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ETU- The game is afoot...(Day 1)

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hi everybody! Here are a few notes from today's happenings in Stowe.

The day dawned mostly clear, with a minor snow cloud over the mtn itself. Temps ranged about 0-5 degrees most of the day. And of course, the wind was still blowing.

The coaches and participants all met at about 7:30 in The Spruce Lodge, just across from the base of Mt. Mansfield. A very nice catered breakfast buffet awaited, allowing everybody to fuel up for the day.
After everybody was fed, a short introduction of all the coaches, the agenda, and the logistics of the group splits ensued. By 9:15, all the groups were on their way to the snow, via one of the local shuttle buses.

Up the gondola for the first run, the wind packed snow sure proved to really shake out the groups. It was pretty firm and fast.

Each group jumped right into the program, covering all the standard "EpicSki" questions, such as "why do we turn", etc...right up to modern, contemporary ski technique. Every group was also video taped. (we have to have something to blackmail them with... )

A few brief warmup stops, and some lunch, the afternoon followed on course. The disappointments came early, as "skierteach" and "oldandslow" both took falls which resulted in their withdrawing from the day. In the case of OandS, it was of enough concern to actually be his first toboggan ride in over 25 years! But neither injury proved to be very severe (thank goodness) and both were walking around during the Group dinner. Neither is sure if they will be comfortable skiing tomorow. But it is a relief to know that neither had a season ending injury.

After skiing, a short presentation was given by Bob Barnes, supported by a Power Point presentation. With both old and new coaches chiming in, a great number of questions were fielded. A quick hour later, everyone quickly returned to their respective abodes to get ready for dinner.
Dinner was again a buffet style affair, this time Italian. Lots of food, I can't imagine anyone went hungry, with the numbers going back for second helpings!

After everyone had eaten their fill, it was time for the main event- the raffle which is held to support the continuation of A tidy sum was raised in behalf of the website.

A variety of prizes were handed out- Scott Poles, Fox River Ski Socks, several OpenAir Wear fleece vests, and of course, the K2 Skis! The happy winner of the skis was Mike Zeoli of New Hampshire.

Shortly after the raffle, most everybody adjourned to their rooms to rest for tomorrow. It's supposed to be cold again, with another major storm arriving during the afternoon and evening. Reports place the amount of projected snowfall at between 1-4 Feet!

As it's now almost 12:30am, I think I'll go see if my pillow is as soft as I remember...

Good night all, and I'll drop a few more notes tomorrow night.

post #2 of 29
Ric, thanks for the updates you are providing. It is really nice of you (and other bears) to keep us abreast of ETU developments. Next best thing to being there, I guess.

I am sorry to hear about the 2 accidents. I do hope skierteach and oldandslow are OK.

I am also happy to hear the all the groups are video taped. That type of feedback is great, in my opinion.

Have fun on the second day and everyone ski safe!
post #3 of 29

Thanks for the update. At the moment, I am about as far away from Stowe as one can be. However, I have been very impressed by the planning and organization that has gone into the ETA and the level of enthusiasm that exists judging from the posts here. Have a great time. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #4 of 29
Hi Everyone! Bonni and I made the post below from my laptop last night. We put it in the thread called ETU-The game is afoot (the night before). I thought I would move it here so you could see it on this day.

I see that Ric told you all that I got hurt. I did! I think a little more than I wanted to admit yesterday and last night. I had it in my mind until about half way through the buffet that I was going to go out there and try to ski today. As the night progressed however, the pain in my knee grew and I developed a pain in my lower back as well.

This morning when I got up I could hardly move. Not typical first day out stuff though, I could have dealt with that, would have ignored it and gone back out today. My knee is quite swollen. I decided, rather than just sit around, not able to ski for the day, my best bet would be to head home and beat the snowstorm so I didn't have to drive in it tomorrow as it is supposed to continue into tomorrow.

I guess I fell quite hard, according to Lori (cgeib's wife). I know that when I fell the wind was knocked out of me, but I did fall on HARD, hard pack.

So what happened??? Well, for starters, I couldn't ski with my glasses because they steamed up. I had the wrong goggles, the ones they do not fit under. My depth perception was totally messed up because of this. When we got to the bottom of GULCH, an intermediate bump run with very thin cover, a sigh of relief came over me(those who have read my previous posts know that bumps and I do not get along). I let my guard down and was traversing to join up with the rest of the crew on my left. The cat had groomed the cross over and the trail below. There was a drop about a foot or so high between GULCH and the other trail we were merging with. My right leg dropped into the cat track (which I could not see) and hyper-extended. I caught the edge and... well, you know what happened next. (I think I may have also wacked my head because I have a terrible headache, a sore neck and my eyes were playing games with me all the way home. Thankfully, I had my helmet on. A 3 1/2 hour drive took about 5 because I had to keep stopping-no snow yet).

