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Breckenridge - Intermediate/Advanced Lessons??? [coming from UK]

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

The Fiance and I are coming over to Breckenridge from the UK in a few weeks and would like to take a lesson for a day while we are out there. We are solid intermediate skiers and fine on any groomed terrain but our mogul technique isn't the best and we are pretty poor powder skiers. 

Has anyone been on the 'Adult Intermediate Ski Workshop" at Breckenridge? - basically a group lesson with a maximum of 4 in the class for intermediate and above skiers. It appears to be the only more advanced lesson available other than eye wateringly expensive private lessons. 

Also, would it be a really bad idea to take the lesson the day after arriving from the UK with regards to jet lag and adapting to the altitude etc?

 

We would appreciate any advice advice you guys can offer...

post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by L33T View Post
 

The Fiance and I are coming over to Breckenridge from the UK in a few weeks and would like to take a lesson for a day while we are out there. We are solid intermediate skiers and fine on any groomed terrain but our mogul technique isn't the best and we are pretty poor powder skiers. 

Has anyone been on the 'Adult Intermediate Ski Workshop" at Breckenridge? - basically a group lesson with a maximum of 4 in the class for intermediate and above skiers. It appears to be the only more advanced lesson available other than eye wateringly expensive private lessons. 

Also, would it be a really bad idea to take the lesson the day after arriving from the UK with regards to jet lag and adapting to the altitude etc?

 

We would appreciate any advice advice you guys can offer...

 

Paging @habacomike  and @Kneale Brownson - both of whom are instructors at Breck.

 

I've done the workshops. They're just group lessons with max four people. Nothing magic about them, except of course that it's really nice to have a smaller group.

post #3 of 11

You'll most likely get the most out of a smaller lesson.  The workshop might be the solution, but you also ought to look at hiring a private instructor just for the two of you.  If you both are more or less at the same level, it might be as economic as two workshops, but check the prices to verify.

 

As to timing, you need to realize that you are, most likely, coming from sea level to over 3,000 meters.  Jet lag can also be an issue.  A lot of folk have issues with acclimating to the altitude, but there's not a reliable way of predicting if it's going to affect you.

 

Drink lots of water.  Walk while on the plane.  Go to bed early and drink sensibly.  It's not that alcohol perpetuates altitude sickness, but it can be a powerful diuretic, and dehydration can be a problem for folk at this altitude.  Check out this link for info:  http://www.epicski.com/a/altitude-adaptation-and-acute-mountain-sickness

 

Not sure I answered your questions, but perhaps Kneale will expand or correct me!

 

Mike

post #4 of 11
Have you experienced altitude issues in the past? If not, Mike's comments are appropriate. If you have had some issue, I'd say you should wait until you feel OK or, better yet, ask tour physician to prescribe Diamox.

I've worked the intermediate workshops occasionally since their inception and think they're a good program. At least half the time, there's fewer than four participants.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post
 

You'll most likely get the most out of a smaller lesson.  The workshop might be the solution, but you also ought to look at hiring a private instructor just for the two of you.  If you both are more or less at the same level, it might be as economic as two workshops, but check the prices to verify.

 

As to timing, you need to realize that you are, most likely, coming from sea level to over 3,000 meters.  Jet lag can also be an issue.  A lot of folk have issues with acclimating to the altitude, but there's not a reliable way of predicting if it's going to affect you.

 

Drink lots of water.  Walk while on the plane.  Go to bed early and drink sensibly.  It's not that alcohol perpetuates altitude sickness, but it can be a powerful diuretic, and dehydration can be a problem for folk at this altitude.  Check out this link for info:  http://www.epicski.com/a/altitude-adaptation-and-acute-mountain-sickness

 

Not sure I answered your questions, but perhaps Kneale will expand or correct me!

 

Mike

Thanks for all your replies.

 

I take your point @habacomike about private lessons as it does work out roughly around the cost of two workshops, although I was pretty impressed the workshop had a max of 4 participants. How is it decided what the workshop looks at, is it from input from the class?

 

I was also kind of hoping @Kneale Brownson that we may drop lucky and it only be the two of us in the class, but as it will more than likely be on a Saturday or Sunday I suppose that would be fairly optimistic.

