Marigold Gloves

Somehow, here I am with three days to go before the final verdict on all the hard work, frustration, elation, learning, mistakes, and everything else that has formed part of my season in the snow.

At the weekend, I skied with Emma and Vanessa, two girls also taking the BASI 2 Exams, and we coached each other on our various shortcomings that had been highlighted to us at the Friday checkpoint.  I was quite pleased with my review, as I was told my teaching was up to scratch, and most of my skiing was at the required level, or close enough to get there during the following week with one or two improvements.  For those that are interested, my bumps skiing was very controlled, we had still to be tested in deep powder, my long radius (fast carved) turns needed more lateral separation  – that is, I needed to throw myself over sideways more aggressively, and my short turns needed “more work”…so I know where the focus needs to be.

Monday morning had a forecast for a wet miserable day, and the whole team dressed accordingly.  Marigolds were even produced as the perfect alternative to wet damp gloves. But once we got up the mountain, there had been a good fall of snow, and it was a fantastic day to develop our off piste skills in the deep stuff.  We headed over to Mont Chery, which is never busy and had lots of virgin powder, where we could create the first tracks in the snow.  It was a fantastic day, but totally exhausting.  Those languorous curves take a lot of physical effort! And at the end of it, the assessment was that I had performed at the required level.  Another tick in the box.

Today, we were asked to run a one hour private lesson for one of our group, and help them to improve one aspect of their skiing. The success criteria was – would they be happy to pay for the lesson they received.  I have always been quite nervous of the teaching aspects, as it is very difficult to see something that could be improved and come up with the right reason for the problem, and devise the solution. Most of the time, I have just been in awe of the instructors’ ability to do just that.

So it was with both surprise and glee that I found that I was able to help Helen to visibly improve her plough parallel turns while she in turn helped me to improve my parallel turns.  We were both quite pleased with ourselves.

In the afternoon, we were videoed showing both long and short turns and Andy told me that I’d made good progress.  My long turns are now ‘at the level’ and I’m working on taking them above the required level, and some of my short turns are now at the level but at times, are still a bit below what is required.  And of course the sequence that was recorded for all to see and analyse was not my best, and clearly showed what work is needed over the next three days ….

Tomorrow is the written exam, after another day working entirely on our performance skiing.  I’m hoping I can nail the last major hurdle, those elusive short swinging groovy turns that look so great when done well.

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  1. Comment by Ruth Mackie:

    Oh, so close now. Good luck. I look forward to a triumpant email at the end of the course!
    Ruth x

  2. Comment by Ruth and Nick Pearman:

    So pleased to get this update Karen. Have been thinking about you today and hoping you were still on top of things. Of course you are! It will soon be downhill all the way home! And back to the other Marigolds… R xx

  3. Comment by Jane Houston:

    Go Karen!! Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday. Can’t wait to see you skiing with your marigolds on – will this be a ‘team’ requirement??

  4. Comment by Richard xxx:

    As before, Karen, I really admire your stickability to the programme. I guess that you will return to Fahan both suitably elated by your successful progress but also even fitter than when you left!

    Best wishes for the remainder of the ski-ing season.

    One fine day, summertime, we must try to get to Morzine.
    Richard and Shirley