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Tips, info ideas on training and passing BASI L3

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Would love to hear from folk who are on the pathway or who have already passed and aren't doing seasons/working full time as instructors.

Specifically things like

What training you did after your L2
What teaching you did after your L2
What modules you've passed/failed are working to
How much outdoor snowtime you got working up to the tech and/or teach pass

And anything else folk would like to share.

Cheers,

Greg
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Greg

As you know i'm starting off with my Common Theory in July so will follow this thread with interest Smile
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and get on the reserve list for it Smile
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kitenski, You could do Coach 1 indoors over the summer.
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I had a year off between univeristy and a graduate job. I did a season and got my l2 in March of that year. I did a week's L4 training with Snoworks at the end of that season as they had spaces.
During the summer I went to Australia and managed to get a job at Thredbo. I worked over 250 hours and did a couple of training sessions as well as a 4 day teaching course at the start they made us do to ensure we were up to scratch.
Since I have had to work courses in around my work exams and holiday.
I did the Adaptive L1 at Hemel last summer which was great, I would definitely recommend it as a second discipline as it is really fun and gives you some more teaching techniques. I then did my coach L1 at Tamworth in October. This is quite a good course for your teaching, there was a lot of video analysis. It also helped me to assess where I was against the level and a number of skiers who were doing seasons and had their tech/teach.
I got my mountain safety the week before last in Tux, it was a really informative course. Nothing was particularly challenging and built on my previous avalanche/snow knowledge and navigation from cubs/scouts!

My plan is to do my tech and teach next May in Tux, I will try and get a couple of weeks in during the season as well as working on my fitness.
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kitenski, having looked at the course availability i'm thinking about doing my coaching level 1 at chill factor on 1st October there are two booked on it already Smile snozone is full Sad
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kitenski wrote:
Would love to hear from folk who are on the pathway or who have already passed and aren't doing seasons/working full time as instructors.


I did the old L3 then ISIA. I was working full time in the UK, in the construction industry, and worked part time at Sheffield ski village. All my exams were taken during holiday weeks from work.

Quote:
What training you did after your L2


Skied as much as I could in ALL weathers & conditions. Doesn't matter how bad the weather go out and do something!

Quote:
What teaching you did after your L2


Worked at Sheffield ski village to get my teaching hours signed off. Didn't do any 'on snow' teaching. Make sue you do the hours. It is obvious those who have done the hours and those who 'blagged' them.

Quote:
What modules you've passed/failed are working to


Passed all modules first time except technical which required a resit. I will not go into details but BASI gave me a free resit and paid my expenses for this.
I found Mountain Safety the easiest as I spent many hours walking in the Lakes as a kid so the navigation and map reading was easy.

Quote:
How much outdoor snowtime you got working up to the tech and/or teach pass


Probably only 2 weeks between the old L3 & ISIA.

My best advise would be to ski as much 'bad' snow as possible, have a open mind & listen to what others have to say. (Ignore the cr*p & take on the good stuff)
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Already posted mine here in this thread halfway down the page - http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=102284&start=40
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Good idea kitenski, I see you are hooked Toofy Grin I think this thread is a great idea and hopefully people can share ideas and stay motivated to carry on with BASI. After L2 it is a big commitment and you need reassurance that it is all worthwhile. Be great to develop a training group that could work towards a common goal. My two cents...

Well start out by figuring out if you love teaching, if not donít bother with L3 courses and spend your time and money on personal improvement courses. If you like the teaching side jump in !!! I did my 70 hours at a local dry slope, then drove 90 minutes each way to the MK dome on weekends to get my 200 hours. Struggled to get to 200 prior to my teach but found to my disgust several people on course had blagged the hoursÖ

After my L2 I did basic instruction of all ages on dry slopes and at the MK dome, after passing the coach course was offered a job as a junior race coach on sunday mornings at MK. I got up at 5:30 every sunday for two years to learn how to coach children, found I really enjoyed teaching skiing and probably that helped me most to motivate myself to put in the hard work to get my personal performance up to scratch. Only alpine teaching until getting my L3 was at the British Champs in Meribel, (yes that is in France and yes I was legal to work there Wink )

