Tony Smythe WELCOME EVERYONE TO ANOTHER SNOWPRO EDITION. A BIG THANK YOU FOR THIS SEASONS EFFORTS GO OUT TO ANDY AND CLAIRE. THEIR HARD WORK MAKES IT ALL A BIT EASIER FOR US DURING THE SEASON. This season seems to have come and gone quite fast, and it’s hard to believe that during the first week of school holidays it was a question of how long can we keep the Kids programs occupied with no snow. However, the snow came and we ended up having a “late but great” snow season. I hope everyone had as much fun riding as we did at Buller, skiing runs that we hadn’t been able to ride properly in years. Has anyone else noticed the link between the Olympic years and a great snow season? Down to business now, this year we saw the Interski Team tryouts take place at Hotham. A big thank you goes out to Nigel Mills and the Hotham Ski Company for helping to make it so great and hospitable, certainly set the standard for accommodation to come. Congratulations go out to all who made the demo team. Quality riding was demonstrated by all who tried out and was awesome to see the Teler’s, Boarders and Skiers all mixing it together. I am confident that the selected team will represent Australia and the APSI well in Austrian Interski in 2011. To all the new team members it will be an experience you will never forget. The hard work has only just begun as the process of training and fund raising continues in earnest. Over the next two seasons there will be scheduled team training at each of the five major resorts, with a chance for members to hang out with the team members as well. During these weekends there will also be some fundraising events taking place, so put your thinking caps on and see if your mountain can out do the next.
Anyone that has become accustomed to going overseas to America has struggled with the H2B Visa meltdown and has probably become very frustrated with the whole situation. I have to wonder how this will affect the industry, it is pretty clear that the numbers of instructors in America will diminish with Aussies looking to Canada and Europe as other options. It could be that this will be a reality check for some and leave the industry for a “proper” job. Staying positive though, with the H2B visa meltdown, next year we could see more instructors participating in courses and exams at home. With all the H2B visa drama it does seem that some resorts have found a LOOPHOLE. Deer Valley has made most of their instructors snow makers to get them over. Vail resorts and a few others have discovered the Q1 visa. This Q visa or as it is called “Cultural Ambassador” visa is allowing anyone to go over… as long as we are good cultural ambassadors of course. (It seems the Americans are about to be get further education on vegemite, the sports of cricket, AFL, and that drinking Fosters beer DOES NOT makes you an Aussie. ) Good luck to anyone heading over to America on the Q1 visa, or any other loophole your resort may have found. Or if you decided to put the idea of going to America in the “too hard” basket and are going to Canada, Europe, or Japan instead, good luck to you as well, lets all hope for good snow and great fun because that’s what its all about isn’t it? Everyone please note that memberships this year are being offered with the early bird discount on the 31st of December and that new members rate will be for the whole of the 2009 season. Please be aware of this date as we don’t want to drive Claire mad because everyone has forgotten about the date change Concerns about course and exam participation have again been noted. The numbers are up marginally on last year however the trend is still down, with pass rates also down. Put that down to the standard, or lack of the candidates if you like, however maybe its time to look further into that matter. A big thank you goes out to all the Technical Directors for their efforts in running their departments and keeping a strong reign on costs during the season. Also to Richard Jamieson for the continuing efforts as Chief of Alpine Exams. For anyone interested Richard and Andy have
produced an Alpine demo CD which is now available from the office. This will help anyone going for exams understand what is being asked of them. Also Warren has tidied up the Nordic manual and has started a cottage industry in printing and production which has saved the APSI considerably. A new product had been introduced this year for everyone throughout the APSI community. There was a spring session held in Perisher, during mid September (see Andy’s report ) It was a chance for any member to clinic with a D team member. A variety of clinics were offered and the feedback was positive. Next year we plan to continue this event however marketing is once again an issue, so if any of you have creative marketing juices flowing around, we’d love to hear from you. The continued success of theses events are dependant on member turn out. These clinics also count as a required clinic needed to keep your certification. Another new product which got a trial run was offering the CC to the public with very good response. Basically, any member of the public can participate, then if successful can approach any Snowsport school for employment. It will then be up to the individual Schools as to how they assess each applicant. This will be advertised on the web site, so you may like to direct all those enquiries “how did you become an instructor,” to www.apsi.net.au. Andrew is working on a product that has been on the agenda for some time now, and may be taking CC courses and exams in Japan this summer. This will be in conjunction with Scott Sanderson and Colin Hackworth. Stay tuned for this as it is quiet exciting. As some of you are aware, this is the last of my four years as president, with elections next year at the AGM. So this may be my last SnowPro report. I have had a great time and had some experiences that I will never forget, Korea topping the list. I have enjoyed seeing the APSI continue to get better and constantly evolve. I have had the opportunity to meet new members and see existing members really grow as instructors, and while it seems once a year writers block gets to me for a day, I have always had a laugh or two and enjoyed looking back on the season. My wish to everyone within the industry is to enjoy your life, and not forget why we became instructors in the first place. continued on page 2 Summer 2008
continued from page 1 While exams and training help to better us as riders and make us better instructors. We must remember that we became instructors because we have a passion for the Alpine environment and sharing the stoke. No matter how many courses, exams and training you do, it’s about those unforgettable runs you do where you can do nothing but laugh and smile at your luck, or watching the sunset on summit
TRAINING & PROGRAM DIRECTOR’S REPORT
At the end of the day don’t forget to turn left, turn right, then do it all again. Live your dreams and don’t forget why you became an instructor. Wherever your life takes you, whether it is the “cultural
assessment which was offered to the general public (as opposed to resort employees). Both of these were successful and will feature in next season calendar. Other highlights over the season included; the production of a new alpine skiing DVD, recommended as an integral training tool for all involved in alpine certification. Mt Hotham hosted the APSI National team selections, held over 2 days culminating in a new team of 11 Alpine, 6 Snowboard & 2 Telemark demonstrators, congratulations to all who attended the event.
