Argentina 06
I'm off to Argentina in August and September 2006 to do the BASI Ski Instructor training course with PeakLeaders.

PeakLeaders Argentina BASI course - review Posted by Len at 10 Oct 2006 02:07 PM
Having just successfully completed my BASI training with PeakLeaders in Bariloche, Argentina (and having blogged daily about the experience) I figure that it's worth doing a slightly more structured review of the course as this may be of interest to...


Leaving El Retorno Posted by Len at 29 Sep 2006 11:23 AM
This morning we leave Bariloche and the Hotel El Retorno which has been our home for the past two months and fly back to Buenos Aires. We then spend this evening in BA and fly out tomorrow evening. It's amazing...


Packing and partying Posted by Len at 28 Sep 2006 11:51 PM
Today was another lazy day for me. Some of the guys went skiing but I just chilled at the hotel. I went up to the mountain to collect my skis and boots from the ski locker, say goodbye to the...


And rest... Posted by Len at 27 Sep 2006 07:26 PM
We had a group meal with Julian last night at Alberto's. The plan was to eat at normal Argentinean time, 10ish, but there was some confusion and it ended up being even later by the time we actually sat down....


Fingers crossed for a powder day Posted by Len at 22 Sep 2006 07:31 AM
It was raining last night and the last people back from the mountain said that it was falling as snow around mid mountain. It rained heavily down here all night and the clounds are still low but we can see...


Day off Posted by Len at 20 Sep 2006 06:37 PM
Last night most of us went into Bariloche for food and partying. I had a "no dancing" rule as I wanted to rest my knees but that didn't stop me staying out until around 3.30am. We started with a very...


Esquel catch up now complete Posted by Len at 14 Sep 2006 09:57 PM
I've finished posting the missing entries from the Esquel trip: Onwards to Esquel Esquel Day 1 - Slalom Esquel Day 2 - Giant Slalom Esquel Day 3 - Dual slalom and park life Getting "Crabtreed" at Moes Esquel Day 4...


Day off Posted by Len at 14 Sep 2006 09:54 PM
Today was a day off, I slept until around 10ish, did some email and web surfing and then dozed on and off until I finally got up at around 5.30 for a bath. Last night we went to a very...


Pampa Linda waterfall and more first aid Posted by Len at 10 Sep 2006 10:36 PM
This morning some of the guys went for a ride in the rain. After that we had some more first aid practicals and after lunch we went for a hike through the rain and mud (and at times what felt...


First Aid at Pampa Linda Posted by Len at 9 Sep 2006 10:08 PM
This morning we set out at 9.30 to Pampa Linda in the Nahuel Huapi National Park. A 9.30 start was 'interesting' due to the fact that some of us had been out until the early hours eating, drinking and dancing...


Injury update Posted by Len at 7 Sep 2006 08:02 PM
We've had quite a few injuries on the course... In week one Ryan broke his heel. He had an operation here and has now gone home to Canada. In week two someone who'd rather not be named broke his leg...


About last night... Posted by Len at 4 Sep 2006 10:37 PM
Well, we didn't do quite as well as we hoped last night. We had a great steak at the "Greasy Spoon" and almost filled the place to capacity. Then we went on to Pilgrim and had some Guinness, it was...


Taking advantage of some of the other facilities Posted by Len at 29 Aug 2006 10:23 PM
This evening I took advantage of some of the other facilities that the course has to offer. First off was 15 mins standing in the lake to 'ice' my knee. The conditions today were great fun but I probably pushed...


BASI Trainer is here Posted by Len at 29 Aug 2006 09:55 PM
Our group's BASI trainer has arrived, Julian Griffiths who is head of European Snowsport (ES) of Verbier. This evening we had a chat about what the training will entail and we start work on the Trainee Instructor training programme tomorrow....


Good to be home Posted by Len at 27 Aug 2006 10:58 PM
We arrived back at El Retorno from Esquel this afternoon at around 4.30. It's good to be back. The view of the lake, hot baths and wifi... 2 of the 3 BASI Ski trainers arrived today, the third will arrive...


Trevelin by night Posted by Len at 25 Aug 2006 11:52 PM
We arrived at Trevelin and had a "traditional welsh tea", well, tea and cakes... Trevelin was founded during the Welsh imigration in 1860 (read more here.) Of course, immediately after the tea we all went wandering around in groups looking...


Onwards to Esquel Posted by Len at 20 Aug 2006 10:22 PM
After lunch we loaded our gear into two buses and a pickup truck and set off to Esquel. The journey was supposed to take around four hours but it was nearer six after we were stopped by the police a...


