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Eastern Team Tryouts

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Well guys Day 1 is over and I am in Cyber Jerks. For some reason I feel compelled to tell you all a little bit about my first day at the Eastern Team Tryouts.

First though, I'll go back to yesterday as I didn't have a great start. I was planning to leave for the big K right after work, but the snow was so much fun up at Stowe I couldn't help it and had to go skiing. The skush was shin deep in a couple of spots and I was getting slush face shots all day. So much fun. At the end of the last run though, when I took off my skis, there was a 6" long piece of Ptex sticking out like a little flag. I flipped the ski over, and it was trashed. A good 3 foot long core shot that started at the tip and ran back right along the edge all the way to my heel. So the awesome tune and all those layers of wax were out the window. I spent a little while running around town and managed to get a demo pair of Top Fuels in the same length. Anyhow, not a great start.

There are 44 people here including the Nords and 2 adaptive monoski guys (who had to ride the halfpipe! I wish I'd seen that!) I think I may be the only one here who is not an examiner or at the very least on the Dev Team. I ripped the participants list off the wall, so I've got everyone's names. Quite a few Epicski related people in my group. Mark Palamaros (Tibetan Tree Frog), Doug Stewart, as well as Kristi Robertson and Tim Thompson who both coached the first ETU.

Our morning judges were Terry Barbour and Jeb Boyd.

First task was medium radius turns in the bumps. We ripped it down to the bump pitch on Skye Lark (not 100% sure on all the trail names, but pretty close). The bumps were a mix of coral and ice. I was really suprised by this, I figured the whole hill would be slush, but it turns out the conditions varied greatly from run to run. This was kind of a free run, they were OK with some air on occasion, but mostly wanted to see absorption of the terrain. I didn't really feel like I did too well on this. I wasn't agressive enough as I didn't want to wreck in the coral on the first run of the day.

Second Task was GS Turns to Dynamic Short Turns. This one was on Skye Burst. They wanted 6 GS to 6 SL to 6 GS back to 6 SL. I felt good on the GS turns, but I think my pole plant was a little too much of a roundhouse in the SL.

Third Task was Slow Round Open Parallel Turns. NO brainer, this is where we make our money, right? Maybe I could have done with a little more flexion and extension though. I added some more in near the end of the run. I hope they were stil looking.

Fourth Task was Halfpipe. We got one practice run. Good thing too. K's Halfpipe is shit. The vert is very short, the transition is square on both sides, it was full of holes, and there were even broken pieces of babmboo sticking out of the wall. It was very abrupt and jarring coming in and out of the transition. I reall y appreciate our Parks groomer at Stowe so much more now, and I am definiteley going to tell him so. I also got to ride my first rope tow (EVER!). Our group suffered it's first casualty here as Kristi wrecked smashing her nose with her knee and breaking both. Bummer there as she was really ripping and skiing better than ever. I felt that I had a very strong run in the pipe, I just skiied it clean and didn't get tricky because of the crazy tranny.

Final task with Terry and Jeb was Long Bump Run. If you know Killington and where the pipe is, that can only mean one thing, Outer Limits. I haven't skiied that since I was about 15. OK, maybe I've never SKIIED it, more like just went down it. Terry and Jeb were parked about halfway down, and let me tell you, that is a long run! We practically needed binoculars to see them wave us down, and they were only halfway down the hill. I started outr easy so I'd still have some gas when I got near them, and could give it once I got there. Well it's a good thing, as I neared them I was starting to feel it and I wasn't even halfway down. I think I had a decent run, maybe not as good as some others, but it's a long way to go with no stops. We lost Steve O'Connor here. He tweaked his back and pulled out.

At the end we had an option for one do-over. We did the MR bumps again. I was hoping it had softened, but it hadn't softened much. Now all the other groups get two shots at that one.

Afternoon Session

Examiners for this were Dave Merriam and Mermer Blakeslee

First task was Reaching Shorts to "Checky" Shorts. This was done on Cascade. They wanted to see reaching turns until we passed them and then an abrupt and obvious transition to checky SR turns.

