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Free/Steep Skiing at the Academy

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I have been contacted by a couple of Epic members about whether the Academy offers an opportunity for more of a steep skiing/free skiing camp experience: Progressive terrain challenge, motivation, and tactics, complimented of course by technical guidance (without necessarily being a dominant component). As there may be others out there interested in this format I thought I'd pose this to the organizers and let them respond. One person wondered whether he/she might find the Snowbird Steep Camp more along this line than the Academy?

[ May 29, 2003, 11:54 AM: Message edited by: Si ]
post #2 of 29
I've got to agree- if that's what you're looking for and you're going to Snowbird anyway, why not just attend one of their steeps camps? They're really well done. (I attended one this past year if anyone needs more info.)
post #3 of 29
The Academy is for all levels of skiers. Snowbird/Alta has the terrain for all levels of skiers. All we need is for all levels of skiers to attend! I reckon every group will have their own specialized clinic customized to their liking, because that's quality instruction, and EpicSki Academy is all about 1) motivated students, 2) quality instruction, and 3) superlative results.
post #4 of 29
I too have been trying to decide if this academy or a steep skiing camp would be better for me. I'm turning the big 30 this year and I'm looking for something a little different. I would rate myself a solid level 9 skier, and I'm looking to be in a group with people that will push me. My wife will also accompany me and she is a 7/8 skier, so I know the academy will be perfect for her, I'm just not convinced that I will get as much out of it as I would in a camp designed for expert skiers.
With all of that said, I have a few questions. Could the organizers give us an idea of how many people have registered to participate and what levels they classify themselves? Or better yet just how many people that are planning to attend have classified themselves as level 9 skiers? This might give me a better ideal of the make-up of the group I would be placed in.
Thanks for any help
Todd
post #5 of 29
It was my experience last year that the coaches will serve up what the participants want. If there are 5 participants that want to stay on the toughest terrain, the Academy has the coaches to take you there, show you some new tricks and keep you safe. Don't think that because the majority of the participants would rank themselves intermediate/advanced that that is what the Academy is all about. The Academy is about meeting clients needs; designing an experience directed by the participants. This is not cookie cutter coaching. This is as cutomized as you will find with a staff that can deliver the goods.
post #6 of 29
One of the ideas for forming groups that we used last year was to encourage the participants to get to know each other and self form themselves into groups. I lthink that this worked out fairly well as I remember. So if there are two or three participants who would like to join Si and Todd in a steeps/free ski type of skiing experience then I'm pretty sure that there would be no trouble in twisting the arm of one of the coaches to lead the group. Can anyone say wah-hoo.

Yd
post #7 of 29
Hi Todd,

About half of the people signed up indicate that they are level 8-9 skiers. We have coaches on staff who do steep'n'deep clinics all the time, write books on skiing the whole mountain, run signature programs, and appear in movies. I don't think you can beat the mountain(s), the coaches, the value, or the odds of having superlative snow conditions no matter how hard you shop around--whatever your level of skiing.
post #8 of 29
Thanks for the responses. The academy sounds like just what I'm looking for. See you in Jan.
Todd
post #9 of 29
Hey Si and Todd...

Don't threaten me with a good time!!!

[img]smile.gif[/img]

I bet we'll have lots of good skiing for folks who want to mix it up in the steeps and all. I'm looking forward to this week of skiing!

Feeling more like fall/winter in Tahoe today.
Peace,
E
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, I don't think I will be attending the Academy. However, I will be in Jackson Hole for the gathering (before and after as well). That's not to say I wouldn't be psyched to ski with Eski. To the contrary I have always been intrigued by the breadth of his skiing expertise and credentials from technical to steeps to backcountry. Quite a unique guy I think.

(BTW, I don't think that Bob, Nolo, Vail Snow Pro (Rick), Weems, or Arc, all of whom I've had the privelege and pleasure of skiing with, are any kind of 2cnd class citizens in their skiing or resumes).
post #11 of 29
Based on a friend's reccomendation I have been checking out the Academy. It seems attractive and I'm interested, but...

