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Great Ski Camps?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hello All!

I'm getting ready to make my vacation plans for this year and was thinking of trying out some sort of ski camp from say the XTeam team, or something like the Steep and Deep camp offered at Jackson Hole. I have plenty to learn, but consider myself a very accomplished skier. There's nothing out east that pushes me past my comfort level, and while visiting Alta and Jackson Hole last year I felt confident skiing anything I could find.

I usually travel alone and would love a camp to give me some instruction, to provide a behind the scenes tour of an area with possibly some guided backcountry, and to give me a little on slope social interaction.

Any thoughts on great camps, guide services, etc. that would fit the bill. I want to keep this year's travels to the United States or Canada, and not somewhere out east since I live out here, but other than that any location would be fine.

Thanks for your thoughts....

Andrew
post #2 of 20
Why not Check out the Epicski Academy:

Epicski Academy

ED
post #3 of 20
Time to leave the nest and the fasle embrace of GWB. Time to head to some BIG mountains for a little fun. Nothing touches this setup it in the USA. If ya worried about travelling just fly Air France. It would have to be safer in this current world than flying internal USA.

So ya want to ski

I will be skiing Chamonix area at the end of January. Not doing the camp but skiing with some locals.

There is NO WAY the EpicSki academy can fulfill MadRivers requirements.

Oz :

[ August 08, 2003, 03:04 PM: Message edited by: man from Oz ]
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by man from Oz:
Time to leave the nest and the fasle embrace of GWB. Time to head to some BIG mountains for a little fun. Nothing touches this setup it in the USA. If ya worried about travelling just fly Air France. It would have to be safer in this current world than flying internal USA.

So ya want to ski

I will be skiing Chamonix area at the end of January. Not doing the camp but skiing with some locals.

There is NO WAY the EpicSki academy can fulfill MadRivers requirements.

Oz :
While I wouldn't dream of taking a position one way or the other on that last sentence, I agree wholeheartedly with our Man from Oz on the rest of the post. I've never done the La Grave/Verbier camp myself, but I know several who have and they've all come back raving about it.

Aside from the politics and fallout of a long-past incident, there are good reasons Doug Coombs does his camps in the Alps now instead of Jackson Hole. Terrain, access, freedom, and atmosphere.

While the camps at Jackson Hole are outstanding, if you've already found everything here well within your ability range, you need to haul yourself off to Coombs' camp and get schooled in the Alps.

Bob
post #5 of 20
Another option for La Grave, looks like reasonable prices for guided skiing. I am guessing guides would share a lot knowledge, but it is not a formal camp.

Silverton ski area has similar idea and that will keep it in US.

I am a big fan of Xteam camps, John Egan single-handedly changes your outlook on skiing. Edit: But if you are on the right coast, you hook up with him at the Bush.

Extremely Canadian at Whistler have been mentioned as a cool outfit a few times.

[ August 09, 2003, 08:28 AM: Message edited by: eug ]
post #6 of 20
This is a little off topic but if you are looking for a camp to go to and you live in the Chicago area, look into the early season ski camp that Snowcrest Ski Center runs!

Snowcrest

Ty
[img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

Lafayette Ski Club
post #7 of 20
Tom Gabrielse's nephews ski in my program and one is my right hand man when it comes to coaching.
Tom runs a great shop there. He helps the M.A.R.T. team a lot too. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Tom Gabrielse's nephews ski in my program and one is my right hand man when it comes to coaching.
Tom runs a great shop there. He helps the M.A.R.T. team a lot too.
SLATZ.....

Snowcrest was having their annual Tent Sale this weekend and I went up with my wife and others from our ski club! I always enjoy my time with the guys (and gals) that work at Snowcrest Ski Center. Ron, Jon, and Tom are always very helpful at the shop and they seem to really know their stuff!! I have posted here before about other shops in and around Chicago and I always say how much better Snowcrest is. They don't advertise much at all so I don't think everyone knows about them but they are a step above any Gold Medal shop in the area!!!! IMHO!

What is the M.A.R.T. Team??

Ty

Snowcrest

Lafayette Ski Club
post #9 of 20
Man From OZ: Actually, the ESA could be a possibility, but only if there were 3 or 4 other skiers at the same level. The Academy serves the needs and ski levels of the participants and is customized to those needs. There are a number of instructors who will be there that are qualified to take people on the steepest, gnarliest terrain anywhere on Altabird. The key is that they would introduce their students to the fundamentals of good skiing that will serve them in ALL terrain, then stretch their comfort zone on terrain appropriate to their skills. So... if there are true expert skiers out there who want to improve, express your interest on the appropriate forum and things could happen.