Andrew Rae 2008, IT CAME LATE, BROUGHT SOME TOP QUALITY SNOW AND ENDED WITH A ‘MARS’ COLOURED DUST STORM. Sometimes I feel the season is too short, it is a pity we do not have more time with most of the training and assessment squashed between the end of July school holidays and mid September. From a business standpoint the APSI had a slight increase in participation while all discipline managers worked hard on lowering expenses (including Richard Jameson as the supervisor of the alpine exams – his 2nd year). I would also like to thank those who helped with accommodation for trainers this season, it really made a difference.
with beers and friends. It’s a passion within us, and I am sure there are many envious people wishing they could live everyday in the snow.
Finally the NEW annual ‘APSI Spring Sessions’ which were held at Perisher Blue in September, this was a great event for members needing to either update their certification or those wishing to just attend training for the enjoyment factor. Future plans for this summer include an update to the alpine teaching manual (as most of the old stock are all but sold out), the production of an alpine MA training DVD and hopefully some new uniforms for your trainers and examiners. Probably the single largest joy I get from my job is having the chance to meet and ride with so many people across the country. Some highlights this year included; attending some alpine level 2 courses, watching some excited level 3 candidates swim away their adrenaline after the exam and the short time I spent with the Level 3 snowboard training group.
Although some alpine numbers were down, like the Mt Buller and Hotham CC and Perisher’s Level 2 training group; others increased including 53 people at the NSW Level 1 exam (a number we have not seen for a while). Some additional APSI events were opened up this season allowing the opportunity to participate where it was previously not available.
Even after meeting so many people I often reflect on their trails and tribulations of attempting the certification process. I think this is because there are no guarantees of passing even after attending the mandatory training courses and additional in-house training.
This included an additional Level 3 resit exam scheduled for mid season (held in the opposite state to the end of season exam), where the race component was available. And a new APSI run ‘entry level course’ with children’s certificate
I have watched people attend the courses and treat them like classes at school or university which all need the addition of reading, study and homework, as well as hours of practice before and after work. Putting in above and beyond what is
ambassador” teaching Americans to play cricket on Australia day, enjoying Europe with clients, if you choose to go to Japan in search of world class powder or maybe you choose the route of summer and get some great waves. Do it with passion and love every minute, best of luck to you all. Tony Smythe
expected. …. Many people laugh at me when I tell them ‘that for every hour of training I provide they owe me 4 in return’…. This is because in my experience it seems those who pass are able to produce the expected standard in all areas of the exam on any given day, even a bad one. People are often interested in State and National pass rates, but remember these statistics do not take into account the fact that the courses and exams are delivered to individuals and as individuals we all learn at different rates, arriving at the standard at different times and therefore we create our own pass rates. For example when I graph the pass rates for each level by state, it prints out like a bowl of spaghetti, showing that the high and low percentages are randomly placed. For instance the highest national CC pass rate was this year, while the lowest L2 rates were recorded in Victoria in 1996 and NSW in 2008 with every other possible combination somewhere in between. I would like to thank all who were involved in APSI events this year both participants and employees. Let me assure you the APSI is committed to working with each resorts training supervisors to continually strengthen the training programs … however, my suggestion to you is to take what you learn from the courses and ask for more, work with your in-house trainers leading up to the exam and ask them if you are ready to attend, practice every minute of the day and monitor your own personal improvement, so you can take control of your own individual pass rate. But do not forget that the learning is the important part, the personal growth gained from understanding and later implementing a new skill often produces the results we all so eagerly desire. Andrew Rae Training & Programs Director
MT. BULLER REPORT
Dave McNiel WE WERE ALL A LITTLE DUBIOUS AT THE START OF THE SEASON, GETTING IN A FEW EARLY TURNS ON THE FIRST WEEKEND OF HIRING CLINIC, NOT KNOWING THEY WOULD BE OUR LAST UNTIL WELL INTO THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS. REMINISCENT OF 2006, WE WERE TELLING OURSELVES “IF YOU STAY HERE, IT WILL COME.” This year our optimism paid off with powder a plenty. It was not uncommon for instructors to return to the meeting place with huge grins and the remnants of their face shots (and face plants) still evident!! Access to terrain for both work and play was made much more efficient this year with a high speed 6 seater replacing the 3 seat Abom Chairlift. The 3 seater was