The brochure hype seems somewhat overstated in talking about who the Academy is oriented towards when it states:

Quote:
· A beginner wanting the best possible start to this
great sport?
· An intermediate looking to move to the next level,
gain confidence and control and finally kick
habits holding you back?
· An expert searching for new challenges and
wanting to master techniques to exploit today’s
latest equipment?
· A racer aspiring to maximum performance from
your equipment and technique?
· An all mountain skier looking to improve
versatility and control, while challenging
everything the mountain has to offer?
· An instructor seeking improved skills under the
guidance of the industry's teaching stars?
I have been to instructional clinics, racing camps, and steep camps and from my experience they are very different things.

At this point I am really looking for steep skiing experiences. While the instructors seem to have very good credentials (along the lines of PSIA instruction) only one seems to be very experienced and well known for steep skiing. It seems to me that I would probably have a better experience at a specialized steeps camp than at the Academy. The fact that many people coming consider themselves an '8' or '9' doesn't mean too much to me as it doesn't say anything about where they want to ski and what they want to learn to tackle. One thing I really enjoyed at the one steep camp I attended was the comeraderie between the participants (across groups) based on common desire.

As I look at Eric DesLauriers' All Mountain Ski Pros site I wonder whether I would be much better off doing one of their camps as opposed to the Academy. I think it is great that someone like him is participating in the Academy but the sense I get is that the Academy is not going to be full of aggressive skiers looking to tackle the toughest things they can handle.

So, why don't I just go to a specialized ski camp? Well it turns out that the timing and location for the Academy work out really well for me. That's why I'm raising these questions, in the hope that I can get some satisfactory answers. It would really be great if one of the instructors (like Eski) could give me some insight on these questions.

Thanks.
post #12 of 29
jqski,

I'll take a stab at answering your question satisfactorily. It is probably true that a dedicated steeps skiing clinic would be more up your alley, not because of the coaching proficiency available (since in some cases we are sharing personnel, like Eric) but because ALL the students would be at that event for the purpose of steeps skiing.

EpicSki Academy is about improving your skiing no matter what your level of proficiency. We chose Snowbird/Alta for a venue because there is a surplus of great terrain for any level of skier, including all-mountain experts like yourself. We want to attract serious skiers without regard for where they are on the learning curve. We feel the passion for sliding down mountains is the connection between us, not where on the mountain you do your sliding.

It's not hype: we can satisfy any level of skier at this camp, because anyone on our roster of coaches can satisfy any level of skier at this camp. We have 100% confidence in our coaches' ability to do this. And to hedge the bet, we keep group sizes well below the standard of other camps.

The premise of our clinic is to bring together highly motivated students with Master Coaches for four intense days of world-class skiing. If you're a beginner, you will learn the sport in the best possible way. If you're an intermediate, you won't be for long. If you're an advanced or even expert skier, you will not find better coaching anywhere, nor a better learning environment.

Stay tuned, we'll be announcing more great coaches soon.

[ September 10, 2003, 10:32 AM: Message edited by: nolo ]
post #13 of 29
Quote:
posted by jqski: As I look at Eric DesLauriers' All Mountain Ski Pros site I wonder whether I would be much better off doing one of their camps as opposed to the Academy. I think it is great that someone like him is participating in the Academy but the sense I get is that the Academy is not going to be full of aggressive skiers looking to tackle the toughest things they can handle.
Welcome, jqski!

I hear your concerns, and they are good ones. I had the opposite concern last year! I thought it would be full of maniacal cliff hucker types and that I would be off in the kiddieland group. I could not have been more wrong, or needlessly concerned.

I skied with people with like desires and abilities, we were taken out of our comfort zone, and I think we all loved it! With 3 in our group, it was more like personal instruction. We would occassionally see the more advanced groups at the lifts, but by no means were we in any way -DURING THE INSTRUCTION DAY- connected to the more advanced groups. We'd all meet after the lifts close, and what a way to socialize......with fanatical skiers and the coolest instructors! In a camp, I would suppose you don't know the people you are skiing with until you meet them and then they're gone. With the Academy, you can chat with them here and REALLY get to know them, AND your coach --all year long.

