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Taking it to The Next Level at Squaw Valley

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Squaw Valley is the home of The Next Level Camp with Ingrid Backstrom and Jessica Sobolowski-Quinn.  

This year the camp was limited to 14 registrations, 7 of which were part of the EpicSki gang, including Segbrown, RachelV, Daria, Me, Pequenita, and 2 of our friends. 

Group Shot courtesy of Sky(AKA Awesome videographer) 

 

AppleMark

 

 

The purpose of this camp is to take women with a solid ski skill set and take it to The Next Level, with tactical coaching from two of the most incredible female freeski professional's imaginable.    Squaw Valley is the perfect setting for this type of camp for many reason, including but not exclusive to the incredible terrain, and the fact that both of these women call Squaw their home mountain.

 

Photo Cred - Sky

 

 

ULLR made an appearance just in time to freshen up the slopes for us, which made for a great warm up day on Friday which was the first day of the season for a few of the ladies who flew in for the event. 

 

Saturday and Sunday morning, we were arrived at 7:30 AM for a yoga session with Sherry McConkey, followed by an incredible breakfast from Wildflower Deli before hitting the slopes. 

 

(as someone who doesn't do yoga, this was a challenging and beautiful experience.  I would like to do more)

 

We headed up KT22 and skied a run together to sort out which women went in which group. 

 

 

 

Soon after, we were guided to some areas of Squaw that seemed challenging, but I soon found out that the things that were intimidating were within my skill set and I was ready to do this!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the end of this weekend, my cheeks hurt from smiling 

 

 

Personal takeaways from this Camp: 

I have the skills to ski some pretty challenging terrain.  I just need to let go.

The really good snow is where someone else is scared to go

Like finding neutral, if you establish a power position, you are unstoppable.

 

Pros of the clinic: 

Shaking head games and gaining confidence

Cons: My mom will not be pleased to know the kind of terrain I'm skiingcool.gif

 

 

Thank you RachelV for talking me into doing this the first time and Thank you to Sherry for exposing me to Yoga.

Thank Ingrid for the power position, and Jessica for the  Spine!

 

And to the people who sponsored the event: 

Volkl-Marker, Kombi, Points North Heli, Cliff Bar 

 

This was an incredible weekend that I will not forget any time soon. 

post #2 of 29
Quote:
Cons: My mom will not be pleased to know the kind of terrain I'm skiingcool.gif

 

The phrase to remember here is "camera angles", as in "Mom, that's not that steep, it's just camera angles".  icon14.gif

post #3 of 29

p.s.  From this trip report and the Facebook pictures you all have been posting, this looks like it was an awesome experience!

post #4 of 29

Really enjoyed reading this report.  Good on y'all!

 

But.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post


 

(as someone who doesn't do yoga, this was a challenging...

....I've been reading for six years now how your double jointedness makes you super pliable and reliable.  Now I learn that you're challenged by a little yoga..... I've gotta go find a quite place and sort this all out.

 

 

=)

post #5 of 29
I'm so envious. Ingrid is about my favorite pro skier. How great you got to ski with her!

Btw, would you send Ullr our way?

Mike
post #6 of 29

 

 

So, my impressions of the aforementioned trip, as I was also a participant:

 

As T said, it was awesome. That concludes my trip report. 

 

Ok, not really ... I'm trying to think of some different takes on it. A few random points --

 

1. Although this was a tactical camp, it's rather impossible to achieve some of your aims if your technique is all wrong. Each group had a Squaw instructor in addition to the pro guide, mostly to help us in lift lines, but they were also very good in adding some more detailed technical help. Having two voices was a nice touch. 

 

2. The yoga was fine, but I could have done with a lot less of it. But that's me, as I don't really like group exercise classes at all. I learned a few exercises that I will incorporate into my own little private routine. ;-)

 

3. The weather turned out to be optimal conditions for what we were doing.  A full-on powder day would have been nice in one way, but it would have brought out a lot more crowds and the attendant aggro behavior that would not have helped the coaching we were receiving. We were able to stand at the top of chutes and listen to Ingrid or Jessica -- and then ski one at a time -- without being in anyone's way. And the cold temps (apparently they were flirting with all-time record lows) kept the snow so, so nice and soft, but it was still gorgeous and sunny out. It was a little like Colorado used to be, you know, back when there was snow here.

 

4. Upon reflection, head games come from many different places. Although I knew that the camp was geared toward skiers who were working on overcoming fears, that's not really why I was there. That is not a big problem, so the rah-rah emphasis was largely lost on me. Which was fine -- as I said, I was well aware of the camp's purpose. I would have preferred a little more negative feedback, in fact (you know, Don't do THAT, etc).