 

The highest we've been previously would be the resorts around Banff in Canada. I think around 7000/8000ft. I felt absolutely fine but came out in a minor rash that the pharmacist thought was probably related to the altitude. It does kind of bother me though that we will probably get to Breckenridge around 8pm on the Friday after the flight so taking a lesson the next day might be a bit much.

post #6 of 11

For what it is worth, I skied at Breck three years ago and took the general group lessons for three days.  My group (a level 9) had only 3 or 4 participants, including me.  I'm not positive as to how crowded the other groups were, but I think everything above a level 4 was fairly small.  Based on that, I don't think it is likely that you'll be the only people in a group class, but I also don't think you'll be overcrowded.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheleg View Post
 

For what it is worth, I skied at Breck three years ago and took the general group lessons for three days.  My group (a level 9) had only 3 or 4 participants, including me.  I'm not positive as to how crowded the other groups were, but I think everything above a level 4 was fairly small.  Based on that, I don't think it is likely that you'll be the only people in a group class, but I also don't think you'll be overcrowded.

 

People rarely line up for level 9s. But I will say that people who sign up for level 9s are often maybe high level 7s in my eyes. (Then again, I line up for level 9s figuring I'm actually a high 8 ... it all doesn't really matter as long as you get a group of similar ability/interest.)

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by L33T View Post
The highest we've been previously would be the resorts around Banff in Canada. I think around 7000/8000ft. I felt absolutely fine but came out in a minor rash that the pharmacist thought was probably related to the altitude. It does kind of bother me though that we will probably get to Breckenridge around 8pm on the Friday after the flight so taking a lesson the next day might be a bit much.

 

If you're spending mucho quid on big vacation consider the possibility of AMS. It could have no effect whatsoever, or it could put a dent in your enjoyment for a few days - or worse. It's not so much how high the mountain is, but the altitude you sleep. Breck base is almost 10,000' compared to Banff which is maybe 6,000'. My whole family got hit our first time to Summit County and we had a few days of headaches, nausea and shortness of breath - half our trip.  The next time I went, I stayed in Denver the first night and took Diamox and felt fine. The thing about Diamox is that it should be taken before you get to Breck, so you have to plan. Consider it a form of trip insurance. The downside is that it may make your face and fingers tingly and affect your taste. All carbonated beverages will taste like shite (put down that pint).

 

http://www.traveldoctor.co.uk/diamox.htm

post #9 of 11

I enjoyed the Intermediate lesson at Breck last year.  Given it was mid-week, there were two instructors for four of us and the instructors split us into groups of two.  Semi-private lesson!  Then, my GF took the afternoon off so that I had a private lesson for half the day.  Sweet!  I learned a lot and made considerable progress.  Small groups do help.  The smaller the better.  Ya never know how many you'll be lumped with.  Don't know if I would fork out $$$ for a private lesson.   

 

As for altitude, I've been to CO many times over the years and have had shortness of breath due to exertion early on but nothing else.  Last year, however, I did get hit with headaches the moment we got to Breck.  We arrived at night and it only lasted that first night and part of the next day.  I still skied after taking some ibuprofen and sudafed.  By the second morning I was fine.  

 

I suggest playing it by ear and NOT sign up ahead of time for a lesson on Day 1. It might be better to take a few runs on Day 1 to make sure about the altitude effect and plan the lesson for Day 2.

post #10 of 11

Haven't been to Breck so can't help with specifics.  I live at sea level.  I usually schedule a lesson on Day 2, or even Day 3 for a longer ski trip to the Rockies.  With the amount of jet lag you will have flying from the U.K., definitely better to wait until Day 2.

 

Even though the cost of a private lesson for a full day can seem like bargain compared to only half-day, I usually only do the lesson in the morning.  Although there is something to be said for scheduling the whole day and planning to let the instructor be more of a guide to go exploring in the afternoon.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
So sorry for the belated reply, things got pretty hectic at work before we departed. Anyhow, we took the workshop today in the level 7 class with an instructor named Tim (who was excellent btw). Today was our third day as I left it too late to book for yesterday. There were actually eight people who showed up for level 7, the group was split into two groups of 4 (higher and lower level 7s). I felt 4 was good group size and maybe even better than it just being the two of us as the better members of the group pushed us on.

I would highly recommend the workshop to anyone who is considering it. We ended up dropping into bowls, skiing double diamond blacks and tree runs which we had previously never done, I feel we both learned a lot and dare I say would be confident to ski them again.

Regarding the altitude we have been largely unaffected, thankfully. I struggled to sleep much the first night, my heart was beating much more than normal and I have noticed some breathlessness. Drinking lots of water was good advice as you seem to get dehydrated much quicker at this altitude.

Thanks to all who inputted and offered advice it definitely helped us a lot.
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