My mentor at MK set me drills to practice after coaching every week and I trained only on my weaknesses indoors. Joined dry slope race club and trained weekly for 2 years but got tired of injured thumbs so gave up on that. After L2 did a one week ISIA evaluation course with Phil Smith, A week Bumps training with L3 and L4 candidates with Derek Chandler (best course I have ever been on), two weeks race training and one week self organised training group with Izzy Milne (a current L3 examiner) which helped greatly on the run up to the tech as she correctly identified my weak points and I trained hard at the dome prior to the tech. A few family half term weeks and long ski weekends but not loads of mountain skiing.

Getting your ISIA on a part time basis is difficult but having a well structured plan to achieve it is the way to go imv. Just doing lots of ski miles wonít cut it. Train with like minded people, stretch yourself and try to keep up with better skiers, ski the stuff you donít like and train your weak points intensively, get ski fit and work alongside as many experienced instructors and coaches that you can to stay motivated and remind yourself that it is a journey not a destination.

Donít do the Tech first, lots figure until they pass that their is no point in other modules but they are missing out on the training from the other courses. I would definitely take the L3 performance week to gauge where you are at technically but after the coach and MS. I found the L2 course the most stressful (until flunking the 4 Tech Wink ) All the ISIA courses were really fun and great training if you donít put too much pressure on yourself.

What would I have done differently? I wouldít do the tech and teach back to back, too tiring and too much pressure. The 3 teach was much tougher mentally and physically than I anticipated. I would do the common theory before mountain safety course. Do the coach 1 first if possible then MS. Get some touring in and learn kick turns etc prior to the MS. I didnít and really suffered physically on that course.

The ISIA stamp is a great achievement and opens up a lot of opportunities for teaching all over the world, even if you just want to teach part time. Well worth the time and money to get there.

I started skiing at 28, first lesson at 41 and first BASI course at 44. Managed all first time passes (scraped my bumps at L3 and although did well at L2 found the course quite stressful) Dec 06 Alpine Trainee Instructor,Mar 07 Level 2 Instructor, Jan 08 Level 3 Mountain Safety, Mar 08 Alpine Development Coach, May 08 Common Theory, Jan 09 Level 3 ISIA Teaching, Jan 09 Level 3 ISIA Technical, July 09 - Adaptive Second Discipline, EMS training Jan 12, L4 Teach Apr 12, Eurotest Dec 13 (failed), L4 Tech Mar 14 (failed)
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stewart woodward wrote:
My best advise would be to ski as much 'bad' snow as possible


This is the best advice on this thread so far....

For the tech course spend time skiing bumps and variable snow. Many less experienced skiers avoid these strands and struggle ? If you can ski moguls well then carving perfect short & long turns on well manicured pistes is easy ? The standard for L3 is defn achievable even for non seasonaires. However if you haven't spent plenty time on snow (perhaps previously doing seasons / every weekend in scotland /longer alpine trips etc) then you it could be tough.

People get obsessed with doing training courses - however at L3 I believe you should be at the level where you can coach yourself ? There is no substitute for time spent on snow skiing all types of snow & terrain...

As mentioned above you can do the APC coaches course and also your 2nd discipline over weekends on a dry slope / dome : which is a good option for keeping the cost down. The common theory is based at Glenore Lodge - so that just leaves 3 modules which need to be done in the alps (teach / tech and mountain safety).

I did my L2 way back in 2002. Only started L3 last year! Now have a family, FT job <etc> - however its defn achievable and worthwhile even though I need to do the courses during precious time off from work. Kind of wish I had done my L3 in my 20s - however never wanted to teach skiing as a FT career and in younger years would rather spend my time / money going skiing as a ski-bum rather than chasing BASI badges Very Happy
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p.s the hardest thing for any young person doing BASI must be finding the money to do the L3 courses - there is no way the wages of a L2 instructor will allow you save much money in a ski resort.... So you are going to need some kind of decent summer job (or in some cases the bank of mummy and daddy) to pay the bills!

