I had an interesting week, since I was skiing without a group, roving as a videographer. But, that's not to say that I didn't get a few great insights...
Day 0 following Maggie around her home terrain. Flying down a traverse and around a corner to a stop. I notice that her tips are hanging out over air. "We're going to ski that
??!!" think I. I start to question my sanity in joining the coaches for the day. We dropped in. I skied it. To the bottom. Right with the coaches.
Later, similarly, flying through the trees come to a stop. Realize we're at the top of one of the chutes you can go over on the Gadzoom chair. "What am I doing here?!" Shanzy calls me over, "Come over here next to this log. You can get over it, turn there, and get nice turns to the bottom." He's a former D Teamer, I think. He's seen me ski all day. Maybe he's right.
I leap, twist my skis 180 degrees, drop into the chute and up the far side. Rock back, and turn into the fall line to the bottom. "Oh, wow! I did it!"
Day 1 after video in the morning, I made turns with Phil Rostad. Similarly, he led me down terrain off the Cirque that I would not have skied alone. My confidence soared.
...thanks, guys, for the confidence to ski things that I would not have done without you.
In the afternoon of Day 1 I got a review of Nolo's ideas for initiation. Good reminder that came back bigger on day 3.
Day 2 I spent with Ursula and her roosters. We skied Alta in the fog and snow. It was wonderful. She had us playing with retraction turns, and her drills really helped me think about what I was doing in crossunder. But, there was one great tip when we were making short turns. She asked me about my pole plant. I was planting off my tip. She moved it back next to my boot. My body turned downhill, and the turns came fast and smoothly. Wow!
Lots of turns, lots of powder, covered a lot of terrain at Alta (two roosters really knew their way around).
Day 3 I had the pleasure of skiing with Nick Herrin and his group. Again, we were at Alta, and spent most of the day off the Supreme chair. He really focused in on our pelvis position at the top of the turn, getting our pelvis forward and open to the new turn (the move is a dorsiflexion of the ankle combined with opening the knee). It took a while for me to really get this at a higher level than I had before, and Nick observed that I did not feel very strong with the position (he was right on!), but challenged me to keep working it and it will feel stronger and stronger. He did all this while bouncing from blue terrain to some of the steeper chutes under the Supreme chair. It was a really great mix of drill terrain and steep pow.
Day 4 I once again skied with Nolo and her group (at Terry's request). As she worked with her group, I was challenged to manage my speed better, keep my turns smooth, and really focus on what I was doing at slow speeds. It really engrained a few things, especially the transition movements that Nick had also worked on the day before.
Late on Day 4 I had the pleasure of jumping in for a couple of runs with Stu and my friend Tim. On the first run down Primrose Path, Stu had his group doing long radius turns. After the second set, he commented that he saw me crossing my downhill hand over my skis as I prepared to plant my pole (the last vestige of my old hand-flash pole plant that I thought I had erradicated). I really focused on quieting that move on the next run, and got it out completely. Stu and I had a great chat on the chair up for the second run, too.
In short, it was really great to get such diverse input that still resonated together. I have grown dramatically in my skiing since December 2003 when I started getting modern coaching. The two ESAs I have attended have been no small part of that.
My thanks to all of the coaches (named and unnamed) who have contributed selflessly to my improvement. Thank you. As always, I look forward with excitement to our next meeting. You really are the very best.