Out Of The Office And Into The Mountains

When I found out I was heading back to Banff for 10 days for the start of this years courses to say I was excited was a massive understatement. Ever since my first time to Canada last March I have been waiting to return. I don’t think i’ve stopped going on about just how wonderful it is, even to the point that our European resort managers had to politely tell me to shut up. I was also looking forward to seeing the Basecampers I had met last season who were back in Canada working as instructors. With Around 25% of Basecampers each seasons being employed the following season you can definitely feel a strong Basecamp presence both around town and up at the hill.
With 31 happy people checked into The Ptarmigan it was time to head out for some pizza and beer and for everyone to get to know their new buddies. We were also joined by Holly, Ben and the Resort Manager Andrew,  who will be running the training program and events. Both Ben and Holly completed their instructor courses through Basecamp in pervious years and now work for Lake Louise Ski School. Having already been through the whole process themselves they will provide fountains of knowledge for this seasons group!
After a tour of the town on Saturday morning we headed up to Lake Louise. Everyone was understandably very eager to get on the hill and find their ski legs. With blue skis and soft snow they couldn’t have had a better introduction to Lake Louise. Even on a ‘busy’ Saturday you won’t be queuing for a lift and it often feels like you’ve got the mountain to yourself.
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Saturday night we headed to Unlimited snowboard shop and Ultimate ski shop were the guys got to chat to some experts about what equipment they should be using for their course, take advantage of the Basecamper discount (and exchange rate) and enjoy some more pizza and beer! We then headed off to Mel’s bar to met up with past Basecampers who are now working in Lake Louise. There were definitely a few less people on the early bus Sunday morning after the night ended up at Hoodoos, one of the nightclubs in Banff.
Everyone looked very smart in their new uniforms Monday morning while nervously waiting to find out what the first day of training had in store. This year the skiers uniform came from Armada and the snowboarders got their kit from CLWR. The group split off into 3 ski groups and 2 snowboard groups and it was time for the hard work to begin!
After two hard days riding with their instructors most people jumped at the chance for a free yoga session at the Banff Life Centre Tuesday night, with a rather packed room everyone soon got to know each other rather better than before as we pretty much played human tetris.  Thursdays night entertainment came in form of Bingo and then another big night out to celebrate the first week of training. For some however Friday brought the first of their 1:1 lessons.
I was lucky enough to get involved in our 2 week Performance course for 3 days. With 20 hours a week of intensive training on what ever takes your fancy this course is definitely a great way to step up your skiing. We worked on everything from powder skiing to park. I’d highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to get more out of their skiing holiday.
Unfortunately after 10 wonderful days it was time to say goodbye to the group and head back to the Uk. I wish everyone the best of luck with their training and exams and hope to see you all back in Banff next season as qualified instructors!