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Inside Skinny on ESA East

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
[Stu asked me to post this letter to tell us all about ESA East. He's facing deadlines with the magazine, or he'd do it himself--in the interest of time and efficiency, I am doing it for him. --nolo]

Dear EpicSkiers,

Please consider my personal invitation to attend the EpicSki Academy East on December 17-18, 2005. It will be held in Stowe, Vermont.

Contrary to rumors, this is not intended to be an abbreviated version of the EpicSki Academy West, slated for Snowbird, Utah later in January 2006. The eastern academy will be an intimate two-day, total-immersion, stand-alone session featuring some of the finest coaches in the nation.

Because I want everyone involved -- all the time -- the tuition package which includes breakfast and dinner on Saturday, plus lifts, coaching, lectures, boot analysis, video and access to the resort's world-famous spa at the Stoweflake Resort, is priced at $350. There will be no Chinese-menu options, but if your non-participating companion(s) would like to attend the banquet, we can accommodate them.. We have arranged a special $100/day room rate at the Stoweflake
Resort and Spa for ESA East attendees.

My personal philosophy, reflected in my years as a demo team member, examiner, coach, instructor and instruction director for SKI Magazine, is that modern skiing is very simple. That's not to say that it's easy.

My challenge to the ESA-East coaches, each with sterling credentials of her/his own, will be to eliminate all technical language and insider PSIA lingo in his/her presentation, and try to reduce all concepts to everyday words.

The first day will focus on technique. Technique, you'll recall, is any sequence of movements proven to work effectively. Technique has nothing to do with style. (Style is how you put various aspects of technique together to express yourself on snow.) Much of Day One's clinicing may take place on the new Spruce Mountain quad, which services wide corduroy boulevards.

During the day you will be videoed and also observed closely by P. J. Dewey, former Lange boot fitter to the US Ski team, now principal of Race Stock Sports in Waterbury, Vermont. After skiing, and before dinner you will enjoy some informal spa time, as well as a personal boot diagnosis with P. J. After dinner, PSIA Alpine Team member and SKI instruction demonstrator, Mike Rogan and I will discuss several aspects of modern ski technique, followed by a Q and A session.

Day Two on Sunday will focus on tactics. Tactics are how you apply technique to various terrain and snow conditions. Your coach may choose to take you to some of the more challenging runs on the Mt. Mansfield side of Stowe Mountain Resort.

Coaches will include US Demo Teamers, Rogan and Jeb Boyd, former team member Terry Barbour, now director at Mad River Glen, VT, perennial ESA favorite coach, Bob Barnes, and Heavenly's Robin Barnes, one of SKI's top 100 instructors and former ski school director at Hunter Mountain, NY. (Robin is not related to Bob, but is related to Mike Rogan as his fiancée.) I will coach a group as well.

Groups will be formed partly by the self-selection on the part of participants, and partly by judgment of the coaches and the academy Dean.

I am sure this invitation answers only some of your questions. To register, or to get further info, please visit

I very much look forward to greeting you personally in Stowe next December,



Dean, ESA-East
post #2 of 23
Sweet! Another outstanding group of coaches and a unique approach.

...wonder if I can sneak away for a couple of days...
post #3 of 23
Thanks Nolo and Stu!

OK, so now I am more confused. The site says that the cost for the program is $350, plus $100 a night for lodging. Stu's letter says the cost is $425 including Lodging. I'm scratching my head!

I did the math,even with only one night's lodging it's $450 plus (9% on lodging in VT), if you go by the information on the site. For two nights, $550 plus. Most of us who attend the Eastern Event drive, so two nights is the minimum...I usually stay 3 nights.

$425 including lodging, I'm in (most likely). $350 plus $109 per night lodging for 3 nights ($677 pp) and I'm OUT. The difference is HUGE to me.

I need clarification on this ASAP as I had virtually put all thought of attending on a back burner because of the projected cost. If it's the lower amount...eBay may get me there.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
That was a typo. I have edited the post.

The tuition is $350. The rooms, single or double occupancy, are $100. Please see this link to check out the Stoweflake Resort & Spa:
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
I am sorry if it is more expensive than you had hoped. It is actually priced less than the eastern event that you attended last year.
post #6 of 23
Fuel cost increases alone have me terrified about this winter. I am facing the cost of heating my small 2 bedroom house tripling. Cost for transportation back and forth to work will increase by over $100 a month... and there is no chance of public trans or car pooling. We did not get a "cost of living" increase this year, in fact, they want to reduce our salaries by 4% annually (we are currently working without a contract).
It's very tough for a single working class home owner in the Northeast right now.

Given my history with the Eastern event...One day on the snow the first year due to an accident and less than one day on the snow the second year due to illness, I am a little leary about contracting to attend. I do not want to create a hardship for myself if it is not necessary.

