Banff Instructor Course, Level 1 and Beyond


Things have been moving along quite quickly for our groups in Canada as the program progresses from the level 1 portion of the course into the level 2 material.


The last week leading up to the level 1, like the lead up to any exam, can be a bit full on as everyone tries to squeeze in as much training as possible. Luckily all of our trainers are certified level 1 and level 2 evaluators so the groups get the best possible training before putting their skills to the test. Both the CSIA and CASI exams are graded on riding and teaching so during the lead up to the exam includes a healthy amount of prep for both portions. Everyone typically spends the mornings ripping around with the trainers doing some last minute fine tuning of their riding and during the afternoon the legs get a bit of a break while everyone gets their first chance to present lessons to the group. The level 1 exam is designed to help instructors take a first time ski or snowboarder from never sliding on snow to making their first turns on a green run so we get to bring things back to the basics and improve our fundamentals while teaching others. Its really cool watching how into the practice teaches some of the guys get and some of the creative stuff the group comes up with when they go though teaching kids. Were pretty excited to say once again our group has achieved a 100% pass rate on both the ski and snowboard exams, thanks to everyone that helped along the way and great effort on the part of everyone sitting the exams.


Of course an achievement like this calls for a bit of celebration so after the exam we headed out as a big group for a bit of an evening out, starting out with a meal at the Keg. Alberta, the province in Canada where Banff is located, is known for its beef and the keg always delivers a quality piece of steak. From there we headed out to Mel’s for some cheap drinks to help step the night up a level, once we got a couple shots of fireball into the group the crap talking started and everyone got on the ole skiers vs. snowboarders debate. Since we were already at a bad it seems like the only fair way to settle this was a good ole boat race. The ski team showed some potential however the snowboard squad was really ready to go to any length to make some beer disappear and came out on top, better luck next time skiers.


Not that the exam is behind us we can take a bit of a more relaxed approach to the training for a week. The trainers are helping the groups adapt the skills the groups learned during the level 1 to some more challenging situations. Lake Louise has some amazing terrain to suite everyone’s tastes from high alpine bowls to some of the best maintained terrain parks in the country and we have been making the most of all of it. The weather has been pretty perfect for exploring this entire week, with a bit of warm weather rolling through its been like a early taste of what spring is like in the Rockies, warm afternoons, soft snow and full beer gardens.

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Keep your eyes on the basecamp facebook page for all kinds of good photos coming out of this week.