At first I laughed about it, denying that I was in any pain. I was having too good of time and learning too much to quit. We started down the toward the chair. After making a couple turns I was in total agony, but I still was not ready to quit. I think we broke for lunch here and then went back out. Climbing the stairs from the Mansfield lodge was quite painful, but I did it and I was not ready to give in. After a few turns I told Tom B. our instructor du jour that I was going to sit out the next run. When they got back down I was in more pain and it was throbbing, so I called it a day around 2:30. 800 mg of Motrin did little to releive the pain.

I probably could have forced myself to ski today, but most likely would have done more damage. I called my doctor when I got home and she suggested that I go to the Health Center where I am a patient. The doctor there is on call for the weekend, so I have to wait until 3:45 for them to get here (from Worcester). I will let you know if it is anything serious.
I am so angry! I wanted to go back today...I knew I couldn't though and that I would have just dragged the group down.
Here is last night's post:

Hi everyone!

This is Bonni using skierteachs computer.....I thought I'd give ya'll an update before I hit the sack.

It was colder than a prison matron's stare today. 2 degrees at the top of the gondola....but for some reason I didn't get all that cold (adrenaline and fear, I suppose).

We learned a lot, laughed a lot, went where no man should go alone, and guess what? We're doing it again tomorrow!

There's a big winter storm coming in tomorrow afternoon, so we're planning to ski all day and drive home while it's snowing hard....Murphy rides again.

Right now I'm sitting in Skierteach and Springhill Crazie's room, there's a fire blazing and it's very cool to meet Bears for the first time and ski with them and chat the night away. One of the best things about Epic events is the friends you make!

PS. I found out it really REALLY hurts to put a ski pole in
Front of you, angled at very upper thigh height, jammed into the snow, while you are still moving forward. Over and out.

Hi! This is Skierteach now! What she said! There were some great laughs today, Bonni even laughed about the pole, though that must have really hurt. A lot of learning took place and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

I've met a lot of great people! It's been fun.
[ December 14, 2003, 12:22 PM: Message edited by: skierteach ]
post #5 of 29
Sorry to hear about your injury Skiteach, didn't realise you were injured when I met you outside Spruce last night!

I got to see the ETU from the outside, everyone seemed pretty motivated. I saw Ric's group all over the hill both days, and in the Octagon quite a lot too! Bob's group must have hidden in the trees as I only saw them once. Saw the two eastern PSIA coaches quite a lot too.

It has been very cold this weekend, and the hill got pretty scraped and icy both days. The big snowstorm is approaching us, but it's still cold (and dark). Hopefully it doesn't affect people going home too much.
We have a training event here the next week, so we are looking forward to some soft tomorrow. I have put my fat skis in for a grind and some edges!

I was thinking of getting to the shed for the wind-down beer, but on friday night I discovered...that the beer there is quite horrible (they are a brewery). And I don't fancy the walk into town to get the's cold, and my group this weekend were decent skiiers so i'm a bit beat! and sitting here in the warm is kind of hard to leave.
So someone else will have to post about how that was.
post #6 of 29
Notes from the doctor's visit:

I'm fine! I'm fine! I'm fine!

I have a mild concussion (sp?) and my knee and back are just strained, no serious damage, it will be fine in short order. The doctor told me to use it(within reason), not to rest it and keep it still because if I were to do that it may stiffen up. I tried to resist the fall, see what happens when you fight it!

SNOW REPORT-Barre, MA (200 miles from Stowe)
3:15PM - nothing, a spit of snow every few minutes.
3:45PM - and inch on the ground
5:30PM - 3 inches on the ground

BTW- the knee I injured is NOT the one that convinced me to drop a level or two wehn we started. It was the other one, I have 2 sore knees.

[ December 15, 2003, 09:14 AM: Message edited by: skierteach ]
post #7 of 29
Hey VSP, thanks for taking time to post the skinny.
Sorry to hear about oldandslow and skierteach!
Hope you all are enjoying the New England wea-THAH and of course learning lots from our epic Epicski coaches.
I look forward to weeks of post event posts posted here and tall tales.
post #8 of 29
Boy, what a ride home! Snow, blinding blowing snow...miles of it. Our trip home took less than we thought, but we made it home by 10:30. Burlington was getting hammered, and it stayed that way until Manchester, VT....then all was quiet with minimal snow turning to sleet until we got to Pownal.

When we could see the road, we went fast (40 mph).

