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Kudos to Wigs

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
This is my third year of attending a conference here in Snomwass. Over that time I have gotten to know Wigs, had a few beers with him (OK, more like a number of beers almost every day I've been here), and taken a few early morning runs with him before his teaching responsibilities begin. We have had many discussions (sometimes more like a running battle) about ski technique and instruction (I am just a wannabe skier, not an instructor) over these beers. I think that over time we have both come to realize that there isn't a huge gap between how we each think about and perceive skiing movements, although we certainly have some differences.

After spending this time with him over three years and having further discussed things on Epic, I thought I should own up and get a formal coaching session with him so I signed up for a group ski lesson, requesting Wigs.

I think it is just marvelous how 2 very different personalities, each with their own strong ideas and perceptions, could work so well together. I was willing to try everything that Wigs suggested (perhaps he will comment on whether he thought I was as open to ideas as I thought) and he was very willing to listen to feedback on what I got out of the things he had me focus on and adapt accordingly. Overall, there was not one run where I didn't get something out of the focus he provided. Additionally, I made some of my best groomed turns ever following him and working to match his tracks. Sometimes, when I was at my very best, we looked back and there truly appeared to be a single set of tracks.

I haven't had any formal coaching like this for a number of years and really enjoyed myself. Additionally I took away a number of concepts that will give me a continuing basis for self improvement. While many of these may be things I have worked with before our interactions and my performance helped me get more out of them than I have before, thus providing a higher basis to work and make further gains from.

BTW, I joked with Wigs that I was going to post a thread entitled:
"MY PMTS DAY WITH WIGS." This was because a couple of the things that I got a lot of impact from were straight out of PMTS camps I attended a number of years ago. However, as I've made some advancement since then I discovered how much more there was to be had from these movements, with some great feedback from Wigs - a delightful discovery indeed.

Like I said in the title: Kudos to Wigs.
post #2 of 13

Glad you've gotten a chance to know and learn from Wigs, Si. He's an awesome pro, and it's an honor to hang around with him any time.

I've had the privilege to know Wigs for many years now, first "meeting" him in the old (now defunct) CompuServe Skiing Forums. I've always admired his clear, simple, accurate, no bull explanations and advice in these forums, and his passionate dedication to the profession of teaching skiing. Wigs is a real pro, and I'm one of his (obviously not the only one) biggest fans.

I've also had the privilege of sharing a few beers with Wigs and his merry cadre of real pros at the notorious Mountain Dragon. It's something I truly look forward to every time I travel to Snowmass. Wigs has generously provided me with couch space on a few occasions. While our paths have crossed a few times on the hill, I regret that we've never managed to find time to just ski together. One of these days, Wigs!

And wow--can that boy catch a trout! Skiing is not Wigs's only talent. If anyone has some time to kill in the Aspen area in the warmer seasons, look up Wigs for a fly fishing trip on the Roaring Fork River, or any of the other fine local Colorado trout streams. He's one of the best fishermen I've ever met, with a talent for passing on the intricate secrets of the art.

Wigs used to post here a lot, and the scarcity of his posts these days is a great loss to the EpicSki community. I'd like to entice him back. But I've probably got to learn to tie a better fly. . . .

Best regards,
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado View Post

Glad you've gotten a chance to know and learn from Wigs, Si.
Well Bob, let's not take this too far. I need to maintain some postion of aloofness if I'm going to survive one last night of "discussion" at the Dragon (commonly referred to around these parts as the Wax Museaum in honor of the pros who seem to permanently be found at the tables there after the slopes close).
post #4 of 13
Thanks guys! And to you Si, you are a great student and student of the sport. I must say, you even stump George, (one of our trainers here at Snowmass) one night at the Wax Museum. A hard thing to do for the most part. I think you made some big changes in your performance turns and in my opinion, you got a good handle on things in the bumps. I hope we can continue to ski and talk about it for many years to come.