originally the Horse Hill Lift from 1982 to 1986 and after 21 years servicing Bourke St and Baldy it has found a new home at Mt Selwyn. Having our journey up the mountain cut from almost 12 minutes down to 31/2 minutes along with16 less lift towers on Baldy has made this terrain much more accessible to our low level classes. It has also enabled us to move our intermediate and advanced guests out of the meeting place much more efficiently. Not to mention the extra powder run we could squeeze in between lineups due to the faster access!! This season, many changes have occurred within the management structure of Mt Buller Ski & Snowboard School. The succession plan that was implemented ensured the transition was smooth and seamless. At the beginning of the season, Dom Zimmermann took over the running of Race and Events Department from Ross Taylor, as Ross became Assistant Director of the Ski & Snowboard School. Late this season, Ross took over from Paul Romagna as Director. Ross has worked on Mt Buller since 1993, more recently as the Race Club Program Director and Head of Race Department. Ross is breaking new ground as the first ever Australian Ski School Director on Mt Buller and we are looking forward to working with him for seasons to come. Paul will continue with the Ski & Snowboard School as Adult Supervisor.
After working with us for 19 years, Andy Coleman has resigned from his position as 6–14 year old Supervisor to pursue a new career outside the Snowsports industry. Andy was well liked and respected by his team and his peers and his presence will be greatly missed. We are pleased to announce that Sue George, our 3–5 year old Supervisor as Andy’s successor. Sue held this position for 8 years prior to her secondment to the 3–5 program and stepped straight back in like she never left (apart from the haircut!!) Applicants for the 3–5yo Supervisor’s position are currently being interviewed and we look forward to announcing the successful candidate shortly. Our last big news for the season was the opening of a brand new staff housing facility, Stirling House. The purpose built accommodation houses 100 staff members in 42 single, double and 4 person rooms. I hope you all have a great off season, whether it be in sun or snow and look forward to seeing you all back for a big ‘09 Dave McNiel
Maths, Trigonometry, Physics and The Skating Technique NORDIC TECHNICAL DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Warren Feakes I WILL COMMENCE THIS SHORT ARTICLE WITH A DIRECT QUOTATION AND ACCOMPANYING DIAGRAM FROM A WELL KNOWN, BUT DATED, SKATING INSTRUCTION MANUAL AND ASK YOU TO RE-EXAMINE IT (AND THE DIAGRAM) AFTER CONSIDERING THE THOUGHTS I EXPRESS BELOW.
Hip Shoulder Trunk Alignment in Skating: For some cross country techniques such as offset skate, the hip alignments and shoulder alignments are parallel at initiation when the legs are together, but during poling there is a marked difference in the orientation of the two alignments. The Trunk line (T–T) initially goes through a small forward incline, with little or no bending at the hips but with crowning of the back. The Shoulder Line (S–S) is perpendicular to the gliding (offside) ski and the Hip Line (H–H) is rotated both clockwise and counterclockwise. Is there a connection between Maths, Trigonometry, Physics and efficient skating – of course there is. As well, you won’t go far without the physics of the ski and the wax working for you as well”. I quite often use this opening statement with selected students and it goes down especially well with more senior secondary students who have a bit of a science/math lean in their studies. In the olden days of skating (80’s and early 90’s) the technique might have looked “cool” but was remarkably inefficient and on an obvious learning curve of this then new technique. I have examined video footage of earlier skating and find that the poling action in offset in particular, was bordering on 50% 4
effectiveness. This is most evident in Scandinavian skiers. Is this because they objected to the revolution of skating and wanted to make a statement perhaps? Today, one only has to look at skaters to see when, and possibly where, they learned to skate. The “old” offset style is characterized by: • A lead hand that is considerably higher than the offside hand; • A lead pole that is planted vertically and sometimes forward of vertical; • “Hanging” on the lead pole with the forearm virtually vertical and sometimes against the pole; • An offside pole action that is across the body; and, • Upper body rotation (above the hips) on poling. As well, it is common to see inadequate weight shift, inability to ride the glide ski, pole planting with a time gap and a characteristic dropping-in of the knee to a line inside that of the gliding ski.
