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Lessons in Whistler - ski esprit

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

I'm an intermediate skier going to Whistler for 3 weeks in Feb 2005. I'm trying to decide which ski programs to do. Has anyone had experience with Ski Esprit, Yes Improvement, and Dave Murray courses?

I was wondering what the Ski Esprit courses were like in terms of teaching time and class size.

post #2 of 17
I'd do ski esprit or dave murray.....
post #3 of 17
I have done both Ski Esprit and Dave Murray and would do both again. Class size on Ski Esprit is maybe 6-8 in my experience. This topic (and these courses) have featured before so do a search and you will find some old posts or go to www.snowheads.com (a UK site) and do a search there as I know it has come up there. Generally in my experience everybody is pretty positive about their experiences
post #4 of 17
I did a women's program at Whistler almost 5 years ago.

It was well-organized and fun, though I found it to be more "coaching" and less "teaching" which was not something I was ready for yet. My on and off-piste skills were quite disparate and I needed to change groups on the second day.

Just something to consider when they make their splits!

post #5 of 17
I've done Ski Espirit twice. It wasn't until I started going to Epicski Academy, that I realized its short comings. In the beginning, I was really excited about it. I was a newbie skier from the East, and by day 4, I was skiing Blue trails at Blackcomb. The goal of Ski Espirit seems to be getting you down the msot challenging terrain in the shortest period of time. While you do learn some valuable skills, you are also taught some very defensive maneuvers, such as hockey stops. These have a tendency to add a very jerky quality to your skiing. At first I thought it might have been due to my particular instructor, but I've noticed the same quality in other skiers who have done a few Ski Espirit workshops.

Please keep in mind that this is not a value judgement. I realize that for some, terrain is more important than technique. I just have this somewhat irrational aversion to "ugly skiing."

In answer to your other question, classes go from about 10:00am to about 3:00pm. The good news: If you have decent endurance, you may end up in a semi private lesson after lunch. I was always both amazed and horrified at how many 20 somthings don't have the endurance to last part 1:00!

Good luck in whatever you choose. I'm sure you'll have a blast! Welcome to Epicski!
post #6 of 17
I have done the dave murray twice and will be signing up again this year.

It elevated my skiing from someone who would ski anything and be tired afterwards to someone who would ski anything in control and be able to do it again tomorrow and the next day.

They taught me how to carve and to be a better 'technical' skier. That made me faster and more relaxed.

I also liked their style of teaching ( they are all racers, ex-racers or coaches ) and I liked the technical focus.

Jaques Morel was our instructor last year and man oh man did we ski fast for three days!

I don't know much about ski esprit.
post #7 of 17
Hi all,

Although I've been mainly lurking for months, I'm off to Whistler soon (22/Jan-5/Feb) - and I've been looking at the lesson options and wondering what to do since we decided to go in October!

I had decided to do Ski Esprit in week 1 and then maybe the Dave Murray or the Supercamp in week 2 (or maybe skip week 2 if money is tight!)

I really want to learn rather than just explore - I've been reading here since I joined, Bob's encyclopedia for weeks and got Lito's book for christmas so my objective is to develop technique rather than bad habits - for that reason I was unhappy to read lisamarie's comments here as that's the kind of thing I want to avoid.

I'm quite new to skiing (about 3 weeks on snow and 20 or so 'coached' sessions on a dry slope). My coach says I'm a mid-level 'advanced' with a bit of an A-frame and I haven't gotten the upper/lower separation bit nailed yet. I guess I'm a level 5 according to the school levels.

I wondered whether the 'supergroup' option with only 3 people may make the Esprit session more suitable?

The Dave Murray camp sounded more 'race' oriented and although I *love* the speed etc I want to be more all-round than that. I suppose I want to be able to go through gates 'cos my technique is good - not just to go through gates and pretend I can really ski!!!
icancruz makes it sound more appropriate though.

Finally the Supercamp option (no-one has mentioned that) sounded really good - but I wondered if I'd need to be a bit more experienced to get the most out of it?

your thoughts and comments would be appreciated
post #8 of 17
lbt - I can NOT tell you enough about how good the Dave Murray camps are. They use gates as a teaching tool but its by no means a race camp. In our camp this year we skied gates, then we cruised, then we learned how to drop in to chutes, then cornices. Then skied bumps. Well you get the picture.

Again, I cannot recommend the Murray ski camps enough.
post #9 of 17

The Ski Esprit groups are fun but a lot depends on who is in your group. Size varies but can be as large as 8. The emphasis is more on mileage, exploring and apres ski with some instruction thrown in.

The Supergroups are geared more towards instruction with a max of 3 in your group plus the instructor. The instructors are all higher level with the smaller group size allowing for more personal time. This would be the route to go if you want to maximize your learning experience.
post #10 of 17
ta Skier

ah, so many options - I'm sure I'll have fun and learn loads no matter what I choose
...but since there's still time to ask, and there are knowledgable people about ... would anyone hazard a guess at which is likely to teach me more? the Dave Murray Camp or the Supergroup Esprit?

I am dead keen to maximise the learning - I really enjoy the mix of intellectual and physical.
post #11 of 17
In case anyone else reads this then have a read of Colossus178's review here
The answer seems to be the Dave Murray camp
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
The dave murray camp sounds great, and I'd like to sign up for one. Does anyone know if they have a website. I can only find the website for their summer camps. I'll be in Whistler in February 2005.
post #13 of 17
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks Ibt.

Do you know the minimum level of experience you need to make the most of the Dave Murray camp?

I'm normally an intermediate skier, but tend to lapse after a few months of not skiing. So might need some time to get back into it again.
post #15 of 17
Ski Esprit is more guided instruction. it was started as a way for Whistler guests to experience both Whislter Mtn and Blackcomb Mtn when each was a separate operation. At that time there were fun races, breakfasts, luches, apres, and a final banquet dinner. That's all gone now. What is still there is the use of both mountains and the instruction. When I was involved, I tried to make skiing the priority and help each individual with their issues and not make everyone do that same boring drills if they had already mastered them. I have no idea what they do now.

The murray camps are great. The best thing about them is we (Atomic) sponsor the camps and have demos for all the campers to use for the day. Then there is the coaching... All great people with tons of experience and passion. Groups are small and you get to ski. Generally, the 3 days are spent on Whistler, so you'll only learn that terrain.
post #16 of 17
I wondered that myself. From reading around I think you need to be able to do half-decent parallel turns and you probably need an enthusiastic approach.

If you're going for 3 weeks and you need time to get back into it then why not go in week 2
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. I'll do ski esprit for the first week, then dave murray for the second. then decide later what i'm doing for the 3rd week.
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