BIGGEST BASI level one at Hemel Snow Centre!

What a fantastic week! Almost like running a course in the mountains..

  • 5 courses 2 snowboard, 3 alpine
  • 45 students
  • 80%<> pass rate!

 hemel level one july

The BASI level one courses are proving more and more popular. Many of the students last week were 16-18 yrs of age. This of course is fantastic, it ensures we are getting ‘grass roots’ ski teachers looking for a pathway through to the I.S.T.D.

The trainers and tutors for the week were, Lee Townend, Stuart Bernard, Ash Newns, Lyndon Boddy. We ensured that all went smoothly and that the logistics of coping with 45 students on the slope at one time were well organised.

The Staff at the ski centre were very helpful and with sheduled lunch breaks meant that all were seved promptly and efficiently.  Fellow trainer, Peter Gillespie, who runs the snow school and is a Director of the business, has ensured that the Hemel Snow Centre is well and truly a BASI centre of excellence.

It was also great for me personally, as our son, Cameron attended his first BASI course for  Level one snowboard instructor, and passed! Maybe he will follow in his Dad’s footsteps?  Who knows!!Alex Cameron and Ashley

Seen here with his old Dad and Ash Newns his trainer.

For interest, James Cove, the content editor of was there running a story on the weeks events. to get the full story visit the web site.   and the article…………  Pictures, interviews and editorial, makes for a great read! There will be more episodes so keep an eye out on the blog.


Barcelona heatwave!

I’m a bit late in getting this down on the blog, been rather busy.  We went to BARCELONA 10 days ago. Since then I have been in a big fridge at Hemel Hempstead busy delivering a BASI level one exam, more on this later…But here is some news and pics from Spain, hope you enjoy!

Well, maybe nothing to do with skiing, but, what a great city Barcelona is! ….

Barcelona city view

With temperatures exceeding 37 deg c it was very steamy!  We were staying in aVilla high in the mountains above the city,  in a small village called Taganement.  A short, but very hot walk from the villa takes you into the hills of the national park with views of the city and coastline in the distance. Skiing is only 1 hour away in the mountains near Andorra.  Think this must be the place to be.   Hot evenings by the pool and great wine. What else do you need?….

Hot Villa evenings...

The ‘ramblas’ in the city has all the street artists and ‘mime’ artists staggered along it’s length. The food market is a must to visit, I have never seen such great fresh food all in one place..

'Chilli' in the Barcelona food market

The world cup final was on the same time, luckily we were well away back at the Villa whilst the event was on. The centre of Barcelona was preparing on the morning of the match, it looked like it was going to be a boozy beer night!

Counting the euros on the ramblas

If you get a chance to go, go as soon as you can, it’s great!  More pictures on ‘FLICKR’ opposite.

Thanks Mark and Julie for a great break!

Two skis or two wheels?

I have not done any updates lately, sorry! But now I’m back in the UK and enjoying this great weather, the computer has taken a back seat! However, the thrill of two skis on my feet has given way for a week or two anyway, to my two wheels, the motorbike!

bemad bike night

What an amazing evening! Last night at the BMAD (Bikers make a difference) charity get together saw many hundreds, if not a thousand bikes on Paignton sea front on a beautiful June evening. After the inspiration from the meeting, the bike came out of the garage again today to go on a whizz down to Plymouth this evning with my son, Cameron, yet another fantastic night. The Devon ‘b’ roads are just great at this time of year.

bemad bike night 2

Bikers supper please, bacon bap and a cup of tea!


Who needs a mirror when you’ve got CHROME!

Who needs a mirror?

ISIA President visits BASI, Hintertux 2010

ISIA is an International association governing the standards of ski teachers worldwide.

To maintain the high standards of the BASI system and our membership of the ISIA (International Ski Instructors Association) we present our methods and our delivery of the course content, along with of course, the standard of ski performer we accept as being the right standard of membership of ISIA.

