The end… For now

So here I am, 6 weeks down the line doing the reverse trip down the mountain and back to Vancouver. (Cry cry)
The week skiing with my family felt as if it was only a couple of days and these last 5 weeks with AllTracks have flown by. It has honestly been one of the best experiences of my life filled with friends, food and lots and lots of skiing. The friends I’ve made here I know will be my friends for a very long time, we’ve all been here for the same reason and so obviously we have the same interests! My two blondies have made the experience even better and I know it would not have been the same had we not been living together. It’s weird to think that on that very first day when I saw them in the airport I was cautious about meeting them and now I would run up and jump on them if I happened to bump into them in an airport again.
I’ve had uncountable amazing memories here in Whistler and I know that I’m going to remember the best ones forever.

1. The powder! There was 69cm of snow over night and skiing with the girls in our ski group through waist high powder is a memory I’ll never forget. We thought we’d lost Sylvie under the snow until we saw her head poking out and so many of us got stuck gliding through the pow! There is nothing more fun than straightlining down a powder slope knowing it doesn’t matter if you fall head first into it because the powder is a big cushion waiting to catch you!

2. The three blondes. My two blonde roommates and I quickly got a reputation for always been together, since almost as soon as the course started we became such good friends. As three very blonde girls living and skiing together, it was easier for everyone to refer to us as the three blondes and it’s a nickname that stuck and spread – even so that a ski instructor approached us on the slopes to ask if we were the infamous three blondes!

3. Jersey girls! Skiing with my two blondies is always great but once we’d bought our Whistler jerseys we decided it was a must to ski in them too! Lucky for us the temperature was plus 7 degrees so jackets were not needed and our jerseys were visible to all! Being asked many times if we were part of a Whistler ski team also made the experience very good.. Especially since we replied “not skiing but we are in the Whistler curling team..”

4. Australia Day. The only way to spend a national day of Australia and one of the biggest days of the year for Aussies is… With Australians. Lucky for me, I lived with two and was friends with a lot more. Australia Day started with two Melbourne girls skiing down the mountain in bras and massive Aussie flags, followed close behind by my housemate wearing a giant “thong” (flip flop to us) on his back! Later the Australia top 100 was tuned in every bar and club throughout Whistler and a fun night ahead was inevitable.

5. Nose piercing. Although it sounds like a weird memory, getting my nose pierced was one of the funniest and strangest experiences of my life, made ten times funnier by having the girls there with me! It started off with a drive down to Squamish where the tattoo and piercing parlour was. Here I picked out the smallest clear stud and lay down on bed to get my piercing, then the strangeness began… First he told me he was going to clean my nose, fair enough, but I forgot that the nose has an inside and went into shock when a cotton bud was suddenly put up my nose and whirled around! Then another one and another and another and another! Finally when he believed my nose to be an adequate cleanliness, the piercing began… A clamp was placed up my nostril and then he told me to breath in… Then out and my nose was pierced. BUT by a massive metal hook that went all the way through my nose and out my nostril! He told the girls all laughing that now was a perfect photo opportunity so while I’m laying in the chair with a metal rod in my nose, blood coming out and a tear in my eye, my so called friends are playing paparazzi! Anyways soon after the stud was put in and my nose and nostril was returned to its former state but with a piercing.

6. Flute bowl. This is a love hate memory but one that won’t be forgotten because of it. The hike up to flute bowl was a long one to say the least, long, uphill, with winds blowing against us. We strapped our skis to our backpacks and took off our layers ready for the hike, lucky for us the sun was shining a lot and so it became quite a pleasant walk after we had got over the initial hiking shock. However the most memorable moment was arriving at the top. After a 20 minute uphill hike with skis, the end is always going to be amazing however the view looking over the mountains and valleys made it 100% worth it.

7. Whistler bungee. This was one of the most terrifying but exhilarating experiences of my life. After a short drive and a even shorter walk up to a bridge over the valley, we found the bungee team and prepared to jump… Or fall – whichever way you look at it! Caroline and I actually cried watching Sylvie take her jump and so when it became my turn I was more scared than I thought! Especially when the bungee guy told me that I should just fall backwards keeping my head back as it is the most thrilling way to jump. Basically it felt as if I was falling to my death and I screamed the whole way down but it was incredible, especially hanging over the frozen water in the valley, surrounded by snow.

