Thanks WeemsThanks for the very complete reply.
From what I've observed as a consumer what Aspen has done is pretty smart.
My impression from talking with the instructors at the PMTS instructor camp last November was that in some cases a different 'style' of teaching is not allowed while in other cases it's fine. My own experience with the Breckenridge ski school was that a PMTS lesson was only to be had as a non-group private lesson. There was no way within the ski school to ask for such a lesson. Also, that the vail resorts in general don't have any real procedure in place for independents to teach through their schools. And I can see that need to keep the lessons and terminology the same so that a student can take a lesson later and get consistency. Most of these if not all of these PMTS instructors are dual-cert in both PSIA and PMTS.
And I like what you said that all independents at Aspen still have to go through the standards and procedures training. If not, how could liablity be satisfied? So that makes sense. Anyone study at aspen retention rates of the normal school vs the independents? I would think given the prices the cliental are not comparable, so probably not a valid comparison.
I like what I saw there at Aspen and hope other places can come up with ways to open up their mountains.
(Tai Chi'er flatboarding excluded though - I think we can all agree heartily on that)