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Best place to teach??

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm new here, so forgive me if this has been discussed before.

I've taught skiing all over the world- Germany, Switzerland, NZ- but never in the US. I want to work on my PSIA training to take my teaching opportunities to the next level, but I need to find the perfect mountain.

Where in the USA can a level 2 find a good balance of:
  • steady work/decent income
  • plenty of backcountry
  • good employee housing
  • no additude
  • training
I guess the key word is balance... I love teaching, but I teach because I love skiing. Finding affordable housing is the one major limiting factor in my search thus far.

Any Ideas?
post #2 of 18
Wellcome to epic. Sorry I cannot answere your Q since Im skiing on annother continent but Im shure you will get lots of good input here.
post #3 of 18
Welcome to the good 'ol USofA.
Finding the Balance will be the tricky part. Many SS are great at the PSIA training part but that is because they don't have that much work. Good pay is found where it costs most to live and becomes kind of a wash. A group of 4 instructors who taught with me at Whiteface Mt. went out to Aspen and found that the cost of living increase was equal to, if not more than, the increase in pay. But hey man they were teaching and living in ASPEN.
post #4 of 18
Aspen/Snowmass is by far the best place I've ever worked. It takes a few years to develop the clientele you need to sustain you in the long run, but it's worth it. And there are other jobs to help you get on your feet at first.

write dbozza@apsensnowmass.com That's Dina Bozza. Tell her Weems sent you. She'll say, "Who's Weems?" I obviously can't guarantee a job, and I don't think we can acquire a visa for you at this late date. But she can give you info.

Good luck.
post #5 of 18
I'll put in a plug for Winter Park based upon a couple of the catagories.

With Berthoud Pass nearby there is great backcountry skiing. I happened upon working there quite by accident. I was working full time at a small non destination resort across the divide and a Bear from this site flew in and wanted to ski Mary Jane. I called the SSD and he said "you betcha". BTW our SSD is a former national demo team member, an examiner, and a one of a kind personality. I don't think different does it justice.....one of the most inherently funny guys that I have ever met. The fellow Bear and I arrived and we were both treated like we were checking in to the Little Nell in Aspen. I never have met as many helpful folks. Ten people helped me find a uniform and a locker! So.......no attitude! I started teaching there more and more as the year went on and eventually bought a small cabin in Grand County to make the transition. Everyone in the locker room and among the supervisory staff is wonderful......really nice people.

Work is plentiful and with Jen Metz in charge of training I think you would be happy with the ed staff. Jen is pictured in montage #3 "bumping.

http://www.epicski.com/Content/Gener...rnes/Bumps.htm

Contact Kris_Saline@Skiwinterpark.com and tell her Weems sent you!: Actually that would go a long way but you better use my name.:

The closest I'll ever get to checking in at the Little Nell is if I get a job parking cars.
post #6 of 18
not for much but....
Check out the contacts and help wanted section of the forum at www.psia.org . You can sign in as a guest and see more of what is going on there.
post #7 of 18
not sure if all the divisions have jobs web pages, but Rocky Mountain does

http://www.psia-rm.org/

btw, I'll also be teaching at Winter Park, in part b/c of Rusty's stories of the type of support management offers the customers there, and b/c I really want to see him in his neon jumpsuit.
post #8 of 18
Geez, it sounds like Colorado is Ski Country USA, and the rest of the nation just slides downhill on planks.
post #9 of 18

wrong thread

Edit: [tesk deleted, wrong thread]
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help. I should clarify that I'm an American, so no visa needed. Winter Park is on my list for sure, as is Stevens Pass in WA and Club Med Crested Butte... but I'm not sure about the training at the latter, and I'm not sure I want to be dressing up in clowns suits and performing skits for the guests after teaching all day 6 days a week.

"Mantana" is an option, but not for $9 an hour. I'll pursue Aspen/Snowmass more too. After all- thats the "show" isn't it.