Strive for the Best Vector I have conflict with some of the texts and research into skiing biomechanics and I am yet to find justification for actually “teaching”, as a principle, an asymmetrical pole positioning in offset. Sure, the wider “Vee” positioning of the skis in offset on steeper terrain will induce pole asymmetry but essentially “teaching this as a concept” should be avoided as efficient poling is all a matter of efficient vectors. The most effective way to push something is in exactly the opposite direction in which you want it to go. This should happen in all planes. Of course this is biomechanically impossible when we are talking about poles pushing skis because you can’t push directly backwards in all planes. But, you can in the vertical plane whilst maximizing the efficiency in the horizontal. So, I believe we must strive for BOTH poles pushing the driven ski in the direction you want it to go. In offset, this is ski direction is generally between 15 and 35 degrees to the true direction of travel, depending on the slope being negotiated. To achieve this, the rest of the biomechanics are as simple as: • The knee and centerline of the body should be aligned over the driven or gliding ski (the old Knees, Nose, Toes principle);
• The lines through the shoulders and the hips should be parallel and both aligned perpendicular (at right angles) to the line of the ski’s movement; and, • The poles, at any point in their travel, should be pushing parallel to the line of the driven ski. As well, the poles should be planted initially at an angle to the snow and that angle should strive toward, then remain as close to the perfect 45 degrees to the surface throughout the poling cycle using the consecutive trunk compression and unfolding arm and shoulder muscle contractions and angles to the greatest effect. This initial plant is difficult with the lead pole, and it is recognized there will be an effective angle between the near vertical pole and a slope but “hanging” on the pole should be avoided as energy driven downwards into the snow is energy wasted although there is some unweighting advantage given by part of the poling component. The poles should be at least shoulder width apart throughout the cycle but individual biomechanics have some effect here as well as determining whether the elbows “wing out” slightly. Essentially though, we should strive for mathematical efficiency and then allow minor deviations for differences in individual’s biomechanical strengths and weaknesses. In Diagonal or Herringbone Skate, the principle of the parallel pushing pole, singular in this case, is particularly important and a good way to demonstrate this principle. Carrying on through the skating gearbox, the same basic principles apply to Double Time and Single Time where the Vee is far less pronounced. Race technique is of course different, where efficiency often plays second fiddle to effectiveness – take for instance the “jump skate” and other technique variations where tempo and varying track and snow conditions necessitate an asymmetric expenditure of energy to achieve a result. However, Instructors, and Trainers in particular, should strive to represent and demonstrate perfect technique, which in Skating means efficient precision in timing and movement. There is no room for idiosyncrasies here. continued on page 5
continued from page 4
Some Teaching Tips I use: Diagonal Skate or Herringbone Skate is an excellent way to demonstrate the principle of poling parallel to the driven ski. Attempt to pole at various angles away from parallel and the push becomes noticeably less effective. One Arm Skating. Begin offset on a moderate slope and then cease poling with the offside pole. Examine exactly what you are doing with the working pole. Look at its basket placement, the plant angle, the parallelism to the driven ski and the general effectiveness of the consecutive working of the muscle groups. Make minor
alterations aiming at increasing efficiency whilst observing the effect. After some repetitions, repeat the exercise with only the offside pole working. This is an excellent exercise to video for analysis. A camera set to the side of the track, on the offsetting side, looking down the angle of the Vee, will capture a dozen frames or so to show the poling angles and parallelism. In conclusion, I believe it is not good methodology to teach asymmetric pole planting and pushing in offset skating (indeed in any skating instruction). It is far better to teach the basic principles of the most efficient pole use and let the
individual skier see how close they can keep to the ideal with the least asymmetry over the variances in terrain. Rotation of the trunk between the hips and the shoulders should be avoided and the line of the shoulders should correspond with the line of the hips at all times during the skating cycle. As the above are just my ideas, all correspondence will be entered into on this fascinating subject. I would welcome critique and comment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Warren Feakes
APSI SPRING SESSIONS SPRING SNOW, WARM WEATHER, GREAT BARGAINS AND YOUR CHOICE OF TRAINING (INCLUDING GOLF) WAS ON OFFER AT PERISHER BLUE LATE SEPTEMBER THIS SEASON. The event will definitely become a permanent fixture in the APSI calendar, the atmosphere was great, going along to a training session without a pass/fail consequence is always more relaxing and at the very least this is a way more fun option compared to the traditional recall, which needs updating every 2–3 years. The formula for the event was simple; the only trainers were either APSI National team members, past Interski members or special guests. 3 hour training sessions were on offer over the 2 days which could be signed up for over a morning coffee; the choice was left to you, wether you went because of the trainer or the topic. Some electives grew simply out of demand. Aldo’s restaurant became APSI HQ and we thank them for allowing us to set up shop, as this is where many bargains could be found including half price merchandise, cheap skis, freestyle max and wine from Deanery Winery. Proceeds from the auction component help the National Team go to Interski 2011.
Next season the dates for the spring sessions will be available along with the APSI calendar yearly next year and some options for accommodation for out of Staters will be available through the office. I would estimate that either directly before the exams or straight after, similar to this year are the most likely choices. I would like to invite everyone to attend no matter if you are involved in the certification pathway, due for a recall or simply an associate member couped up in a city office, sitting there wondering ‘what is happening in the world of snowsports instruction today’?