Les Ward and myself accompanied our visitors during the day and ensured that they had a clear understanding of our individual course criteria’s.  Andrew Lockerbie, BASI’s Chairman and acting CEO, was at hand to introduce various trainers and their roles within our association. Andrew regularly attends ISIA meetings and is familiar with the president and other directors of the ISIA.

Our visit (seen in the picture above) was from the President, Reit Campell also the Director of Swiss Snowsports,  Hugo Reider (Italy) ISIA legal representative, Jan Kindschi, Technical director and Swiss Demo Team director. Reit is the man with the responsibility of governing Swiss ski schools, a pretty big responsibility when you think just how many ski schools and ski teachers there are in Switzerland!

The inspection went very well and BASI was seen at its best with over 23 trainers working very professionally. This showed clearly and was remarked on by the 3 ISIA visitors.

The reassuring positive feedback from Reit was that our qualifying levels for membership of ISIA were met easily.  The ISIA membership is only granted at our Level 3.

BASI as members of ISIA, also attend other countries ski teacher courses to ensure that their levels are also at a high standard. This ‘Policing’ of each nation’s course ensures we are working at the right levels.

So, in summary, the BASI system more than exceeds the standards for membership of ISIA. We are one of the only Nations who have separate courses with a qualification awarded for separate disciplines seen here…


So, all go for BASI and its members for another year or two!

The course members Today…

The trainers for the week….

Volcano BASI disruption



 The Volcano disruption has not deterred skiers from getting to Hintertux!

It just goes to show, that if you are determined enough you will always get through. Here in Hintertux B.A.S.I. have over 500 candidates attending courses over 3 weeks.  To co ordinate the trainers required and the people attending each course and getting skiers who attended last week’s course home, has been a monster task!  After all the confusion eventually ALL the course members arrived,  for some just 2 days late.  Pretty good considering the circumstances don’t you think?!. 

Les Ward, Trainer support, has been busy coordinating course times and candidates, if ever BASI needed trainer support it has been on this course! Recon we would have all been lost without Les! Diane Wilde back in the BASI office has also been frantically organising stuff from the UK. sometimes well into the early hours.. Whoever said their job was easy…maybe on a sunny day on a fantastic piste with great clients..But Volcano disruption.. There’s another thing..

The BASI van has done a fantastic job. It left last Saturday night with 4 trainers onboard, bound for London where it would drop those 4 off and pick up 3 more and simply turn around and drive back here, making a 1400 miles round trip in 2 days!

Red Point, the adventure travel company based here in the Ziller valley, have pulled all the stops out to get candidates home as efficiently as possible. Greg, a co-owner of Red Point, drove several people home in the company mini bus.  Now that is service! There are some skiers still stranded here so an extra 4 days skiing was a bonus for them.

As for me, I was supposed to go home last week but have stayed as trainer support. It has been an interesting and eye opening week, the only opportunity for me to see all the groups of different levels working.

Tomorrow…..a visit from the I.S.I.A. (International Ski Instructors Association)  Will let you know what happens…..

Hintertux Pictures, April 11th 2010

Just had to post this.

This is Hintertux today at 10.30am..April 11th 2010 World Class Skiing in a World Class Resort! I’m in Hintertux just about to start a BASI level one course for a week. If the mountain looks like this next Saturday it will be difficult to leave!

New Generation Ski School Vallandry, Les Arcs

Ski New Generation in Vallandry, Les Arcs.

After my final few weeks in Vallandry, France working for  New Generation ski school, manager John Thomas, the postitive reaction to the ski school is outstanding. Many people are booking now for next year and at this rate we will need more instructors! The team of 4 internationally qualified ski teachers find themselves in great demand on a regular basis. Booking for the school is made through or by phone on 0033479010318

The area offers a very good range of pistes for all abilities of skiers. The Paradiski area from Les Arcs 2000 all the way over to Champagny (the other side of La Plagne)  is huge with some awsome terrain. The North Face of the Bellecote for example, is an off piste skiers dreamland! The easy pistes in the Vallandry area offer safe skiing for youngsters with exciting sking through the trees arriving safely at the base station. All in all this has to be most underrated international ski area in the Alps!

