Originally Posted by whistlerjkny
Straying from the thread topic a bit, but . . .
I've always wanted to take an XTeam clinic, but not three.
After your first clinic, were you able to handle more challenging off piste than you were able to before?
And which resort(s) did you attend?
Thx for any info.
My first clinic was here in the East. We skied Bolton Valley, Sugarbush and Mad River Glen. Before the clinic, I felt very comfortable on groomers and in moguls (though the knee injury I was rehabbing changed my feeling about moguls for awhile). While I could ski powder and cut up crud, they were not my favorite and I definitely was not aggressive enough because of that. Almost always ended up too far back and feeling like the mountain was kicking my butt. Well, lucky for me, I drove up in a nor'easter for this clinic, and we had THREE FEET of new heavy snow to practice in.
I absolutely improved my skiing 100 percent and skied terrain I never would have skied before the clinic, including a short foray in the trees. I left that clinic with a newfound confidence and since it was December, I had an entire season to practice what I had learned and push myself into new territory. What I especially like about the coaches in the XTeam is they are so enthusiastic and it's contagious.
You have fun even when you have a bad run or a big wipeout. You just want to keep on trying to get it right. Of course, at this level of skiing, it is all about refinement of technique. So once you get the placement of your hands right, or you find the sweet spot on your ski, and so forth, you're already a better skier. And all of the coaches were (are) skilled at seeing "that little something wrong" and being able to communicate how to correct it. Lots of show and tell: When you do this, this is what happens, when you do that, that is what happens. And the video analysis helped everyone, because you can see what someone is doing wrong and see how they corrected it, and since many of us do the same "wrong" things, you can apply it to your own skiing.
I took the second clinic at the end of that season, in March, at Squaw Valley. That was my first time ever skiing big Western mountains. What a way to start, eh?
Skied in everything from spring corn to Sierra Cement
: to powder. This was the first time I ever skied such sustained steep pitches, since here in the East, our steeps are generally short. We did not ski any groomers except when we had to get back to the base. Definitely had a huge breakthrough.
A year later, I moved to Vermont.
I think that first year I lived here, I took another clinic, again at Sugarbush and Mad River. This clinic I was in the next ability level and we skied almost exclusively trees and off-piste. And I guess the rest is history.
Two years ago, I was at a ski writers' meeting at Sugarbush and had the opportunity to ski with John Egan (for those who don't know, he is part of the XTeam and is the director of Sugarbush's ski school). He took a bunch of us into the glades and he bopped down ahead of us. Everyone else looked at each other and someone said, "Who wants to follow first?" So I ducked right in and, if I do say so myself, had a fabulous run!
When I got to the bottom John said, "Unbelievable! You really rock now! You are a whole new skier!" And when everyone else got down, he told them about how I had taken clinics with him and he didn't even recognize me as the same skier. Need I say that I was on Cloud Nine for the rest of the day?
By the way, on my desk I have a photo from that first clinic: Rob, John, Dean Decas and Eric DesLauriers are presenting me with an award and they are all cracking up and I have my head in my hands, almost doubled over with laughter. It was a good time.
So, yah, those clinics got me hooked on skiing again. There are many excellent clinics out there, including ESA
, and I wholeheartedly recommend the experience. The bonding you have with your coaches and your fellow students is far above and beyond what you will ever experience in a regular lesson (not that I am knocking regular lessons, mind you).
OK, back to the regularly scheduled thread...