FALLS CREEK REPORT
Thanks to our extended snowmaking and cold temp throughout July and August we where able to ski our home trails right through till our last day. Great season for seeing how quick our winter environment can change, especially for our new Instructor’s from here and overseas. Falls like the rest of the Resort’s had a shorter season this year making training and work that little more intense.
Adam Geary HELLO AND FAREWELL FROM FALLS CREEK. WOW WHAT A SEASON WE HAD AT FALLS THIS WINTER. The start of the season was umm, well let’s just say what a July, cold, white and fluffy.
I would like to say well done to all the Falls Instructor’s who attended exams this year, congratulations to those who passed and good luck to all Instructors who are currently training to better their skills. A special congrats to Cassandra for topping the level 1 alpine and David for topping the level 2 boarding.
Andy Rae for his continued training in my APSI trainer/examiner role. Andy your passion is inspiring. I do believe my Pole plant is its own entity. So I will now move up to QLD to be with my fiancé Mel and start a new career, I really have no idea. Any suggestions on a future career would be greatly appreciated. So thank you to everyone and have a great Winter or Summer. And what ever you do, do it with passion and most of all laugh and have fun. Seeya Grinder, aka Adam Geary
August was great with sunny days and great snow conditions.
This year was my last year at Falls. 30 winters in total, good number to leave on, thank you to everyone who has helped me through my Skiing career, you know who you are.
MT. HOTHAM REPORT
a great season with ideal conditions to make even more of the white stuff.
Extreme terrain area which was firing all though the season.
The addition of the new snowmaking guns across Heavenly Valley, located along Imagine and Snake Gully had the resorts Heavenly Valley chair opening with exceptional snow conditions.
The renovations to the big D were a huge success with the rental department being moved out to another great location. This saw the numbers in the kids snow zone swelling as always. And with further renovations planned for summer 09 these numbers should continue to increase.
This was also thanks to Hotham's Wastewater Reuse and Water Conservation Project, which was Highly Commended at the Banksia Environmental Awards coming in third in the People’s Choice category.
Matt McGrath AN OUTSTANDING SEASON WAS HAD AT HOTHAM, WITH THE APPOINTMENT OF A NEW SNOWBOARD SUPERVISOR THE LACK OF SNOW WAS SOON FORGOTTEN. While Mother Nature took her time to cooperate, she certainly treated us well, dumping a total of 3.28 metres of snow at Hotham. Our highest average natural snow depth reached 167cm in August. We had 56 nights where the temperature did not get over 0 degrees – a bonus for our awesome snowmaking crew who had
Special thanks to Macca and Frano for my level 3 training.
Other’s to enjoy the premium snow making conditions on Heavenly Valley were those competing in the FIS Continental Cup, that attracted entrants from 15 nations. Other highlights were the FIS Easy Mac SBX and the World Industries Australian Snowboard Series. Another was the FIS Easy Mac Continental Cup Skier X title. The event was a huge success, with over 40 international competitors. Free kat skiing off Golden Point opened up even more terrain for those powder enthusiasts to find the endless powder stashes. This just added to Hotham’s
Big Congratulations to Trent Kaufman who topped the Alpine Level 3 exam and to Aiden Obrian for topping the his Level 1 Snowboard. Also to all those who passed and to those who sat their exams. Good luck to all those waiting on Visas and Happy Summers for all those that miss out. Matt McGrath Hotham Snowboard Supervisor
PERISHER BLUE REPORT
Marty Firle WELL WHAT A SEASON WE HAD HERE AT PERISHER BLUE.
With a slow start to the season with not much natural snow and warm temperatures which made snow making hard. Then the snow came and cool temperatures that lasted for 2 months, giving us great northern hemisphere snow conditions. Again like the 2007 season we had pretty much all lifts open by July school holidays. Congratulations to everyone who passed their exams this year and for those who missed parts, keep working towards them. It’s worthwhile in the end. Also congratulations to the members from Perisher selected to the new Interski 2011 team, Snowboarding – James Lloyd, Aaron Savage & Hayden Lawn. Telemark – Graham Hammond. Skiing – Richard Jameson & Marty Firle.
The first Spring Sessions were run at Perisher and was a great event. For those who came they had nice small groups. Clinics that were run were, Short turns, Park & Pipe, Interski update, All mountain skiing. This event will be run again next season so keep an eye out for more info. Hope everyone has a great summer or winter and if you are going to the States hope all the visa issues get sorted. For me I am having another summer, off to the mines in Queensland. Till next season, Marty Firle Perisher Blue Rep
I mean lets face it, by the time everyone as gone out for a week or two and had a few beers with old and new faces, had to pay rent and laugh at some of those fuel prices that were going around, there wasn’t much left in the piggy back for courses or exams.