After that task we made left onto Downdraft for Medium Radius Turns on Ungroomed Terrain. Downdraft was icy as all get out with smallish frozen mounds of snow that loosely resembeled moguls. The left side had decent snow on it. Dave traverses over to the right and says "start here, and stay right all the way down". I honestly thought he was joking. The ice was pretty shiny there, with just a dusting of snow in places. Of course, he meant it, so down we went. I think I had a nice run on this one especially when I got close to CDave and Mermer. At the top I was a little skeptical of the demo skis tune and it's ability to hold on that ice, so I stayed on top of them a little in order to still be with them if they let go. Well, they held pretty well, and I was able to open it up more and more as I went down the hill. There were some pretty good runs here, notable to me was Brian Smith's run and Sue Kramer's (ski Like a Girl!).

Next up was Free Run Bumps on SkyeHawk starting with a jump off of the cat walk. I hadn't seen this trail, and pretty much jumped in blind. There wasa long stretch of ice before getting to the bumps. I aired it pretty good and took amoment to recover before reaching the bumps. The trail kinda rolled over, so at first you couldn't see what you were getting into and line selection was interesting. The bumps were large and very firm, but had a nice shape to them. I think I did OK here. Not great, but at least not embarrassing.

From here we hung a left onto Superstar for Skate to Shape. Dave and Mermer skiied down pretty far and the idea was for us to skate almost all the way to them before starting to shape and then going into a reaching short turn. Most of the people only skated a step or two before transitioning. I was thinking Dave in the back of my mind saying "always ski the task". So I went for it and skated as far as Mermer said to the. Oh my god was I going fast when I got to them. What happened after that was not good. Maybe one skate to shape and then a bunch of shitty SR turns. I was moving so fast I think I did 3 or 4 turns before I managed a pole plant at all. Oh well, just one task, right?

A little further down on Superstar we moved over to the far left for Half 'n Half (medium radius turns in and out of bumps); ski berm. Just what it sounds like. The trail had been groomed the night before, but there was a bump line that dropped away to the left and a ridge where the groomer had stopped. We were to ski in and out of the bumps over the berm. Dave and Mermer were 3/4 down and we were to starts MR and switch to SR when we reached them. I really enjoyed this task and at least in my mind, I had a very nice run.

The group before us had had a do-over on the Reaching to Checky, so we got one too, only this time we did it on Superstar which was interesting because of the sugar bumps that were all over the place. My reaching turns felt nice, but my first checky turn was right into a pile of sugar that took all of my momentum.

That in a nutshell is the first day. I've been typing for 55 minutes and am almost out of time, so I'll send now and post again tomorrow. We are skiing with Ray Allard and Dave Wenn in the morning.
post #2 of 30
Thanks for the unabridged update! It sounds really interesting. I wish I could have been there to watch.

That sucks about Kristi! She broke her nose and her knee????? Nothin' like breaking your knee with your face! OUCH!

Keep us posted.
post #3 of 30
Too bad about about Kristi. She was my examiner for LIII a couple of weeks ago and sounded pretty pumped for the tryouts. I really liked her.

Good luck.
kill it.
post #4 of 30
Sound like an interesting time.

If you can get the monoskiiers' names, please do. I am wondering who they are and if I know them.
post #5 of 30
Definately sounds like a fun time, none the less. It's great to hear (read) what is being looked at. Good luck on the rest of it (and sorry to hear about the bases of your skis, I've had quite a bit of damage occur at Stowe as well).
post #6 of 30
Hope Steve is ok and did not sacrifice his spot on the team.
I owe alot to that man, helped me out when I was a young screw up!!
post #7 of 30
I wonder what happened today . . .
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Square
Sound like an interesting time.

