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2006 EpicSki Academy report thread - Page 2

post #31 of 73

pictures and videos

I've created 2 directories on our server that I will be dumping video and pictures into as I get a chance to put it up.

It won't be organized in any particular way until I get back in a few weeks but at least you can look at some of it if you wish. The Pictures will probably not have names but the videos I'll try to name as I put them up.

For now, it's probably going to be a lot of bloopers and images with a few clips of some skiing.


We are having a great time.

Tonight we are "interlodged" so the roads will be closed and we will be required to stay in the building we happen to be in at the time the interlodge is inforced. More on that later..
post #32 of 73
Originally Posted by FRAU
Off to try some new beer - so far tried Polygamy Porter and Cutthroat, but I've still got to bum some Moose Drool off of somebody!
Be careful with that Moose Drool, it can lead to wicked hangovers. :
post #33 of 73
Warning! some of the video files are huge. Check the file size before doing a download. Especially if you are on dialup.

I'll try to start trim them down.

post #34 of 73
Thread Starter 
I didn't even get to my computer last night, so I'll give you my brief recap of days 2 and 3 for me...

Both days have seen snow, with many shots available with thigh+ deep snow. The light (as Weems mentioned) has been challenging, but I have been heard to say, "Seeing is overrated!" Many of the groups have been visiting Alta for the terrain and the trees. Since Gad 2 opened for the first time this season on our Day 1, a number of groups have been skiing the trees there, as well.

Even though a number of folks have moved around to new groups, the reports that I am hearing are universally positive. The coaches, as you'd expect, are incredible in their ability to tie students' needs to new movements.

Yesterday, I had the priviledge of tagging along with Ursula's (Little Bear's) group, and two of the members of her group were well-aquainted with Alta. As a result, whether fog, snow, or clear blue skies (which actually happened for short amounts of time), we managed to find terrain that was well-covered with great snow and gave us an opportunity to see most of the area. I tried to decide which runs were my favorites, but it's just too hard to do. From the runs in the trees off the Collins lift to the bowls on the east side of the center ridge to the chutes off Supreme, the terrain is enticing and managed to shelter the snow amazingly well.

Ursula worked on retraction turns with us, using pulling our feet up to start the turn and following it with a combined push-the-snow/rotate the skis movement to complete the turns. I found this to be a solid turn to use when the snow gets inconsistent and/or when I don't really know what's coming next in the soft. As on Day 0, we visited some terrain that I might not have sought out alone, but I was grateful that I skied it with this great group. We even got video on Stonecrusher and in the Ballroom (see dchan's links).

My tip of the day was the location of my pole plants/touches on short radius turns. She moved it back from my "normal" location alongside the shovel so that I planted next to my boot. Hello! My upper body position came along for the ride.

Last night, I dropped into Superior Ski and got a pair of the new leather plug ZipFit liners to put into my XTs (about 60 days on the original liners). More about this below...

Today (Day 3), I was very excited to ski with Nick Herrin and his group. Bud Heishman and I joined him, and he pulled us right into the instructional sequencing, taking our poles away partway through our first tram run. We worked on feeling our femurs open into the turn, moving our bodies forward into the turn, and an appropriate stance--especially the position of the pelvis and femurs.

For my time, it was just amazing to watch Nick ski! He would demonstrate the various drills and movements, with a periodic sidetrip to drop a rock or throw a trick off a bump. His focus for the day was to get our femurs moving together, get us moving with our skis, and to move into the turn in a way that had us creating nice turn shapes. Partway through the day it really clicked for me, but, as Nick observed, I don't feel strong in the new position, yet, so it'll take some time to adjust.

The ZipFits definitely work well in the XTs. They are thin enough to comfortably replace the XT liners (very little but neoprene in the sides of the forefoot, but the normal ZipFit tongue shape and fill together with the sides of the ankle. It'll take some work to get the flow to really work in and to get the buckles adjusted (I needed to work them as they flow moved during the day). I also had Bud check my alignment this evening (0 on the left, 1 degree under on the right). Hopefully, I'll be able to have Steve Bagley shave a bit of the ankle on the shell tomorrow, too.