 

However ... I had been fighting a bug all weekend, and my energy levels were waxing and waning. Right before lunch on the second day, I was pretty much toast. We had hiked up Mainline Pocket and after putting skis on, we had to negotiate a pretty hard right turn over some exposure. One skier decided to take off skis and walk around another way, and a couple of other skiers were hesitating pretty long before finally making the move. I was last, and by the time it was my turn, it took me a little bit to gather my energy and go. Ingrid was giving me the standard encouragement about how I have the skills to do this, etc etc, and I was thinking, "That's not the problem. I want to be curled up in my own bed right now, 1000 miles away, wrapped up in my down comforter with my dog next to me and a cup of tea in my hand " blah blah blah. But of course it would be silly to say that. Instead, I mumbled a few nonsensical half sentences and then skied away. 

 

(SO ... there is always the plus of ensuring that the best skier in the world thinks you are suffering from mild dementia.)

 

At lunch I really really wanted to just quit. I wasn't sure it was smart to keep skiing this stuff while I was not 100%, so I was mildly concerned about getting injured. Had it been a regular (ie, non-camp) day, I would have stayed in. But I finally said SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP and ended up having the absolute best afternoon. In retrospect, I realize that that was my own personal head game: not fear of exposure, but fear of underperforming. And it is a fine line, to be sure ... I still think we should be smart about what we are skiing and when, but maybe my line is in a different place than I thought it was.

 

5. We were videotaped on basically the only crap snow we skied all weekend. It had gotten chunky in the sun, over the top of a pretty crusty base. We all complained about that, but in hindsight, it was the best way to show us our weaknesses.

 

6. Everyone involved was just super nice and chill, from the participants to the pros. I like skiers. 

 

A few more photos ... 

 

 

 


Edited by segbrown - 1/17/13 at 8:23am
post #7 of 29

post #8 of 29

SEGBROWN-

 

(SO ... there is always the plus of ensuring that the best skier in the world thinks you are suffering from mild dementia.)

 

 

So I got that going for me! wink.gif

post #9 of 29

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the end of this weekend, my cheeks hurt from smiling 

 

 

 

Better than having the other pair hurt from fallingbiggrin.gif

 

icon14.gificon14.gif

post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 

Susan, nice job of describing the balances and fine lines. 

 

Another takeaway for me was the lesson on mountain aspects that you learn from the lift.  Paying attention to the way the wind is blowing, the locations of trees, rocks and terrain changes from the lift so you know where you want to go and finding it once your skis hit the ground.   

 

I really wish I could remember the names of some of the chutes we skied but then, I'm not sure if they have real names or just Squaw Local names.

 

I would really like to join Jessica and Kevin on a Points North Heli trip some day. 

post #11 of 29

I don't have a lot to add to what TC and seg said, but this is definitely one of my favorite ski weekends of the year. Who wouldn't want to rip around Squaw for 2 days with Ingrid Backstrom? Not to mention that getting to ski with a big crew of ladies who rip is pretty rare, and an absolute blast.

 

Thanks to Tricia for hosting us, and thanks to Ingrid & Jessica for taking the time to offer this camp. I'll keep going as long as they keep doing it, pretty much. :)

post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 

When I was talking to Ingrid and Jessica about this back in October at the Arne Backstrom Blastathon, it was obvious that they were stoked to offer this camp again. 

These two women smile all the time!!

post #13 of 29

Curious what Ingrid said was a power position that you found so helpful.  Care to elaborate?

post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmerz View Post

 

 

Almost, but not quite ...

post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

Curious what Ingrid said was a power position that you found so helpful.  Care to elaborate?

 

It's basically just getting yourself centered and ready again after each turn... skis across the hill, both uphill edges engaged, both (both!) arms in front of you, slightly bent knees and arms. In terms of technical instruction, nothing they taught us was mind-blowing; it's not that kind of camp. I think of it more as: when you're skiing terrain that's at the upper edge of what you can ski, your technique tends to suffer. The weekend for me was about getting some basic stuff in place that I can use to keep it together when I'm skiing real steeps, so I can get better and start to actually SKI that stuff vs. just surviving on the way down.

post #16 of 29

Like everyone else, I dug your TR...

post #17 of 29

Excellent job, ladies...you rock! The TR does make me extra sad I couldn't pull it off this year...but I PINKY SWEAR to make it next year!!!wink.gif

post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelv View Post

 

It's basically just getting yourself centered and ready again after each turn... skis across the hill, both uphill edges engaged, both (both!) arms in front of you, slightly bent knees and arms. In terms of technical instruction, nothing they taught us was mind-blowing; it's not that kind of camp. I think of it more as: when you're skiing terrain that's at the upper edge of what you can ski, your technique tends to suffer. The weekend for me was about getting some basic stuff in place that I can use to keep it together when I'm skiing real steeps, so I can get better and start to actually SKI that stuff vs. just surviving on the way down.

 

I'm going to add a corollary: when you're skiing terrain that's at the upper edge etc (and/or when you get tired or nervous), poor technique is exposed. This is courtesy of my soccer coach Mr. Jones, who used to drill us and drill us and drill us on technique because he said it needs to be perfect so that it won't break down when you get tired. If you rely on muscling things, fatigue (or fear) will ruin you. 