If you can get the monoskiiers' names, please do. I am wondering who they are and if I know them.
Geoff Krill I believe is his last name, he was awesome,( he was with our ski group ,both adaptives were in the same group with alpine skiers) he was great in the bumps on that chair, the other fellows name is John but did not get last name, he is out of Windham, he was very smooth at all tasks on the mountain not quite as well as Geoff in the bumps, both have been picked to represent the east on demo team. As for some other names for the Alpine team, I did not get them all but here goes, Doug Stewart, Peter Howard, Keith Hopkins, Rick Svencer, Brian Smith, Eric Lipton? from Blue Mt.? ( he was top scorer overall he was in my group and it was a pleasure to watch him ski, amazing at all tasks), Sue Kramer, Kathy Brennan? Matt Boyd,Bill Beerman,Tim Thopmson, Alan Sadler,Lani Tapley, Hayden, didn't get last name, Jon Lamb, there are 2 others(17 in all on the alpine) but I don't remember sorry if I haven't got all names and or mountains exact. Lots of really good skiing went on. Steve O'Conner was out on injury as of yesterday morning, that was too bad.
post #9 of 30
Snowbowler-Thanx for the info
post #10 of 30
Thanks for the post, epic.
I know many of the people in the tryouts. Keep us posted.

RW
post #11 of 30
Snowbowler,

Geoff Krill and John Swartwood (I'm guessing at John's last name since he works out of Windham.) Both are great guys. John Swartwood is an adaptive examiner. Geoff Krill works at Loon (White Mountain Adaptive).

Glad to see them both trying out for it. Thanks for the info.
post #12 of 30
Thanks for the info bowler. 17?! Wow! Are they really planning on sending 17 to national tryouts?
post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 

Day 2

This morning my group (Charlie Company as I like to call it) skiied with Ray Allard and Dave Wenn We did all of our skiing on Superstar so at least I can be sure about trail names today.

We started with Basic Wedge Christie to Open Parallel. No brainer of course, but still important and I'm sure easy enough to F it up. Maybe hard to get a reall good score on it too. Mine seemed OK. Dave Wenn was very excited about this task, which is very cool considering his background.

2nd task was Side Hill Turns. "Not Pain in the S Turns" we were told. We were to ski turns along a line that zig-zagged across the hill. Maybe it was more like Pain in the Z Turns. I don't think I did too well on this one. Tried to make too many turns and the sugary snow slowed me down so I had to force it. I really doubt I scored well on that. Lots of people were hoping that one was a redo. It wasn't.

3rd was Reaching Shorts. This was on the left side if the final pitch of Superstar. Sorta icy, but not really. Not cord either. I don't think the judges were impressed by us at all on this one. I think they wanted to see us attack it more, as opposed to skiing like ski instructors.

4th task was Carved GS Turns. This was from the top of Superstar over the road and to the false horizon pretty far and we got cookin' on this one. I'd like tyo think I had a nice run here. Dave Wenn was going nuts running around on the trail to get closer as we skiied past him.

Final Task was Lane Changers - No Poles. We actually did have ur poles. We were just holding them in antenna mode so that no one would have to carry them around. Again, we all know this task, I don't need to describe it, do I? I didn't feel especially strong on this one.

Redo on the Reaching Shorts. Same place one run later. Dave's coaching was "I just reset the slalom, I used more gates, and the spacing is wider". I decided that on the last run, there was nothing to lose, so I slapped on my imaginary shin guards and hand guards and got in the imaginary start shack to shin the hell out of some imaginary gates. I had a smoker of a run going right about until I reached Dave and Ray when I got caught on my tails for two turns. I'm pretty sure I made at least one of them move, as it was a good two turns of linked recovery. Somehow I gathered it up and kept going. It may have been good, may have been bad. I don't really know, but I sure had fun on that run, and I didn't ski out of my imaginary race course.

We then had a couple of hours to kill before announcements, so I went out and had the best runs of the day. That is to say I did the skiing I should have been doing all along, or at least it felt that way. East Fall was just too much fun with slush face shots for the taking.

I've got all the names of the teams.

Nordic

Mike Beagan (Stowe boy!)
Darell Hensley

Adaptive

Geoff Krill
John Smartwood
(you should have seen the quiver they had for thier monoskis! They even had Phantoms mounted up for them!)

