The New Year kicked off for me with a guides training course in Leysin. The ski technique course was put in place to help the candidate guides improve the technical aspects of their skiing prior to undertaking the induction test for the British Guides Scheme, recognising that most mountaineers have learnt to ski in the mountains rather than coming through the traditional alpine ski process. Fred Harper was a British Guide passionate about skiing and his memorial trust pays for the candidates to go on the course which is a real privilege for us and and massive help with the financial commitment to become a guide.
I was in a group with Alex Languetin who is a Swiss skier, trainer and coach who excels in all disciplines from alpine racing, moguls, freestyle and freeride. His party piece is ripping down the piste with one ski rotated 180 degrees and pointing backwards proving flexibility is just as important for high level skiing as it is to climb 9a. He kept the pace high for 3 days of intensive training that varied from riding fakey to implementing cross under turns down spines and moguls while the atmosphere remained relaxed and conducive to getting to know each other better and have a few laughs. The course also included a classroom session covering the technical aspects of skis, boots and bindings which dispelled a few myths and highlighted the advantages of certain go to pieces of kit.
Overall the course was brilliant and it certainly inspired me to put the big surf board skis away and get back out on the performance race skis and work on my carving again!
Myself and Dave Searle on the magic carpetMaxMax, Guy, Duncan, Calum YvonneTop instructor Yvonne with Paul and MaxAlex, Calum, Duncan, Dave, Guy , Max and Jack in some Scottish weather