Alpine Level 2 Performance Training

November 2019

With the Adaptive Level 1 course out of the way, and needing a re-sit, I turned my attention to my alpine skiing. Part of my feedback from Adaptive Level 1 was that I needed to improve my technical skiing. I had a quick look on the BASI website  and booked on a week long level 2 training programme that was running in Zermatt in November.


Zermatt sits at the head of a beautiful snow covered valley. In summer you can ski high up on the glacier. The resort is accessed by train. As you clunk up from the valley below you become mesmerised by the stunning scenery. No wonder the rail line is part of the route for the Glacier Express !

The village of Zermatt is car free, clean and efficient. Arrive by car and you will be required to park further down the valley in neighbouring Tasch. Once in Zermatt a plethora of electrical vehicles run about carrying people to various locations. The busses and taxi’s are all electric. Be aware, they don’t have horns and silently creep up on you.

The evening before the course a meeting was held in one of the hotels. I’d heard that the entrance could be difficult to find especially as the hotel wasn’t open. I needn’t have worried. Stood in the middle of the main street was a man in a BASI jacket directing people down a dimly lit alley to a side entrance of the Cervinia Palace Hotel.

Once inside, with the course participants seated and the BASI trainers and examiners lined up against the back wall we were given a quick speech by BASI Training Director Roy Henderson, who assured us, pass or not, the aim was to become “more awesome”.

After this we split into our training groups. Outside the room our training groups had been posted up along with who our trainer and examiner was. I had Hannah Bryans.

Hannah Bryans

Like most BASI trainers and examiners, Hannah started skiing as a child when her family moved to Zurich. Ski weekends and holidays soon gave rise to an obsession with skiing and the mountains, an obsession that continues today.

The ski school director for European Snowsports (ES) Zermatt, Hannah is Swiss Brevet Federal as well as being a BASI trainer and examiner. No matter who she is skiing with she nurtures their passion for skiing.

Hannah lives in Zermatt all year round. In the summer she runs activity camps for children through Awesome Summer Camps Zermatt. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics as well as a PGCE in Secondary Mathematics !

Alpine Level 2 Performance Training

The Alpine Level 2 Performance Training is an optional 5 days of training designed to help improve your technical standard prior to the Alpine Level 2 giving you more chance of success when it comes to the assessed criteria. If you book the Alpine Level 2 Performance Training course at the same time as the Alpine Level 2 or Alpine Level 2 re-sit you get a discount. The only pre-requisite is successful completion of the Alpine Level 1 and having an Alpine Level 1 licence.

I learnt to ski in Austria at the age of 6 when every turn was a stem and you had a very definite up and down in your skiing when turning. Getting rid of the stem at the start of my turns was proving difficult to do and was still doing it in my short turns.

In my week with Hannah I made some good, solid changes. Even though the week was just three days because of bad weather. My long turns saw some great changes being made and my final run was really good. In variable and bumps I tended to ‘go fishing’, that is, do a lot of traversing looking for the best place to make my next turn.

At the end of my course report, right at the bottom, the very last line, Hannah wrote “… I look forward to seeing you on another BASI course in the future”.

I’d signed up to do the Alpine Level 2 in Saas-Fee the following March. Hannah had hinted on a chairlift ride that she was the trainer and examiner delivering the course. That sentence confirmed it. I would be skiing with her again in March for my BASI Alpine Level 2.

To Come :

Educating Adventures

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