BASI week, Italian adventure and Ice Karting
Last week saw the start of the BASI exams, the performance skiers on a trip to Italy and a massive celebration at the end of an important week!
After two hard weeks of preparation for the BASI skiers and snowboarders the time had finally arrived to take the level 1 exam. All the fun and socials had to be temporarily paused as the level 1 exam loomed and the atmosphere intensified. No more parties and beer but early to bed and early to rise. The conditions couldn’t have been better for the guys. Bluebird conditions and fresh, firm snow from the dumping that came the previous week made for perfect piste conditions. Polar opposite to my exam last year which was a relentless week of blizzards, and sub zero temperatures which closed the mountain for two days and forced us to finish the exam lapping the only chairlift that was open. Carving down the mountain barely being able to see my own skis was almost impossible and caused multiple wipeouts (some of which, spectacular). The conditions were a lot kinder to this seasons Basecampers so they had the best possible chance of passing.
The level 1 exam is assessed on three strands; technical, how well the skiers and boarders perform on piste, teaching, their ability to teach beginners and having the understanding of the technical inputs to make a complete novice on snow able to ride proficiently and get around the mountain and the Central theme, which is nobody’s favourite part (ironically nicknamed the Central Dream). It consists of hours upon hours of ironing out any technical mistakes on the technique that is taught to beginners. Most skiers or boarders who fail level 1 fail on central theme so, as mundane as it is, the guys were persistant and dedicated to perfecting their technique. It clearly paid off as the pass rate was fantastic, a big step up from last year so congratulations to them and the coaches who have transformed their technical and teaching abilities.
This week the performance group took a trip to Italy, they were picked at dawn by a minibus and driven down to Seez, took the chairlifts up the mountain and skied over to La Thuile in Italy. Not much powder was found but the condition of the pistes and the bluebird weather definitely made up for it, especially when you throw in some home made Italian pasta, antipasti and some grappa to finish off. Sounds like an epic day!
On the social side we calmed things down this week due to the exams taking place but that didn’t stop a couple of pints being sunk at 1 or 2 of chilled apres sessions. Val D’sere has an impressive ice driving and ice karting track so myself, Gwil and 10 of the boys took advantage of that this week. We were told before the race started to avoid the cones, walls and each other or the race would have to be stopped. For about 6 minutes we had an awesome time slamming the pedal to the metal and drifting round the icy corners and until there were no cones left and half the karts were buried in a wall of snow and we were guided off the track and into the pit by an angry looking Frenchman, still, good while it lasted. We celebrated the end of the week and the exams with a huge apres session in an absolutely buzzing Cocorico, its fair to say everyone had a sick time and had earned themselves a beer or two.