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East Coast Academy

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
Has there been any interest in going East? Since a lot of potential participants are concerned about costs, it seems like having an East and a West would really cut down on costs and allow more participation of students and coaches.
post #2 of 48
Thanks for your question. Yes, there has been some interest in having an event somewhere in the East. Quite a bit of discussion has been had about this idea.

At this point, the organizing committee has not begun to discuss the actual location of the 2004ESA. But all options will be discussed in making that determination.

If there is enough demand, there is always the option of having a second event , possibly at a different location.

The newsletter that snomore is sending out will keep all interested parties informed as the organizational process goes along. If you have not already done so, please forward your email address to snomore, to get on his mailing list.

We would look forward to meeting you at the ESA.

post #3 of 48
But just to add a bit of perspective from an East Coast Girl [img]smile.gif[/img]
here's a cost comparison, based on this years ski trips:

4 nights lodging in Utah $140.00
2 nights lodging near Sugarbush $220.00

4 days lift tickets at Brighton $136.00
2 day Sugarbush ticket with ski market discount $106.00

Of course, airfare needs to be considered, but since I went to Utah on a frequent flyer ticket, there was no cost.

A few other things to consider: Are there really enough east coast people who would attend, to make this financially feasible for the pros? Keep in mind, I don't think we are going to have people coming for either the other side of the countries, or other countries, for that matter, to come to a workshop in New England, when they can go to one out west, and probably get better lift/lodging rates.

Do we have enough PSIA LEVEL 3 or examiners in the east to teach the Academy?

Are we trying to expand too fast too soon? The more Academies we have a year, the less participants in each.

I'm not saying this is not possible. Just a few things to consider.
post #4 of 48
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Lisamarie:
Do we have enough PSIA LEVEL 3 or examiners in the east to teach the Academy?
How many do we need? I'm sure that there are enough, the West does not have a monopoly on threes.

Are we trying to expand too fast too soon? The more Academies we have a year, the less participants in each.
Is that a bad thing? How many participants were in Utah?
post #5 of 48
Last year we had 30 people. Since most of the pros had travel and lodging expenses, they barely broke even. The best way to do this if you are interested, is to do a poll, perhaps one for potential students, and one for the pros.
Then, you need to think about where it could be held, and which resort would give us a lift/lodging option that would compete with what we paid in Utah.
post #6 of 48
Within the next couple/few days, a new poll will appear here. It will be focused toward any EpicSki members who DID NOT attend the last ESA.

Please take the time to complete it, so that we may take your wishes into consideration.

Again, things are moving forward within the organizing committee, but now we need more input from those who didn't. but might like to attend the next Academy.

post #7 of 48
I'd like to add my voice to VSP's. The poll is a very useful gauge. Whether or not you think you'll attend an EpicSki Academy, your input is very important. PLEASE DO COMPLETE THE POLL. The EpicSki Academy is unique in that it all starts with YOU.

post #8 of 48
The areas that are generating the most interest seem to be Utah, Colorado, Canada and New England. It may be a good idea to have people vote on what their preferred location would be. Having been only vaguely involved in the planning of the last event, I can tell you that it is no easy task! So if there does not seem to be a substantial interest in a particular location, it may not make sense to plan additional events. If you have friends who may be interested, in a particular location, have them register in the forum so that they can vote in the polls.

But no matter the location, the success of the first academy was due to the fact that we had LEVEL 3 or examiner level instructors leading every group! So finding out where ACTIVE epicski members who have these qualifications are able to, and would prefer to teach, is equally, if not more imporatnt.
post #9 of 48
I would love to see a East Coast Academy as well as the West Coast maybe do 2 or alternate years. I was invited to coach at the academy this year but just could not pull it off with young kids, plane tickets etc... Staying East could make it possible BUT I also hope to pull it off if it is in the west next year. Maybe as mentioned, get a read of the interest level for 2 events.

