Training days

Unless you are interested to hear me talk about the ski training that I have been doing more or less constantly since mid-January, I’m afraid you might find this blog entry a little boring.  I’ll try to jazz it up as best I can though.
GS training in the rain = dead phone

So last time we spoke, I was off to see where I stood amongst my peers on a BASI ISIA level 3 training course in Morzine.  The good news is that I seem to be in a good place, with all of my skiing in fairly decent order with the exception of my kryptonite, mogul skiing. 

For those of you that have never been on an instructor training course before, there is an awful lot of standing about discussing theory, which was tough going on the feet when the temperatures over there were down to -15 at one point.  (I discovered mid-week that if you put gaffer tape over the seams of your boots, it makes them slightly warmer.)  There is also lots of work on short and long turns, getting right down into the tiniest details of technique, things such as the precision that you load your new turning ski with etc etc.

For me, things went well for the first couple of days when we did lots of work on long turns and my personal favourite, short turns but I suppose that it was inevitable that at some point we had to head to what Jaz (our trainer) described as ‘the best bumps run in the world’.  This is The Renard, which is a black bumps run just to the left as you ride up on the Chaux des Rosees lift in the Pre La Joux area of Chatel.

So this was my weak point and I had a trainer watching who I know is likely to be one of the assessors on my actual exam.  I tried my hardest on that afternoon, not really helped by some terrible visibility but despite my worries and frustrations, I actually managed to put in a very slow looking but neat video run.  This gave me some confidence but I knew then that I needed to ski bumps for a month before my exam, a thought that was echoed by the trainer.
So, the following week, I was booked on another training course with BASS in Chatel run by a guy called Peter Kuwall (PK).  My mate and fellow ski instructor Ben really rates PK as a trainer having spent 8-weeks with him in New Zealand two summers ago, so when PK asked us what we wanted to work on, I said, ‘I need to work out how to ski bumps and fast’.  So on day 2 we arrived in the bumps and PK basically told me that my approach to bumps skiing was probably wrong tactically and set about sorting me out. 

Lo and behold, 2 hours later and another half day of bumps skiing later,  I am much more confident in what I am doing and more familiar with being in that environment.  We shot some more video and it looks visually better, if still pretty gentle!

As if that wasn’t enough, another quiet mid-season week means that I’m off for some afternoons of Giant Slalom training this week.  This is with a view to getting more familiar with racing in gates skiing which I’m going to have to do more of in order to work towards level 4 skiing.

I’ll let you know how it goes but it may be some time as we are almost into the madness of half term and all that brings.  It’s starting to get busier here in Chatel and it won’t be long before the masses arrive.

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