Banff 4 Week Instructor Course, Welcome Weekend

Another winter is upon us in the Canadian Rockies and with it comes the start of the 2013/2014 Basecamp courses. Friday saw our Banff/Lake Louise 4 week instructor training course kick off with the arrival of a group of awesome individuals from all corners of the globe.
After collecting everyone from the airport we made the short bus ride from Calgary to Banff national park, the groups home for the next month. Banff is Canada's oldest park and was the second ever founded in the world and we are right in the middle of it. It's pretty common to see coyotes, elk, deer, wolves and a pile of other animals on a regular basis, quite often I have a family of deer hanging out in my yard. 
The Basecamp courses are set up in the Ptarmigan hotel, smack dab in the middle of the town of Banff. It's about a 5 minute walk to all the shops, restaurants and amazing nightlife that this gem of a ski town has to offer.
Once everyone was settled into their new home we headed out for a welcome meal at Chili's, one of the many restaurants included in the meal plan you get when you sign up for a course in Canada. From there I took those who were able to power through the jet lag out for a few drinks at the Dancing Sasquatch, which is one of Banff's premier clubs. The guys there, as well as the crew at the Aurora and the Hoodoo lounge do a great job looking out for us, giving everyone season VIP passes.
Saturday saw us waking up to a stunning day in the mountains and after a buffet breakfast at the hotel we set out to explore town. Despite being a tiny mountain town Banff has every amenity that you could ask for. We spent our evening with the crew from Soul Ski and Bike, they kept their shop open late exclusively for us and pulled out all the stops.  We started with a great tech talk and they followed it up by brining in a DJ and loading up their fridge with beers for us.  From there the whole group, along with the shop crew and some of the Ski/snowboard coaches made their way to the Aurora to bust out a few moves. 
Despite all the fun we had been having Sunday was the day we were waiting for, armed with our season passes we made our way to The Lake Louise Ski Area. The resort is Canada's second largest resort and is always one of the first opened in North America. After getting to know the resort and remembering how to ski we made our way back to Banff for a bit of après, a meal and a well deserved nights rest before the first days of training on Monday. 
Mother Nature really turned it on for our training today, we had warm temperatures (for winter) and there was not a cloud in the sky. The trainers at Lake Louise are second to none, all of them are very experienced CASI/CSIA examiners. We had an amazing first day and improvements are already starting to show in the groups riding.
Later in the week I will post a video recap of our first week so make sure you keep your eyes on this space to keep up with all the happenings in Banff.
Winter is officially underway in Canada, our 4 week instructor course just kicked off in Banff. Check out what our team on the ground has been up to….