George Reid becomes Life Member of BASI
For many of you George Reid will need little introduction having been a member of the Off Piste Performance team for a few years. While George has spent a few years with us in Norway, he was spent many more in the mountains both on foot and on ski. This life long commitment was recently recognised by The British Association of Snowsport Instructors (BASI), who awarded George 'Life Membership' of the association. Congratulations George from the Off Piste Performance team, it really is great that you have received such an accolade.
We will let George tell his story below, in this piece from BASI News:
"Back in the 70s the enlightened education system in Edinburgh had in place a structure which provided every child with the opportunity to take part in adventurous activities. At Craigmount High School we were very fortunate to have Cliff White as out Outdoor Education Teacher. Cliff and several other teachers, provided us with many opportunities within and outwith school hours to climb, hike, kayak and ski. My first memories of skiing are up at Hillend (Midlothian Ski Centre as it is known now) on the artificial slopes overlooking Edinburgh, using bindings that released leaving the base plate attached to your ski boot!
Mountaineering was to be my primary focus for the next ten years with only the occasional foray up to the Glencoe Ski Centre.
When I started work at Glenmore Lodge near Aviemore in May 1984, I was surrounded by mountaineers who skied, both on the piste and ski touring. The Lodge's programme of ski courses at that time included an 'Introduction to Piste Skiing' course, which most of the instructors enjoyed as it was a break from walking miles across the Cairngorms with heavy rucksacks!
With a view to becoming more employable across disciplines, I started to ski more regularly and eventually attended my first BASI course (Grade 3 in old BASI money). I have fond memories of Sue Dickson running my course, providing me with essential training to re-shape this "mountaineer on skis" into a bit more of a skier.
Skiing has its plateau and this comes at different levels for everyone. It's a time when progress doesn't come as fast as you want it to. Fortunately for me Greg Munro and a host of others were enthusing about Telemarking and I found my diversion from Alpine skiing, rediscovering fun again, being relaxed about falling and learning more about balance in soft leather boots.
I recall one of the great Mountain Guides I had the pleasure of working with, Steve Jones, who worked at Glenmore Lodge when I first started. He took me for my first ski tour over in Glen Feshie - that was it, I was hooked! Mountaineering and skiing skills progressed, and I applied to join the British Mountain Guides training and assessment scheme, qualifying in 1987.
A few more years practice and experience on my skis and I eventually chipped my way through the old BASI Grade 2, which along with my Guiding qualification opened the door to many wonderful years working as a trainer on BASI Mountain Safety Courses.
For several winters now I have had the pleasure of working in Norway, guiding ski touring groups for Alison Thacker's company 'Off Piste Performance'. It is without doubt the highlight of my year, skiing from summit to sea with eagles on the summits and reindeer and otters on the shore; absolutely magical.
One impregnated memory is from a BASI trainers training session in Hintertux a few years back when Helen Trayfoot-Waugh said I was skiing well, "Thanks Helen". That positive feedback boosted my confidence greatly and has underlined for me the importance of providing positive feedback to our friends, peers and students.
I very much value my association with BASI, it has been a very supportive organisation throughout, and I am honoured to receive the accolade of Life Membership."