I need a ski "sugar daddy", that's what I need!
post #7 of 23
Thanks very much Stu/Nolo for your update. This is really shaping up to be a 1st class event. I am anxiously waiting for December and very much hoping for early snow. I think the approach sounds fresh and will be an interesting comparison to previous years. I am very pleased by the expansion and formalization of the video and boot analysis.
While I certainly understands peoples concerns over cost, fuel etc., I also have to admit that for a program of this quality, I feel the price is quite reasonable. I hope to see many of you there.
post #8 of 23
Think I might find time to make this, I deserve it.

teachskiljp, I'll be going up RT91 if you need a ride. I live in Somers CT.
post #9 of 23
What is involved with the boot analysis? If you need work done is that possible?
post #10 of 23
SkierXMan, I'll wait for epic to post a more definitive answer to this, but as far as I can see, the answer is yes. If the person who will be doing the boot analysis this year is swamped, bear in mind that Stowe hosts some the THE best bootfitters in the world. Personally, I go to Benny Wax at Inner Bootworks - he's the guy that some of you at last year's ETU saw for the boot clinic. Thirty years experience, and a great reputation. He's one of the SKI Magazine ski and boot testers, but his real claim to fame is what he's done to help so many skiers. And there are others. If boot fitting is of interest to you and you let me or epic know in advance, arrangements can be made either within the ESA Eastern Weekend program or otherwise.
post #11 of 23
Originally Posted by SkierXMan
What is involved with the boot analysis? If you need work done is that possible?
What kind of work do you need done?

P.J. Dewey of Race Stock Sports ( will be doing the alignment clinic that is part of the program. He will be skiing with each group during the video taping session, and will also be at the video review session where he can make suggestions for your alignment needs. You would then be able to do whatever you need based on thise suggestions. If you need fit work done, you might want to come up early to see PJ or Benny the day before. I have gotten work from both of them and second Oboe's recommendation.
post #12 of 23
Originally Posted by epic
What kind of work do you need done?
I want to get boot planing done to balance my stance. I usually use cants or duct tape. Do they perform that service?
post #13 of 23
Both shops can do that. In fact, both have done it to my boots.
post #14 of 23
OK thanks....Do you need to make an appointment?

I have the 2nd and 2rd weeks off on vacation in December and planned on going to Whiteface for a few days and then to VT resorts. I can get there for an appointment and give them time to do the work before the Academy session. I would like to have the work done for the session. I just got the new Fischer MX9 and have custom footbeds and was fitted correctly but I need some canting work done and no way will I let the shops here in Ohio touch my boots. They don't grind soles-only binding cants and one time on my X-Country skis they canted them the wrong way. I am used to just putting duct tape under the boot soles until it feels 'right' and would like to have a accurate alingment measurement and sole planing so I can pitch the duct tape.
post #15 of 23
If I were you, I'd get an appontment with either one of them, and have them assess you. I'd then ski the clinic with duct atape or whatever shims they suggest, then verify those setings with PJ and your coach, then get the soles cut after the clinic. If you are sure that you know what you want, you could get them cut first, but that kind of negates the value of the session with PJ.
post #16 of 23

Question on Eastern

What is a typical day like on these? Is it mostly skiing with coaching or are there a lot of drills? How do they split the groups? Ski off or a self split?

Thanks for the info
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
It is mostly skiing with coaching. The groups will be split by a combination of self-selection and expert opinion. Stu's post pretty well describes what's going on.
post #18 of 23
I met with Eric and Bennett (Epic Supporter) at the Stoweflake this afternoon to discuss details of the ESA East. Preregistration is strong, but there are still spaces available. I'd like to see a full roster of participants. Have been buried with SKI Magazine work, but am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel -- workwise. Time to look at EpicSki and little more and focus on the Stowe event. I'm stoked!
post #19 of 23
With all the PSIA luminaries coaching, any chance of using this to fulfill the PSIA-E once-every-two years minimum clinic requirements? YOT
post #20 of 23
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
Sorry for not seeing this sooner, YOT.

I believe it has sufficied for ed credit in the past--I have verified ESA attendance for other PSIA-E members.
post #22 of 23
Originally Posted by nolo
Sorry for not seeing this sooner, YOT. I believe it has sufficied for ed credit in the past--I have verified ESA attendance for other PSIA-E members.
Thanks, Nolo, but it doesn't sound like youre 100% sure. Is there any way one of the PSIA-E coaches can confirm this. Im sure if I call PSIA-E and ask them, they wont have any idea what Im talking about.


post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
I last verified attendance in March of 2005 for a member of PSIA-RM who attended ESA Big Sky, YOT. The procedure is to request credit from your division office. Generally there is a form that must be completed by you and verified by me. I am sure I have done the same for PSIA-E members attending ESA East.
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