Terry, on the other hand, was very undercanted: 3.5 on her right, 2 on her left! I'm looking forward to the new feel she'll have for her skis as she goes forward in her skiing.

As dchan mentioned, we'll be interlodged tonight. NOAA expect 7-9" tonight and 9-12" tomorrow. The crew from Boulder needs to leave tomorrow right after the banquet, so I'm hoping we don't have any canyon issues. Otherwise, we may need to miss it... We'll see!

Terry has had a good time with the coaching all week. The unfortunate challenge of the new boots on Monday did put a damper on things, but she's gotten a lot from her coaching with Joan and has enjoyed her time with the other group members, as well. Whether she'll be back next year we'll have to wait and see. But, I'm hoping so. Perhaps with the kids...
post #35 of 73
Originally Posted by ssh
Ursula worked on retraction turns with us, using pulling our feet up to start the turn and following it with a combined push-the-snow/rotate the skis movement to complete the turns. I found this to be a solid turn to use when the snow gets inconsistent and/or when I don't really know what's coming next in the soft.
retraction turns are a staple of my skiing, given my monniker and snow preference. they rule in steep cruddy snow/heavier "pow".

great report, ssh. wish I was there. I got an Alta New Snow alert the past 2 days, grrrrrr....:
post #36 of 73
Originally Posted by uncle crud
I got an Alta New Snow alert the past 2 days, grrrrrr....:
Do you want to go 3 for 3? I think you're going to...

post #37 of 73
such good memories, especially the photo 433+434...I can almost hear Nolo saying "cowboy" and "stop thinking so much"! I am envious...maybe next year.
post #38 of 73
Thread Starter 
We woke to more bombs this morning, together with the road being closed all night and a report of a 400' by 8' deep avy on the canyon road. The folks coming up-canyon were delayed, but those up here were treated to a reported 9" of new (skied more like 18) with the snow still falling and lots-o wind. The tram closed for a while due to wind, but that didn't stop the skiing.

We took the after videos today, and many groups got to see them before the banquet (I'm sitting at our table at the banquet now, waiting for it to begin). The weakest part of this Academy, though, has been the organization for the video (which, in case you had missed it, is my responsibility). Fortunately, I've learned from the experience, so I will make some more solid logistics for next year.

Today, after shooting the morning video, I spent some time with Joan's group, again (skiing with Terry and the rest of the group), and was also able to take a couple of runs with Stu's group before calling it a day.

What a week! I managed to have input to my skiing from Weems, Stu, Shanzy, Nick, Ursula, and Joan! : It has really been incredible.

There's another reason I'm posting from the banquet... We'll shortly be announcing the venue and dates for 2007. Keep your eyes peeled for the new thread!
post #39 of 73
Thread Starter 

At the banquet

We're finishing up the banquet, and, fascinatingly, Weems actually won the K2s! However, he kindly asked us to redraw and was given the #1 raffle prize (a snowHeads calendar). So, when it was redrawn, Chandra won them... and will be getting a pair of Lotta Luvs!!!!
post #40 of 73
I love my calendar. But, Fox, can I have the Page 3 girl version soon?

Thanks to all the participants, coaches, staff, and Snowbird for really making this week fly. It was wonderful and moving to see so many people make such great changes in their skiing while having so much fun doing it.

The new coaches were amazed and delighted by the quality of our participant motivation. The old coaches were delighted by unsurprised!

See ya in AspenSnowmass.

post #41 of 73
Originally Posted by ssh
Day 1 was a bti cloudy, and no real new snow to speak of. A number of "incidents" happened around me today, proving the adage about the best laid plans...

After video this morning, I skied with Phil (Mr. Nolo ) for a bit, dropping into Peruvian in one of the fun chutes near Upper Cirque, and finding a number of shots through the trees down to lunch. Great skiing with a skilled partner...

In the afternoon, I tagged along with Nolo as she took her group over to Alta. In the process, I managed to underestimate the amount of fresh snow (blown-in) in a small bowl, and I'm not sure if they'll forgive me. After a long run to the bottom, we waited almost 2 hours for a shuttle due to a jack-knifed truck in the canyon. I wasn't happy to be so late to help with the meetings--and we missed most of Weems' talk...