As for high level coaches I do not see that as a concern regardless of east or west. Even some west coaches may want to travel back east. I would offer to help line up coaches for the east if needed.
post #10 of 48
I wasn't able to attend ESA last year but I would definitely like to participate next winter as a coach, either in the East or the West depending on my winter schedule.

post #11 of 48
Obviously there are great coaches all over the United States and Canada, Oz, etc., but not all of them are members of EpicSki.com. What happens to the community dynamic if we engage coaches who are not members of our community?
post #12 of 48
First we get them on Epic, then we get them involved!

post #13 of 48
Great minds think alike, Fox.
post #14 of 48
As hard as it might be to believe, there are plenty of folks out there, even in the ski teaching field, that are computer-shy and especially troubled by writing something out. They can have the most engaging presence in person and just HATE to express themselves through a keyboard. As valuable as their contribution might be on the slope, you'd probably have a tough time getting them to participate here.
post #15 of 48
Absolutely true, Kneale! When I was telling some of the instructors at Sugarloaf about the Academy, they were very enthusiastic, one of them even wanted to know if we would ever do it at The Loaf. But none of them will log on to an internet forum!
post #16 of 48
I'll throw in my $0.02 here... Even though I believe Eastern skiing is great, I do think an Eastern Academy would be a bad idea. The variability of our conditions is so great, and the advance planning required to bring large numbers of people together just don't mix... It can easily go from "swweeeettttt" to "virtually unskiable" overnight.

New Englanders just live with it -- but realistically speaking, how psych'ed would people be if the Academy started with one of New England's infamous "thaw, rain, refreeze" nights?

post #17 of 48
I, for one, would be more than willing to sharpen up my edges and head to New England for EpicSki Academy East. Sugarloaf was among the areas in Maine that I grew up skiing, but it's been well over a decade since I've skied there.

As the organizing committee explores options for next season, one of the most important considerations is the input from those who would like to attend. Please keep us informed. There are many issues to resolve--cost, interest level, accessibility, lodging and facilities, time, coach availability, and, of course, whether or not any particular resort would even allow us to hold our event there.

There is strength in numbers, as well as significant economies of scale. The EpicSki Academy is a BIG deal, and we want to maintain it as the very special event that the first one was. We don't want to dilute the experience into too many small not-so-epic ski camps. But I think there is, or soon will be, plenty of interest to make more than one event per season successful. When that happens, we will certainly look at an Atlantic alternative!

I can almost smell the sugar maple trees from here....

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #18 of 48
I can't speak for Sugarloaf management, but the instructors would LOVE to have you guys. After the academy, I had my annual privatae lesson with Natalie Terry, who worked with Weems about 30 years ago at the Loaf. Every time she ran into another instructor she said "Lisa skied with Weems, Lisa skied with Nolo, Lisa skied with Bob Barnes!!"

The staff at The Loaf is very close knit, but I cannot seem to get any of them posting here, even with the lure of the opportunity to teach at the Academy. But there did seem to be a feeling of "have it here so we can see old friends" . Of course, management can have a completely different idea!

Another thought. Since many Canadians are concerned about the exchange rate, what about Eastern Canada. May also work for Northeasterners who do not want to travel too far.
Of course, there's the cold factor....
post #19 of 48
How about an early season Eastern Epicski Camp?

I've done race camps the first or second weekend of December. In northern Vermont (Killington, Stowe, Sugarbush) conditions are pretty good most years, without the crowds, and prices are negotiable. It's a great way to start the season. Northern Vermont is also much closer to NY and Pennsylvania than is Maine.

An early season camp also has the advantage that, rather than diluting the Epicski Academy concept, it could be used to promote the mid-season Western Academy. If we got Bob Barnes and Todo there, it would be a great event.

I'd be happy to participate in a camp like that.


[ April 16, 2003, 08:53 AM: Message edited by: John Dowling ]
post #20 of 48
Thanks for the input, John, but just for the record, Killington is NOT in "northern Vermont". We consider that area the beginning of the "banana belt".