[ August 10, 2003, 03:46 PM: Message edited by: mike_m ]
post #10 of 20
I was not dissing the Academy. I read the Mad Rivers description and replied accordingly. There are a bunch of really good instructors at ESA and Alta\Bird rocks n all but hey Mont Blanc it isn't and nor should ESA try to be. I would be afraid that ESA trying to be an "extreme" camp would destroy the whole original concept. Stick to the ESA target market and it will be a very successful product.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #11 of 20
Ty
It's Madison Alpine Race Team http://personalpages.tds.net/~martski

We're a small team(average 20 kids per year)We train at Tyrol Basin and Blackhawk Ski Club.
Tom's nephews are pretty good. one went to Whistler Cup a few years ago and one was second in the High School Nationals Slalom last spring. There's another that is 11 who is one of the best little kids I've ever seen. All the USST guys at Lutsen were amazed when they saw him ski last spring.(unfortunatly he was seriously injured in a dirtbike accident awhile ago and is recovering slowly)

We do our Summer training with Gilboa at Mt Hood.

I don't know if you're interested but I run a Thanksgiving race camp at Ski Brule. We added an adult program last year that worked out pretty well. (not exactly the same caliber as discussed in this thread but cheap and accessable from Indiana)
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your great replies. It looks like there are many great options out there. For what I'm looking for, Doug Coombs' La Grave camp looks incredible. As does the Skier's Lodge. I'm salivating just perusing the websites. Cost was really my primary concern about heading overseas, but if I start eating nothing but Raman noodles it may be worth it.

Bob, I appreciate your second hand recommendations. I'd really love to hear from anyone who has been to La Grave if not attended the camp on what they thought of the mountain and the surrounding area.

Also has anyone attended the XTeam clinic at the Bush? I thought about doing it last year but decided not to since I already know the mountain pretty well. Looks like a great mini clinic though.

Boy do I wish all this rain we've had the last few weeks up here in Vermont had been snow. I think Mad River Glen would have gotten about 4 ft of fresh a week! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
After reading some more I'm really getting psyched for the La Grave Skierslodge. It sounds like a great atmosphere for a ski vacation, and although I'm sure Doug Coombs is a great guy, I suspect I can have as much fun and learn as much from any highly qualified guide.

Do you guys have any thoughts on when in the year snow is typically the most reliable for the La Grave area?

Thanks for all your help....
post #14 of 20
Try asking the guys at http://www.powdermag.com/ . There's probably quite a few of them who have been to La Grave.
post #15 of 20
March is a good month for Europe. The snow pack settles down around then. La Grave is awesome with high glaciers and mega chutes of all pitches. The whole area is pretty much the world capital for those that like it steep.
post #16 of 20
I have done Xteam clinics at Jay. Last year the only original coaches that showed up were Dan and John Egan. Not sure if it is the east coast thing or what... John teaches at Sugarbush, so this year I will probably get up there for a couple of days to ski with him instead of doing the full clinic.
post #17 of 20
Hope you can make it to La Grave this season. I took a camp there 2 seasons ago and stayed at the Skiers Lodge. Certainly one of the hilites of my skiing career. Steeps, steeps and more steeps.
post #18 of 20
skimadriver,

You've had some good suggestions here. X team has a great program aimed at stepping up peoples comfort zones by introducing them to exposure. However, I think Bobpeters and OZ were correct in suggesting that terrain is key in helping with that task. Even further tho is the TEACHER. The best teacher you can get is someone who spends every day in these steep conditions... someone who has dedicated their lives to this type of terrain - not slowspeed carves in beginner terrain.

For classic steep terrain, La Grave is worldclass, but the right teacher is the one who will introduce you to that next level of comfort. A GUIDE, not a teacher.

Skimadriver, if money is a major consideration, wait a year and pay the extra for Coombs camp - a ski partner of mine has done the Jackson camp years back with Coombs and La Grave at Skiers lodge and he said there's a world of difference. Personally, I was lucky enough to ski with Coombs in Alaska and can say that there is NO equivilent to the experience he offers.
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for the great responses.

Cheap seats, your thoughts on going with Coombs for the instruction are interesting. I was also looking at maybe trying NASTC's La Grave clinic. Anyone have any info on this other than the skiing mag article that was favorable?

http://www.skinastc.com/m2_c4.html#cham

I consider myself a pretty good skier, but certainly have tackled nothing like La Grave so the extra instruction would probably help my confidence greatly.

Cost is certainly an issue, but I also want the best experience and can hopefully find a way to make any of the options work.

42 Degree low for Montpellier Saturday night, probably in the 30's up on the mountains. I can almost start smelling snow. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #20 of 20
I've skied a number of times with John Egan, both taging along on an Xteam clinic for a few and just trying to keep up with him on Castlerock. You will learn a ton but just come prepared to ski your tail off. If you hook up with him at Sugarbush be prepared to log a ton of vertical feet. You will really get your monies worth.
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