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Hello all,

As you may or may not recall, I endlessly solicited all of you for your favorite ski instruction stories. Well, the good news is that the book is finally done and on sale. Here's a bit of a press release for the book:

It’s nine o’clock in the morning and you’re flying down acres of pristine powder under a clear, blue sky. Of course, whether you’re actually “flying” or hunched over in a white-knuckled snowplow is largely dependent on one person’s help: your professional ski instructor.

Since the 1930’s when alpine skiing hit the American slopes, ski instructors have enjoyed near celebrity status. However, like any other profession, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye: long hours, inclement whether and demanding customers. But, after nearly 75 years of American ski instruction, someone has finally written a book that captures the humor behind the job.

Freelance writer and professional ski instructor, Allen R. Smith, has put together a wonderfully entertaining collection of stories from ski professionals titled, “Ski Instructors Confidential: The Stories Ski Instructors Swap Back at the Lodge.” The book is a collection of over 160 stories from some of the most experienced ski teachers across the country. From Alaska to Vermont. From the 1940’s to the present. The contributors to “Ski Instructors Confidential” share their best stories, representing hundreds of years of teaching experience: the stories that they laugh about at the end of their day.

Divided into seven chapters, “Ski Instructors Confidential” celebrates the sport of alpine skiing from the instructor’s point of view. In addition to chapters on ski school lessons and fashion, the book celebrates overcoming the forces of gravity, putting up with cantankerous kids and wrestling with ski equipment that is bound and determined to move in any direction except the way you want it to.

“Ski Instructors Confidential’ was written from a truly unique perspective,” says Smith. “We have stories from Joy Lucas, the first woman ever to be certified by the Professional Ski Instructors Association, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.” Other contributions were written by Herb Schneider, a member of the celebrated U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division. Eric Windisch, who at 87 and still teaching at Vail, was the first person to launch himself off a ski jump in the “arms to the side,” aerodynamic position due to a shoulder injury incurred the night before a big competition. Finally, Pattie Grady, our cover girl in red, was voted one of the “Top 100 Ski Instructors of North America for 2004” by the editors of SKI magazine.

“Ski Instructors Confidential’ is a celebration of the ski teaching profession and the people that have made it great,” says Smith. “Many of these folks are getting on in years, so I wanted to capture the fun of the “early days of skiing” before they’re lost to the present day. Anyone who’s ever skied should read this book!”

If you're interested in reading some excerpts or purchasing a copy of the book, please visit my web site at

I want to thank all of you for your incredible contributions and hope that you'll enjoy the book. You are the best!