Alpine

Bill Beerman
Mike Boyd
Kathleen Brennan
Matthew Erickson
Peter Howard
Jon Lamb
Eric Lipton
Hayden McLaughlin
Sue Kramer
Alan Sadler
Brian Smith
Doug Stewart
Rick Svencer
Lani Tapley
Tim Thompson
Troy Walsh
and finally.... Hoser. I'm not sure what his real name is (Keith Hopkins?)

Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with this. I learned a few things I think, I just haven't figured out what yet.

First of all, while I thought it would be a war of attrition, it was really more like a war of precision. Second, while precision was nice, and probably what won the battle, I think you needed to be attacking too. I think being too precise and not putting the hammer down would hurt you too. Also, you needed to be able to go from zero to full speed instantly. You could stand around for a good 20 minutes and then have to just get right to it. I think a few of these tasks showed me what I own and what I do not. Next time will be different, and Dave, Jeb and Terry will all be hearing from me soon.

Oh yeah, Terry's wife had a baby girl last night! So he wasn't at the K today. Congratulations Terry!
post #14 of 30
Nice summary Epic. Cheers
post #15 of 30
Hoser=Keith Hopkins
post #16 of 30
Epic,

Thanks for the summary. Intersting. At Dev/DCL exams they can give you your scores for each of the tasks. Did they not have that for you at the team tryouts, or did you not ask?

Did they post the scoring list at the end so that you could see where people ranked, or did they simply announce who made it and nothing else? I got the impression they gave rankings from a post regarding Day 1 when snowbowler said that Eric Lipton was the top scorer. I'm not asking that you post the rankings (please don't post them), but if they did, then they would have had scores to show you how you did at certain tasks.

Congrats to Terry and wife!
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
Epic,

Thanks for the summary. Intersting. At Dev/DCL exams they can give you your scores for each of the tasks. Did they not have that for you at the team tryouts, or did you not ask?

Did they post the scoring list at the end so that you could see where people ranked, or did they simply announce who made it and nothing else? I got the impression they gave rankings from a post regarding Day 1 when snowbowler said that Eric Lipton was the top scorer. I'm not asking that you post the rankings (please don't post them), but if they did, then they would have had scores to show you how you did at certain tasks.

Congrats to Terry and wife!
JohnH: There was scoring , I'm not sure if there was individual task scoring for I only talked with 1 examiner (Mermer) about my performance and only in general terms, she was referring to her notes sheet and gave me feedback on skiing issues not individual task scores. That said there was a list of lets say composite scores from the 2 examiners one would have for each of the tasks modules, those numbers were then averaged out and one was ranked according to the average of the 3 scores with the low about 4.5, 4.6 to the highest score of 7.21 6.0 and above (don't know why maybe because it was a round number) was the cut off and they ended up with 17 potential canidates for the next round which will be next winter when there will be teaching as a component and the group could be whittled down from there. This tryout was just based on skiing only. That said I chalk it up to a very good learning experience for myself and a wonderful opportunity to see and ski with such a high caliber of skier/instructor that I don't usually get. I found it to be quite different to be skiing with examiners as equals ( until the scores are posted ha ha) than the usual case where they are giving an exam or leading workshop clinics. It was good to see the "jackets" worrying about doing the task and themselves in the "exam" situation. I know I have a way to go before I can really ski with them , but for those 2 days it was a unique way to really see what you got in you.
post #18 of 30
For those who tried out way to put it on the line. I've never heard of Dave Wenn. What is his back ground. Could this be Dave Winn, A former member of the Aussie Demo team?
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckc
For those who tried out way to put it on the line. I've never heard of Dave Wenn. What is his back ground. Could this be Dave Winn, A former member of the Aussie Demo team?
He is the head of the NSA ski academy. The Wenn family has a long time involvement in NY/Eastern racing.
post #20 of 30
I talked to Mark P. the last few days about the tryout. Scores of 6 to 7 on each task were in the running. The performance on each task should have "entertainment value" to score above a 6. Mark felt he was holding back a little and he only ranked 20th (not too bad). From here, the 17 selected candidates will have to take the teaching segmnet of the exam given in Dec. 2006. There is also another skiing tryout in Dec. Most likely, the sucessfull canditates from the skiing exam will be whittled down to about 8 by the end of the teaching exam. Good luck to all.