You want steeps? You want to learn to fly? I think this could be the place for you. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #14 of 29
Heres some of my thoughts from last years academy, hope they help some of you questioning whether of not to attend.

Last year I attended the Epic Ski Academy and was placed in one of the upper level groups devoted to sking the steeps, powder and some trees were available. I consider my self to be somewhere around a level 8/9 skier with a very agressive personality and passion for skiing. I found the clinic to be a good blend of drills and exercises performed on less challenging terrain and recklace abandon tear it up skiing.

After all, if you hope to master a new idea or technigue your not going to learn it in the steeps. Every skill needed to perform on the most demanding terrain can be mastered on the bunny slop. That is what I found so helpful at ESA 1, through the drills on easy terrain I was able to isolate some of the problems in my skills which have prevented me from making some of those breakthroughs we are all looking to achieve on the black runs.

post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Bonni:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> posted by jqski: As I look at Eric DesLauriers' All Mountain Ski Pros site I wonder whether I would be much better off doing one of their camps as opposed to the Academy. I think it is great that someone like him is participating in the Academy but the sense I get is that the Academy is not going to be full of aggressive skiers looking to tackle the toughest things they can handle.

Welcome, jqski!

I hear your concerns, and they are good ones. I had the opposite concern last year! I thought it would be full of maniacal cliff hucker types and that I would be off in the kiddieland group. I could not have been more wrong, or needlessly concerned.

I skied with people with like desires and abilities, we were taken out of our comfort zone, and I think we all loved it! With 3 in our group, it was more like personal instruction. We would occassionally see the more advanced groups at the lifts, but by no means were we in any way -DURING THE INSTRUCTION DAY- connected to the more advanced groups. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
</font>[/quote]Except to serve as the much needed comic relief!!
Kidding, but I just could not resist! [img]tongue.gif[/img]

Anyway, I just amped up the fitness file that attendees will be receiving. This year's program will feature some "feisty" plometric combos, suitable for advanced skiers. So come join us!

[ September 11, 2003, 05:50 AM: Message edited by: Lisamarie ]
post #16 of 29
Hi jqski,

It’s a good question you bring up about steep camp vs. ESA. I think you will be happy with either choice. (And BTW, very nice post, nolo)

It’s true that All Mountain Ski Pros and the X-Team Clinics, which I do all winter, specialize in the “ski the whole mountain” theme, so that all the advanced and intermediate skiers come in with a common mission. This can definately add cool dynamics to the whole experience, but is not the only consideration.

I think at an event like ESA, though a full spectrum of abilities, people come with individual missions, like yours, which they hope to achieve. To help you succeed, ESA has put together an all-star cast of Pros who happen to like this site yet who are real professional skiers who all make skiing their life, are excellent skiers and are totally top notch coaches. So, certainly the caliber of coaches at ESA is outstanding and will rival any top ski clinic or camp to help skiers excel on their individual levels. And Snowbird and Alta rock.

Therefore, IMHO, the real issue is the caliber of your fellow ski mates who are in the clinic/camp. At ESA will there be enough likeminded and talented skiers there to join and aid you in your quest? Right? [img]smile.gif[/img] Well, it seems to me, from being here at Epicski for almost two years, that there are a lot of really good, core skiers kicking around this site and skiing at the Epicski gatherings and clinics. I am personally looking forward to skiing with everybody. But for you, I would be willing to bet that you will not be disappointed and will get plenty of leg burning runs in the terrain you are looking at while learning a few things to really up your skill and confidence.

Anyway, hope to see you on the hill!
-E
post #17 of 29
Thanks to those who took the time to respond. Seems to me that ESki summed it up:

Quote:
Originally posted by ESki:
Therefore, IMHO, the real issue is the caliber of your fellow ski mates who are in the clinic/camp. At ESA will there be enough likeminded and talented skiers there to join and aid you in your quest? Right? [img]smile.gif[/img]
-E
I think that "where I'm at" in my skiing at this time is that I have pretty decent technical skills but want to further develop my experience, confidence, and go for it attitude to apply them even in the most difficult terrain. For that I am looking for a coach - and fellow group memebers - to help guide, encourage, lead, and push me to ski even more difficult terrain agressively and with flow (and provide technical reminders as needed). The technical "level" of other participants is not as much a concern as how much they want and are able to go after it.

