In summary .....
So what did I get out of the course??? The two main things I got out of it were one a chance to finally wind down from the fun and games of the previous 18 months of being in and out of hospital coming to terms with the changes in my life due to having cancer and being diagnosed with Protein S deficiency ( makes me prone to blood clots, DVT and the like) something in hindsight I never gave myself chance to do untill doing the course.
From a skiing point of view the main thing I gained was getting my stance/boots finally sorted, it turned out that although I have prescription orthotics that correct most of the issues with my feet ( I have really weird feet 33 degrees forefort varus on my left foot and 22 degrees on my right foot) it still wasn't enough. Enter Erin Keam a ski instructor and boot fitter, who in the space of five minutes found the cause of most of my issues, essentially when standing my left leg is about an inch shorter than my right leg which meant I could do really good turns to the left and really bad turns to the right, now my turns are equally good, or bad depending on your point of view, in both directions -Thank you Erin.
My accomadation during my time at Whistler was with two snowboarders and for whatever reason made it difficult for me to ski with a group at weekends as people tended to ski with other members of their house, that combined with the fact I cannot drink much due to being on Warfarin meant that at times I was excluded from some things.
Besides Erin, I must also thank John Brown who became one of the Alltracks instructors after the level 1 assessments due to changes in the teaching staff at Whistler caused by the economic climate. I was fortunate to have John as my instructor for the final few weeks of the course. At the time John took over my confidence was at an all time low and he helped build it up by gradually pushing me harder and harder and taking me places I would never have dared go, possibly not even with some of the other instructors, but never in that time did I ever feel abandoned, at times pushed a bit to far but when that happened he was always there to get me out of trouble.
Finally but most importantly thanks to my wife, Helen, for supporting me on the course and for showing me how much my skiing had improved, not that was what she intended but it seems I now ski places almost without thinking that Helen approaches with a little trepidation, and most importantly just for being my wife and sticking by me through the last couple of years.
My thoughts on Whistler can be found here, and my thoughts can on Alltracks can be found here.
Photo's from Whistler