It also didn't help that Terry had such a challenging day with new boots that caused severe pain. She ended up with a new pair in the next bigger shell size. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better. To her credit, she had a good morning, anyway.
Steve, we will never forgive you for tryin to kill us all! Ha Ha. You probably
did us a favor as prep for Nolo taking us into that black off piste powder on Thurs. I hope that I speak for all of my group when I say that it was a total joy for you to have joined our group throughout the week.

post #42 of 73
Thread Starter 
Tim, Sabrina, Terry, and I left Snowbird after the banquet last night and arrived home in Boulder about 5:30am. Gratefully, there was very little snow driving home (and what little there was ended a bit east of Park City). So, we're tired, but blessed by the wonderful time and friendships--not to mention the improvements all of us had in our skiing.

Thanks again to all the Bears, coaches and students from all over the world and the US. You're tremendous! If you get to Colorado this season, be sure to let us know. Regardless, I look forward to seeing you again next year at Aspen/Snowmass!
post #43 of 73
Unskiable lines . . .

okay, you are supposed to pick your line and ski it, and weems says you're in trouble if you start looking for exits. But here, from this year's ESA, are a couple of unskiable lines.

"Untended children will be given a complimentary expresso and free puppy." (sign in Christy's Ski Shop on the Plaza at Snowbird Center)

"Don't worry, these are rentals," (an anonymous woman's response to the horrified look on Lisa Marie's face when as she (the other woman) slid off the snow and onto the brick surface pavers of that plaza--arcmeister called her move an informal stone grind, but that's a very nice way of saying it).

Then we spent the next four days on the snow, where we belonged. Completely lost in the moment. Committed to the mountain.
post #44 of 73
As a first-time attendee I have to say that I was blown away by EpicSki Academy.

I expected four days of coaching. What I didn't expect was the astonishing quality of that coaching. I've never had coaching at that level in any discipline. This was mind-blowing, and without having experienced it one couldn't possibly know what one was missing. (Thank you Charlie!!)

I expected to put some faces to screen names. What I didn't expect was walking away from EpicSki with new friends and partners in adventure. FRAU was an exceptional roomie, and I can't imagine a more fun and effective learning environment than what I shared with Altanaut (GP), dp, keoke, noodler, and our non-EpicSki member "Elvis." You guys just rock and I look forward to skiing and climbing with you in the months ahead.

I've skied Little Cottonwood Canyon for years, so the conditions here were no surprise. But we were blessed with the heaps o' new snow we received over the six days I skied here - I wanted to become more proficient at powder skiing and the constellations aligned to let me do just that.

This was an immersive experience, and yet I find myself not exhausted but rather more excited about this incredible, incredible sport. Being surrounded by all of you who are so STOKED about skiing feeds my own passion in astonishing ways.

Thanks to all of you who work so hard on this. You've made a believer out of me.
post #45 of 73
Thread Starter 
Since Terry doesn't use computers (her degree in computer science notwithstanding!), I am taking the liberty of posting on her behalf.

As some of you may have read, Terry was reluctant to attend the ESA. She was concerned that she'd have nothing in common with the other attendees, that she would feel out of place, and that she would not have her own good time. In other words, she attended because she knew that it was important to me.

However, she discovered during the Academy what I hoped she would: camaraderie, learning, and (as a result of unforeseen circumstances) a renewed inner strength. She, too, was amazed by the coaching she received (she was in Nolo's group), and the caliber of all the coaches. She was further surprised that my assessment of the time she would have turned out to be accurate.

She had a hellish first day, as you may have read here, as a result of ill-fitting new boots. But her days got better, and she learned far more than she expected. While not comfortable in powder by the end of the ESA, she was far more accomplished than ever before, and was even making major changes on her final run.

This should be encouragement for those of you who have been hesitant to attend in the past, and also those of you who have spouses and friends who haven't been willing to consider the ESA. I expect that Terry will be joining us next year. We are also already working on what it will take to take our kids, too, and put them into the Aspen/Snowmass Ski & Snowboard School.