From the responses here it certainly seems like Todd and maybe J squared are of like mind (although I wouldn't want to spend a whole lot of time - a little bit is OK - reviewing fundamentals on the groomed). I will wait and see if there seems to be a critical number of people looking to really push it for this clinic. So if you are a potential participant who fits the bill please help me out by letting me know with a post in this thread.

Thanks.
post #18 of 29
JQSKI: Good post! You sound like someone with a real love of the sport and a "can do" attitude that will help you enjoy the sport to its fullest. On the other hand, being eager to just jump into extreme terrain and survive it may, or may not, help you be the best skier you can be. Let me ask a question: If introducing you to ski techniques that will open the door to skiing all terrain, in any conditions, with ease and confidence required you to dial down your sking to a moderate pace on moderate terrain for a day or two until you had mastered new mechanical and mental focuses, would you be willing to do it?

Many people can get down any terrain on a mountain. They do it using defensive turns that scrub off speed and utilize their skis as brakes. It works, but it's more work than is needed and will eventually lead to dead ends in terms of versatility. Nothing necessarily wrong with that; many folks get very accomplished at making inefficient skiing work on steep and gnarly terain. These folks are often "just do it!" types and have little patience with any skiing that isn't high intensity all the time. Now, if you know yourself well enough to say you are in that category and know you would be impatient with any time spent on anything but the toughest terrain and just finding a way to get down it, the ESA might not be the best fit for you. On the other hand, if you are willing to trust your coach and allow the possibility that you might need an adjustment of your technique and that such an adjustment might be best absorbed on moderate terrain that will allow you to concentrate on nothing BUT that adjustment (as opposed to introducing survival!), the ESA might be an excellent experience for you. Most of us want to achieve the objectives you have named for yourself--to be master of all terrain; the question is how such mastery is achieved. For most of us, there are few shortcuts. I may want to race in Formula 1, but I recognize that practice laps in a less demanding car at moderate speeds will allow me to learn the fundamentals that will THEN allow me to increase my speed and reduce my lap times. Without those fundamentals, I might be able to get behind the wheel of a top car, but my lap times will not come down.

The ESA is designed to give you the groundwork that will allow you to ski the terrain you want, as well as help you understand, and lock in, a rock-solid foundation of good skiing that will, ONCE MASTERED, allow you to ski all terrain, from groomed to bumps to steeps, with confidence, smoothness and efficiency. It won't be a shortcut, because no such thing exists. In the group you would be in, you would certainly be skiing the terrain you want (and lots of it!) and, probably, very well by the end of the Academy, but you may not ski it the first day or so, i.e., UNTIL you can ski it well.

Some "steeps" camps may just push you to do things you've never done--maybe jump off cornices you'd never attempt alone--and you'll feel satisfied at the end if you make yourself do it. Again, nothing wrong with that if pushing yourself is all you want to accomplish. However, if you want to go beyond that--to learn ski techniques that let you push yourself AND feel calm, confident, and comfortable, then the ESA might be a good choice.

Good luck!

[ September 15, 2003, 04:54 PM: Message edited by: mike_m ]
post #19 of 29
mike_m,

I'm afraid your response sounds a bit too "cookie-cutter" for me. To imply that practice of technique on easier terrain is the only factor in skiing tougher terrain with flow as I think you have is a great misnomer. Your comment:

"In the group you would be in, you would certainly be skiing the terrain you want (and lots of it!) and, probably, very well by the end of the Academy, but you may not ski it the first day or so, i.e., UNTIL you can ski it well"

seems pretty naive. To think that working on some skills for a day or two on easy terrain is going allow me to ski the terrain I want the way I want just doesn't make it. I'm not out to conquer terrain, my goal is to find increasing flow in ever challenging situations.

