Whistler-Blackcomb ski schoolers moving up 

Whistler-Blackcomb Ski School is one of the top ski schools in the world, boasting more Level 3 and Level 4 instructors than any other program in North America.

The list of Level 4 Ski Professionals in town increased last week as a group of six Whistler skiers earned their certifications at a course at Sun Peaks. They are Dave Kershaw, Ralph Forsyth, Dave Hobson, Dustin Winstanley, Kevin Karaloff and Mike Bonikowski.

In addition, another eight Whistler-Blackcomb ski schoolers successfully completed either their Level 4 skiing or teaching components, and are halfway there. Wayne Dean, Erin Keam, Anik Champox, Darcy Trevelyan, Garret Gentle and Phil Gordon passed the teaching component, and Robin Leopkey and Chris Colbeck passed the skiing component.

Level 4 is the highest certification in the profession, and is internationally recognized.

It’s also very difficult to get. According to Andrew Christiansen, the Level 4 examiner and a supervisor at Whistler-Blackcomb Ski and Snowboard School, it was great to see the level of dedication.

"It is usually an average two- or three-year process to achieve full certification. These people commit 100 per cent to their training, giving up days off and training every morning," he said.

Of the nine successful Level 4 candidates this year, six were from Whistler-Blackcomb.

Otto Kamstra, the general manager of the ski and snowboard school, says, "Whistler-Blackcomb Ski and Snowboard School has a long standing tradition of having great success at the Level 4. It means so much to us because it builds on our desire to be the number one ski school in the world, and to do that you have to have great skiers and great teachers."

Russ Wood, the training co-ordinator also congratulated the Whistler skiers. "It’s yet another feather in the cap at the end of a very successful season."

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