Even once at L3 ski teaching would be very much a seasonal life style choice rather than a long term career ? If you want to make si teaching a FT living then the big challenge of euro test + L4 are almost certainly going to be required longer term.
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skimottaret wrote:
It is a big commitment and you need reassurance that it is all worthwhile.


I must admit that's something I've always questioned which explains why some time ago decided to go my own way with training and CPD.

After the BASI L2 weeks it took me 2 years before I could face training of any sort again and I then decided to focus on working through another system. That done, I did some race training to prep for an exam in one of the Italian regions and since then have knocked off L3 modules to either revalidate or for personal interest. The last one I did was the Race Coach L1. In addition I've taken specific training and shadowing to improve aspects of my technical skiing & teaching.

I've done a couple of seasons and continue to teach in the UK most weeks and in Europe when time & circumstance allows and it's fair to say I worked very hard to complete the qualifications I've gained, having started skiing in my early 30's. I owe big thanks to my original SSE Coach and a the BASI trainer who did my original foundation course both of whom made a huge difference.

My time line has been: ASSI & L2 back in 2002, SSE L4 in 2006, Snowboard L1 2007, Italian test 2008, Mountain Safety 2010, ACL Mar 2012, L1 Coach 2013. Plus assorted training in between.

Next up I'm almost certain to do the EMS training and I also really fancy the Snowboard L2.

With hind sight I'd have probably been better finishing the L3 sooner rather than later as popping my knee a couple of years ago may have put an end to that from a fitness perspective. I expect I'll be drawn to trying to finish the L3 at some point but I am getting old at 47 (gosh, that hurts!) and the current system doesn't make it a compelling proposition in my eyes.

That said I feel I'm skiing almost as good as ever and will look at more specific training in the Autumn depending on how things go. What I really need to do is sort another season Toofy Grin
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Haggis_Trap, 2002 you say. Tignes in the Autumn ?
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You know it makes sense.
Val Senales in Italy... (August 2002)
Really cool little resort to do a BASI course for 2 weeks - we had great fun.
Shame BASI don't still go there ?
Was fairly cheap and they offered a deal that included accommodation / food in your course fee.
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Haggis_Trap wrote:
stewart woodward wrote:
My best advise would be to ski as much 'bad' snow as possible


This is the best advice on this thread so far....


Hence you guys skiing Scotland in all weathers doing pretty well Smile
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Trying to think of what parts of my experience could be useful to other non-seasonaires past their youth looking to maximise performance on a BASI tech course:

During the course:
- Listen *very* carefully to the coach(es). Do exactly as they ask and make enough of a change to your skiing that they can actually see their feedback taking effect. I practically reconstructed my longs on the advice of my coach during the training week, after he made it clear the video run on the Wed was NOT at the standard Skullie However I hadn't helped myself by unwrapping a new pair of skis on the Tue evening, and it took about a week to get them working as I'd like.
- Recover as much as possible between each day. For me that means no late night drinking or risk of being disturbed by noisy room-mates. Physically I had to massage tight muscles most evenings, and use an ice pack on any inflammation. Range of motion stretching and warm ups every morning before leaving the apartment.

Prior to the course, this season:
- Been in ski boots 3 times a week locally since last Sept/Oct. One day teaching regular ski school levels on the plastic mountain (Hillend wink), 2h entry-level race coaching indoors & 1.5h SL self-training indoors on a midweek evening. Joined a 1.5h circuits class from Jan-March and the remainder of my week is at a desk or with family. Did nearly 2 weeks on the Tignes glacier in November with Podium, and a long w/e (Sat-Mon) at Alpe D'Huez in December for the ET (ridiculous idea, I know!) before a family skiing holiday at Christmas. Skied around 6 days in Scotland during Mar/Apr, half of thoerse with family.