Early night! Posted by Len at 20 Aug 2006 10:03 AM
This evening I had a reasonably early night! We went for a meal in Bariloche and then on to South Bar, a rather nice, pokey, locals rather than tourist bar. We left the bar reasonably early, around 1am and people...


Resting the knee Posted by Len at 19 Aug 2006 06:36 PM
My knee felt fine this morning but I didn't ski today so as to give it some time to rest up before the race training in Esquel next week; plus I didn't get up until around 11 as we didn't...


Carlsburg don't build nightclubs, but if they did... Posted by Len at 19 Aug 2006 06:29 PM
Last night four of us went out for a quiet steak at a place that Ant has christened the "greasy spoon steakhouse". This is a small, locals, cafe style restaurant that serves very good steak, chips and beer for small...


Back to basics Posted by Len at 18 Aug 2006 10:46 PM
Four of us took the early bus this morning, the rest arrived at various points throughout the day. There were two buses at 9.30-10 for those who had been out celebrating last night and those who partied harder came by...


How not to race Posted by Len at 17 Aug 2006 10:52 PM
The day began as usual, first lifts, up the 6 and then the 4, a quick photo of today's sky and then a warm up run or two back down to the quad....


Another day at the office Posted by Len at 16 Aug 2006 06:08 PM
It was cloudy and cold this morning. My extra layer came out of my pocket after the first warm up run and I put it, my under-helmet hat, and my silk glove liners on before we started work for the...


Pink morning Posted by Len at 15 Aug 2006 07:05 PM
The sky this morning was amazing; clear and cloud free and slowly changing from lilac to light blue as we drove up to the Catedral base area. As the pink wash was purged from the sky it flooded over the...


Video analysis and technique work Posted by Len at 14 Aug 2006 07:05 PM
The skies were reasonably clear this morning, the snow was a little hard and there was a lot of wind which made some of the off-piste a little interesting due to the crust that had developed. We did several nice...


R&R Posted by Len at 13 Aug 2006 06:14 PM
No skiing today, which was lucky considering that I got in at around 5am after spending a few hours in Pilgrim after our group meal. The band wasn't as good as last week's; more of a jazz thing than the...


Sunshine and free skiing Posted by Len at 12 Aug 2006 06:01 PM
This morning we had a reasonably late start, buses at 10 and 11 rather than 8.15. Today was a free skiing day, though we could meet with Ivan and Mercedes at lunch and ski with them in the afternoon if...


Anolther blog from the trip Posted by Len at 11 Aug 2006 10:48 PM
Louis is also writing about the course. You can read it here....


Day off Posted by Len at 11 Aug 2006 07:19 PM
No skiing today. The instructors decided that we needed a day off. It was tipping down with snow again at hotel level and the road to Cerro Catedral was bad again and only the lower sections of the mountain were...


Still snowing Posted by Len at 10 Aug 2006 09:40 PM
No run this morning, I stayed up a little later than usual and had a little more wine than usual and decided to set a sensible alarm rather than an early one. When I did get up it was snowing...


Powder day 2: Drier powder Posted by Len at 9 Aug 2006 10:47 PM
It was snowing again this morning, The snow at hotel level was settling more readily than the other day, the morning run was less wet, the road had a decent covering of reasonably dry snow and the falling snow was...


After the storm Posted by Len at 8 Aug 2006 07:55 PM
This morning the skies were clear as we arrived at the Catedral base area for first lifts....


Monster powder day Posted by Len at 7 Aug 2006 07:13 PM
It was raining at hotel level all day yesterday and eventually became snow at around 8ish in the evening. This morning some of us went for a run in the sleet before stretching. The road up to the mountain was...


Steak out Posted by Len at 6 Aug 2006 07:33 PM
Last night we went out in Bariloche. We split into several groups so that we didn't overwhelm a single restaurant. Our group had a great meal with lots of good wine and huge steaks. We then went on to Pilgrim,...


Pictures from Week 1 Posted by Len at 5 Aug 2006 07:56 PM
Here's a collection of pictures that I've taken over the past week. The first few are from the Recoleta cemetery in Buenos Aires; this is a remarkable place, a true city of the dead....


Snow stability analysis Posted by Len at 5 Aug 2006 06:31 PM
Today we took a 30 minute hike from the top of one of the chair lifts and visited a large off piste bowl so that we could do some snow stability analysis by digging holes and looking at the structure...


