Originally Posted by marc gledhill
disski, I'm attending for the first time too and am also nervous about making the trip as I have no idea what to expect and worry that my skiing won't be "up there" with the others.
I'm feeling compelled to respond to this again as one of my posts was quoted by disski as evidence that some of the groups might be a little nuts (i.e., "high speed through crud" comment).
I attended the Big Sky ESA camp last year. The coach I worked with there was Bob Barnes, although given the response of the other coaches to my plight, I can't imagine that his handling of the situation would be any different then anybody elses.
On the very first morning, Bob found out -- the hard way -- that I am terrified
of heights. He dropped into a trail that he had thought none of us would have a problem with; I took one look down and said "no way". I wound up taking the easy way around as the rest of the group skied down the "hard way".
At that point there were 3.5 days to go. There was not a single time
for the rest of that ESA where Bob left me as the last one to drop into a steep trail, or as the last one to ride a high chairlift, and Lord knows that we did plenty of both. I volunteered to switch groups as I felt that I was holding the others back (it was a high-level group probably capable of skiing nearly anything at Big Sky), but Bob wouldn't hear any of it, and neither would any of the other students in my group. You will not
be abandoned atop a steep trail wondering "how am I going to do this?". Nobody is going to poke fun at you or humiliate you or do anything but sympathisize with you if you do get beyond your personal comfort level. Everybody has a "oh my god" point, and there is nobody at the ESA camps -- coach or student -- who would ever even remotely consider being nasty enough to actually enjoy somebody elses torment. I think it's a testament to how well Bob addressed both my physical skiing deficincies and
my psychological skiing issues that by the end of the Big Sky ESA, I
was the one asking to ski the very same mogul trail that had freaked me out on the first morning. Now that's progress!
Likewise, I wasn't in the least bit phased when Mike Rogan took us to the top of an icy double black and dropped over the edge at ESA-Stowe on Sunday. The key movement pattern that Mike was talking about us all weekend was highly evident as he skied down, so by no means was it a display of "hey, watch me" and was more a display of "what I'm telling you needs to occur NEEDS TO OCCUR". It was an amazingly educational display, not an amazing ego trip.
Simply put, the coaches will not
put you into a situation that you aren't comfortable being in. You have nothing to worry about