Mark's Ski Course - Week 8(2/Mar/2009)


With the level 1 out of the way there is less need for the groups not doing level 2 to change instructor so as a result it looks like I will be having the same instructor for the rest of the course.

The week doesn't start well, on a monday we normally meet in the the lodge at the top of Blackcomb but on the Monday it's snowing and the wind at the summit is gusting upto 100Km/h, unfortunately for our instructor who had headed up the mountain he got stuck on the second of two chairlifts needed to get to the lodge about 3 pylons short of the top of the lift, or in other words in one of the most exposed places. Fortunately we can get to an intermediate lift that allows us to access a reasonable amount of terrain and with a little bit of hiking we get to claim fresh tracks on some of the runs. As the day progresses the skies clear, the wind drops and we have one of the best days skiing albeit in some heavy snow.

From Whistler Photos

Wednesday morning starts in somewhat spectacular fashion as I get out of bed my left knee twinges and gives way and I almost end up in a heap on the floor, fortunately it doesn't seem to be serious as I could still stand on it and after a days rest and with the help of a knee brace I can ski thursday and friday without any problems.

For a variety of reasons there are no one to ones this week, instead we decide we are going to have lunch at the waffle hut.

From Whistler Photos

Friday is also the day I earn my first dollars as a ski instructor! the instructor and I are having one final run as the rest of the group have finished early, on the way down we pass a couple that we had seen earlier with their skis off walking down, this time round although they have got their skis on they haven't got much further down and my instructor gets flagged down, it seems that it's only their second day on ski's and with less than ideal condtions a friend has suggested they go to the top of Blackcomb and althoug their is a green run down it is still not ideal for a beginner especially with the hard packed snow conditions, to make matters worse the friend is not actually skiing with them though some other friends are. All of them are now getting a little cold, it seems it's already take them the best part of two hours to get as far as they had, so the instructor and I each escort one of them down to a point where they can download, for which the friends are very grateful and tip us each $20. One thing this incident did bring home is how much trust people place in ski instructors, we didn't have to teach them anything but just the fact that someone in a ski instructor uniform was their giving them some encouragement gave them the confidence to ski slowly and carefully to the lift, we did more than their friends had tried to do but because we were instructors they trusted us - with the job/uniform comes responsibility.

From Whistler Photos

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