As one of 10 instructors on the ISIA training course with Altitude, I think I can vouch for all of us when I say that the first week of training was challenging but rewarding. My passion for skiing has always been down to the incredible sensation of skiing itself, but also because of the satisfaction of overcoming a bad habit, fear, or even just a single run that previously had the better of you. In just 5 days of on-piste training, I had already won some of these battles, and realised there were many more yet to win…
Before getting down to training however, it’s amusing to break the ice with a team building exercise involving 5 Brits, 1 Belgian, 1 Dutch bloke and a game of (sort of) Twister. Obviously one of the Brits cracked the problem.
After a long break from any serious ski training, it’s back to basics, focussing on posture. I can’t believe I’m ‘sitting back’ AGAIN, having been told NOT to sit back countless times in the past. Our trainer for week 1, Ross, tells me to flex my ankles and get my shins forward in the boot. I swear I’m already doing this, but then watch myself during video analysis one evening after training and I look like I’m in a recliner!
Ross was still screaming (patiently) at me to get forward at the end of the weeks training. I have promised to listen, but luckily I have a reminder in an email from him as well, just in case I forget.
It was refreshing to have an instructor consider other aspects of skiing that are sometimes ignored. Ross ran an off-snow core strength and flexibility session one evening, and speaking as a Personal Trainer I know how important it is to factor in maintenance work in alongside ski training to stay strong and prevent injury.
Training can be quite tough, with 5 hours of hard work taking their toll on some days. A typical day consists of meeting for first lifts at 8.45 am, a decent warm up including some gentle runs, then focussing on either carving, short turns, off-piste or bumps, until 3pm, with a break for lunch in the middle.
The group have got on extremely well, and are keeping each other going when the going gets tough.
Throwing yourself head first into a training camp like ISIA at Altitude means suddenly spending most of your time with a group of people who were strangers only weeks ago. Sharing similar goals and interests brings everyone close together though, as does the challenge of the training. We will go through a lot together over the next few months. There will be ups and downs, exams and avalanche safety training. Good job we’re all so sensible.
Quality instructing and good company have clearly had a positive effect on everyone’s skiing, which is obvious looking at the difference in our technique, even after only 1 week on the mountain. It is exciting to think where we could all be after a season. I for one am looking forward to spending the rest of it with the trainers at Altitude, and my new friends in Verbier.