Friday, 18 May 2007

ISIA Badge

Well, my ISIA badge came through the post this morning at last. That's probably of no interest to most readers but it's my blog so I'm tellig you anyway, since it took a lot of effort to get it. ISIA stands for International Ski Instructors Association, and the said association lay down minimum standards to achieve an ISIA level qualification. Meaning that the ISIA stamp or badge should be an equivalent internationally recognised qualification no matter which country you gain it in. It's taken three years and several thousand quid since passing my BASI Alpine Ski Instructor award, so you can understand I'm pretty happy.

I'm planning a more objective look at the various ski and snowboard qualifications in a future post, so watch out for that - I'll also cover how to become a ski instructor, as I am often asked this question.

Friday, 4 May 2007

Thoughts on spring skiing

Portella de Rialb

Following on from my last post where I mused about the advantages of booking a skiing holiday later rather than earlier in the season, another advantage recently occured to me. Skiing later in the season, after the clocks have gone forward, doesn't just mean that the sun goes down an hour later at night. It also means that the snow warms up an hour later as well. Meaning that you have an extra hour of good snow before it turns to slush in the mid afternoon, and also meaning that you don't have to be quite such an early bird to catch the best conditions.

The picture was taken from the Portella de Rialb near the Ordino-Arcalis Valley in Andorra the week after all the Andorran resorts had shut. As you can see, there is plenty of snow around still, and we enjoyed a fine day out ski touring with good spring conditions. I guess my main point is that April skiing can be just as good as February, so don't write off the end of the season and head for a cold wet beach. Looking at the weather reports its snowing in Andorra even as I write...