8. Fresh tracks. Although waking up at 6.30am after a night out isn’t my idea of a good morning, fresh tracks allowed us to be first up the mountain, greeted by a huge buffet breakfast ad wide open slopes with no one on them. Us four girlies weren’t in the mood for hardcore shredding but mucking about on the slopes, girlie skiing and flying down empty pisted runs meant we had a fabulous morning… Made even better by the fact that Katie was wearing her giraffe onsie!

9. Ken. On the second week our instructor was Ken, one of the best skiiers I have ever met. He had been a competing mogul skiier his whole life, trained the Canadian World Cup team and then went on the train the Korean Olympic team. Skiing with him for a week was an absolute honour and he showed us and took us to slopes that we would have never found ourselves. It was an amazing skiing experience and a great week tearing up the slopes.

10. The tree well. One of the funniest moments of my life was when Anna got stuck in a tree well. Tree wells are hollow areas around trees where the snow does not reach, however the snow on the floor of tree wells is very deep. When Anna fell in, the more she tried to get herself out, the deeper she went and so Ken had to hike up to pull her out, except he fell in too! And so we all had to go up and Sylvie pulled them both out finally by her poles so that she didn’t fall in too!

11. Valhal’ skiing days. Although I do love girlie skiing with my best friends, there’s something to be said about big group skiing. The days when we headed up the mountain as “Valhalla” (our houses) meant that there were 14 of us together all with the same intention… To shred. Hiking up the glacier together and tearing down the pisted and off pisted runs; carvers, freestyle skiiers, boarders, racers, and all managing to stay together is the recipe for a very very very good day skiing (or shredding.. Ha).

12. Passing! After a months training, three days being examined, two classroom sessions and a very nerve-wracking wait, finding out I am now qualified as a ski instructor was a very happy relief to say the least and I’m so happy it was all worth it!

That concludes my Whistler adventure, I hope you’ve enjoyed experiencing it with me! It truly has been an incredible and unforgettable experience.



Fresh Tracks!

After have very little sleep we got up at 6.30am ready to get on the 7am gondola up Whistler mountain for FRESH TRACKS!

Arriving at Roundhouse lodge we were greeted with a beautiful pink sunrise and a beautiful big buffet…



So obviously a perk of being first up the mountain means we’re first on the slopes, so after a few runs on piste and in the park with no one but us skiing we’ve come in for a hot chocolate break!
What a fab morning.
(Also one of the girls is skiing in a giraffe onsie so we don’t want it to get wet or cold from the snow!)




Yesterday was a tense, tense day. We started the morning nervous as it was the last day of our three day exam!
We began by practising our intermediate parallel turns and then took it in turns teaching lessons on different skills. Once again we were facing -20 degree temperatures and lower, so every hour we went inside to warm our toes and fingers. Panicking and making sure I could do the best I could the whole way through the exam, I wasn’t concentrating on keeping warm and I’m pretty sure I lost circulation in my toes for a good hour!

The day finished at around 1pm and so we had a few hours to sit, wait and ponder whether we’ve passed or not. At 4 we met up with our groups (very nervously) to find out the results and thankfully… I PASSED!



After an evening of celebrations that we’re now qualified CASI ski instructors, we’re ready for bed preparing to wake up in 5 hours for fresh tracks!!!!

It’s going to be a good few last days (I think).

Coldest day yet!


Today after getting up and checking the temperature on the whistlerblackcomb website we realised that the cold weather had reached a peak at minus twenty five!!
After putting on three pairs of thermal leggings, four thermal tops, a thin down coat, my ski jacket, ski pants, two pairs of gloves, hand warmers, a neck scarf, socks, ski boots, a helmet and zipping it all up right to the top (boiling right now inside the house) I was ready to face to cold outside.
After meeting my exam group at the top of Whistler, we head off to start day 2 of the casi level one.
After a couple of runs practising our pivoting skill, nearly all of us couldn’t feel our noses (or toeses) and so we headed inside for five minutes to warm up. After a few more skill runs and technical drills and then a long lunch consisting of taking our ski boots off to feel our toes again and eating hot chile, we spent the afternoon practising teaching each other. It’s strange teaching people who you know can ski to a high ability but pretending that they are nine year old beginners, however everyone got involved and made the most of it.
Tomorrow is our last day, a half day and then we’ll find out the results of our exam! Im so nervous, so wish me luck and fingers crossed…


More snow plough?!

