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Tips, info ideas on training and passing BASI L3

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm focusing on the L2 before I start worrying about the L3, but with half an eye on the future I've:
- started a weekly weights session;
- been inspired by my 8 year old daughter to start 5km runs and currently aiming to get below 20mins (personal best just above 21 at the moment, but dropping fast) as that's the sort of time I was able to do 15 years ago;
- keeping up tabata and sprint training;
- short daily core workout;
- my dry-slope training is on hold over the summer, but I'm fitting in some extra shadowing and other helping out at the Snow Centre, and hopefully will be able to turn that into proper teaching in the Autumn and also resume the dry-slope work;
- I've got a session with NewGen at the Snow Centre this weekend, three sessions with Inside Out over the coming few months, and will probably do a bumps day with Snoworks in August too;
- off to Tignes for a family holiday this summer, but any skiing we do there will be just for fun and the novelty of it;
- wondering about getting some teaching hours in the mountains this coming season - perhaps Scotland? - on the assumption my L2 course is successful.

Like kitenski, I'm enjoying the feeling of increased fitness - I've never been unfit (cycling 50 miles per week as a minimum) but the weights and sprint training in particular are making a noticeable difference.

abd, it would be good to hear another opinion on the UKCP L1 - this is definitely on my list.
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kitenski 100 a week isnt nowt and if your weight is down sounds like you are in great shape. If you decide to take things further contact James or Craig at JJC for some ski fitness routines. IMO their general programmes are a bit too full on initially for us old guys but it will give you a good idea of the types of exercises relevant for performance skiing. They also have some fitness tests which are really useful to measure progress.
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skimottaret, I'll kick back into circuit training 2x a week which seems to work well for me post the 150 mile in a day ride on Saturday.
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kieranm, we are running a bumps day on the same day as snoworks in Aug wink Ian O our bumps guru will be taking it. He is a high level trampoline coach as well as ISIA so well placed to coach this session.
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skimottaret, thanks for letting me know - obviously not been paying enough attention to your monthly emails! Yours is actually the day before the Snoworks one, which suits me as the bumps will be in better condition, and cheaper too. Advantage of the Snoworks one is that it's being taken by BASI trainer Lee Townend. Decisions, decisions...
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The usual, climbing, hill walking & fishing plus some physio drill to build leg strength to help the knee's when I remember.

I'll probably sort some technical training for fun in the Autumn but haven't given it much thought yet. Quite keen to do the EMS training assuming I can get boots that don't hurt.
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For fitness training...not a lot recently except cycling to work again, which I'd stopped last Autumn. The ride home involves a few short climbs (~1min) so can be good for strength and power if sprinted, though I haven't got back to that intensity yet. Having a few runs of the indoor SL course each week, and skied the Scottish Indoor Champs while mentoring our junior race training group.

For teaching experience I've been fortunate and invited to run a regular staff training session on personal skiing performance. Some of the staff are looking for prep in advance of BASI courses, or perhaps further training abroad, and the sessions are great teaching practice for myself!
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I'm down to 20 fags n less than 10 cups of tea per day
And my wheelie chair doesn't work on the new office carpet, so now I get up to answer the door - sometimes wink

But seriously: does anyone do any ligament & tendon specific work. I know it sounds more like injury prevention, but can also boost performance, after all it's the connective tissues that give us transmission and mobility as well as strength.
Certain forms of yoga & martial arts focus on this oft overlooked part of our anatomy
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franzClammer, perhaps not directly as you asked, but in terms of time spent in the lead up to, and during, my last course the majority was doing range of motion work on my hips and back. Not particuarly exciting, but I think limited range of motion prevents some of us moving as we'd like to more than lack of strength or aerobic fitness.