 

I actually probably had more technical than tactical breakthroughs here ... but I'm always backwards, so that's normal.

post #19 of 29

Sounds awesome!

You guys are really getting your gnar on.

Trish looks core in her spice orange/yellow combo.

Are there more photos? Where's shot of rachelv and segbrown coming down?

post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelv View Post

 

It's basically just getting yourself centered and ready again after each turn... skis across the hill, both uphill edges engaged, both (both!) arms in front of you, slightly bent knees and arms. In terms of technical instruction, nothing they taught us was mind-blowing; it's not that kind of camp. I think of it more as: when you're skiing terrain that's at the upper edge of what you can ski, your technique tends to suffer. The weekend for me was about getting some basic stuff in place that I can use to keep it together when I'm skiing real steeps, so I can get better and start to actually SKI that stuff vs. just surviving on the way down.

Solid answer. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

 

I'm going to add a corollary: when you're skiing terrain that's at the upper edge etc (and/or when you get tired or nervous), poor technique is exposed. This is courtesy of my soccer coach Mr. Jones, who used to drill us and drill us and drill us on technique because he said it needs to be perfect so that it won't break down when you get tired. If you rely on muscling things, fatigue (or fear) will ruin you. 

 

I actually probably had more technical than tactical breakthroughs here ... but I'm always backwards, so that's normal.

I was thinking about this a bit, especially after your comment about the Rah Rah vs, negative feedback. 

 

One, (out of the many) coaching moments that I felt set in hard with me was  after we skied a Chute.  She had told our group to ski the spine, but everyone dropped into the gut.  On the chair she looked at me and firmly told me. (paraphrasing) "Tricia, I have two things for you to do.  First, don't worry about what the person going in front of you is doing.  Second, SKI THE SPINE!  You can do this.  You've got nice turns but its time to let them go and GO!" 

 

The second run down that chute, I was on the spine then hit a spot that I was ready to straight line and I did it.  For me, it was probably the best run of the weekend, and one I'll never forget, because it opened up a part of my skiing soul.  

Weems would call it the touch corner. biggrin.gif

post #21 of 29
TC- good report. I am curious what chutes she had you ski...
post #22 of 29

Awesome. My daughter was in Ingrid's program a while ago, .... but it was full of old peopleeek.gifroflmao.gif

post #23 of 29

yoga! most dudes look at me funny when I say I do yoga, but its helped with my flexibility a lot which means a lot less injuries. This looks like a great trip, I may have to sign my gf up for the next one!

post #24 of 29

I put this thread on the Squaw sponsor page.   BTW, does anyone ever looks at it? beercheer.gif

post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

TC- good report. I am curious what chutes she had you ski...

I'm not sure which, but there were a bunch.  Heck, I'm not even sure I can find all of them again, but I'm going to try. biggrin.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

I put this thread on the Squaw sponsor page.   BTW, does anyone ever looks at it? beercheer.gif

Yes. 

post #26 of 29
Who's lucky? They got to ski with lady bears wink.gif

JF
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

I'm not sure which, but there were a bunch.  Heck, I'm not even sure I can find all of them again, but I'm going to try. biggrin.gif

 

We were in different groups, but I think we skied much of the same terrain. My group spent quite a bit of time on KT or Headwall, although we did get around to many other lifts, too. I remember a few runs in or around Chute 75, various lines in the West Face area, and 4 or 5 runs in the Slot and then traversing over to the right finish near the Hourglass and around there. Maybe someone else who has some idea where they were can chime in ... I would love to remember the names, but so much was just different lines in the same areas, and I'm sure we heard names, but that was really my first time in that area of the mountain. I know most of the names were local designations, so the trail map doesn't help.

post #28 of 29
Oh, I think I know. Yes, those are all fun places :-)
post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

We were in different groups, but I think we skied much of the same terrain. My group spent quite a bit of time on KT or Headwall, although we did get around to many other lifts, too. I remember a few runs in or around Chute 75, various lines in the West Face area, and 4 or 5 runs in the Slot and then traversing over to the right finish near the Hourglass and around there. Maybe someone else who has some idea where they were can chime in ... I would love to remember the names, but so much was just different lines in the same areas, and I'm sure we heard names, but that was really my first time in that area of the mountain. I know most of the names were local designations, so the trail map doesn't help.

What she said ^^^

There were a couple chutes just below C2.  We also did Slot to ......the area where we skied a chute with you(Alex) last spring, when I side slipped most of it.  I didn't side slip it this time. biggrin.gif

We also skied some to lookers left of East Face. 

 

The most brutal thing we faced was the wind at the top of Granite Chief when we were going to hike Granite Peak, but it was closed so we headed to corkscrew.  The traverse offered a free microderm abrasion, but the snow was nice. 

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