December 03, 2006

Ski Club Rep's Course: Day 1

Today was day 1 of the Ski Club of Great Britain's Rep's course. The first three days of the course consist of half day ski performance clinics with current or ex BASI trainers. We have Phil Smith, Andy Jerram (who was one of the trainers out in Argentina with us) and Gareth Roberts. We've been split into 6 groups of 6 and each group gets half of each day on snow with a trainer and half a day in the classroom learning about what it is to be a Ski Club of Great Britain Rep. We skied with Gareth this morning and have one of the other guys tomorrow afternoon.

This morning's skiing was a bit like a cut down version of the BASI Trainee Instructor Day 1; we only had around 2 and a half hours on snow and in that time we covered rotational steering and pressure control. The morning began quite late, we met at the base at 9.30 and then took the Les Lanches chair with the intention of then taking Vanoise to the top; both showed as open at the base and Gareth was fed up of the funiculaire railway as he'd been using it every day for the past four weeks. Unfortunately there was something wrong with the Vanoise chair and so, after a bit of a warm up, we skied down to the base... The route down is pretty rocky, though some sections have good snow; some of it is just loose scree but some of it is the tops of large rocks that haven't quite been properly buried by the snow yet... We all cringed a lot as we skied down. Near the top we practiced rotational steering and then lower down we added in pressure control to make smoothly flowing turns. Some people took to this better than others but all of the group did well.

Once we got to the bottom we took the train to the top and skied along the ridge and down Leisse, we cut across to skiers right on Leisse and then across the piste basher tracks (they've been harvesting snow from the off-piste next to Leisse) and finally into some choppy, reasonably soft, packed power. I'd spoke to Gareth about appropriate ski choice for today and he'd said to take the Dynastar's rather than the B2s, so this was their first outing away from the piste. They handled it pretty well.

We worked on progressive pressure control and reduced rotation in the choppy variable snow and then dropped down to some bumps where we worked on rotation, absorption and pressure control to maintain speed and line within a narrow corridor in the bumps. Again, some took to this better than others. I've skied bumps better but did OK on the new skis. We spend the rest of our time looping on the Leisse chair and skiing the off-piste and bumps.

The idea of these sessions is that we should be able to blend the steering elements to ski in various ways as dictated by the choice of terain and the group that we're leading. The skiing was fun, it made a change to be out of gates, and Gareth was a good instructor, and he reminded me of Julian a little (or should that be of a little Julian ;) )...

At 12.30 we headed down the hill, grabbed some food and changed and then sat in the classroom for the afternoon. Today's session was an overview of what the repping service is and a run down on what we need to do to handle various situations. This will all be covered in more depth later on in the course.

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Posted by Len at December 3, 2006 05:38 PM | Categories: Season 2 - Ski Days , Ski Club of GB Rep
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