It took tons of work and time to put together the inaugural EpicSki Academy. Hopefully, no one will need to "re-invent the wheel" this time, but it still takes some doing.

It's my hope that, if there's interest in an eastern Academy in addition to the main event, the discussion and the planning may start now, while the actual event could occur in 2005. The EpicSki Academy now has a start, but it's still in its early stages. I hope that anything else that's done would be at a time and in a manner not to detract from the main event.

[ April 16, 2003, 11:16 AM: Message edited by: oboe ]
post #21 of 48
I kinda hafta stay here in NE. I'm bound by college schedule constraints, a wife who only just started skiing this season (I have her up to handling anything groomed regardless of pitch), and equipment.

The only way I could even consider going west is if somebody out there could guarantee me a pair of long straight skis to use. I'm not trusting the airlines with my precious gear, and I cannot and will not use shaped or "fat" skis of any kind. I don't care how deep the snow is, or how big the mountains are.

Some suggestions have been made above as far as deals (stowe???). Stowe, Sugarbush, Killington, etc... would be bad places for such a gathering. You need a big mountain with a variety of terrain, LOW PRICES and no crowds. Saddleback, Sugarloaf, Burke Mountain, Jay Peak, Smuggler's Notch, etc... would all be better locations. Killington is frighteningly crowded and a rather unfriendly place to ski, especially to have lessons. Sugarbush has awesome skiing but is rather expensive, and has a poor lift layout (and always has lifts on wind hold). Stowe is hands down way too expensive for most people, even with a large group it would be difficult to get the cost down, and it's not as big an area as it seems. After a week at the one area, most Bears would be bored stiff unless they hiked to the summit (a good long 800 vertical foot walk). It's also not well suited to teaching in groups because the best terrain is often quite narrow (or closed).

Jay Peak is well layed out, is big enough that Bears can discover as many new things terrain wise on their last day as they did on their first, has a good terrain balance for Bears of all levels, offers INCREDIBLE group discounts for skiing and lodging, is within driving distance off points as far south as Philadelphia (7 hours), and as far northwest as Ottowa (4 hours? I may be way off). Jay also within one week will have fresh snow (75% chance of a dump), and hardpack, which whether you love it or hate it is always good for the learning process. And it is one of the few places in the east with honest god above treeline skiing (along with Sugarloaf, Saddleback, Cannon and Whiteface), and actual short couloirs (along with Whiteface and some out of bounds at cannon or stowe) as much as 1000' long ("the pumphouse").

Think about it this way. The folks who would go to an eastern academy are the folks who WOULD go west, but can't. The best thing to do is recreate a western environment for the occasion, with the best of the east thrown in as well. To that end there are only 5 areas that would qualify: Cannon, Jay Peak, Saddleback, Sugarloaf and Whiteface. Cannon and Whiteface should be ignored because the snow can be scarce, and when it is scarce they groom the piss out of everything.

This leaves three options for the best possible academy experience in the east, while maintaining a low cost and snowy, crowd-free experience (essential to the learning process).

Jay Peak - 2,153 vertical feet (2,201' with hike up to summit), 75 trails chutes and glades(plus 6 unmarked couloirs), 1 tram, 4 quads, 1 triple, 1 T-bar, 351" annually (306" this season), Catholic Mass on sundays, best feature SNOWFALL

Saddleback - 1,875 vertical feet (2,168' with a short above treeline scramble which also accesses a back bowl with 800' of vert), 48 trails (plus over 1,200 acres of open and gladed forest), 2 chairs, 3 T-bars (all very fast and wind protected), 200" at lodge (2,400') and 302" at summit (4,124') best feature NO WIND HOLDS

