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How do I maximize my learning experience for 3 1/2 days??????

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Ok, here's the deal.


I'm taking my family on vacation to Jay Peak at the end of the month.  The kids will be in ski school and my wife will probably take group lessons.


I'd like to maximize my learning experience for 3 1/2 days on the slopes.


I plan to ski the first 1/2 day with my family.


How should I attack my training after that?  I will have 3 full back-to-back skiing days available.  I'd like to obviously have fun, but I'd like to maximize my learning experience as well.


Do I take group lessons in the morning everyday? 


1 hour private in the morning?


3 hour private in the morning?


Lesson on the first day and forget lessons every other day?


Private first day, group every day after that?


Unfortunately, I can't be grouped with my wife because she's pretty new to skiing.



post #2 of 6

I'd vote for private lesson first thing in the morning, and then spend the rest of the day practicing what you worked on during the lesson.


Group lessons are fine for beginners, but once you get beyond that you need a lesson that focuses on what you need to do to improve.  Having half a dozen others along with issues different than yours will mean wasting a lot of time on things that won't really help. So, skip the group lesson.


Whether to come back for on the second or third day is up to you.  Doing a private first thing in the AM three days in a row with the same instructor will probably maximize your learning experience, but my experience is that it takes several days of skiing for a good lesson to really sink in.

post #3 of 6



What is your learning objective? Where are you at and where do you want to get to?

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post



What is your learning objective? Where are you at and where do you want to get to?




Good question.


My turns need to be cleaned up. 


I don't do a wedge Christie.  I parallel skid turns on both sides.  I can hockey stop easily on both sides (former hockey player).  I guess some of my technique would put me in the level 4 - 5 range +/-.


I sometimes get lazy with my uphill hand and presume my shoulder's should be more square.


I'd like to turn more cleanly and nail down progressively getting on edge. (really a novice here)  I have played around with counterbalancing and edge hold, but I really need someone with me to let me know what the heck I'm doing.  I'd like to go fast, edge to edge.


I can do relatively (for me anyway) quick turns, but know they're skidded.  That's ok too, but I'd still like them to be faster.  There are times that my tails of the ski's feel mired.  I've played around with moving my weight fore and aft.  I'm still pressuring both my big and little toes.  Sometimes I don't think about it pressuring any toes and I just ski.


I can do a turn and feel like I'm jumping through a door to the next turn.  It feels great and seems as though I'm putting a ton of pressure up forward.  I need to find out if that's useful, because I'm having fun doing it!

post #5 of 6

You might call the ski school and ask who usually teaches the mid-week group lessons for advanced skiers.  In some places, can be experienced Level 2 or Level 3 instructors.  Perhaps try one the first morning.  If you hit it off, can either repeat the next morning or even set up a private for the next day.


If money is not a major consideration, perhaps a 2-3 hour private the first morning.  Either get a recommendation beforehand or ask for a Level 3 instructor.  Note that it doesn't necessarily matter if a Level 3 is not available.  Someone with comparable experience could be as good, or better if the chemistry is right.  After that, you'll be better able to make an informed decision about how much more instruction is worthwhile.  Snow conditions is another factor.  If not go great, might as well spend more time working on technique.  Plus instructors will know where the good stuff can be found.


I've had lessons with several Level 3 instructors in the last few years as an advanced older skier.  Very different styles.  Some at big mountains in the Rockies, some at a small mountain.  Shortest was 90 min and longest was 4 hours (with a couple friends).  All the instructors could analyze what I could do better very quickly, gave me good tips, feedback, and stuff to work on for quite a while afterwards.

post #6 of 6

My recommendation would to be flexible based on the conditions du jour. Jay can get quite a bit of powder. My guess is you have limited experience/success with that. A group lesson in those conditions could be just as productive as a private. One approach in normal conditions is that a group lesson could get you from where you are up to the next level on day 1 and a private could take up to the top of the next level on day 2. As a hockey player you have the potential to progress much faster than normal students but you guys also have a nasty tendency to have some of the hardest bad habits to break. Under that line of thinking it's best to just start with the private and plan on having a lot of homework to do over the remaining time.


Here's what I would do. Swing by the lesson area at lesson meeting time during the first 1/2 day skiing with the family and scope out how many people show up for lessons at your level. If there are less than 3 I'd be thinking about taking a group lesson first and taking it in the afternoon of day 1. Especially if it is a powder day. Otherwise I'd spend the afternoon watching other skiers and scoping out the mountain finding terrain and situations where I'd like to ski better. I'd also see if I could find a group lesson in progress at my level and watch it for 5 minutes to see if looked worthwhile. At the end of the day/early next day I'd stop in at the private lesson desk and enquire about the availability of a lever 3 certified instructor, describe what I was looking to accomplish and ask for a recommendation of private vs group. Then I'd gather all my recon intelligence and make an executive decision on a morning lesson. If I went group and felt like there was more that could be learned I'd go for a private the next day. Otherwise I'd plan on practice and fun for the rest of the trip.


Good luck and do have fun. Jay is too nice of a mountain to just work on technique. The trees are sweet.

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