Having been undecided as to whether or not to do Adaptive Level 1 or Alpine Level 2 next I chose Adaptive Level 1.
When I had earlier got in touch with Ash Newnes at Snowsports Coach in Arinsal he had recommended that I do the Adaptive Level 1 in the UK and as it happened I was already booked on an Adaptive Level 1 course at Manchester ChillFactor in October. I also knew who the trainer was. When I was at Manchester ChillFactor on one of my previous visits there had been an Adaptive Level 1 running and I got chatting to the trainer and examiner Greg Moffatt. He would also be the trainer and examiner delivering the October course.
Greg and his wife Nina used to run Redpoint Ski holidays for adaptive skiers. Founded in 1995, and based in the Ziller Valley, Austria their aim from the very beginning was to share a love of snow sports. The Redpoint team have strived to ensure that adaptive skiers not only enjoy their skiing but also have a fabulous holiday whether learning for the first time or a regular skier, bringing family or travelling alone. Each instructor, rep or driver always aimed to go that extra mile to make a successful holiday experience.
In June 2019 Redpoint made the decision to miss out the winter season 2019/20 whilst waiting to see what happened with the Brexit situation in the UK and in March 2020 ceased operating any further holidays due to the Coronavirus situation.
BASI Adaptive Level 1
Adaptive Level 1 was my fifth BASI course in just over a year. Going on courses can be quite expensive and I tend to go for cheapness when it comes to accommodation. Not fancying a week in a hotel I had rented a house but had failed to anticipate how bad Manchester rush hour traffic was and instead of it taking me 30 minutes on a morning to get to the slope it took me 90 minutes. I rarely arrived on time.
I had booked to do the course at Manchester as it was a slope I knew and used frequently. I had spent time there obtaining the required shadowing hours after Alpine Level 1 and had also spent time with Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK) there prior to going on an adaptive ski holiday as one of the support team.
The BASI Adaptive Level 1 may only be a week long but there’s a lot to take in and learn. Not only do you have to learn the equipment (what it does and how to use it), you have to learn what are known as ‘red flags’ (alerts for medical conditions) and also deliver on-snow teaching sessions to the group as if you were giving a real adaptive lesson.
My progress through the course was slow and by Wednesday it was clear that I wasn’t going to learn everything in time. Greg pulled me aside for a chat. It was agreed that I would drop most of the course content focusing on bucketing the Bi-Unique, stand-up tethering and teaching. These were the components in the course that I used when I volunteered with the DSUK social ski groups. For me it was better to get these right rather than doing everything and achieving nothing.
Greg didn’t make the course easy. The knowledge he has built over the decades is incredible and he puts that knowledge to good use. Red flag scenarios were daunting for some and the lessons were very real. Greg is a brilliant actor and certainly knows how to put someone under pressure. He is also hilariously funny. In one of the lessons a member of slope staff even came over and asked the group if our trainer was ok !
For me, having so much content in such a short space of time proved too difficult when it came to passing the course. For me, a modular course would be better. That way I can do the modules that I will use and build up to a full adaptive qualification.
To Come :
Alpine Level 2 Performance Training – November 2019