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PSIA (or otherwise trained) ski instructors in Utah?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

[Edit: I should clarify that, at least this season, I'm not talking about intensive training--don't have the time or the $$$ right now.  I'm thinking more in the lines of  2-4 hours of decent instruction to get me pointed in the right direction.]

 

I've learned a ton from reading this forum this past week and put some of it into practice on snow, which is making my skiing even more fun than I thought it could be.  I want more, and I know there's a limit to what I can learn by reading, so I'd like to find an instructor nearby who's student-centric.  I'm some kinda intermediate skier, a female middle-aged desk jockey, used to be athletic but forgettaboudit, I'm not anymore.  I can't go back to being a park ranger and off-season ski bum, but that doesn't mean I can't ski well enough to enjoy more & different snow. 

 

Geez, sounds like one of those looking-for-love ads.

 

Anyhow, I see that pretty much every ski school in the SLC area is a 'member' of the PSIA, but that isn't any guarantee the instructor they'd give me is a good teacher; it can be hard for people to take me seriously (ah, still remember finding the great PT who didn't just stick me on some machine and walk away). 

 

So, is there anyone in particular you'd recommend in the Cottonwoods--Alta (my current home hill), Snowbird, Brighton or Solitude?  Feel free to message me if it's bad etiquette to endorse one instructor over another.

post #2 of 9

Bug,

 

If you're going to get a group lesson, you don't get to choose. For a private, it's always nice to request a specific pro because they typically get paid more for requests and really appreciate it. SLC is crawling with great pros. Unfortunately our Epic pros on the Epic instructor listing have either moved on or let their supporter status lapse. Two great pros that I've skied with are Rob Sogard at Snowbird and Scott Mathers at Alta, but since they are in management requesting them for privates may be difficult. Eventually, there will be some folks here who can make other specific recommendations. If you're in a hurry, just call your favorite resort and see if they have a PSIA examiner you can request. At least get a Level 3 PSIA certified instructor. Deer Valley is crawling with them. The Canyons, Park City, Alta and the Bird all have plenty of level 3s as well.

post #3 of 9

Some one once posted on this site to

Go look at the pictures on the resort wall ,they usually have the LVL showing. ask for a LVL 3 by name and he gets extra and you get a higher LVL

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks muchly; that's great info.  I really didn't know what to ask for, so this gets me out of trying to locate an individual.  This weekend is for demoing skis and seeing how my new 'technique' works on different skis and snow, so I'll look for pics at the end of the day when I'm trying to ground myself enough to drive home safely, assuming the road is open.  It's always nice to give someone props.

 

Here's a question: what's the general practice on tips?  My momma taught me never to talk about money, but I don't want to short anyone.

post #5 of 9

Litterbug, I've taken many, many lessons over two decades. In my opinion group lessons are almost worthless. As already suggested on the thread, ask for a level 3 PSIA instructor. Wait for one, if all of them are out on the slope. A level 3 instructor will quickly size up where you are in your skiing, and what the next steps are.

Once I find an instructor I like, I ask for that person by name. The head ski school instructor (the instructor who teaches the other instructors) is normally the absolute best.

I tip the same as in a nice restaurant (twenty percent).

Good luck.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

I haven't gotten a lot from group lessons, though sometimes it's been fun to ski with others at my level; I tend to learn more from the other students than the instructor, so the $40 is often worth it. 

 

The ski school recommends calling ahead for private lessons, so it'd be easy to specify either the instructor I want or at least a Level 3.  Now that I know the quality of the lesson depends largely on the instructor's level of training (thought talent always plays a role), I'll never again just say I want a private lesson.  I'm sure there are Level 2's who are natural teachers, but for $90/hour I need some assurance of competence, so asking for a PSIA examiner or at least a level 3 is a no brainer.  And once I find someone who's hot I'll stick to them like glue.

post #7 of 9

Level 3 is the "terminal" degree, like the LLD, PhD, MFA and so on. The PSIA also has so-called "demonstration instructors" (which perhaps would be the ultimate for a private, but most likely overkill for mere mortals). <g>

Skiing friends can do useful things, like run a video cam of you skiing, but an L3 instructor can button hole specifically what an individual needs to work on (which is perhaps why they're the best of the instructors).

Based on my experience, find a top notch L3 instructor, take a private, and take another when you've mastered that lesson and essentially plateaued. You should see immediate improvement from lesson one on! Just my two cents, of course.

Good luck.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

I am nothing if not a mere mortal!

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by OlderThanDirt View Post

Level 3 is the "terminal" degree, like the LLD, PhD, MFA and so on. The PSIA also has so-called "demonstration instructors" (which perhaps would be the ultimate for a private, but most likely overkill for mere mortals). <g>

Skiing friends can do useful things, like 


Level 3 (this means certified to teach all levels of students) is the most advanced certification offered by the Professional Ski Instructors of American organization. There are higher "levels" beyond level 3, but they are not certifications. Things vary across the USA by division of PSIA, but in general, employees of the divisional PSIA organizations (as opposed to PSIA members employed by ski resorts) may be "clinic leaders" (who teach PSIA clinics to all levels of PSIA instructors) or "examiners" (who teach clinics and conduct certification exams). Also, the national PSIA organization usually draws from the division ranks to staff the PSIA demonstration team. Demo team members exemplify the top level teaching and skiing skills available ( but I've found that the folks who have retired from the demo team continue to improve their skills). Demo team members are typically employed by a home mountain as either instructors or school management in addition to teaching PSIA members and staff at PSIA events, developing new instructional media, interfacing with our ski industry organizations and representing the US at international events (i.e. Interski).

 

 

 

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