Background:
- Old grade 3 1990 Cairngorm, working p/t for a Spey Valley ski school during student years.
- Full season Turoa NZ 1994, NZSIA L1.
- Old grade 2 2000 (After 5 solid yrs driving a desk), then ISIA modules until 2002.
- ET training with Podium & NewGen 2003/2004, best result +0.46 (AdH Jan '04) closest other results +1.1 to 2.5s, using unpaid leave.
- 2005-2011 young family, skiing reduced to very occasional basis. Desk work back to full time.
- 2012 EMS training & assessment. Teaching again on a regular basis at Hillend and loving it Smile
- 2013 5 or 6 days ET training with Philbo at Pila. Training & venue was fab, test result +4.7s Embarassed


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Thu 15-05-14 22:15; edited 3 times in total
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I don't really know what worked for me and not others in my group. Early in the week i think there were 2 extremely strong skiers, 2 about the level, and 2 of us in the also-ran category. I feel terrible for the 3 who were above the level on some occasions but walked away without the ticket. The hardest part for me was pushing far outside my comfort zone on the Wed to get into the mabye list, but still not getting there. I felt somewhat invisible in the 'nah' list as the trainers have a huge responsibily to get the maybes right. Once on the maybe list it was a case of making every single run at full potential, and i was lucky to manage that with very little slip.
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balernoStu, for "post training" recovery I tend to wear skins compression tights. Back from skiing, hydrate, shower, skins on, stretch with them on and keep them on until bed!
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kitenski, lol @ what us >40s have to do to survive while the 21yr olds are sipping beer & socialising!
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^ really cool "underdog" story - like a wee team winning a fitba cup final Very Happy
hope you get the ET, sounds like your knocking on the door!
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Haggis_Trap, a very unusual experience for me to turn one around mid flight. All the modules I did prior to having kids were pretty much like being on a training holiday, and ET has been one failure after another. From getting within range of the ET level in 2004 i have since had to resign myself that it is probably out of reach now without a big change in lifestyle. My AdH w/e was nearly +4s, which is not even in the right carpark of the ballpark.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Mon 12-05-14 14:32; edited 1 time in total
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balernoStu, Curious that you had to change your longs so much, at ADH this year I thought you were skiing quite well in training... It was very tough that week so numbers arent too important but did you feel about your times there?

i hear you on being invisible on the no hoper list but cool they watched you come along on Th and Fri... can I ask what scores on weds were? On my week nobody who had a below level on any strand passed and the ones who got it had three ticks and a borderline. three of us out of eight were told we had no chance of passing on weds. One guy just left.

And once again for emphasis, WHAT A RESULT !!!!!!
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balernoStu, kitenski, Curtains, that make 3 over 40's not quite the three Amigo's Smile but it's a start of a training group all up North ( some further than others lol
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Haggis_Trap wrote:
p.s the hardest thing for any young person doing BASI ...


best compliment Kitenski's had all day wink
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^ Ha... Very Happy
FWIW : My experience is that there are seem to be plenty people aged 30 -> 40-something going for their L3....
It is certainly not all young kids doing BASI.

L4 seems to be a whole different ball game though. Which is why Balerno Stu deserves the applause.
Without a solid race background I reckon a ET pass probably requires perhaps a couple of months training ?
.... something not many older folk with work / family commitments can afford to do ?


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Mon 12-05-14 14:31; edited 1 time in total
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skimottaret, yes AdH was tough, but for someone who knew the stade and what to do +4s is poor. You were on your first go, and at our age completing the run is an achievement in itself. Big respect to the brits who passed on that week, a good few of whom were on the 4Tech last week, I wish i had their speed.

Scores on Wed: I'm not sure exactly, but overheard 3 others getting the tips needed to seal it. Through the day I got good feedback that I had increased my pace to the necessary level, which had been too slow on Mon/Tue. Rather embarassingly SkiPresto witnessed the ragged emotional state I got into trying to achieve that! I am not naturally a fast skier.