I'd be interested in more detail on your suggestions for ligament and tendon work, sounds useful for skiing.
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my understanding (having ruptured PCL in my left knee) is that while ligaments hold your bones together there is very little you can do to make them stronger. the best way to keep your knee strong / injury free is to simply build up the leg muscles - as that is what provides most of the strength and stability,
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Haggis_Trap, Sorry but I disagree to a degree. I'm not sure about ligaments, I suspect the same is true to an extent, but with regards Tendons and facia tissues there is a great deal that can be done as is evident through physio, if the principles of physio are extrapolated and enhanced with other disciplines then I think that tendon/ligament injuries are less likely in the first place and the feeling of being "present" in the connective tissues and joints whilst skiing can be improved greatly.
It makes sense that as muscular strength increase then so must tendon strength and elasticity if correct posture and range of movement is maintained.
This is all IMHumbleO, which is based on personal experience. I had a MCL tear and am convinced It would have been a much worse injury had my joints been slack would've required surgery had I not previously (coincidentally) done quite a bit of "internal training" (water Margin music in background) Laughing
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Anyone doing any Pre-Xmas L3 level training?

Wondering about Del's Bumps training that I think skimottaret, did last year as one option??
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kitenski, contact PDS training they are running some L3 specific training in Sass Fee in November, Derek usually runs his bumps course I think first week of December or last of Nov by memory. http://www.pdstraining.org.uk/isia.html James Bennet is pretty handy in the bumps (as well as all the other coaches Wink )
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
rungsp wrote:
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.

You need to be very, very fit if you're not skiing in the mountains largely full time during the season you do the MSM. The first morning of my MSM, the first thing we did was to boot pack up around 100m at 3000m and then skin for an hour. I wanted to die. I nearly didn't make it through the course.
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FlyingStantoni, And even fitter for the EMS torture session wink ps welcome (back) to snowHead
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 Poster: A snowHead
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I think much of the fitness requirement for Mountain Safety or EMS could be gained by regularly cycling up hills or hill walking. Of course we are fortunate up here to have plenty of hills! Altitude >3000m is not easy to prepare for from the UK, other than being reasonably fit and spending some time in resort prior to the course. The other big help would be to have light gear, I've seen some skinning in alpine race boots while struggling for fitness while a 'tech' setup may have completely alleviated the issue...at a financial outlay if not already owning the kit.
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The fitness level for L3 Mountain Safety isn't THAT high. If you're otherwise pretty fit (running, cycling, etc.) then you shouldn't have any major issues. Some acclimatisation might not hurt though, especially for an early / late season course at altitude.

EMS is a bit tougher. We did as much as 1500m of (positive!) vertical per day.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I have to agree with stevomcd, , my mountain safety course was not particularly intense. We skinned about 500m on the final day, but by then we had passed the course. The course is simply an introduction to skinning, a much greater emphasis is placed on map reading/navigation and snow analysis. I wouldn't say you have to be any fitter than for any other BASI course.
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I found the tech courses quite a bit harder physically than the off-piste/touring. Depends what you're used to perhaps, as other may find the opposite.
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speaking with a guy who passed his 4 tech this past season on his 3rd or 4th go and he has been consistently too slow on his Eurotests but he and another guy passed the ISIA test first go in Zermatt on a very rutted course so there is hope...
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skimottaret, what glimmer of hope are you seeing? That France, Austria, Italy agree to an additional age allowance? Or that the ISIA test replaces the Eurotest? Or that passing the ISIA test means that the French will struggle to claim "material difference"?
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abd, there is a massive difference to being 1/10's off and 1 or 2 seconds off, I meant hope that mere mortals may someday pass something Smile Zero chance that the ISIA test will take over from the ET imv but a good chance that the ET may be modified during negotiations. I have some feelers out and should know more in a week or two...

More than a few guys I know who work in Switzerland on non BASI certs are looking to do the ISIA test and L4 then apply for Patente. I pressed BASI a while ago to offer two exits at L4 ISIA pass = L4 ISIA Card, ET pass = L4 ISTD The card is useful if you teach outside of the EU and ISTD is great for Europe. Shot down as usual as this was deemed to complex.