What you present is the instructional camp attitude I am trying to avoid. Where did you get the idea I was talking or thinking about defensive skiing anyway?

There are many skiers who need to open up their minds and go for it to extend the technique and skills that are already there to tougher terrain - much more than they need to practice or learn new skills. And for most skiers, there is always the next step up that challenges them in a way that makes it difficult to extend their abilities and ski with flow (even though they can do it well in lesser situations). In my book, to become a really good skier requires much more practice and experience related to issues of the head than issues of skill (although this is no doubt a 2-way street).

The first time I ramped off a sizeable boulder or straightlined through a very narrow chute picking up speed and was able to cleanly and smoothly make that first turn there was no issue of technique, just issues of trust, confidence, belief in myself, and the building of a desire to go for it. However, the ability to do that transformed my skiing in moguls, trees, crud, etc. as that experienced allowed me to all of a sudden stick with it (better yet go for it) in places where I might just let a turn wash out to scrub speed, lean back, or just lose it.

Now I'm not putting down instruction aimed foremost at skill and technique. That can always be something of value and for people at a certain stage of development it can be the most important thing (both at the highest and lowest ends of the scale). I find the early season the best time for that as there is usually limited terrain anyway and the beginning of the season is the best time to get back to basics and improve the fundamental skills. But with someone like ESki around I want to spend as much time as possible absorbing the karma that makes him the skier that he is. Along the way I'm sure there will also be some techical skills to address but it's not what I want to see as the dominant focus.

I am not looking for people to ski with who want to bag specific runs of a certain difficulty. That's well in my past. I'm looking for people who want to push to connect and find flow in terrain that stretches them. I also don't mind going to the groomed to work on specific things or better yet using the run-outs to work on things. I would expect to work on my skiing at every possible moment at a camp like this. However, half and half is not what I'm looking for. Maybe this Academy is not the place.
post #20 of 29
lqski,

Half drill and half skiing sounds like a formula to me. EpicSki Academy does not endorse, promote, or mandate formulaic coaching--it's about great coaches using their discretion along with that of their group to create a custom learning experience. The fact that this constructive activity is happening in groups all over the mountain is what creates the common bond between the groups, not a particular half-and-half methodology.

Every coach is different. For example, I prefer imagery to drills--I am more into the Gestalt than into the breakdown/buildup school of thought. I believe "If you want to be somebody else, change your mind."

So, there's not an "EpicSki Coach" from which we all are cloned. Mike_m, who helped out last year as an assistant, was stating what he would do with your group, perhaps, but it's probably not what I would do with your group, or what the next guy (say Eski) would do. All of us are different, come from different parts of the country, drink water from different headwaters, etc.

"EpicSki Academy gives skiers access to great coaching at a value price." That's my 3-second elevator speech.
post #21 of 29
jqski,

You sound pretty dead set on NOT attending our academy, with all sorts of reasons to back up your position.

So why not stop wasting the valuable time of our coaches and supporters and go bother the powdermaggots or something?

Thanks, and have a great day! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

P.S.- Good luck with those steeps, you super cool ski guy. :
post #22 of 29
"Now I'm not putting down instruction aimed foremost at skill and technique. That can always be something of value and for people at a certain stage of development... But with someone like ESki around I want to spend as much time as possible absorbing the karma that makes him the skier that he is. Along the way I'm sure there will also be some techical skills to address but it's not what I want to see as the dominant focus...However, half and half is not what I'm looking for. Maybe this Academy is not the place."

JQSKI: Thank you for the clarification. Based on your posts, you feel you have pretty much mastered the technique issues involved in skiing extremely difficult terrain. Congratulations! Not an easy thing to accomplish. Actually, never having seen you ski, my post was a theoretical one based on the needs of the majority of advanced skiers who aspire to ski extremely difficult terrain well. Perhaps it doesn't apply to you, but I hope you understand why I mentioned what I did. I don't remember mentioning skiing half drills and half applied, but that's neither here nor there.