Guys leaving: For a brief moment that seemed an option, but hey i'm on holiday and its all paid for already! As SkiPresto mentioned in another thread, I started to wonder if I was even at L3, so thought i'd ask at the end of the week if i performed to >L3, and actually that wouldn't be a bad thought to take home given I did old G2 14 years ago. L3 is probably a higher level now than G2.


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Wed 21-05-14 12:56; edited 1 time in total
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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^ here is the bad news : having passed L4 tech you *have* to go back for another go at the ET now.... Very Happy
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balernoStu, We had a good group with all getting on very well and got our weds scores during video. He wrote em down for all to see which I thought was a good way to do it so you could gauge where you were at with the others strand by strand. At level, borderline or below level. Those at the level were sternly told that consistency was important and not to cruise those strands or they could fail. I also took the view of wanting to know if I would be a solid L3 pass and took that approach knowing I wasn't at the level on bumps to keep some pressure on and focus.

In terms of ET another option would be to sit the ISIA speed test and try to get your L4 Card instead of ISTD. This is recognised in CH and other places. From what I hear the ISIA test is 1-2 secs easier than the ET but crucially they dont have as many bibs so the courses look in pretty good shape. I know a guy who did it in Norway and said around 20% pass rate there. Also worth bearing in mind that there is to be a vote at the next ISIA AGM next week in Finland on trialling an age allowance for the ISIA test which would make it more achievable for us old guys. I have asked BASI CEO to inform the membership of how they vote on the motion, stay tuned...
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I would highly recommend doing the performance course for the level you are aiming for far ahead of the test, if funds and time allow. During this week there will be candidates trying to achieve the level, and the trainer is free of assessment duties so can devote 100% of his time to skier development. The only stress comes from the candidates worrying about the following week. Only 1 in our group was not staying for the L4, and he had a great time despite being well short of the standard. I just wish BASI would discount this course a little for all participants, not just those staying for the tech...it is a less stressful week for the trainers too.
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skimottaret wrote:

In terms of ET another option would be to sit the ISIA speed test and try to get your L4 Card instead of ISTD. This is recognised in CH and other places. From what I hear the ISIA test is 1-2 secs easier than the ET...Also worth bearing in mind that there is to be a vote at the next ISIA AGM next week in Finland on trialling an age allowance for the ISIA test which would make it more achievable for us old guys. I have asked BASI CEO to inform the membership of how they vote on the motion, stay tuned...


Exactly, and kind of what I was getting at when chatting with you on a gondala in AdH wink

I think I am going to have to work hard to get to the L4 Teach standard too, as most of my recent teaching/coaching experience is not in the mountains. Seasonaires have a big advantage here I think, and you guys have great experience with IOS.
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Haggis_Trap wrote:
^ here is the bad news : having passed L4 tech you *have* to go back for another go at the ET now.... Very Happy


You know part of the motivation of doing the 2 weeks was to get a solid foundation on my piste skiing before getting back into gates. Early season this year was fun but snow really too soft most of the time to get a GS ski performing properly. I do intent to train GS again as I really enjoy it. To me it usually feels safer than skiing fast on a public piste!
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balernoStu, Hopefully if you've made major changes to your longs that should get reflected in GS performance?
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Bumps: many skiers just aren't happy in the bumps, even at this level. I don't know how many failed on this but for me it is a bit of a joker card, I used to love skiing bumps and was a bit lost on smooth pistes. For L3/L4 it really is worth getting to the point that you relish a bump line rather than fear it. In 1990 short swings & bumps were the big deal on Cairngorm, but short swings went very much out of fashion. Anyone with a dry slope can perfect these and you will find the speed you can move the skis around in bumps increases dramatically once you can rattle off 30 or more short swings. Of course there is a lot more to bumps than this, but UK guys can get a start on bump training this way.
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kitenski wrote:
balernoStu, Hopefully if you've made major changes to your longs that should get reflected in GS performance?
Guess I'll find out on my next GS week, not sure when or how that is going to be fitted in at the moment, most of my year's annual leave already allocated between L4 and family hols.
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skimottaret wrote:
I have asked BASI CEO to inform the membership of how they vote on the motion, stay tuned...


