The Verdict

The last few days have been a blur. Literally in the case of Thursday, when a thick fog descended over the valley, and we skied all day using our hearing as the primary method of steering and navigation.

Andy the examiner was delighted that we were given this new challenge, which he declared would be “very good for our development” .  It was easier than closing our eyes, I suppose, another little task that I recall from earlier in the season.

But at last it was Friday, and time for the final assessments. We set off in a group, skied some off-piste terrain and bumps on the way to the top of the Chamoissiere lift where the wind was blowing hard and the slopes were icy and steep. The challenge was to ski rhythmically downhill, while twirling our poles in front of us, and it looked quite cool!

Next the examiners set up shop at the base of a long run where they could observe us all performing short turns to a specific point then carving into long race turns.  We were all asked to loop round and do the same thing over and over again for about two hours. The examiners were looking for consistency and conformance to the specific criteria required for Level 2.  Occasionally they would call one person over and give some instruction of something that they would like to see.  In my case it was to crank over even further on the long turns.

On my final run of the morning, Andy’s arms were outstretched as he cheered me in to meet him, where he gave me a huge hug and told me I’d passed.

I skied at a million km/h high on adrenalin and endorphins, back to the Pleney restaurant where all the BASS instructors had come in for lunch and were there to congratulate us with big smiles.  They have all been through this years ago, and then gone on to make a career as instructors with much greater challenges than I could ever contemplate.

We spent the afternoon celebrating in Bar Robinson, and fader that I am, I ducked out in time to get home for a long soak and then a nice meal with Robert and Marie Christine and their friend James Herdman.  Apparently, those of the class made of sterner stuff, and decades younger!, partied all night. I was like a rabbit in the headlights, dazed and amazed.

8 people like this post.


  1. Comment by Ruth Mackie:

    Hooray, hooray, hooray! WELL DONE!!!! Congratulations!!!!
    Knew you’d do it…
    Ruth xx

  2. Comment by Janice:

    Well done,

    Enjoy the rest of your holiday


  3. Comment by Mavis Sleat:

    Congratulations from Dad and I.
    We knew you would do it!!

    Whats the next big adventure?

    Have a good time relaxing with all your friends.

    Mum and Dad xxx

  4. Comment by Shelley:

    the result was never in doubt! Congratulations. You must now be such a fabulous skiier, as well as outstanding instructor.

  5. Comment by Paula:

    fantastic! what an endurance that has been. you must be exhausted but as fit as a fiddle! well done you. We will celebrate with you and the champagne when we are there in the summer. Paula xx

    Ps The boys say congratulations, well done and can you teach me soon.

  6. Comment by Geraldine & Tom:

    Well done Karen. We are glad you have passed without any more injuries. You can drown your shamrocks tonight. Our son Ian has fractured his foot and is in plaster up to his knee (football injury).
    Love Tom & Gerry xx

  7. Comment by Richard xxx:


    Now, you can justly feel that the pass award was inevitable, given the hard work that you put in, but
    it won’t have appeared so while you were in the midst
    of the training sessions.

    Long soak in the bath and early night sound the sensible thing to have done in the circumstances. You will have felt fresher next day in comparison to the Young Turks!

    Richard xxx

  8. Comment by Dermot & Sandra:

    Congrats and brilliant.
    Never in doubt!!
    All the more memorable to have watched and viewed the “memoirs” all the way through.
    Looking forward to getting the full run down next time we get hooked up.

  9. Comment by Ann Kyle:

    Fantastic result!! Many congratulations. Now go and enjoy yourself with the gang! Wish I was there to join in. X. 🙂

  10. Comment by Ruth and Nick Pearman:

    Brilliant news Karen. Belated congratulations from all of us. We really admire your stamina and determination. And your turn of phrase on the blog! Well done for all that hard work and nerve-wracking stuff. Now just enjoy the skiing until the snow starts to melt and you have to head back home via the best pit-stop in Kent – we are already chilling the bubbly!! lots of love Ruth, Nick and all the family xx