I can't communicate the response that she's had to her time at the ESA, even though it was so challenging at the beginning. It's only going to get better next year when she's in better shape and knows what to expect.

It's really the best experience you could imagine!
post #46 of 73
Darn. I'm envious and wish I could have been THERE, rather than HERE, where the rain falls and the union pickets.

It's great to see this event grow in the way it has.

BTW, did anyone unintentionally ski into a creek?
post #47 of 73
that guy sno'more is funny.

Originally Posted by sno'more
But here, from this year's ESA, are a couple of unskiable lines.
post #48 of 73
It was such fun! My group was the BEST, rolling with the punches, never losing their sense of humor, following me (almost) anywhere. While no one in my group achieved expert skiing in four days, all are on track to become (elegant, graceful, flowing) experts with their new technical skills and a clearer understanding of the fundamentals of good skiing. They truly remade their skiing from the inside ski out.

I loved skiing with Mark, KathyC, KathyS, Terry, Sabrina, Sonja_Sonja, PJ, and Madeleine. (The first five were my original group with Sonja, PJ, and Madeleine joining us for some of the days.) Thank you for an extraordinary week.

Just remember, if you simply open the gate you won't have to crash through it.

(Sno'more, that was funny.)
post #49 of 73
MY OBSERVATIONS OF ESA as a first time attendie.

Overall I must say that the 4 days were excillerating. The snow was incredible. The conditions were marginal as the light was often flat, BUT as our esteemed coach, Joan, (Nolo) said,"this is what is served today" She related this to some small town where you enter the only restaurant and you either eat what their cooking or you don't eat. We all decided to eat!

The conditions were and are uncontrolled by the Academy. Maybe next year they will figure out how to control the light. Ha!

The coaching for my group, Nolo, was ecxellent IMHO. I can't comment on the quality of the other coaches because I was really only exposed to my coach. The description from other members was that the coaches at ESA are amoung the best in the business, and if my coach was any example of that then I would have to say that it is true, but others will have to attest to their own coach.

One of the main reason besides coaching that I wanted to attend the ESA was to put a face to the names on the web site. This kinda happened in a small degree. I did attend the opening and closing events as well as several of the talks during the week. I met and put a face to some,but not many, of the attendies. For my own curiosity I would love it if a method were devised for more interaction of alll the coaches and all the participants. I do however realize that as the ESA grows in number the ability for all the members to interact with everyone is a monumental task, I think. I applaud the organizers for their unselfish work in creating an excelent ESA.

MY wife was a really hard sell on attending the ESA. Cheryl had skied for several years as a young lady and then took about 15yrs off to raise a family. Only 3 seasons ago did she and I ski together for the first time. (my first). When I asked her if she wanted to go to ESA, her first comment was," I really don't think so. I don't want to be forced to jump off cliffs and ski in areas that I don't want to. Similar to Terry my wife didn't want to have anything to do with this over zealous (my words) group. Once I convinced her that if she didn't like it she could just spend her days shopping and going to the spa, she agreed. Mostly for me ,I think,knowing how much I wanted her to go. At lunch on the very first day, she was so excited and glad that she decided to attend, I couldn't believe it! AAnd that enthusiasm never ended. She absolutely loved, Joey, her coach and Lisa and Dwight, her partners in the group. She claims that even tho she didn't think that she would get much out of it, she was greatly wrong. She feels that her skiing has taken a major turn and that her technique is and will improve as a direct result of ESA.

I haven't been able to see the results myself as after Thurs my legs were BURNIN! And this after Skins and Sportlegs. I must say that I did however ski 4 days in a row for the first time. We took Fri off and were going out Sat until my rt hip started acting up. Hopefully tommorow will be a skiing day, as we drive home on Mon.

Oh and the accomodations at the INN at Snowbird were excelent.

Finally, I would have to say that the whole experience at ESA was a resounding success. Great People, Great coaches, Great snow!!! What more could a 55 yr old guy want? I already got the best friend (my wife) in the world. Oh and OUR GROUP WAS BEST!!!!!!!!

Thank you all.