Jason Clauscen WELL THERE GOES THE 2008 SEASON, AND WHAT WEIRD SEASON IT WAS. AT THE START I MUST ADMIT I WAS CALLING FOR A SHOCKER, AND JUNE DEFINITELY STARTED OUT THAT WAY. ALL OF A SUDDEN JULY CAME AROUND AND THE SEASON TOOK OFF PROVIDING SOME OF THE BEST DAYS I’VE SEEN OUT ON THE MOUNTAINS FOR A LONG TIME. NOT ONLY WAS THE COVER EXCEPTIONAL THE QUALITY OF THE SNOW WAS UNBELIEVABLE AT TIMES. Due to such a poor start the season calendar of events changed causing mayhem on courses and exams. This also meant that any spare I thought I might have went quickly out the window making this season personally one of the busiest seasons I had. Unfortunately the 2008 season sore some of the lowest numbers attending courses and exams on record. The CC exams ran
Shelley Carter WITH THE SNOW ON THREDBO MOUNTAIN NOW RECEDING TO THE PEAKS, AND MOUNTAIN BIKERS AND BUSHWALKERS NOW ENJOYING THE SLOPES IT IS EASY TO FORGET JUST HOW GOOD THE SNOW CONDITIONS WERE FOR THE 2008 WINTER.
well but I believe the late start to the season saw a number of people not have enough money to sign up for the level two and three courses resulting in a low attendance at the exams. Also having a slow start to the season meant it took a lot longer for people to get organised for the up coming event.
Money aside one of the only ways to fix the problems of a poor start and a lack of money is to start putting aside $20 a week over the summer so that the money factor and not be an excuse. When it comes down to it, money and time do become more and more of and excuse when mostly it comes down to commitment for some. It is important that whether you’re re-sitting, thinking of the next level or even crossing over that it you become committed to doing it. That means reading the manuals, studying the contents, asking others what its about and focusing on the tasks and scenarios that can occur. All this needs to be done well before the season even begins. I know personally when began going through the instructor pathways I was always trying to find out about the next level so I could best prepare myself for it.
After a slow start, Mother Nature really came to the party in July and August providing our guests with world class conditions to enjoy. Despite all this great snow, it was still a very difficult season for the staff at Thredbo Snow Sports. On the 2nd August a Thredbo Snow Sports Instructor, Laurianne Gaydon, was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident on her way to work. The loss of a staff member is a very difficult thing to deal with in the midst of a busy winter season, but it makes you realise just how fragile life is. In the ensuing days after Laurianne death, it became evident just how many people she had had an impact on in the short time she had been in the Snowy Mountains. This event really emphasized the saying 'live every day like it is your last'!!! We will all miss Laurianne's bright and bubbly cheer around the locker room.
This season also saw so other highs and lows that need a mention. We saw a number of instructors attend the early re-sits at the start of the season and a number of great results. Unfortunately some injuries to some people and I wish all those a speedy recovery. A huge highlight was Wiki Jones the first Female to Top the Level Three exam EVER!! Well done!! A number of BIG thank you’s need to go out. First to Thredbo and Adam Hosie for letting me work there and supporting me. To Sarah and Tina at Perisher for looking after me and providing me with a second home seeing I spent so may days there on courses and exams. To Justin at Buller and Nigel at Hotham for there help and support. A big goodbye to Benny at Falls Creek. Benny gave me my first job as an instructor many years ago, so thank you Benny. Last but not least Claire in the office and Andy Rae who without their support it would be impossible to do the job. Well I hope your season was full of good memories and I hope your summer or winter will be the same. I wish you all the best of luck. Be safe. Jason Clauscen
Happier times were enjoyed with some great with training this season the snow really turned it on for us its hard to remember when the conditions were so good and powder days were part of training. A special thanks to our trainers who worked hard all season to help everyone get a little closer to achieving their dreams and goals. Congratulations to Lisa & Clay who welcomed a healthy baby boy Noah James Stocks on October 16. That's all from Thredbo so wherever you are and what ever you do live life to the fullest and stay safe over Summer or Winter. See you all in 2009. Shelley Carter
ADAPTIVE TECHNICAL SNOWSPORTS REPORT
Graeme Morris THE 2008 SNOW SEASON STARTED A LITTLE LATE AND FINISHED TOO EARLY – DUE TO THE LARGE DUST STORM! I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING OUT ON TO THE MAIN RANGE TO DO SOME TELE TURNS BUT IT WAS NOT TO BE. With the late start to the season, it was hard to catch up with training schedules. Due to my heavy work schedule at
SODEGREN FUND REPORT
Thredbo, my plans to do another Victorian trip didn’t eventuate. With the great snow it would have been my opportunity to visit Baw Baw for the first time. I hope to get there next year. Even though he is semi-retired from Mt Hotham, Dean Sheppard still managed to get his protégés up to scratch for the exams. His camp at Harrietville, Able Management Group, has kept him busy. Over at Falls Creek with the Howmans Gap Facililty, a large number of students went through the camp this season. Heading up the program, our newly recruited snowsports instructor, Sven Erikson did a great job. Victorian Adaptive exams were held at Mt Hotham on the 12th of September. Conditions were the usual howling onshore winds onto the summit but we all prevailed and weathered the oncoming storm.