RW
post #21 of 30

Give me a break

Bill Beerman made th cut? You have got to be kidding me. Does any part of Eastern dues go to sending them to the National tryouts or to training this team? If so I want my money back.

Just goes to show that most of this nonsense is politics
post #22 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidecut
Bill Beerman made th cut? You have got to be kidding me. Does any part of Eastern dues go to sending them to the National tryouts or to training this team? If so I want my money back.

Just goes to show that most of this nonsense is politics
Who the hell are you to say that? He was in a different group from me, so I can't say anything about his skiing, but do you really think those judges gave him a bye.? In talking to them I think they are all on the page that Eastern should have more people on the national team and tryouts is a first step toward making that a reality. I don't know if any of these guys are good enough for that, but I hope so. I also hope that our dues money is going towards training to make that a reality. In addition to that, I thought it was great to see the Examiners sweating it out just like the candidates that they examine. Some of them were pretty nervous. After all, it's not like they can just go to the next exam in a month, this only comes around every four years (unless JohnH was right about December).
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidecut
Bill Beerman made th cut? You have got to be kidding me. Does any part of Eastern dues go to sending them to the National tryouts or to training this team? If so I want my money back.

Just goes to show that most of this nonsense is politics
All events are structured so that event fees cover the direct expenses of the event plus overhead for indirect expenses incurred by the office. Most events fall within the structure, but there are some exceptions. Most exceptions end up having the event cancelled instead. To my knowledge the only training that is covered by dues is "staff" training (i.e. people who get paid to lead events), but that may be covered by the overhead portion of event fees. If you attend your region meeting, they usually cover the budget in depth - explaining where the money comes from and how it is spent. You might find it interesting.
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic
Who the hell are you to say that? He was in a different group from me, so I can't say anything about his skiing, but do you really think those judges gave him a bye.?
Yes, I do think they gave him a bye. I've seen the guy ski numerous times. He is nowhere near for example a Tim Thompson. The question is also why would you need a team of 17 alpine skiers. 17??? Nice round number. Petty politics in a petty little organization.
post #25 of 30
Were there 17 slots? Or did a score of X make the first cut?
post #26 of 30
Thread Starter 
A score of 6.0 or better made the cut. Bill came in 10th at 6.37.
post #27 of 30
Thanx- but not so scandalous
post #28 of 30
Sidecut,

Quote:
The question is also why would you need a team of 17 alpine skiers. 17???


Here's your answer: From my post #20 above

Quote:
From here, the 17 selected candidates will have to take the teaching segmnet of the exam given in Dec. 2006. There is also another skiing tryout in Dec. Most likely, the sucessfull canditates from the skiing exam will be whittled down to about 8 by the end of the teaching exam. Good luck to all.
RW
post #29 of 30
I think that no matter how objective you make it, politics still plays a part in the outcome. When one of the evaluators decides on a score for a candidate, it becomes subjective, and open to the evaluator's personal opinion of the candidate. There's really no way to avoid it, especially when you start using things such as attitude, enthousiasm and energy level to help assign a score.

Yes, our Eastern dues go to send these people to National tryouts, but we won't send 17. As Ron said, we'll send somewhere around 8. Our dues do not go to train them while they prep for nationals, except maybe for the clinic leaders.

I think there is only one Easterner on the current d-team. I don't know that we've ever had more than about 3. It seems to me, that they shouldn't send anyone who doesn't have a legitimate chance of making the national team. It would be a waste of my money.

Holding a teaching tryouts in December is a new and unusual way to figure out who to keep on the team, but the people who make the teaching cut are not all going to Snowbird (or wherever they do nationals next time). After the teaching cut, they will train together until the next national tryouts (2 years?). When it's time to get ready to go, they cut it down to the best 8 or so, that have the best chance of making the national team.
post #30 of 30
Bill Beerman was a candidate for the National Team at Snowbird 4 or 5 years ago. And, he skied very well!!
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