for jugs of cider. Upon failing she wandered up stairs… “I think its cookie time,” she exclaimed, “aaawwww yeaaaah.”, though it was probably time for bed.
Skiing for this week was mostly practice for the Level 1 exam with lots of wedge turns demo practice. On wednesday it was Oscar’s birthday, one of the swedish instructors at Porters, which we celebrated at the pub. On the weekend in between exam revision some of the group ventured into Christchurch. Georgie declared, “this is the pinnacle of my life, it can only go downhill from here.”
Exam week had finally arrived and although there was some very nervous looking faces around the breakfast table we were all keen to get going and become instructors!
We got kitted up and headed up to Porters where we were put into groups. Jenny and Angus were with Mark and the rest of us with Steph, which turned out pretty harsh for Angus and Jenny who quickly found out there would be no slacking in their group having 20 minutes for lunch and to write up notes whilst the rest of us smuggly sat and enjoyed our hour long lunch break.
The first day was quickly over and it was a quiet night for most other than Richard and Lucia who decided a quiet drink was needed which resorted in a sore head for Richard the next day (Richard gets drunk on a sniff of orange juice ). The next day begun with more work on our personal skiing and learning the progressions for our teach.
Wednesday began and as Nick practised his cat imitations we did work on our wedge demo turns and personal skiing whilst the other group were stuck out on the platter until 4:15pm, 1 hour after we had finished for the day. The day ended with Lucia going to see her beloved for “5 minutes” in which 2 hours later she came back slightly worried about her practise teach the next day.
The first of the important exam days arrived and as we were assessed on our wedge demo turns. The weeks of practise and being made to hike up the platter by Jase seemed to have paid off, as we moved on to getting assessed on our personal skiing. Meanwhile, yet again Mark’s group remained doing their wedges for an extra hour, which was something Angus really appreciated. Our personal skiing assessment seemed to be going really well until Alex decided to spray Steph as he stopped and fall over in the T bar line. So he was worried his ski instructing career would never even begin.
Finally the last day of our exam was upon us, we picked up dog poo with Alex, speed dated with Jenny, went on a safari with Georgie and Angus, felt something special with Maco, did the hokey pokey with Ingrid, turned into planes with Lucia and gliding wedged down bluff face with Richard. Somehow, after a very nervous wait, we all managed to pass with flying colours.
That night the celebrations began with vaporised shots for all the successful students. But even though we had our NZSIA level one we still had the tricky but refreshing task of passing our obligatory NZNIA (Nude run through the donut) in which everybody succeeded (Ingrid twice) with some ex-Nonstoppers joining in as well. The celebrations continued with a couple of us having a better night than others.
The next day we woke up with particularly sore heads, which carried on throughout the day and so after another night sleep we celebrated further with a trip to sumner beach, beach football, amazing restaurant and a dip in the sea topped off a fantastic week for all.