Sugarloaf - 2,890 vertical feet (3,002' with hike to summit), 129 trails and glades (1,410 acres inclusive boundary to boundary), 4 quads, 1 triple, 8 doubles, 1 T-bar, 1 handle tow, 180" at base, 250" at summit, best feature SIZE
post #22 of 48
Saddleback or Sugarloaf are just too far for anyone from NY or south. It's easier too get to Utah or Colorado. ay Peak could be a good choice, and the management seems to be pretty liberal about allowing tour operators to run their own ski clinics.
I would still prefer an early season 3 day weekend clinic. Okemo, Stowe and Sugarbush generally have pretty good early season conditions. Before Christmas, group prices can be cheap, even at Stowe, and an early season clinic would not interfer with a Wesrtern event.

post #23 of 48
Just something to keep in mind. I was only a tiny bit involved with the planning of the first academy, but I did discover that many resorts are not as happy to have us as they should be.
So not ever place that you want to go would be willing to host the Academy. We have 2 bears who work at Okemo. who may have some pull.
post #24 of 48
Early season conditions are not so predictable anywhere - least of all in the northeast.
post #25 of 48
Thread Starter 
Just to stick up for Stowe for a minute here... there are 5 other resorts in VT that have higher lift ticket prices. I don't get why it always gets knocked for being expensive.
post #26 of 48
Originally posted by Lisamarie:
Just something to keep in mind. I was only a tiny bit involved with the planning of the first academy, but I did discover that many resorts are not as happy to have us as they should be.
So not ever place that you want to go would be willing to host the Academy. We have 2 bears who work at Okemo. who may have some pull.
I'll be working at the Loaf, and a passholder at Saddleback where my best friend's family is one of the major property owners on the mountain, owning something like 12 slopeside condos. Her dad bought them back in the 70's when they were built for dirt cheap.
post #27 of 48
As much as I enjoyed skiing at Smugglers Notch & Jay Peak, I've been told that getting to Snowbird/Alta is much easier, from the NY metro area.

Northern VT is 7-8 hour drive from northwestern NJ (MM-I don't think you could do it in 7 hours from Phili)

I've been told that with a 6:00 am flight from Newark, you can be skiiing the same day at Snowbird.

Of course this doesn't take airfare into account.

Just a thought...
post #28 of 48
Well, like I said in some earlier post, some of the instructors at the Loaf would love the Academy to be held there, but its management that would be the issue.

As far as airfare issues, again,
Lodging at Extended Stay was $35 a night for 2 of us. This included a kitchenette, so you did not have to waste money on expensive breakfasts.

Lift tickets were $34

Do the math. Even with the cheapest New England lift lodging, I doubt you will find anything close to that price. Muliply the difference by 4 days, and you practically have an airfare.

And you're in UTAH! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #29 of 48
Originally posted by droldman:
As much as I enjoyed skiing at Smugglers Notch & Jay Peak, I've been told that getting to Snowbird/Alta is much easier, from the NY metro area.

Northern VT is 7-8 hour drive from northwestern NJ (MM-I don't think you could do it in 7 hours from Phili)

I've been told that with a 6:00 am flight from Newark, you can be skiiing the same day at Snowbird.

Of course this doesn't take airfare into account.

Just a thought...
That the essential problem with an Eastern event. Add in that even mid-season Eastern conditions are only infrequently as good as "poor" Western conditions, and a Western trip is real attractive.
That's why I think an early season 3 day clinic, at a location that's reachable from both Boston and NYC, is a good idea. Early season prices are negotiable in Vermont, and some high quality clinics could get everyone's season off to a good start. Go there with low expectations for conditions, but high expectations for personal improvement, learning and socializing. Then you can take your new skills to ESA2.

post #30 of 48
I like John Dowling's Idea.

As far as questionable conditions go, I know a very liberal refund policy for advance bookings exists at Smuggler's Notch (& maybe elsewhere) with full credit of your deposit to a future trip if you cancel within 14 days of your planned arrival date, for any reason, including bad conditions.

This could help alleviate fears of people like me who only have one pair of skis and can't afford to carve turns on rocks, which in early season VT is a distinct possibility since snowmaking is somewhat limited, and mother nature may or may not cooperate.

Hope this helps...
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