You have a very specific set of needs and desires in your mind for what you feel you need to progress to the next step in your development. Certainly, if your self-assessment is accurate, they will serve you well. I hope wherever you go for coaching, ESA or not, your coach can give you what you want.

Again, good luck!

[ September 16, 2003, 05:19 PM: Message edited by: mike_m ]
post #23 of 29
Something momski said in another thread seemed to make sense here too:

Quote:
Wouldn't it would be interesting to hear the variety of definitions of 'Expert'?

I believe using an instructor/trainer in pursuit of excellence is less apt to be 'hype' if the instructor/trainer centers their teaching/coaching on your [the customer's] definition of 'Expert'.
A great coach doesn't have a game plan until he or she has a student or group of students, who then exchange information and expectations with the coach to decide on their group's plan. That's a core concept of ski instruction.
post #24 of 29
Nolo, unless there is some reasonable level of commonality in a group it can be difficult for an instructor to develop a satisfactory plan. That's why I was explaining where I was coming from and asking if there were others of like mind.

Mike_m, Seems to me it's your comment that are showing an attitude. I didn't at all say I've mastered technique. What I said was that there was plenty of terrain out there that put enough pressure on me to break down skills which are pretty solid in any lesser terrain. It's interesting how you selectively quoted me and left out my comments about there always being a time and/or place to work on technique for anyone from the lowest to highest skill levels. As an instructor it looks like you're missing out a very large segment of how people learn. Skiing improvement does not happen based on technique alone.

Xdog, I came here at the suggestion of a friend (a regular here). I don't picture myself as cool or not cool, just someone who really enjoys skiing, any kind of terrain, any kind of snow, any weather. If I'm going to invest in instruction I want to be sure it is a good investment so I ask direct questions that relate to me. I don't know what a powdermaggot is but I really don't need to read you're kind of insults - they are degrading to a sport I love. But, don't worry, by invitation I'm out of here.
post #25 of 29
Jqski, I had similar concerns prior to attending ESA last year. I ski almost exclusivey on expert terrain and thought I'd go to ESA to pick up some simple pointers. I ended up getting cited as "most improved." I was happy, until I realized what that meant about the way I had been skiing expert terrain for the last ten years! Strong fundamentals really are key. IMHO you'd really get a lot out of it.
Also, I went to ESA having never really been on the epic ski forums. I almost didn't go because some of the threads had me thinking that folks here were really cantankerous freaks. But tone is hard to tell in a post-and everyone there was first class.
All that said-since you said the dates are good for you-you might check out Kristen's Ulmer's Ski to Live Clinic in Snowbird about the same time. If you're looking for balls to the wall karma to absorb-Ms. Ulmer is certainly emitting it.
post #26 of 29
Hi Jqski--

Your desires and goals seem most reasonable to me. I'll second Nolo's assertion that great instruction is completely individual-based, not formula-based. I'm sure that Mike meant to express the same thing, merely suggesting one possible and reasonable scenario for a hypothetical group, and not a formula for all lessons.

Formulaic teaching happens only at the lowest levels of competence, before instructors learn to be creative, fluid, and student-focused. Unfortunately, that lowest level is not uncommon at ski schools these days, all over the world, so the concern that lessons will be tedious, rigid, and overly technical is not unjustified. But it does not reflect the reality that truly great experiences with top instructors are actually available, and not like that at all!

Ultimately, as Nolo suggests, the quality of the experience depends entirely on the quality of the coaches and the unique synergy of each individual group. There are great skiers out there who can inspire and educate merely by their own passion and performance. And there are great teachers and coaches who can facilitate breakthroughs even for those who may outski them. The very, very best instructors are both--inspiring skiers and great teachers. I would put the EpicSki Academy staff up against any group of instructors on the planet, in both respects.