Sitting the level 3 snowboard was a great experience, although I didn’t achieve my desired result. Coming from Mt. Hotham in Victoria where we have had very limited training for our level 3 snowboarders i.e. myself. It was great to head up to Perisher to get some training. The Teach & Demo course was run by Jason Clausen in some of the best conditions I’ve ever seen for an APSI course. Perfect snow and plenty of sunshine instead of fog and rain. The course was also good to meet some new
Four candidates – 3 from Perisher Blue and one ring-in from Victoria, who missed the southern exams. The standard was again very high. Thank you to Manuella for her dedicated training over at Smiggins. I will still be doing training seminars in NSW and Victoria next year. I am extending a warm welcome to any Level II or Level III instructors to come to the Coordination Clinic next year to train as Adaptive Snowsports trainers. We also need someone to eventually transition into my position as APSI Adaptive Disabled Training Coordinator. Just let Andy Rae and myself know if you are interested. I would like to get a couple of new boards shaped, so I can semi retire!!
Eight candidates in all – 4 from Mt Hotham and 4 from Falls Creek. 100% pass rate with some outstanding performances.
Till next season, have a good summer or winter.
people from different resorts around NSW and make some new friends, not to mention to ride a new mountain I’d never had the opportunity to ride. One of the course highlights besides the snow conditions and the weather was to ride with Tim Stewart on the first day and Andy Rae on the second.
Getting out on the race board and learning how to set a race course with the guys was another fantastic learning curve. Having never taken the time to try to set up a rideable course, trial and error was an interesting way of learning.
Tim had a different way of explaining things to Jason which I really appreciated as it gave us two different perspectives on some of the simpler movements of snowboarding.
The NSW exams were held on the 21st of September at Thredbo. We enjoyed great weather conditions for the exam – sunshine, no rain or clouds.
Having Andy Rae thrown into the mix on the second day of the course gave us a whole new perspective as to how similar skiing and snowboarding really are. Sliding on snow using the same set of skills. Overall this course progressed me to a new learning curve in my snowboarding, I went back to Hotham with plenty to think about and a couple of weeks to work it out. Unfortunately I missed the first couple of days of the Race and Free-ride Course, due to getting snowed in at Hotham. Not necessarily the worst thing to happen.
As for the rest of the course it didn’t get any more fun than riding the park and pipe with a good crew especially when blessed with such primo conditions of sunshine and great snow. Going into the exam I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous and I think this definitely affected my performance. In the end I passed everything but the free-ride component, the Snowboarding component. Overall just to get the training from the two courses was immensely beneficial for myself and undoubtedly I can now pass on these tips and tricks to the snowboarding crew here at Mt. Hotham. Matt McGrath
OVERSEAS ON EXCHANGE
One of my fondest memories through my 4 year traineeship to becoming a fully certified instructor were the times spent with Mike Sodergren; a unique American trainer who believed in cultivating the exchange of ideas for the betterment of all involved. This original vision prompted a visit from an American national, Mike Rogan, who for a week in August 2007 travelled around the 5 large resorts of Australia, working with APSI members showing them more ways to teach skiing.
PSIA Academy 2008
WORKING AS A SKI INSTRUCTOR HAS MANY ADVANTAGES; MEETING LOADS OF INTERESTING PEOPLE, GETTING ON THE JOB TRAINING FROM SOME OF AUSTRALIA’S BEST INSTRUCTOR/TRAINERS, SKIING FOR WORK AND…. INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL. An estimated 70% of Australian instructors use their highly respected qualifications to gain employment overseas during the
Northern winter. This not only increases work from seasonal to year-round, it also allows the exchange of technique and teaching methodology.
Now that I am the Training & Programs director for the APSI, I travel overseas less frequently and for shorter periods. Last autumn however I had a chance to further that vision in reverse, I was invited to attend the PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) Academy as a guest presenter; to give their members a taste of Aussie culture and explain why we do things the way we do in our great southern land.
The Academy The Academy was held from the 18th to the 24th of April 2008. The PSIA Academy has been running for over 30 years although it has evolved over that time the concept still remains the same. It is a National event where PSIA members can come together to attend educational clinics that are not qualification based and all clinic leaders are PSIA National team members. At the event I worked, learnt, exchanged training concepts, networked, built interest for Australia and absorbed ideas for similar events at home.
Academy Program: The events festivities ran for 5 days with a basic formula of: • 6:30am Yoga sessions??? (This did not fit in my program) • 7 – 8:30am breakfast • 8:45 – 12:30, Skier improvement groups continued on page 11
continued from page 10 • 1:30 – 3:30, Elective sessions • 5 – 6pm, International Key note lectures • 7pm-dinner provided 4 of the 6 nights.