Good luck to our Colorado coaches on getting out tomorrow. If I were you, I'd rebook and take tomorrow to PLAY. :

Thanks for the good time. I'll post tomorrow, when I'm awake!
post #9 of 29
What a great thing, this epicski ETU was! Yes, the wind howled and the ice bit, but "what doesn't kill ya will make ya stronger" (not only did our instructor - Tod O'Dowd - say this, but we believe it drove his modus operandi). The challenging conditions together with the best instruction we've ever had, made this a top notch experience, and one that will feed us with exercises for the rest of the season. It was also terrific to attach a real person to some of the handles we've seen post here and just meet some fellow bears.

We want to thank Oboe, Nolo and the others who did all the organizing, and the coaches for making a really exceptional experience possible. We hope that the tune up will return east next year (and when the time comes, let us know if you need a hand - we'd be glad to help).

As for those skis I won at the raffle, I am torn between the K2 5 star, the K2 SL.11, and the K2 Scream Superhot (the skis have to be K2s - any model - just so long as they are K2s). Any recommendations or advice will be appreciated. ....and many thanks to Ric Reiter, who provided this prize for the raffle.

Now off to bed - we've got nearly a foot of fresh on the ground, so tomorrow promises to be an exhausting day 'at work'

Best. -Mike & Ewa

[ December 14, 2003, 08:03 PM: Message edited by: bearberry ]
post #10 of 29

I'm so glad to hear you are okay. Your description of your eyes wobbling during your drive home made me suspect a concussion, so I'm glad you survived the drive as well.

I hope Old'n'slo is feeling better now too.
post #11 of 29
It was the worst of times
It was the best of times

Worst, since 5 days after skiing near powder like conditions at unday River, we were "treated" to predominantly ice and rock at Stowe.

Best because we had a line up of teachers that taught us how to deal with it. After one week of skiing in two totally opposite conditions, I finally feel that I can call myself an all condition skier.

Tom Burch got to teach the Perfect Curves for ETU. He taught with a sense of patience and humor that allowed us to almost enjoy the conditions. I was pleased to realize that any anxiety I had was more about scratching up my skis than incurring injury. (Skiing a bump run that was mostly ice and rock can do that! [img]smile.gif[/img] ]
This was a big change in attitude for me.

Tom also has an uncanny ability to fix a situation that could be negative. On sunday, we all wanted to ski at Spruce since it was less icy. But we did not realize that only the lift to the extremely flat beginner terrain was open.
Then he noticed the cones that had been set up on the trail. So for the first time eveer, I skied 'gates' without knockin' the freakin things over!

In other news, it was great to meet everyone. Bearberry is extremely charming, and I'm glad he won the K2s. Dave Merriam was a gracious host. Loved meeting Stu Campbell.
For all who met my greyhound Giselle, she sends a hug and a kiss.
Skierteach, take care of yourself, hon!
Epic, thanks for setting thhis up!
6 hours later, I'm glad to be safe at home in Brookline.
post #12 of 29
DAMN RIC... I am surprised that you had the energy to post this after I WHOOPED your ass at air hockey! LOL.

Hope you all had a lot of fun free-skiing in the 30 inches of new snow at Stowe today!

post #13 of 29
Originally posted by kieli:
DAMN RIC... I am surprised that you had the energy to post this after I WHOOPED your ass at air hockey! LOL....

You do notice he didn't mention this.
post #14 of 29
Lest I forget, The Perfect Curves were not the novice skier group for ETU. A group consisting of Mrs. Oboe, New Skier, Harvey D. and a few others, started at Spruce, and ended up skiing Gondolier on Sunday.
Great job, folks!
post #15 of 29
I'm a little more rested now, a little less depleted, but a lot happier than I was on Friday.

I learned something from Tom Burch. :

It's true that there was debris on most of the trails at Stowe. It's early season, and we had that stinkin rain last week. I remarked that one run in particular looked like a snowman battlefield.........sticks and rocks strewn everywhere! What a way to practice precise steering by avoiding the biggest shrapnel. My bases bear the war wounds.

