Walking around in a green jacket, sharing your passion with other people, is one of the most beautiful things in life. I couldn’t imagine weeks ago that my passion would turn from snowboarding to skiing. Honestly, it's an awesome feeling to put a smile on someone’s face when you help them make their first turns on skis!
It wasn’t easy
After three weeks of intense skiing that included an avalanche course and sleeping in a snow cave, the theme for week four of the Section 8 program was the >evel 1 Ski Instructor exams. The level 1 course is a three-day exam; you’re skiing with a CSIA examiner who is judging you on your ski abilities and your teaching skills.
To be honest, I found the setting of the exam and the overall experience laid back. It was a pleasant surprise! The examiner is not just judging you on your current ski abilities, over three days you receive lessons to improve your own ski abilities. Then you complete some practical exercises that you can incorporate into future lessons for your own students.
After completing the exam, our relatively boisterous table full of Level 1 hopefuls became very silent when the examiners walked in to Fat Teddy’s. This was the moment. Did we pass our exams, or not? When the examiners started to spread out the diplomas, I saw big smiles on my friend's faces. But where was mine? It felt like an hour before my examiner Kathryn came to me and said "Great job Erik, you’re now an official Canadian Ski Instructor!" A smile spread across my face from ear to ear!
It's not only about the skiing The National Hockey League was not looking good for this season but on the 6th of January, we got the most epic message possible. The NHL season is going to happen! The day after our exams we travelled to Rogers Arena in Vancouver to support the Canucks! What an awesome experience. And to make it even better, the Canucks won in a shootout with the Blackhawks. After that evening, I felt like I was starting to become a Canadian ;)
After passing the Level 1 exam and watching the Canucks win in Vancouver, I thought I had it all. But wait, Mother Nature decided to dump fresh snow on Mount Washington. Maybe you remember my first blog, when I told you about my first powder experience on skis? I was a bit afraid and I struggled in the fresh pow, but this week turned out to be the most incredible and amazing week on skis in my life so far!
I didn’t realize it, but after four weeks of training my skiing technique had started to improve. After a couple of powder ski tips during the classes of Section 8 we moved into the forest for tree skiing (something that is not that popular in Europe). After a couple of runs between the trees, we ended at the front side of the Boom. Suddenly I thought..."Are we going to the backside?". The answer was clear, " Yes Erik, we are!". At the start of the season I hit the Outback on my snowboard, but never on skis. Sitting on the chairlift ride up I was a bit nervous, could I handle the outback of Mount Washington?
Standing on the edge of the Outback looking down, I watched my buddies shred fresh powder. I took a deep breath and dropped into a double black diamond. After a couple of turns I was screaming with happiness! Down at the lift, my buddies where asking: "What's up Erik?" The answer was simple. "Yeah, after that run I realized that I am in love with skiing, It's awesome!"