Bob, thanks for the kind words. We have know each other for a long time now and it is time we make some turns together. I'm sure it will happen sometime down the road. Thanks again guys and Si, I'm see you later on today.-----Wigs
post #5 of 13
I have made turns with Wigs and I can attest to the ruts he leaves in the snow and the brilliant wattage of his smile. He's a fun guy who loves his play.
post #6 of 13
I've never had the opportunity to ski with Wigs, but I did toss back a couple beers and share a few stories with him at the aforementioned Mountain Dragon. Wigs is a memorable character, and meeting him should be a must-stop on any visit to Snowmass.

BTW, the first lesson Bob Barnes taught his group at ESA-Aspen this year was how to find Wigs. Wait until the lifts close, go to the Mountain Dragon, and he will be sitting at the far-right end of the bar. Guaranteed. We spent some signifigant time in the Mountain Dragon as well, suppossedly to do movement analysis on that day's video, although I think that sampling the various brews available at the Mountain Dragon was also high on the priority list. Wigs was in the far-right bar stool, without fail.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
I have made turns with Wigs and I can attest to the ruts he leaves in the snow and the brilliant wattage of his smile. He's a fun guy who loves his play.
Wigs is rightfully proud of hit "ruts." I suspect it actually makes it easier to flollow in his tracks when a much smaller guy like me gets his skis into those ruts. As long as you can create the right movemements they're almost deep enough to bend your skis for you. Of course another thing to emulate is Wigs' huge smile of .

BTW, Nolo I'd love to have another chance to follow your tracks as well. I remember a number of years ago at Brighton skiing with the instructors before the firs Academy trying to follow your clean tracks and transitions on a cruiser - just couldn't do it very accurately. (Of course your tracks are just dainty little dimples compared to Wigs' ruts ). Perhaps I'd be able to come closer now. Even if I couldn't it would be great fun to try.
post #8 of 13
It's true that you can find quite a few of the long time Pros throwing back a couple of beers at the Dragon most everyday in the winter months, talking and doing funny things with their hands to simulate ski movement, I don't want any of you out there to think that we drink toooooo much beer. Although, Si got a taste of what a real good Ski School party is like last night at the Dragon. It was the annual Adult Division Ski School party and it's a big one. Si I think had a great time amongst many Ski Pros that love to talk about ski technique as he does. Anyway, he is welcome anytime at the Wax Museum.

BTW, my trenches aren't that deep, but I did get a letter from the grooming dept one time. :O) ------Wigs
post #9 of 13
Did they need to winch a cat out of the rut or something?

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Let me add that the party was a lot of fun. The Ski Pros I have met in Snowmass have been universally welcoming, friendly, MORE than willing to discuss just about any issue related to skiing (controversial or not), and talk on just about any subject. I have been treated like a friend by all taking the guest centered approach to a higher level.

Just a comment to others. Normally I would not want to overstep my visitor status by doing this but I feel comfortable saying that any Epic Skier who finds themselves in Aspen some time ought to stop by the Dragon around 4:30 or so to introduce themselves and have a beer with Wigs and company. You'll be glad you did.

Thanks Wigs and to all of your friends that have treated me with such friendship and hospitality.
post #11 of 13
Your welcome Si, any time. Have a great summer and hope to see you next season.-----Wigs
post #12 of 13
Nice job Wigs. Si is a discerning student of the sport. He's a guy you can't BS. He knows his stuff and doesn't hold back. So you musta nailed it.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by weems View Post
Nice job Wigs. Si is a discerning student of the sport. He's a guy you can't BS. He knows his stuff and doesn't hold back. So you musta nailed it.
Absolutely. I am quite discerning about parties I attend and if I say it was a good party then it was. :

Oh, you were talking about skiing? In that case, Weems, I thank you very much for the nice words but I will reiterate that I am just happy to be a wannabe skier.

If I can, though, let me take this chance to reiterate a point. An important component of the fun and success in my working with Wigs was having an understanding of each other from posts on Epic, a broader context to relate to based on Epic, and the previous discussions we had in person. I hope many more Epic members will realize the opportunity that they have here in terms of being able to work with a ski pro with whom they have such understanding. IMHO, it makes a huge difference. Of course another thing that is important (at least for me) is someone who can give and take. Wigs definitely fits that bill.
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