I spent Saturday more or less in a defensive skiing mode. To me, I was too busy trying to stay upright to try focusing on specific things I needed to learn. My body wouldn't leave that old habit of self protection on the snow-lean trails. It was somewhat frustrating, but at the same time I knew that a year ago, I wouldn't have even been ON this kind of trail in these conditions. I have to admit being scared a few times. The last run under the gondola late Saturday afternoon had me frozen halfway down, and I haven't felt that since : I can't remember. Being out of my comfort zone is a good thing now and then though. (LM can vouch for the fact that I purposefully put myself, and others, in that position under the guise of FUN and LET'S LEARN THIS). ha

Not wanting to drag the rest of the group down, but wanting to maximize what exercises we could practice in a less threatening environment, we agreed to go play on Spruce, the beginner area. I have no ego in that's white and slides, but I did feel out of place when I was asked to take 5 year old Jake up with me on the chair, and he was more relaxed a skier than I was, and it was his First Day! tee hee

After a few this and that games, things I can play with until the Academy, I was feeling more at ease, and more loose in my skiing. I was minding my own business, skiing down, focusing on completing turns, when Tom skied up and said "Catch me", and skied away. Well, I didn't even think! I just remember a voice in my head shouting "Well, all RIGHT!" and I let my skis loose to take me after him.

Either he slowed way down, or I got lucky, but I went flying down, caught up and I think I passed him, I'm not sure, but I didn't notice cause all I could remember was grinning like a fool because something was happening! I felt GREAT! I wasn't fighting my skis, they were going where I wanted them to go, I was spot on, and I was Dazzled! I felt what it was like to actually SKI, and for the first time, I thought myself a skier!

I didn't use all that much force, or energy, and at the bottom I wasn't my usual fatigued self, but I was Electrified! I had managed to put all the elements together, just once, by happenstance, and I'll never forget it. : I didn't repeat it on the next run, not quite exactly, but I got closer and closer to it with each run. I need more miles on my skis, but I know that I now have some really great tools in my goodie bag to use and play with.

Thanks, Tom, for helping me reach this lofty pinnacle of success that I used to think was never going to be in my reach.
You're the cat's pajamas, MEOW!!
post #16 of 29
Ah Bonni... that's AWESOME! I know that feeling... and it's exactly why I fell in love and am still in love with skiing. I literally feel like I am FLYING.

The best part, Bonni, is everyone who skis has those new breakthrough moments their whole life. You're gonna get another one before you know it!!

post #17 of 29
Originally posted by vail snopro / ric reiter:
<snip>Every group was also video taped. (we have to have something to blackmail them with... )
Just for reference... I skied with Tim, one of the examiners at Stowe. He did videotape us, but *shucks* the battery died before we were able to watch ourselves. However, Tim did tell us all that we experienced a "breakthrough" right after our videotaping session and that it was "pointless" to watch the tape. I get to watch myself on tape after every night of my race league -- I'll let ya know if I think I look good Tim!

Ride The Slide... Guide The Slide... Hide The Slide... The three steps of Eastern skiing [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #18 of 29
Hey Bears: Injury report: I think I'm probably not as lucky as skierteach, despite the optimism of Stu Campbell et al. Visited my old friend the orthopod this afternoon (he really is an old friend, from Westmont High in scenic Johnstown PA, a real skiing hotbed -- I've never seen him professionally). He poked around a little and remarked on the swelling, said he wasn't sure. Then called in his partner, a skier who has cut many a knee, who passed his hand over the sore spot for two seconds and said "well, it's your ACL." Then I went for the MRI, so I'll know for sure tomorrow or Wednesday. My new Donjoy brace with the metal side plates, together with fistfuls of ibuprofen makes everything except going downstairs pretty bearable. By the way, I owe a real debt of gratitude to my buddy John Harrison, who gave up half his first day to taxi me to the medical center, and stuck around to get me back up the road in time for a beer.

Questions: Orthopod #2 said that even with modern surgical technique, if I have the repair done now, I'll still be out the rest of the season, doing rehab, but that it might be possible to ski with a brace after the swelling and soreness go away, and do the repair in the spring. Anyone tried this? And how long is healing and rehab if you're really agressive? I'm mostly retired, just joined a gym, and have the time. I don't look forward to missing next summer's bike season either (I have to get in shape for the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, a two-day double century for cancer research I do every year).

However, like Mrs. Lincoln, aside from that, I had a ball. Many thanks to oboe, Ric, and everyone else involved in making this great event happen. I'll sign up right now for next year, and get my wife to come, too. And perhaps Utah in '05. I'll keep you posted with my progress. Evan.
post #19 of 29
A speedy recovery to you, oldnslo.
post #20 of 29
WOW! Now I do feel very lucky Oldnslo. I wish you a fast recovery!
On aside note: I have a friend who is a cancer patient who rides in the Pan MA challenge annually. He was in remission for several years but it resurfaced last year. That did not stop him however, he rode again this past summer.
post #21 of 29
Originally posted by Lisamarie:
Lest I forget, The Perfect Curves were not the novice skier group for ETU. A group consisting of Mrs. Oboe, New Skier, Harvey D. and a few others, started at Spruce, and ended up skiing Gondolier on Sunday.
Great job, folks!
Well, the conditions on Gondolier on Sunday ertainly "challenged us." I'd describe it more as making it down rather than actually skiing. But, we had a great time on the blues off the triple! Fantastic experience! We learned tons!
post #22 of 29
Sounds like another great Epic time. New friends and new skiing breakthroughs.