Mark and Chery
post #50 of 73

after the bird

4 Feb I am back in Steamboat, and I would like to thank all I met for a great time. In Colorado now the sun is shining, I will try to put into effect all I was taught. Let me knpow if any one is visiting my small mountain. Drinks are on me.
post #51 of 73
I'm currently ensconced in a Starbucks at Park City - Can't believe ESA is over already.

I had a marvellous, wonderful, fantastic time, and have enough new skills to keep me busy practicing until NEXT year!

For example, today at Deer Valley, I was "waltzing" my way down the blues, thinking "dorsiflex", "Femur", and "little toe" all the way down. There was even a blue that would have been a big-scary black at home, but I just kept thinking "downhill" and "patience" - and got to the bottom intact.

And powder - while not yet my best friend, is at least no longer my mortal enemy.
post #52 of 73
Thread Starter 
FRAU, enjoy! Your skills advanced dramatically during the course of the Academy, and it's only going to get better.
post #53 of 73
Here are some pics I took from a fabulous first ESA! More pics here.

View from top of Little Cloud lift, Snowbird:

Alta's superb Wildcat terrain:

Our awesome group atop Wildcat, Alta: B. Barnes, Jeff, Janice, Nancy (skier31), KevinF:

Our hike-to tracks at the very top of the Wildcat terrain, Alta:

More pics here.
post #54 of 73
Nice camera work
post #55 of 73
We just got back this evening. Bags were rerouted in Dallas and we won’t get them until tomorrow night. Oh well, we should have stayed in Snowbird another day! ESA was fantastic. We arrived last Saturday night shortly before the road closed, and as we looked out the balcony of our room at the Lodge, we commented on how steep all of the runs appeared. I never thought I would be skiing those runs!

My team was the best. I miss their companionship already: Alireiner, Onyxjl, James, Mike and Arcmeister, aka, Mr. Finesse…who by the way, accomplished his goal of making the mountain bigger for us. We skied everything: the steeps, deep powder, bumps, narrow chutes, the trees (my fav). I have a new mantra - flex. …extend…flex…extend, oops get forward! I am learning to use both skis, face the fall line and drop into the hill straight on (This last one took some courage). Thanks Roger for the excellent instruction.

My husband Ross, was in Maggie’s group. He had a blast with his team and told me she helped him to make tremendous improvements in his skiing. We have so many great memories to keep reliving until ESA 2007 in Aspen!

I hope to find some really deep powder soon so I can get stuck and use my whistle
post #56 of 73
Originally Posted by FRAU
I'm currently ensconced in a Starbucks at Park City - Can't believe ESA is over already.
Funny, I was having coffee in park city right around this time too!

Not at Starbucks, though.

I'm still in Utah, planning to ski Brighton tomorrow!
post #57 of 73
Thread Starter 
faisasy, nice! I see you took advantage of the entire 30 minutes of clear weather.
post #58 of 73
Originally Posted by dchan
Warning! some of the video files are huge. Check the file size before doing a download. Especially if you are on dialup.

I'll try to start trim them down.

That vid where Nick Herrin does a 360 off of that mini-cornice and skis down is awesome. Now I know what demo team quality is; quite beautiful skiing. It was interesting to watch his outside arm swing around in turns, almost like he was clearing a slalom gate.
post #59 of 73

What an event!

I've now got home after just over 24 hours travelling and my head's too mashed for a long post. But I've got to say a big thank you to both the ESA managemnt team and the coaches for a great event.

I started day one with a mental block about skiing snow deeper than a few inches, and spent the last two days hunting out as much of the stuff as we could find.

It doesn't get much better than the ESA.
post #60 of 73
Hi all,

This was my second ESA and it was once again a great way to spend a week skiing with like minded skiers and helping them to achieve better skiing through alignment. I want to thank the Epic Ski crew for once again inviting me to this event and hope that I can keep doing them long into the future!

Having the opportunity to ski with legends in the industry and learn from the highest level of coaches in the Country as well as tipping a few and trading jokes with them makes the whole experience a great time. Thanks again!

I would be interested in the Kid's camp for next year too! and maybe then I could talk my wife into coming??

What a great bunch of people! I hope I was able to help a few ski better?!
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