Azerbaijan, our host country, has a very diverse climate which brings sweltering heat in the lowlands, but also has high mountainous regions with ski resorts. In 2016, TISA parents Laura and Steve made the most of this opportunity, and established a first TISA ski team. They encouraged the students to take-up skiing training sessions - delivered through expert teaching at the great facilities beneath the Shahdag Resort.
I joined the members of the Ski team for two weekends to see what the experience is like and to what this unique TISA activity has to bring to the table.
It all starts with a long bus journey to Shahdag, in the northeast of the country - and it is made all the easier with the good company and the availability of snacks to push you through the mountainous journey. Upon arrival, you get whisked away to a room which is yours for the weekend, then mingle with friends and enjoy some dinner, finally getting some sleep in order to shred the slopes the next day!
Woken up by the morning Shahdag sun, you quickly rush to the breakfast buffet for "fuel." You have a busy day ahead - personal development as an aspiring skier, and also some skiing fun with your friends. Once you've got your equipment ready, you’re facing cold winter's air which only adds pace to your descent down the slopes later in the day. There are lessons in the morning and the afternoons, as well as free-skiing periods to perfect the concepts learnt earlier. The lessons are lead by knowledgeable coaches and people are grouped by experience to ensure that you’re able to reach your best skiing potential while still having fun and feeling comfortable.
After a demanding but satisfying day, you trudge back into the boot room to take the skis off, and get excited for the next descent down the slopes with all your friends.
Whether you are an off-piste wizard or someone has never skied before, joining the TISA Ski Team is the best way wind down after a busy week of schoolwork, as well as to get into skiing scene as a student in Azerbaijan.