After four weeks of top quality training from the coaches at Big White Ski School we began week five with our level 1 instructors exams. We decided it would be wise to all get an early night, which meant missing Sunday Doubles (we would make up for this), in preparation for our assessment. On the first day we consolidated what we had learnt during our training weeks, almost like a revision day, and ease us up a little before the formal assessment began. The long day got to some of us more than others; quote “I just need to get my left ski”.
On day two we were assessed on our teaching ability. Each of us were allocated a skill to teach our ‘class’, and although on the whole the group was well behaved the examiners enjoyed allocating certain people to be ‘problematic’. The ‘problem child’ was a test of whether we would notice that they were doing something wrong and how we would go about correcting this. We all quietly enjoyed telling our friends their skiing was wrong.
The following day we were assessed on our skiing ability. We were asked to give some demonstrations to make sure we met the expectations of a CSIA level 1 instructor, but it felt more like a fun day out skiing with friends. We finished early in the afternoon, which we took as an excuse for early beers, maybe as some dutch courage for the presentation later. Most of us were quietly nervous at this point, all hopeful that our training weeks would pay off and we would get our badge and some bragging rights. We all passed and were welcomed into the wonderful world of ski instructing, which began with an initiation shot of tequila and for those who got lucky a pal to wake up next to in the morning, which brings me to Valentines day in Big White. There was a divide on this day: the ones who were loved by someone and spent a romantic day with their other half, whilst the unloved ones sacked off all romance and went to see an ice hockey match. We were all far from the loved up spirit surrounding us, cheering for a fight, which didn’t happen but gives us a good excuse to go to another match.
Friday was a beautiful bluebird day and we all managed to get on the mountain for a few runs before some après, the latter ended up taking priority for the rest of the weekend. However Saturday deserves a special mention as Becky Menday competed in the Billabong ‘Flaunt It’ competition and finished 4th out of 35 competitors, as if we needed another reason to celebrate with a beer…