•September 12, 2011 • 1 Comment

New World Class Skiing  web site is live!.

It also hosts the blog, so soon you will be reading all the posts there. We have imported all of the existing posts from here so none are lost. This blog will continue for a while so do not delete us from here!

It is easier to navigate and is soon to be full of reviews, news and new ski courses for 2011/12

Take a look. go to

We hope you enjoy the new smart site! Sign up on it too to get the stories and the latest news.

Twitter it and let your friends know!






Plastic fantastic, Kite surfing, and a missing bottle of red…

•September 11, 2011 • 1 Comment

Plastic fantastic, Kite surfing,   and a missing bottle of red..

Yesterday, September 10th, was a beautiful day. Sun and clear skies. As seen here by the beach hut picture. Today however is another story..It’s been raining since 3am heavily. As there is no skiing today, the accommodation is full of quiet gappies reading, downloading youtube videos and generally a bit bored


Another bus ride into the town again yesterday, again the bus full of loud chatty kids and teenagers on their way to the metropolis!  A short walk to the shores of Lago Nahuel Huapi  I spy a chap  kite surfing, now, in Patagonia that’s wild! He was screaming back and forth on a blustery, cold day on the lake. It’s impressive with the Andes as a backdrop. Shame about the homeless plastic bottles and stuff. Poor plastic doll, her one arm seems to be asking for one answers.

The Cathedral in Baliloche is impressive, a grand building overlooking the Nahuel Huapi Lake. I could not get in, the door was locked, however I did spy a chap snoozing on the steps, and I wondered for a moment, was he waiting for God or just taking a morning nap? Needless to say, I thought better not to ask. You’ll see him on my flickr photos, (opposite) click on and browse the shots.


Interesting meal last night. We were advised by the local staff here at  El Retorno that the place for exceptional steaks at the best price was at LA FONDA DEL TIO restaurant. With its formica top tables and tomato ketchup it was not a tourist venue!. We were served with 4 enormous steaks which were so tasty. We worked out that you would probably pay more for the steak on its own in your local supermarket than we paid for the whole meal!  60 Pecos…that’s about £8.75.  Me Duncan, Lee and Simon enjoyed the big juicy steaks..yet again.

What was missing from the meal however was a bottle of Red…….We happened to pick the night that Bariloche has a night of NO ALCOHOL to be served, or sold in public places. From 8pm Saturday to 8pm Sunday, they refuse any alcoholic drinks to be served what so ever. It is to remember 4 people who were killed in a tragic road accident several years ago in the area; the accident was caused by drinking and driving. I think this is an amazing ‘community’ response to 4 –could be avoided-  deaths which certainly makes you think about the excesses of drinking. I wonder if this could be done in the UK?…  People here abide by the rules and the absence of alcohol for the day is accepted by all, no complaints.

Theres no doubt that all countries have drinking problems, but some seem to be more aware and prepared to do something positive about it.  So, water sin gaz, and coke were our drinks. That, certainly made us all think.

We returned home..sober..and had an early night, and my thoughts were of the accident victims and what a shame about the plastic… .

A windy ridge..a taxi driver and nothing forever..

•September 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Half Way through the gap course in Argentina.

Today we have reached our half way stage on the BASI gap course with Peak Leaders.  All the students passed their level 1 last week and are now about to embark on the level 2. A week end off and some rest will get the troops ready!

Seen here are all the skiers, and inset pic my guys from last week, Callum, Grega, Doug, Ben, Ross, Sam, Ed, Alex, Tom & James. great bunch of enthusiastic skiers.

What a great job I have, aged 53, skiing in the Andes with some wonderful happy people, sometimes I have to pinch myself..!

We have had some varied weather conditions over the past two weeks and today was a very wet and windy one! This does not ‘dampen’ (excuse the pun!) our sprits for ensuring the students get the best from us. Take a look at the video and see firsthand the high winds on Condor 2 lift! today. This is completely opposite to the weather I experienced last September. Just scroll back to the blog last year September 2010 and see for yourself.

The Lift Company here do their best and the lift guys are always friendly and helpful, especially Cecilia, on the t bar, probably the prettiest T bar operator in the southern hemisphere!! I’m trying hard for my guys in the group to at least ask her out! It has only taken them 4 weeks to pluck up the courage! (I’ll ask her for a photo and post it later!)

It has been very hard for the businesses of Bariloche and the Cerro Catedral this winter, the Volcano and now the weather. I took the local bus ride into town yesterday, only 3 Pecos….44pence! It takes about 45 mins, however, it was school out time and the bus seemed to stop every 200 yards! Full of local mums, dads, kids and teenagers going somewhere, noisy, and bustling with activity. I was worn out by the time I got into town! So I decided to get a taxi home, infact a remiss, they are generally cheaper than taxis in that they only charge you for one way. Talking to the driver yesterday evening on my way back, he was a very gentle chap, you can tell that he is so proud of his home town here and the amazing countryside around about. Fishing is his sport and his gentle philosophy of ‘feeling the senses’ when he catches a 8 kilo trout and the special feeling he gets when he releases it back to nature. He is teaching his 4 year old son the gentle side of life and the art of good fishing, he said that he hoped his son will understand and grow up to appreciate all he has around here. He says that life has many changes, the volcano has changed everything locally and nothing in the world is ‘forever’ it is like a book with different chapters he says, all we need to do is be able to read them correctly… …What a great chap, a true philosopher…we might say..salt of the earth, and he drives his taxi every day in a stunning location…he knows it too.