Canada does this for their awards where you can bolt on things that arent required for their home market and obtain the card and stamp..
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abd, skimottaret will have his own views on this but IMO I think any changes are going to be absolutely marginal. I think there is no hope of the ISIA test replacing the Eurotest. Testing material difference between ET and ISIA test will take a court case and probably endless appeals over countless years. It will also rely on a ski association having the ISIA test as a component of their Level 4 equivalent qualification which I'm sure BASI won't do (the IASI will though). I think there is a very slim chance that an age allowance might be a compromise position, but the allowance will be so small that it makes very little difference. Of course, there's always the strong possibility that the French negotiators around the table in Brussels (i.e. the head of the ESF union) will simply say "non".
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Oops, cross posted with skimottaret.
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agreed with Rob that it is hard to see any material changes to the ET being accepted but we shall see...
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Having passed my BASI L2 last month I feel I can now officially join this illustrious group of those training for their L3!

I don't have any ambitions or expectations to do this in a hurry, but see it more as a long term goal. Short term I'm hoping to:
- do the UKCP L1;
- complete the 200 hours logged teaching;
- try and work out what to do for a 2nd discipline so I can start learning it.

For the logged teaching hours the bulk will be at Hemel Hempstead as I work there at weekends, but I'm also keen to get some teaching experience in a mountain environment. As well as companies such as Interski and Snowtraxx, can anyone recommend other ski schools to contact about part time peak season work? Ideally I'd like to teach somewhere French-speaking, which probably means Switzerland, but open to other possibilities too. The BASI jobs page on facebook appears to be empty at the moment - is it somehow restricted?

2nd discipline I've got the choice between adaptive skiing, snowboard, telemark or nordic.
- Lots of people here have mentioned the advantages of telemark for personal skiing, and this appeals, but I don't know of an easy and cost-effective way to get into it.
- Nordic would also I think be good fun and something I've wanted to learn for a while. There is also a reasonably active rollerski club near me that would mean I could at least get some basic training and practice locally.
- Adaptive, as has been mentioned here, seems like the default choice for a skier, but doesn't appeal as much as some of the others: I'd like to try something new and I doubt I would ever use the adaptive qualification.
- Snowboarding is probably the sensible choice, both from improving employability and the ease with which I could get training and practice, but it just doesn't appeal as much as telemark or nordic.
Any thoughts on this?

Over the medium term I should probably think about getting some race training, though must confess to being slightly apprehensive about this in many ways.

2nd language and general fitness I'm hoping I already have under control - both are already at a good level and steadily improving.

The other courses I'll think about later, once I have some of the above sorted, but would expect to start with the common theory and perhaps the L3 teach.
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@kieranm, be wary of doing the level 3 teach before you feel ready for the Tech. You will be expected at level 3 to analyse and improve the performance of your peers when skiing at their own level, which will be at or close to level 3 standard. If you're not at or close to that level yourself, you'll find it pretty challenging.
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@kieranm, I'd echo what @stevomcd says; do tech before teach. "if I can do it I can probs teach it".

BASI suggest you do Common Theory first. Friends have done it and it is a great course; But BASI need to start running them down south; IMO there is no need for it to be run in Scotland. I spoke with Tanya Allroid some time ago and she said BASI were planning to run some down-south! Nothing yet.

My plan (subject to cash at the moment) is to get to the point when I (others) think I am ready for the Tech and then once that is passed do the other modules.

I already have Coach 1. I will at some point do my Snowboard L1 (but I said that last year). I'd like to do Tele1 as well; but cost of kit is prohibitive!
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You know it makes sense.
Mountain Safety is a good course and worth doing early in the rota of modules...

@scooby_simon, have to say most fails i see and hear of are people doing the tech first on the (sensible) basis that no point going for other modules until at tech pass level. But you miss out all the training and mileage that goes with the other courses so not sure I would recommend it.