Do you actually expect an answer Puzzled
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stewart woodward wrote:
skimottaret wrote:
I have asked BASI CEO to inform the membership of how they vote on the motion, stay tuned...


Do you actually expect an answer Puzzled


Good point. I've emailed twice asking a question regarding the MOU negotiations with no reply. Second time around I copied the email to the office and got an automated delivery confirmation and copied it to his personal email address.
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Hi Greg, I can only write about ISIA from a vicarious angle...I am the Dad, The Lad is the one doing it.

So the pathway:

BASI 1 done at Hintertux on a 2 week BASI course when he was 17.
Shadowing hours the following season.
BASI 2 done at Hintertux on a two week BASI course the following summer just after A levels.
Shadowing hours done at Hemel as quickly as posible.
Full time job teaching in Verbier the following winter during a Gap year.

Mountain Safety undertaken in March. That was done not only for ISIA purposes but also because it teaches important skills that one day could make all the difference.
The Lad had already got DoE Gold and Queen's Scout and found it a very easy course. In fact the BASI Trainer offered him a job for the summer as an expedition leader on his adventure training weeks in Scotland (he didn't do it, went travelling).

During the fiollwing winter worked part time in Verbier during the University holidays.

That summer he did Adaptive L1 at Hemel as the second discipline.

The winter after that he did the ISIA Tech, with the BASI training week preceeding it, but failed. Only 25% pass rate, even the ISIA Seasonnaires who had been training all season with 2 ski schools only got 50% pass rate.

That summer he went to Scotland and took the Common Theory.

Just recreational skiing the following season.

Last season he had graduated from Uni and went to Niseko in Japan to work as an instructor.
While there he did a lot of bunps training, and structured training with an ISTD instructor from his ski school.

ISIA Tech last week, passed. The bumps training really paid off, he was used as the example for others to copy. Longs and shorts both required some changes, but evidently the changes were made.
ISIA Tech currently under way.


His feedback from various courses:

Mountain Safety: You need to be fit...one person dropped out, just not fit enough for the skinning.
You must be able to read a map! One person failed because they just could not sort maps out.

Common Theory: Get fit. This is something of a bottleneck course. I think it is only run once a year, and in what is an inconvenient location for many people.

ISIA Tech: Get very fit. Physically exausting week! Make sure you make changes if changes are asked for. Train a lot! Do NOT expect to pass without a lot of training.

Adaptive L1 was rather inspiring.

ISIA Teach...results and feedback await!

Coaching...not done yet, planned for an indoors course this summer.


I don't think he plans to go for ISTD, but he did say that he would do the L4 Tech and Teach course just for the training which he really enjoys....when you look at the price versus getting similar high level coaching elsewhere the BASI course/exams stack up as very good value.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I thought that it may be useful to attach links to different Modules of the Level 3 - the obvious one is the link to the BASI site but I'm trying to find reviews from those that have attended or completed a course.

BASI level 3: http://www.basi.org.uk/content/alpine-ski-level-3-isia.aspx
Snowheads review of the Mountain Safety Course (several years ago): http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=29803
Snowheads review of the Common Theory Course : http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=40096
Snowheads thread on the 2nd Language: http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=82430

Feel free to add more as we find them and then possibly course providers next Smile
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Curtains, good idea, here are a few I recall that were helpful

UKCP L1 review http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=102753
Eurotest Levels http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=101484
Good video clips http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=81983
Equipment and Setup http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=44226
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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Curtains wrote:
balernoStu, kitenski, Curtains, that make 3 over 40's not quite the three Amigo's Smile but it's a start of a training group all up North ( some further than others lol


i'm sure we'd benefit from Haggis_Trap joining in, despite his youth Very Happy
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