Interski is an intense experience for us participants. We get up around 7 am, hop on the bus at 8, arrive in Cerro Castor at 9, you practice your formations in the morning until your team has had its day on the demo hill. If you have time, you watch the other teams on the demo hill until 11:30, and then the on-snow clinics start. They finish at 1:30. A quick lunch and then some more skiing (either training with your team or networking with instructors from other countries). The bus leaves for the hotel around 4 and arrives at 5. Most often there is no time for a shower – the indoor evening lectures start at 5:30 and you have to find the right venue for the lectures that you have been tasked to cover. They are meant to be done by 6:30, but they often go long. Then it’s time for dinner. Some days you have time to shower, some days you don’t.
On top of that, we all write blogs and I happen to be tasked with video editing.
Busy, busy, busy.
The days fly by, and it’s important to remember to take a step back and take it all in. Yesterday, on top of the demo hill before our fourth run I did. I turned to Tim Cafe and said “Tim – I’m about to do a run of medium radius turns by myself down the demo hill at Interski – how cool is that?” “It’s [expletive] awesome man!” Fist bump – then I tried to take it down the hill as fast and clean as I could. I will always remember that moment.
After our team demo’d and presented something very cool happened. Canada approached us and asked if NZ could join them today for a video session. They did this at the last Interski and I have watched the video clips from that afternoon many, many times. Never in my life did I expect to be asked to join such a session.
But, today Tim and I did. Canada ran the show, and two skiers from Australia, Austria, Canada, Italy, Japan, Korea, Great Britain, Slovenia, Switzerland, USA and New Zealand joined the session. We were asked to ski an eight meter wide corridor, a run of intermediate parallel turns, a run of long turns and a run of short turns. I believe these are tasks similar to what level 4 CSIA candidates are asked to perform. The Canadians were simply interested in how skiers from other countries would solve these tasks.
When we arrived in Ushuaia, the snow was perfect: injected slope that had taken some rain and had frozen. It was very firm. The last two days (including our day on the demo hill) has seen a lot of snow fall, however, so today the snow was very soft and choppy. It was a real challenge to get performance out of the skis. However, some of the skiers in the group made it look very easy. I have yet to see the footage from this session so – to be completely honest – I’m quite nervous about having my turns in the same clip as a skier who skied to 4 FIS points a couple of years ago. After all, that’s good enough for top 15 on the World Cup.
If I stop writing now, I might have time for a shower…