@stevomcd, I did my L3 tech as second last module and did the teach just before the tech and didn't feel greatly challenged but you are right in that you need to be comfortable with working with good skiers and have a decent eye for analysis and be able to do drills/terrain expected at L3 levels of performance.
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@skimottaret, I've passed my Teach and I've still to pass the Tech (not for want of trying, although I do at least have injury as an excuse...) but I do think I'd have struggled if I'd tackled the Teach earlier in my campaign. Most of the feedback and drills I was giving other people were from experience of having my own riding dissected on Tech / Tech Training courses!
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@kieranm, congrats on your L2!

My plan is very similar to yours; I did my UKCP1 in the summer, have now just broken through the 100 teaching hours barrier, with 2 weeks teaching with Interski in March, so will have the 200 by the end of the season what with instructing with a local ski club most weekends and a few shifts at Castelford.

I'm doing the Mountain Safety in a few weeks time in Chamonix and then hope to do an adaptive at Castleford during the summer and hopefully the Common Theory. Then I plan to use the early part of next season to go for the tech middle / end of the season.

With regards to 2nd discipline reckon you should do something you want to do; until recently don't think there was a L1 Nordic but think they may have just run one. Like you fancy doing that at some point in the future.
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Congrats @kieranm,

Sadly my L3 plans aren't really ever going to happen, don't think I can commit the time or money, but I do fancy doing the common theory and mountain safety. Do you get taught or examined on off piste skiing or is it purely the safety aspects?
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Skiing is assessed, in a general sense of can you do it, but not to an especially high standard. You need to be able to ski the terrain you are asked to lead and navigate on.
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As @rob@rar says, you need to look comfortable on the terrain, but there's nobody picking apart your inner-tip lead or some such ski nonsense. wink
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Many thanks on all the advice - very welcome.

The trainer on my L2 specifically mentioned the L3 Teach as a good course for me to go for, as he thought I would get a lot out of it. But the exact order of the Teach and Tech is slightly academic right now as both are a way off I'm sure. My own view is much like @skimottaret says: the training and experience gained on all the other courses is likely to help me on the tech, so I'm very happy doing those in the meantime.

@scooby_simon, if you know of others who would like to do the common theory down south, perhaps we could get a group together and present it to BASI. I'd be happy to discuss it next time I see you at Hemel if you're interested.

On the 2nd discipline front, I've just spotted that SSE also do a Nordic qualification, which might make a nice entry point for that. Perhaps I should learn to shoot rifles and take up biathlon. Smile If anyone has advice on a cost and time effective way to get into telemark in the UK I'd love to hear from them.
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Hearty congrats @kieranm
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rimmus wrote:
Hearty congrats @kieranm

+1 Bravo!
snowHead
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@kieranm, on the second discipline telemark is fun if you can manage to find some gear. Costs a bomb to buy, may be worth checking with Sally Bartlett , she was talking about hiring gear at hemel for telemarking. unless you enjoy boarding or nordic not sure I would bother as unless you are teaching full time having a snowboard qual wont get you much work as a second discipline unless you fancy more time on the lesson slope Wink Also check with PSG as they ran a tele course through the norwegian association i think last summer and everyone must have been in the same boat re gear...

I wouldn't rule out adaptive, I was going to do tele but did adaptive as I could do it at hemel in the summer and it wasn't expensive (plus was my last module and I just wanted to finish before the season started). glad i did as i got a lot out of the course and it really helped with my teaching skills. never used the sit ski stuff as I didn't feel experienced enough to do it myself with a client but did teach some blind students and those with learning difficulties. The teaching methods and understanding gained on LD really has helped on my general teaching.
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@skimottaret, thanks for both the telemark ideas and the thoughts on adaptive - I will give it all some thought.
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quick question on the EMS..and kit

I have some Lhasa Pows which are rockered 112mm underfoot and 191cm (I'm 178cm tall). I have some skins from an old set of skis that I split down the middle so they go edge to edge but then have a gap in the middle. I have Marker Dukes on them and standard alpine boots.

Would these get me thru the EMS if I purchased some crampons??

The blurb here seems to suggest I'll be ok... http://www.basi.org.uk/docs/Level_3_Mountain_Safety_Equipment_List-June_10.pdf
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