Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The central dream and start of bootcamp

I sit writing this with an epic hangover because the gappies had a party last to let off some steam. I’m in desperate need of pizza, sky tv and my sofa at home.

some crap skiing not doing justice to an epic background

We were hammering the Jaeger because we are one week away from our BASI 2 exam which is a 2-week course and we only have five days of coaching left to get up to the level needed, and we still have to fit in the avalanche course which keeps getting put back because of bad weather.

Last week was mostly about the central theme, which means loads of snowploughing and fairly basic stuff – most of which is really difficult. Because at some point some of us are going to be teaching this to real people, our demos have to be spot on. I find it harder to ski at this sort of speed than the usual warp speed that I used to blast blues and reds on ski holidays.

This week brought a change of coaches and our group (imaginatively named ‘Group 1’) had Jordan Revah for 3 days. I’m not sure if he meant to boot camp us so much or whether that was the point of this week but I don’t think that I’ve hurt so much after skiing as I did this week.

The highlight for me of the week was the one-ski skiing. I don’t think that I’ve ever laughed so much on a piste before in my life – or fallen over so much. It’s a favourite exercise of a lot of the race camps here and some of the top racers make it look very easy. For me though, I discovered that my left leg is completely useless for anything but standing at the bar – it was an absolute revelation getting back on two skis afterwards; I felt so balanced and so totally in control of what I was doing. Jords looked surprised when I bear-hugged him in the lift queue as a thank you.

A few of us also gate-crashed a photo shoot that Warren Smith was doing for one of the magazines and got some amazing shots, one of which is this week’s picture. The location was just above one of the regular pistes with an amazing glacier backdrop in about 5cms of fresh snow. I’ve put them all up on my Facebook page and I’m now attaching the link to my applications that are going off to various ski schools around Switzerland to show them that I can actually ski.

It’s been a little tricky to actually write this as I’ve got a big burn on my finger from a P-Tex candle that decided to attach itself to me while I was doing a base repair on my Head Supershapes (which I have totally fallen in love with). I’m starting to get a bit weird about my skis and most nights I’m in the basement of the Dom Hotel with the other ski obsessive gappy Tim (he is an ex-racer though so it’s understandable for him). Tim has been quite entrepreneurial and is making a few quid servicing the skis of other gappies and academy clients on the Warren Smith courses.

We’ve got five more days of boot camp before our BASI 2 starts so it’s time to work hard and polish everything before the assessors get here.

The glacier has been closed for a day or two while the weather gods have dumped about a metre of fresh snow. I got up early on the first day that the lift was open and treated myself to an hour of fresh powder skiing. The Supershapes are not the best tool for shredding pow but now that the piste conditions have settled they are performing better than ever. The snow is amazing for August and should remain so now for the rest of the summer and into Autumn/Winter

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