I was in a clinic having my own "movements forward" on some nice stuff.

My comment to all of my peers....write down notes about your drills and and read regularly.
post #23 of 29
Great idea, Stacey! Start a ski journal!
post #24 of 29
I agree with newskier (he makes me), the ETU was fantastic. Kristi was an amazing instructor. No comparison between how we were "skiing" Saturday and our skiing by Sunday afternoon. What a great way for a couple of beginners to start their second skiing season!

I've chosen my posting name (what do you forum folks call your fake names, anyway? Nicknames?) in honor of the weather Saturday and the snow Sunday. And making it down Gondolier Sunday early afternoon was no small feat for me. But it wasn't pretty. . .not much smacking of royalty in that run for me!

Thanks to the organizers for this, and I hope you'll do it again next year. If so, I'll be there.

Oh, one complaint -- we never got videotaped. I have to say that I didn't think there was much point in it for me and newskier, because the only reasonable reaction to a videotape of us skiing would be, "Your main problem don't know how to ski." You'll owe us one next year. Hey, there's a marketing idea for you -- tape us at the beginning and then at the end of the clinic. That would be cool.

I hope everyone made it home safely -- newskier and I left today, the roads sucked, and we saw a semi overturned on the side of Route 89. I hate when that happens.
post #25 of 29
Originally posted by Ice Queen:
I've chosen my posting name (what do you forum folks call your fake names, anyway? Nicknames?) in honor of the weather Saturday and the snow Sunday.
I love your screen name and glad to see that you have chosen one. Hope to hear from you frequently here. It was great to meet you and your husband, I really would have loved to have skied with you some.

The ETU was great! I am sorry that I had to drop out! I am definately there next season. I can not attend Academies because they are mid-week and I am a teacher.
post #26 of 29
I couldn't find Tom's group when I first started out, so I asked Kris if I could join her group. It turned out to be just what I needed. I got to review fundamentals from scratch. She was an unbelievable teacher and got me skiing tall. I used to flex my knees and she broke me of that with a few helpful reminder taps from her pole. Her demeanor was playful and her teaching style was extremely effective.
She and some other examiner friends are considering leading folks on ski trips around the country and possibly in Europe. She will e-mail me with developments and I'll pass any information along. This sounds like a lot of fun since they will act as tour guides as well as ski coaches. She has a beautiful skiing style and I hope that others also had a chance to observe her.
While speaking to Dave Merriam, he expressed a sincere interest in having the ETU again next year. I hope it happens.
This was an extremely productive learning (reeducational) experience for me and the chance to ski with Kris, an Eastern PSIA Examiner and the probably, most important instructor at Stowe was one that I will long remember.
It was a lot of fun meeting folks. What a great motivated group with common goals. I'm sorry not to be able to attend the main event at the "Bird". Unfortunately we're booked at Gray Rocks for a ski week the first week in February. I hope to improve my race times up there with what I learned at ETU.

[ December 15, 2003, 06:03 PM: Message edited by: HarveyD ]
post #27 of 29
Dear Evan,
I would have to say that your Orthopod is right. Your rehab will eat up the majority of the season if you have sugery now. If it is your ACL you will need to choose between surgery and a brace for this season. I know you are skeptical, but the braces really are decent and I know several skiers who opted to skip the surgery ands go woth the brace. You really can ski with it...I know this seems hard to believe right now, but truly it often works out. Please keep us posted and best of luck.

P.S. Say hello to John for me.
post #28 of 29
Ice Queen,

NO NO NO! You guys certainly DO deserve to be videotaped! You can learn so much from watching yourself. What you THINK you look like and what you REALLY look like are very different things. I saw your group skiing on Sunday (and went past you several times), and you guys did great! I think I even shouted an encouragement from the chair once.

For your group to undertake Gondolier was amazing! I choked on part of it Saturday. Hats off to you!

post #29 of 29
Skierteach, I'm glad to here that you will be fine OandS sorry to here about your ACL. And yes I do no a few people who have skied without them, one of which never used a brace. He relied on leg strength.

Bonni the pleasure was all mine, thanks to you all for a great weekend. You ladies; Bonni,Mrs cgeib,Skierteach,Lisamarie,and Jen have the attitude!

Looking forward to seeing you all again!
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