Any comments on Stevens?
post #11 of 18
I have been told by instructors at Telluride that it's the best paying ski school in Colorado. Aspen is definitely THE SHOW. TRide has the same problem as CB and JH (lack of single women.)
post #12 of 18

CB Club Med

I was at CB a couple of seasons ago. While I did not stay at the Club Med I did see a number of Club Med instructors out with students. What I noticed is that all the Club Med instructors had large groups of students (6-8 students in advanced levels, more in intermediate levels). Since instruction is included in the Club Med price a lot of people at the Club Med take lessons. I don't know anything about the training the Club Med instructors receive. I think the Club Med instructors are completely separate from the CB ski school and the two programs are not related in any way. I may be wrong. One of the CB visitor websites has a bulletin board: http://www.visitcrestedbutte.com/nav...nav=bboard.cfm. If you post there you may be able to get more specific info about Club Med vs. CB ski school.
post #13 of 18
I don't work in the industry, but I do have some impressions.

With respect to Stevens, of the schools there, Lyon's ski school has the best reputation by far among folks I know - including instructors in places like WY. However, it seems to me like housing, etc at Stevens would be more of a challenge than some other places. During peak lesson season, the mountain is an absolute zoo on weekends. Probably has one of the best night skiing setups in the country. Many ski-bus lessons taught Friday nights.

Grand Targhee's ski school is small, laid back, and has had some extraordinary instructors the past few years. I get the impression they take development fairly seriously. Last year they had 3 people in the "top 100" list. Not sure how the housing and money compares (although I suspect the pay is not the highest ). Town and area are relatively cheap. The instructors seem to sneak in a fair amount of casual skiing. Everyone knows everyone on the mountain. Jackson is pretty close and much BC to be had nearby too. They have a reasonably loyal clientele - and a few nearby colleges use them as well.

Also, weems obviously knows what he is talking about... More than I do! While I did not take lessons at Aspen when I skied there last year, I paid attention to a number of instructors in action and the instructor skiiing and teaching quality struck me as quite high compared to many areas.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
Geez, it sounds like Colorado is Ski Country USA, and the rest of the nation just slides downhill on planks.
Hey, I thought in one of the threads you wanted to keep Montana undiscovered! Montana? There is no Montana!

And Rusty Guy's right, Winter Park SS is very hot and current--with great direction and training. It's one of my childhood playgrounds and I love it there. The only problem is that it never gets cold!:

My other all time favorite places to teach were Taos Ski Valley and Steamboat.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by weems
Hey, I thought in one of the threads you wanted to keep Montana undiscovered! Montana? There is no Montana!

And Rusty Guy's right, Winter Park SS is very hot and current--with great direction and training. It's one of my childhood playgrounds and I love it there. The only problem is that it never gets cold!:

My other all time favorite places to teach were Taos Ski Valley and Steamboat.
it's a winter sport. i wish they'd take that damn sign down in Fraser.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prosper
I was at CB a couple of seasons ago. While I did not stay at the Club Med I did see a number of Club Med instructors out with students. What I noticed is that all the Club Med instructors had large groups of students (6-8 students in advanced levels, more in intermediate levels). Since instruction is included in the Club Med price a lot of people at the Club Med take lessons. I don't know anything about the training the Club Med instructors receive. I think the Club Med instructors are completely separate from the CB ski school and the two programs are not related in any way. I may be wrong. One of the CB visitor websites has a bulletin board: www.visitcrestedbutte.com/navigate.cfm?nav=bboard.cfm. If you post there you may be able to get more specific info about Club Med vs. CB ski school.
While I never did Crested Butte, my daughter and I did Club Med three years in a row when it was still at Copper. We were impressed, for the most part, with the quality of the instruction. I only had about seven people in class with me at any time.
post #17 of 18
WRT club med, I think you can get away with largish groups when you have the same group and same instructor all week. You get to know each other and can get a lot of work done, as there's no "getting to know you" time after the first lesson.
Ski weeks are a great thing, I used to teach at a place here where everyone took lessons as a normal part of their ski week, you kept the same group pretty much, and some real development happened.
post #18 of 18
Weems is right. There is only one Ski Country USA and that's Colorado. Montana is Big Country USA, where sheepherders and cowboys moonlight as ski instructors at places like Big Sky and Big Mountain. Other than the Big areas, y'all might as well stay home.
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