Photobucket Posted by Len at 5 Aug 2006 09:52 AM
One of the guys has set up a photbucket album for the trip. You can view the pictures here....


Another blog from the course Posted by Len at 5 Aug 2006 09:50 AM
Mark's also blogging about the course, or at least he will be once he's caught up on his backlog of posts about his Canadian trip. You can read more here....


Mountain Safety Posted by Len at 4 Aug 2006 10:47 PM
Last night we did the first classroom part of our Mountain safety course; this involved us learning about how to search with a transciever and probe and what kind of gear you should have with you if you're going off...


Peak Leaders Course Diary Posted by Len at 4 Aug 2006 05:11 PM
The official Peak Leaders Course diary has started and can be found here. This will be written by members of the group over the next 9 weeks....


Working on technique Posted by Len at 3 Aug 2006 05:26 PM
We spent all of today working on technique. Lots of drills to get us skiing better. It's amazing how difficult it is to do a basic parallel turn perfectly at slow speed... Once again the day was hard work but...


There but for the grace of god... Posted by Len at 2 Aug 2006 10:57 PM
Another excellent day, until the accident. We awoke to a little rain at hotel level; it had stopped by the time that some of us went for a quick run before stretching but started again once we were on the...


Training day 1 Posted by Len at 1 Aug 2006 11:29 PM
The day started at 7am with a run followed by a stretching session, then breakfast and then on the minibus to the snow by 8.15. We collected our gear from the ski store at the base of the mountain and...


Free skiing in Cerro Catedral Posted by Len at 31 Jul 2006 11:20 PM
Today we were shown around the Cero Catedral ski area. First thing, we were split into random groups and skied until lunch. After lunch we were assessed and split into 'ability' based groups. We then continued skiing until around 15.30....


Buenos Aires - Day 3 Posted by Len at 30 Jul 2006 11:46 PM
Not enough sleep followed by breakfast at the last possible moment and then a bus to the airport. The plane was delayed a couple of hours so we loafed around and then flew to Bariloche. 20 min bus transfer and...


Buenos Aires - Day 2 Posted by Len at 30 Jul 2006 12:04 PM
Most of the luggage arrived late last night, which was a relief. Today we did some more wandering around, watched some tango in the streets and lounged around in a rather nice square drinking beer. In the evening we went...


Buenos Aires - Day 1 Posted by Len at 28 Jul 2006 11:00 PM
The flight from Gatwick to Argentina was via Madrid. The first leg of the journey was delayed by an hour or so, which wasn't too much of a problem as we all started to get to know each other in...


Final Countdown Posted by Len at 26 Jul 2006 03:58 PM
I leave for Argentina tomorrow; all I need to do is finish the packing. The last month has flown by, mainly because I've been burning the candle at both ends and sometimes in the middle as well... Lots of people...


Cerro Catedral opens today Posted by Len at 17 Jun 2006 02:11 PM
Cerro Catedral, the resort in Argentina that we'll be skiing in on our BASI course, opened today. Right now it has 30cms at resort level and 150cms at altitude. The Cerro Catedral website is here. The hotel that we're staying...


The Skier's Edge - Ron LeMaster Posted by Len at 7 May 2006 10:19 AM
As part of my preparation for my BASI course in Argentina in August I'm reading the BASI manuals and also the items on the recommended reading list. One of these, The Skier's Edge, by Ron LeMaster is fascinating for...


I can't believe I'm watching beginner ski tuition videos again Posted by Len at 18 Apr 2006 11:10 AM
This weekend I watched a couple of the ski tuition videos that I've recently purchased. The first, "The Central Theme", is a short (15min) video aimed at people training to be BASI Instructors. It covers the same stuff as the...


BASI Manuals have arrived Posted by Len at 6 Apr 2006 10:42 AM
A large parcel arrived yesterday which contained my BASI manuals for the Argentina course. There's a lot to learn... What with this, my new gym programme and the Spanish course that my sister has given me it seems that I'll...


New Skis? Posted by Len at 28 Mar 2006 11:10 PM
The information pack that came with my receipt for the BASI course in Argentina included some fairly specific requirements for the skis that I should be using... "performance based (i.e. derived from a race ski). Under foot dimensions should be...


Be careful what you wish for Posted by Len at 24 Mar 2006 10:33 AM
Just after we returned from this year's trip to Megève I was bemoaning the fact that I was back, keen to "run away to the circus" and do another season and wondering how it could be possible to fit all...