day 1 level 1 casi ski instructor exam:
Minus 20, not a great day for level 1 exam consisting of standing around learning how to wear a ski boot and ski and then spending the rest of the day perfecting snow plough. Safe to say my toes basically fell off in the cold and I nearly got frost bite on my nose! However a quick hand warmer pressed to the nose quickly sorted that out.
The perfect snow plough is actually harder than it seems as automatically your body leans back when in a pizza position and so you have to make a conscious effort to make sure your base of support is centred. Next there’s pivoting (turning the leg within the hip socket without moving the hip), this causes separation. It comes quite naturally for advanced skiiers skiing parallel however is much harder in pizza!
Thanks to alltracks we’ve had a lot of practise on all the skills within our lessons and so we knew what to do and what the examiner was inspecting. Unlucky for those who haven’t been on alltracks. Moreover the examiner seemed to be happy with my pizza and chips (snow plough and parallel) and so I’m happy with day 1.
The ice that were my feet was melted when we had a whizz down to the bottom from blackcomb peak in order to get to the class room session on time.
The day couldn’t have been made any better by the fact that right now I am in my pajamas watching my favourite program in the world.. Super super shocked that canada airs it but YAY FOR FRIENDS!

Day 2 tomorrow and we’re working on our intermediate parallel and teaching skills, happy days!


Ropes, bridges and whatnots

Today held another unforgettable experience while in whistler and another item on our to do list that we could cross off… We went BUNGEE JUMPING!
At midday 14 of us met at the Whistler Bungee hut, filled in wavers (signing our life away) and loaded the bus ready to travel to the bungee bridge.
Once we loaded the bridge and we’re harnessed off we took it in turns to jump off and plummet straight down towards the water before being jammed back up and then plummeting down once more.
The men decided that I should fall backwards with my head back as they said I seemed confident and this was the most exiting way to fall (die). Feeling quite confident I boarded the platform but then made the mistake of looking down. Once the man had counted down three, two, one, I grabbed him and swore I couldn’t do it. After what seemed like hours (maybe seconds) of begging him to let me not do it or go forward, he stayed firm, shaking his head and counting three, two.. Then I fell back, head back, lying back, everything back, falling down down until shooting back up and then falling back down again.
Obviously this doesn’t seem possible with a harness attached to your legs but we all decided on the body harness so that the boys could try out their snowboarding tricks.
There were three highlights (obviously from the three boarders).
The first ran and dived off the platform with his arms out flying but plummeting down.
The second stood backwards and then back flipped off the platform.
And the last did the most technically hilarious flip imaginable. He jumped up forwards but kicking his legs up did a backflip, and unfortunately the bungee chord got caught between his legs. After falling when the rope became tight, the chord pulled from between his legs making him flip forward so so so quickly!!
All captured on video and camera for all to see!
An amazing experience, an incredible day and the photos will be up soon.


Hike and Jump

Yesterday we faced the minus 12 temperatures, wrapped up in as many layers as would fit under our ski jackets and headed out to face the snow and to hit some big jumps. After skiing from Rendevous down to the glacier chair lift and travelling up to the glacier, we found our first jump. After side stepping up the cliff and jumping off (hopefully looking like pros) we took the cattrack over to Crystal. Here we found another great jump and after hiking up again and again in order to take the jump lots of times, we realised we’d been jumping and hiking for over two hours and so headed up to the crystal hut for some hot chocolate.

The jumping pictures are on a big photography camera so as soon as I get hold of them I will upload them!

At 4pm my time it was midnight in England which meant… CHARLIE’S 21st BIRTHDAY!!
A big big happy birthday Charlie, missing you lots!!!


After a dinner at El Fernies and an evening dancing at MoeJoes we headed back to mentally prepare for our bungee jump today!!!


Chinese New Year on ice!

Today we had a relaxing day up the mountain with some chilled skiing and a long lunch. Although the temperature has rapidly and randomly dropped to minus eleven (!!!) it was a beautiful bluebird day without a cloud in the sky. The wind chill was freezing but underneath my 4 layers, coat, balaclava and helmet, the sun made the day even more beautiful.
This evening after getting some pizza from Fat Joes, we walked to the base of Whistler to watch the Fire and Ice snow dedicated to Chinese New Year. (Another thing ticked off the whistler to do list!) The fire and ice show is a freestyle ski and snowboard show entailing a giant fire ring at the end of a big jump and as this was an especially special one, there were also fire dancers on the slope and a firework display at the end! A great end to the day.