The Location photo tram Although the National academy has been held at various locations from year to year, Snowbird ski resort, Utah USA, has become a favourite location. Snowbird ski resort consists of 3 vast interconnecting areas; Gad Valley, Peruvian Gulch and Mineral Basin. The 12 main lifts service a wide variety of terrain, although it consists of mostly black & double black, off-piste fun. The scenic views and gondola (Tram) make you feel as though the resort is a cross between Colorado and France. The hill was exceptional; it provided a variety of challenges for this type of event. Snow conditions were usual for spring, except a good season meant there was loads of the stuff. Typically like most people on holiday it snowed another 70cm the day I left the country, so everyone could later say “you should have seen how good it was!” During my stay in Snowbird the PSIA put me up in the Cliff lodge, a seemingly avalanche proof concrete 10 storey megastructure, where all indoor events would also be held.
My Participation Experience Australia, experience the difference This was our theme and allowed us to reveal; our country, our culture, how our teaching has evolved, our philosophy, our mechanics and what it is that makes snowsports in Australia so unique. During our indoor keynote presentation we utilized some iconic slides of Australia and tried to attract people to visit Australia by wearing board shorts and thongs most of the time. Photo board shorts
Night life Being only two Aussies as opposed to whole group making a mark on Utah night life was a little difficult, if you know what the liquor rules are like over there. After I was refused service for not having ID by a much younger bar man, we had to be content with climbing a snow wall in thongs to enjoy the hot tub …. presumably after hours.
Additional participation During the week I was able to spend some time with Kim Seevers; Educational director of PSIA National (holding a job
similar to mine). I was also invited to sit in on a meeting between Kim, Katie Fry (National team manager) and Rob Sogard (National team coach). Regarding the PSIA National team selection scheduled for the week after I was in the US. This gave me a few ideas that were molded to suit our own selection process for the APSI National Team.
APSI National Team & Interski The APSI National Team consists of the best snowsports instructors in Australia. Development teams from each resort have been training over the last two winters for a spot on the National Team. The goal of the National team is to work on the direction of snowsports instruction in Australia. They will also represent their country at Interski 2011, St. Anton, Austria; the largest international snowsports instruction congress, designed for the exchange of technique, methodology and cultural style, it is run every 4 years and is attended by 36 nations.
This event helps the APSI in 2 ways; 1. Preparation: makes us look at our system, refine it and present it in the best possible light. 2. Collection & collaboration: returning from the event means we can steal and implement any wonderful ideas other countries happen to be using.
What about YOU! Over the next 2 winters the team will endeavour to train at each of the 5 larger resorts, including some time spent trailing ideas through training clinics. Also there will be an opportunity to attend Interski as ‘support crew’…. when the package deals are released there are often some quite affordable options for a learning holiday. If you are interested in going along to watch the Interski congress please contact Claire at the office so the information can be forwarded to you as we receive it.
APSI NATIONAL TEAM SELECTIONS
everyone moved inside to present prepared indoor presentations on ‘what they felt would be a good topic to take to the next Interski’. The selection team consisting of Jason Clauscen, Con Poulos, Nigel Mills, Tony Smythe & myself finished a long day by discussing all the strengths and weaknesses that each individual brought to the team.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL WHO ATTENDED THE EVENT. On the 23-24th of August this season Mt. Hotham hosted the selection of the next ‘APSI National Team’ all of who plan to attend the 2011 Interski at St. Anton, Austria.
Day 2 started with some group synchronized riding followed by the first cut of the team; here some people where automatically selected while others had to attend further selections where their ability to ride in a similar fashion to those already chosen was the focus.
The atmosphere at this part of the selection was both electrifying and thick. Most of the session was done in silence as all knew that this was a do or die situation for the final spots on the team. For me as team coach the highlight of the event was to both see the great talent of all who attended, solidifying my belief that the APSI has some very strong talent at the moment. Also the newly selected team all portrayed many similarities in their riding, as well as bringing a lot of individual strengths for us to work with …. so again congratulations to all who attended the 2 days. Andrew Rae National Team Coach
Close to 40 of our best trainers, examiners and riders put themselves on the line and pitted their abilities against each other for the chance of being selected in the team. Day 1 of the selection process included a morning of high level riding where the participants where expected to perform different tasks chosen from the current ‘Performance model’ on the varied terrain on offer at Hotham. Over a working lunch everyone was broken into small mixed groups where a task was given to plan and produce an on-hill workshop focusing on the phases of a turn. After trailing some of the theory of these group presentations on hill,
INTRODUCING YOUR NEW NATIONAL TEAM Alpine
Jason Clauscen (SB-coach & team member)
Reilly Mc Glashan
Tim Stuart (reserve)
Rick Ranscombe (reserve)
Mark McDonald Marty Firle Tim Robertson (reserve) Kate Haring (reserve) Andy Dean (reserve)