Last week I traveled with my ski club to Whistler and took the Extremely Canadian Steeps Clinic. http://www.extremelycanadian.com/ I have to say that it was the most challenging and thrilling 2 days in my 41 years of skiing. I truly believe I came away a better skier, especially on the steeps where we spent most of our time.
Day One we started out on Whistler Mountain. The clinic is like most ski schools with a warm up run and then a ski off on a black diamond bump run where you are broken into small groups with a max of 4 per class + coach. This is also where they will shake out the skiers they feel are not ready to tackle the true steeps. I guess I did ok as I was put into the top group with just one other skier. Our Coach was Derek Foose. Some folks have said that I am one of the best skiers they have skied with, but this guy is the BEST SKIER I have ever had the pleasure to ski with. He starred in a Warren Miller movie a couple years back "Children of Winter". The segment about sailing to Iceland and then skiing off the coast. Anyway for the next two days he was our best friend and coach.
He did do some drills with us early on to make sure we could do hop turns and had good control of our edges. Then he led us to one double black run to another. Some were real hidden gems with untracked, days after the last snowfall. After lunch they took some video of us skiing to be viewed the next day and then generally wore us out. In a good way as there were no "hero" runs to get your mojo back, you had to be on. When we finished at 3:30 I was exhausted.
The next day we started up Blackcomb Mountain with a stop at their on mountain hut to view the videos from day one. It is amazing how a little video can reveal so many flaws. The rest of the day we worked on those flaws. My main one was keeping my hips more forward and my partner needed some work on pole plants. Easy to do on mellower terrain but when the hill gets to 45% and beyond, it is easier said than done when you are in survival mode. As the day progressed he ramped it up to include a couple of unofficial triple black runs like Hawaii 5 0 and Bushrat.
Day 2 ended with a free apres ski with drinks and snacks plus a souvenir t-shirt. IMHO the $400 cost for 2 days was well worth it I was guided safely to parts of Whistler / Blackcomb that I never would have found myself, or had the guts to ski by myself. I know that I came away a better skier with more confidence on the super steeps. I have also discovered that even though I am a pretty good skier, especially for my age at 58, Derek Foose is as far beyond what I can do just as I am beyond the skill levels of a beginner. I was truly in awe watching him ski.
So if you are headed to Whistler and have an adventurous spirit, I would strongly suggest you take this clinic. You won't regret it.
Edited by rickg - 2/14/13 at 8:40pm