Should have got a picture…Might meet him again one day.

Volcano dust and effects on the skiing

•September 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Ash haze over Cero Catedral and San Carlos de Bariloche

It’s still here, the ash that is. The eruption of the Puyehue-Cordón-Caulle  volcano is still causing disruption in Argentina.

The eruption on June 5th caused havoc and is still effecting air traffic here in Argentina and as far afield as Australia and New Zealand.  As over 48% of their revenue comes from tourism, Bariloche and the surrounding ski areas are badly affected.  Where many shops at the ski station were open and thriving last year, this year you see them boarded up. It is difficult for many to get here due to the closed airports. The ash is still being thrown out and is hanging in the air most days. If we are lucky enough to get a westerly breeze then the haze will move away….over to Chile. Not good  for the neighbours over the other side of the Andes though.

It is strange to think that we are carrying out a BASI gap course under the shadow of this huge natural phenomenon! Millions of tons of ash must have been blown high into the atmosphere to cover such a large area. The Volcano is 90 kilometres away, not far when you think that it is affecting New Zealand!

Take a look at these links to see the scale of the eruption.

Makes for an interesting BASI course though!

Back to Argentina 2011

•August 29, 2011 • 2 Comments

BUENOS AIRES Sunday 28th August 2011

Here I am again, did not think I would be back here within a year but here I am! Working on a BASI gap course with Peak Leaders. Along with my fellow travellers and trainers, Lee Townend and Duncan Adamson.

Seems like getting here is always an adventure. To cut a long story short, our original flights would have taken us to Brazil then onward to Buenos Aires with a connection flight to Bariloche. Needless to say, this original booking was cancelled leaving the team to find alternative flights within 48 hours. We did it with BA! good flight and comfortable. The transfer flight to Bariloche however was another story….The flight was cancelled and re scheduled for the evening to Neuquén which is  a 6 hour bus ride from Bariloche! So, total travel time..37 hours…Seems to be the average time to get here!

To add insult, A local Volcano has erupted, infact it erupted in June and keeps spewing ash into the atmosphere, the ground here is covered in this sandy substance and gets into everything. This has had a major effect on the tourist industry here. With many flights being either cancelled or lengthy diversions from Buenos Aires leading to fewer skiers willing to travel here. The snow is not as good as normal with the volcanic ash interfering with the precipitation, more rain than snow has been falling apparently.

This looks like it is going to be quite a challenging month here with the BASI courses to get through and limited time to do it.

I’ll keep you posted!

Rio Platte Buenos Aires..

Come and join us! Hemel Hempstead snow centre 25th June

•May 25, 2011 • 1 Comment

Come and join us! Hemel Hempstead snow centre 25th June 2011
Alex Leaf WCS New Gen


Come and join us on 25th June, at the Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead, where  and  will be hosting  a Summer Snowsports Camp!   This one day opportunity will run from 12pm – 5pm and include coaching sessions from our team of BASI trainers and Level 4 instructors .  Round off the season by reviewing your snowsports performance  and exchanging skills and experience with like-minded people.   Top this off with some serious socialising with a buffet thrown in!

This is World Class Skiing’s 20th year, and we are in the mood for celebrating!  Following this event  we will be partying in October with a special  week scheduled for our Showcase in the autumn. So, with this in mind, our event at Hemel on the 25th will feature a draw for 2 free course places for the 22nd October Autumn Showcase, along with some fun giveaways!

A top snowboard trainer (BASI performance development) will be joining us for the day, provided there is  a minimum booking of 3 snowboarders .

Following the snow time there is every possibility of carrying on the party in a local watering hole!

Price for the event is £90.00, which includes slope time, coaching fee and buffet.

To book please contact the

The Snow Centre
St Albans Hill, Hemel Hempstead,
Herts, HP3 9NH 0845 258 9000

and RSVP to World Class Skiing on our email …………………Enjoy!

Regards, Alex (World Class Skiing) & Pete (Alpine Coaching)



•May 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Demolishing the old!

From a single chair in the 1980’s early 90’s Hintertux now has a new 10 man gondola to be installed.

Major work is now being carried out demolishing the old chair lift and concrete platform to make way for the new lift.

Work starts soon and the new lift is expected to be fully operational by November 2011. It appears that it will make the easy slopes of the centre of the glacier more accessible for intermediate skiers, rather than having to go to the summit and negotiate the steep section from the top station!

More news as the project is created!

(photos taken with HTC Desire mobile phone)
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