Originally Posted by Pierre
vlad that is an impressive list or you can't hold a job, one of the two.
more the latter than the former.
i grew up as a ski school brat, both parents were CSIA SSDs, and everyone in our family taught all winter long, even as preteens we helped out with 'snow white' and later Ski mag's 'skiwee'.
anyway, i'd worked most seasons, late '70s -mid 80s, for my mom in her school, as FT instructor, then head trainer, when my big brother moved on, and when she'd fire me, or i was just suffering from being 19 or 20, i'd hitch up to VT. armed with a letter of intro. ( I THINK she called some schools ahead and bribed them to keep me away from her school
in '86, after dropping outta school (southampton) , me and my (eventual) first wife drove cross-country, i was heading back to squaw (lotsa family there), she wanted to visit her brother in dillon, and whe we got to dillon, we were snowed in, chain ordinance, etc.
I decided to go take some runs at keystone, armed with one of my infamous letters of intro. by my third day of gratis-skiing there, a ski school supervisor (john mcewen) asked if i'd like to work there, and after reviewing my resume (staff trainer, psia/csia) he offered me a fat chunk of change and i got my red white and navy spyder uniform, and quickly became evening lineup supervisor.
after a couple months, i hopped back in my gray-mkt 323 and headed to squaw, with a much fatter wallet, and finished my season up by jumping off the palisades all day, and basically becoming the idiot up on 'KT" with the 223 P8s.
anyway, i'd earlier tried snowboarding at a-basin while working at keystone, had been doing some DH ski racing when i could find 'em, and returned to my mom's school (vermin valley/great gorge) and had a bunch of my local skinhead grommet buddies further help me with my 'boarding. i was a borderline-retard in terms of it taking me weeks to link turns, which was weird being i'd surfed since being a kid, but suddenly, after a couple weeks (weird, right? what a 'tard) I just 'got it', and in another couple weeks, i began hitting the same racecourses i'd been skiing and training on, on my board, turning in close to the same times,which, on skis, were less-than -stellar (except DH, where i was OK), but on the board, were 'o-TAY!'.
so i talked 'mom' into hiring my grom buddies to become bona fide snowboard instructors, i took responsibility of starting, organizing and developing the school, and suddenly i had the highest-volume, highest-paying snowboard school in north-goddam-america.
i spent my nights setting courses for myself, and ran the summit chairlift all night for my own personal training (the mtn. manage rwas a friedn whom I taught and trained- he now manages diamond peak in nevada), usually slept from 5 am to 11 am, in a little crawl-space above the bathroom in the ski school bld'g. (still local legend, i'm finding out) and i'd run lineups for my mom from noon-9 pm,, and be given great latitude to travel to competitions all over the east, and finally a few ' cal. states series' events in the sierras, where i made a nice showing in SG and DH.
in '89 me and the best rider in jersey, and a couple other good guys, hopped in a ratty subaru wagon, stopped in quickly at jeff (barking bear) bergeron's crib in dillon, and hit north lake tahoe to pursue the cal. states again. once there, finding an ugly dry season, we lifted and hiked until boreal blew some snow, and we got passes there and began privately training ourselves.
the head coach for the biggest, winningest snowboard team in snowboard history saw us weird, eurocarving east cast boys and took note. in a week, right after then-unknown jim rippey and i got booted for riding straight through a 12 foot 'slow skiing' banner, the coach approached my buddy, shawn, and said he knew exactly who we were, knew our race histories (weird- ) and invited us to train under his foundation.
we received cororate sponsorships which fortified our meager existing sponsorships, raced all over, and i ended my season in europe, (i'd vacationed and ski-raced a little there previously) where i fell in love with a czech sports model, and married her, and received (then-called) 'czechoslovak' residency.
the following season, me and my training-buddy approached bromley, vt., to start an east-coast pro-training/racing foundation there.
they gave us a contract along with some nice prepayment.
again, dry weather plagued us, and it wasn't long before we felt the weasels closing in, as a result of our boredom giving way to clinical pranksterism. we had most of the management of stratton wanting to keelhaul us for prank-calling various departments in verbal mufti as mountain management, and , welllll.... let's just say the hijinks got really zany.
we left before nay snow fell.
my buddy fled back to tahoe, where he really dominated many cal. states events, i high-tailed it back to europe and fis raced my ass off, turning in points enough to afford occasional tetra-briks of parmalat and cheap austrian chocolate. in other words, i was losing money and not winning many races.
i approached a resort where my father-in-law had (has) a spacious guesthouse, beginner hill and rental business, and started an international (czech/austrian/swiss) school there, and spent my evenings (yep, you got it) hitting gates that some of my recruits 'procured' from some of the other schools.
(gotta love the post-communist mindset)
anyway, i continued racing and doing progressively worse, and finally, after landing on my ass at the worldcup finals at ischgl, decided to take a protracted vacation in that fairy-tale tyrolean burgh.
after a couple weeks, i was offered a snowboard staff-training position in a private school, there, (met the julie christie clone who ran it, on the hill. we became buds real fast.)
spent the remainder of the season there and in bordering samnaun, CH, and brokered a deal for my father-in-laws's rental business for several hundred of samnaun's rentals, at the end of the season.
soon, samnaun was welcoming our instructors to work there, and i started a small, private sister school out of that mountain.
the austrians, seeing i already had my first-level austrian ski cert, allowed me to get my snowboard cert on my alpine board, and then i went ahead and took advantage of a no-fee exam for second level ski cert.
that was very cool.
some very impressive polish racers asked if they could train with me, at harrachov, CZ, when they saw a course i'd set there, and soon I was training the polish team.
amazing riders, all or nothing.
anyway, i went home to america for a few on/off seasons, ran the 'great gorge resort ' snowboard school, and co-managed the intrawest great gorge, then mountain creek, school,
(one off-season, right before intrawest bought the great gorge resort, i brought the pole sover to train, there, right before the US open, which they qualified for, as i had years before)
i terminated the employment of some punks who were dealling drugs there in the school and stealing (i caught two with swag in the lot, including my own rucksack with my wallet in it), and they, in turn, complained to HR, whose' director was no fan of mine, after i'd walzed into the uniform building, a few months earlier, with a half-dozen members of snowboard staff, and walked out with about 40 uniforms they refused to give the school, until all employees had completed 'orientation', which, by some bizarre twist of ineptitude, wasn't scheduled until march, the end of the season.
no uniforms for staff, and i definitely i wasn't hearing that.
so, i headeed back to europe, worked my tail off at expanding our international school without stepping on the toes of my staff who had taken it over, and coached again.
very sick, in '03, and was shipped back to the states the following year, thankfully not in full-length zipper, and spent a season in and outta hospitals, and then recuperated on the caifornia coast on winter '05, and found myself too destitute to afford airfare back to CH in the autumn of '05, due to insane mediacl bills which no insurance would cover (incuding almost a year of twice-daily IV antibiotics, via a surgically implanted pic line into my vena cava, at a cost of over $800 per day), which brings me to winter '06, where i'm spending a bit o' time on this forum,a bit of time walking better and snowboarding somewhat, and finishing up a ski instruction book, and going to the local resort where my ski career started, and sipping hot cocoa in carharts and nikes, and watching the garden state's young racers ski by.
any more f*****g questions?
vlad the raconteur