I hope you will decide to join us at Snowbird. Whatever you do, I hope you get what you are seeking from it. It sounds like you're looking at some excellent programs, so you probably can't go wrong with any of them. Have fun!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #27 of 29
What Bob and Nolo said. Addressing the individual needs and wants of students is absolutely vital to the success of any coaching situation. JQSKI: I've re-read my posts and can't find any references to your having an "attitude." Actually, I complimented you quite sincerely on your accomplishments and self knowledge. You are quite correct, flow and a skier's mindset in challenging terrain is of huge importance. I repeat, "You have a very specific set of needs and desires in your mind for what you feel you need to progress to the next step in your development. Certainly, if your self-assessment is accurate, they will serve you well. I hope wherever you go for coaching, ESA or not, your coach can give you what you want."

Again, good luck!

[ September 16, 2003, 02:52 PM: Message edited by: mike_m ]
post #28 of 29
jqski,

We have a number of people on the list who sound like they might be compatable skiing with you. I hope when they read this thread they let you know their expectations, motivations, and the like, since that is what you asked for. :
post #29 of 29
Jqsk:

I'm not necessarily responding to nolo's call above, but thought I'd throw my two cents into the pot - if my experiences, expectations, motivations or anything of that ilk corresponds or doesn't, then so be it.

I was a participant last year at ESA and I am coming back again this year. I was in the group with J_squared and we also skied together the day before at Brighton and the day after at Alta, and I am in complete agreement with his post above. Our four days consisted of quite a bit of skiing, and I will definitively state that we were not involved in any type of predetermined cookie cutter skills based regiment. Did we work on skills? Yes. Did we work on tactics? Yes. Sometimes we did this on groomers - we also did so in moguls, on steeps, and in the trees. When applicable, the entire group would be involved in the same drill or working on a tactic, while at other times each person would be given their own focus relative to something specific to them, and quite often our coach would snag one of us to work individually on something. Often times pointers from our coach were a simple comment to one of us in the course of a run or a chairlift session (read: no skiing time was lost). If you are concerned that ESA is a week of "follow the leader" down the groomers. Don't be, that is not the case. However, I believe, and will reiterate, what you have acknowledged already: it makes sense to isolate and focus on certain skills on groomed terrain at times, then take this out on the mountain and work it. I cannot think of any ratio that would have applied to skills/tactics vs. skiing, however, I can say it was balanced and matched appropriately to the group - as a group and on an individual basis.

Quote:
Originally posted by jqski:
I think that "where I'm at" in my skiing at this time is that I have pretty decent technical skills but want to further develop my experience, confidence, and go for it attitude to apply them even in the most difficult terrain. For that I am looking for a coach - and fellow group memebers - to help guide, encourage, lead, and push me to ski even more difficult terrain agressively and with flow (and provide technical reminders as needed). The technical "level" of other participants is not as much a concern as how much they want and are able to go after it.

From the responses here it certainly seems like Todd and maybe J squared are of like mind (although I wouldn't want to spend a whole lot of time - a little bit is OK - reviewing fundamentals on the groomed). I will wait and see if there seems to be a critical number of people looking to really push it for this clinic. So if you are a potential participant who fits the bill please help me out by letting me know with a post in this thread.

Thanks.
There is no question - many coaches that fit the bill will be there.

How to evaluate a group for compatibility through an online discussion - whew! Well, I can describe my perspective, whether that will be of any value or not.

I think Snowbird is a great area for the academy and I was extremely pleased when it was announced; it has the terrain I want to work on and explore with the guidance of our Epic coaches. Yes, I want to work on the steeps, but also the rest of the mountain as well - moguls, cat-tracks, trees, groomers..... Much the same as you, to learn, gain confidence, and smooth things out - on all terrain, not just steeps. However, I'm going in pretty open minded and without a set agenda as to which coaches and participants I get matched with, or the amount of time that is acceptable for working on skills. I have had the pleasure of skiing with several of the coaches already; I am confident they will get the groups right (granted, this is easier with an abundance of participants with the same goals), and that if a skill is being worked on, it applies to my skiing at the time. With "About half..." of the registrants being in the L8-L9 range, I would have to believe your odds of landing in an appropriate group would be extremely good. Would we be compatible or in the same group? Who knows. I fit in that range, but I am not a L9 and would not want to slow you down.

EpicSki Academy is a blast and a good buy! I hope to see you there. Good luck with your decision.

Chris
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