More to follow and pics!

Klosters Skiing, Womans ski course for 2011

Klosters, Switzerland

My recent week skiing in Klosters with my clients was terrific. The area has some superb skiing and plenty of  ‘off piste’ areas to go at.  Be aware however of the south facing slopes, this is Avalanche territory.  This time of year there are many ‘wet’ sides and are very close to some pistes.

Klosters is a small resort and very cosy, It boasts the obvious, that it is the holiday destination of  the Royals and not only from the UK!  With this prestigious accolade it has an aire of calm in the town.  There maybe some late night bars etc but one resort this is not, and that is loud and boozy!  Compared to Verbier for example it is quiet…..!  So if you are after a week of  hitting the town this may not be for you. However, if you are looking for a very ‘classy’ tastefull ski resort then you will not find one better. It is a typical Swiss resort. Very pretty with the Swiss trains ‘shuttling’ up and down the valleys shows off the charm of Switzerland.

The skiing access is good for Davos for example as you can ski into the town from Klosters and get the train back up the mountain!.  A good selection of varied runs with great areas for intermediates.

Access from Zurich airport is easy with regular trains running and only one change at Landquart, from there it is about 45 mins to Klosters main station. As with all Swiss railways the timings are very accurate! So if you are thinking of a very comfortable ski holiday you will not go far wrong here. 

I will be running a ‘Womans’  ski course next year, probably the last week in March 2011, so let me know if you would like to come. It will be a small group so places will be limited.

Enjoy Klosters!

On the way to Klosters…

Head Supershape iTitan skis 2011 with KERS technology

The HEAD iSUPERSHAPE iTITAN skis are set to be the ‘Awsome skis’ for 2011.
Head supershape TITAN skis

The dimensions are designed for some great on piste and off piste riding. Slightly wider than the famous Head SUPERSHAPE MAGNUM skis. I have skied the Magnums and found them fantastic on the piste. See earlier blog. Seen here, next years design, looks great don’t you think! The quick responses from the Titan skis will give you a real ‘kick’ and ensure you grip the piste whilst skiing the steeps. With the added width the skis perform very well when skiing off the piste. Also this wider design allows for easier rotary movements for quicker turns in the bumps.

With the new KERS  (Kenetic Energy Recovery System)technology the vibration will be kept to a minimum. This technology is used in Formula 1 car racing. Cutting edge technology.

Take a look at the new dimensions for the Head iTitan skis here….
Length 170 cm
Radius 13.5 mtrs
Tip     128
Waist 78
Tail   114

156 cm , 163 cm , 170 cm, 177,  cm
Prices RRP..£570 for the package, Skis and Bindings.

If you are thinking of a pair, best to order early as I see that these will be in demand next winter! If you would like to know where to ‘pre order, a pair then contact us on

I’ve ordered mine already!!

















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BASI Gap course in Verbier with Altitude Futures

Verbier BASI groupBASI gap course with Altitude Futures.
A full group of 10 students are on this BASI LEVEL 2 course. They have had some good traning over the past 9 weeks. Verbier offers a great area for training and has the inevitable fantastic ‘night life’! All the pistes are in superb condition with lot of variable areas to challenge even the most hardened skier.
This is our mid week break and we will start again on Monday with two or three more teaching sessions to go along with heaps of personal develoment training.
All my group are putting in 100% to improve their performance to obtain this qualification of LEVEL 2

BASI have 9 trainers working here this week, just goes to show how popular the gap courses are.

Great news! ALL passed! 100% well done guys! Also won the VERBIER BASI  synchro champs! [youtube=]

Check out all the photos at flickr

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