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week 4

see the weeks pics here on Facebook

So what has happened during week number four for the NZSIT group I hear you ask...?
HEAPS is the answer!
This week we've managed to squeeze in two days at two different club fields, we've all had a go at pretending to be ski instructors, done some more work on our personal skiing, and just for a change we practiced our wedge tuurrrnnnsss!!
So on the Monday we headed over to Broken River to have a play in the snow. Brilliant place to have some fun, practice our mogul skiing and try out the crazy nut crackers. Luckily everyone survived the day without any finger or nut cracking. Though I wouldn't say it would be many people's first choice of transport up the mountain. Broken River seems to have a great atmosphere. The staff there are really friendly and the mountain lodge is one cosy place to have a game of pool and munch down a toastie.
Towards the end of the week we popped over to Craigieburn Valley to make the most of the fresh snowfall. Despite some grunts and groans at the poor visibility and having to get the nut crackers back out, once the skies cleared and we got back into the swing of the lifts we all had a pretty good day. Found some really nice runs to get to grips with short turns and some excellent places to have some decent sized crashes. I'm not sure anyone came away from Craigieburn without some sort of bump or bruise.
Probably the most significant element of this week for the group was the chance to put on our own ski school jackets, our own name badges and instruct our own ski school lesson. We all got paired up and sent out on our own. Nerve wracking for some, exciting for others, but I think we would all agree that it was a fun and exhausting experience that we can learn from. I for one have learnt that instructing on skis is like no other type of instructing. Plonk a load of Kiwi kids in some skis, on a slippery surface and it definitely puts your group management skills to the test!
So after a jam packed week, most of us are having a pretty lazy weekend. Maybe wax the skis, do a bit of washing, watch a film, chill out. Making sure we are rebooted for Monday up the mountain and heading towards the level 1 exam. Not long to go now. The countdown begins!

Ellie Day X (one of the blonde girls)

week 3

Week 3

Here's life as a Craigieburner from one of the girls point of views

Before I came to New Zealand I did not fully know what to expect. Some how I had an image of New Zealand being a country full of explorers, opportunists and fighters. All living for the moment in a country rapped in grand mountains and wild nature.

By the end of week three I was still no closer to fully knowing what to expect. One morning we would wake up with a great pink sunrise smiling at us, the next day it would be pouring down so hard that we could hardly see out of the van on our way up to the mountain. (did we still go skiing for 7 hours you ask? Of course we did!)
One day we would be skiing in beautiful spring snow, down Dome Ridge having a ride worth millions. The day after we would have our first lesson as instructors, (well in all fairness we where only helping the real instructors out, but it sounds more advanced leaving that out.) leaving us all both terrified (Kiwi-kids are mental) and more eager than ever!
One evening we would come "home" and find the bar going crazier than before. Karaoke night! Packed with local farmers, none of who would actually sing, but that would be more than happy to laugh off whom ever poor sole that dared to press out a note. (My self included...oh yes). Next evening the bar would be closed for good, with the leasee no where to be seen. (I'm not going in to further detail at the moment) and we would all wonder whether we still had a bed to sleep in and dinner on the table. (Of course I do miss the occasionally free beer bough by a randy farmer, but to be honest it all turned out for the better.) We still have our pleasant beds and Jase turns out to be a hell of a good chef (especially cooking from tin cans, ha d ha ha!).
One weekend we would go to Hanmer. A village (or is hamlet accurate?) where tourist and locals all have three main goals for their Saturday (at least it seem that way) One go mountain biking, two go to the hot pools and three get drunk. How on earth you manage to get that many people in to the same pools with out anyone drowning is be on me, but we all had an interesting time. The mountain biking was great! (I can still feel the seat between my legs, but that's another story)

So, to sum it all up. Before I came to New Zealand I did not know fully what to expect. I still don't. But by week three I have learned that at least the Nonstop crew this year is a group full of explorers, opportunist and fighters. All living for the moment in this country rapped in grand mountains and wild nature. Living for those days that are never the same and that we will never have again.

Week 2

Week 2 blog

So 2 weeks have gone by in what feels like 2 days. Everyday is action packed so time has flown by. The week began with everyone going back to basics and working hard on their wedge turns before trying out some practice teaching on each other. It was daunting at first, but before long everyone was well into their stride and began to understand what a career in ski instructing might entail. As the week progressed we worked more on our personal skiing, which proved frustrating for many of us, some more than others. However, in the end, it was worthwhile with many of us feeling the results and enjoying watching (and feeling) our skiing progress! What a fantastic feeling.

Before long it was the end of the week, where we all enjoyed an avalanche awareness course and some real off piste skiing on the Friday. We were looking forward to the hike and fresh snow in crystal valley, however, the snow wasn't what we all thought it might be. However, everyone was still smiling when we all reached the bottom. Although, we didn't all take the same route down.

The end of the week was celebrated well with some hard earned beers, some took that to different extremes than others which was felt heavily the next day. Toby for one needing some special assistance through the night. Saturday and Sunday were relaxing days for everyone, some venturing down to Christchurch and watching a movie and with the others going to a car show. Can find something for everyone here. Sunday proved to be a beautiful day with a few people eager enough to take advantage of it with a hike up the lake Lyndon trig (a nearby hill) overlooking those trying their luck as they dabbled in a spot of fishing. The rest of us went shopping in Christchurch. So all in all another great week here in New Zealand.


week 1 by the eye of a Swissman


NZSIT  2013 - Week 1: Arrival and first days on the slopes

The early birds arrived around Thursday the 11th of July and took the chance to get the best rooms (safest in terms of an emergency case during an earthquake and best view from west to east). A few of them hooked up with some locals and got a lift up to Porters to get a taste of the air for the coming twelve weeks whereas others took the TranzAlpine to the west coast. The rest of us arrived eventually on Saturday afternoon – so tired and jet-lagged that everybody went to bed early.
After getting to know each other on Sunday and a short stop at Gnomes an eventful day of tender loving care for our gear followed on Monday until we finally got the chance to test our new gear and get the rusty joints moving again – we all have definitely been too long without skiing!
During the first week we mainly got in contact with the kiwi people, their way of life and instructing skiing. "Cruisin' all over the mountain, mate" – what a pain for our old-school European buddies who were taught a more aggressive way of skiing. But we're gonna handle this!
After a long week of testing, altering, modifying and falling over we first got our power back at a fine Chinese restaurant and at a rugby match between Christchurch's Crusaders vs. the Ozzy Reds. In which the Crusaders dominated and won with an overwhelming score of 38 - 9.
All in all, a welcoming first week and we are all keen on the eleven others following...

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New Zealand Ski Instructor Course - Exam Week Diary

It was a big week for our NZSIT crew, with NZSIA Level 1 exams finally arriving...

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Getting Ready For Exam Week

Pre-exam Week

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