or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Best approach for ski lessons over 8 weeks and advice on what skis to take.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Best approach for ski lessons over 8 weeks and advice on what skis to take.

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

Myself and my friend, both strong intermediate skiiers are going to Whistler for 8 weeks next year and would like some advice on how to best use that 8 weeks to improve (dramatically I hope) our skiing. We live in the UK

We had originally thought we would do a 6 week ski improvement course or one of the 11 week instructor courses on offer from the UK (all accomodation, flights, lessons etc) but due to the fact that my wife and little boy are coming out for 4 of the eight weeks we didn't want to be in a big group with shared accomodation and a very structured program so will rent a condo.

What we would like to learn/get better at is all mountain skiing including:
Basic technique
Ice
Powder and off piste
Steeps
Bumps
Deep powder

In addition we would like to do

. some sort of Avalanche/Safety training
. A backcountry tour
. Some freestyle (in the last week just in case we bust something)
. Also if possible a few days on how to teach others the basics (so I can give tips to my little boy and some other friends)

I have contacted the Whistler ski school who have put me in touch with their lead private instructor who has suggested the best thing (as they don't do any long structured programs) is to have a number of private lessons and attend the odd camp (like the Dave Murray camp). However the private lessons are very expensive - almost $600 canadian a day. There are other lessons called supergroups which are $150 a day each and max of 3 people so we could do these but not sure how structured or relevant they will be over 8 weeks.

Does anyone have any advice and guidance about how to maximise improvement we will get from the 8 weeks we are spending over there without spending a fortune (if we don't have to !)

In particular :-
are there any other ski schools ?
Should we be looking to cover everything we are trying to ?
Are there any programs you are aware of in Whistler which we can join ?
Any other advice ?

Also thinking about a couple of sets of skis, probably some twin tips to muck around on and a set of all mountain type skis which will be pretty good on and off piste - any advice on makes and models or should I look to take other types ?

Any help really appreciated.

Thanks,
Matt.
post #2 of 14
Your going to whistler for 8 weeks straight and cant afford the privates?

You goals are pretty high for 8 weeks of skiing and lessons. Most of the time you learn by doing, not just buy getting instruction all the time.

Fat twin and skinny all mountain twin would be ideal IMO for what you want. Your unlikely to see real ice all over the mountain the newest crop of skis like this preform well anywhere.

As the lead private guy said the best bet is a private instruction the problem is finding someone who can teach you everything you want to learn. The other debate is whether or not you have given yourself enough time for you dramatic improvement.

For instance snowbird is pretty big ski school and we have some great instructers but, there is no one at snowbird that can teach you all you want to do. there is 2 that come close but one doesnt have his Avy Certs and the other who does couldnt teach you a thing about park skiing. At whistler hopefull theere is someone.
post #3 of 14
To quote the great Alf Engen, "The mountain is the best teacher...."
post #4 of 14
Gee that sounds like fun!

OK, i have no creds to answer this, but i do have some limited experience taking lessons and clinics and here's my layman's advice:

IMHO, you ought to let the conditions be your guide as to what you will work on. Since you want to do pretty much everything, you ought to be happy no matter what. Do the privates spaced one or two a week but try to stick with the same instructor, so they'll know what you've worked on and are striving for. saves time and expense. That way, you'll have time to ingrain a little of what you've learned into your skiing before moving on to the next thing. they can give you 'homework.' I believe it will be more effective and more fun than endless group lessons and won't cost more in the long run.

Get online and find a two or three-day avy course to round out your experience. I believe there are backcountry guides in the area too that you can hire, although you may find plenty in bounds to satisfy your needs. Once you get to know your private instructor, he or she can probably offer advice on which outfit to use.

The real trick is going to be the luck of finding the private instructor who matches your personality and desire and really knows their stuff. Sometimes it's a crap-shoot. You may want to put out a call on this forum to folks in the area for advice on who to ask for.
post #5 of 14
Here's another recommendation for the Dave Murray ski camps - I did my tenth this season and spoke to many repeat offenders such as myself, none of whom could find a bad word to say about the quality of instruction or about the overall 3 day experience - some take several camps a season.

The groups are usually small (although they can stretch to 7 plus instructor) and geared towards all mountain skiing improvement, with occasional use of gate training as conditions permit. Instructors are all highly experienced ex coaches, national team skiers etc, minimum level III .
$350 CDN plus lift tickets. Sponsored by Atomic with demo skis of all shapes and sizes available.

I hear great things about the Extremely Canadian camps as well , although I have not attended one. Check the Whistler website for prices and details.

And leave yourself lots of time to SKI, SKI, SKI. If I've learned one thing from all the lessons I've taken, its that there is NO substitute for simply putting the miles on, under every possible condition of weather and snow. I kept hoping to find the instructor with the magic wand or the silver bullet , but even the very best seem to offer only baby steps - small tweaks and suggestions which must then be ingrained through practice .
post #6 of 14
Check Out these links for Instruction at Whistler:

Yes Improvement
http://www.yesimprovement.com/website/index.html

Mike Dempsey
http://www.dempseytours.com/

Extremely Canadian
http://www.extremelycanadian.com

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS1000 View Post
Hi everyone,

Myself and my friend, both strong intermediate skiiers are going to Whistler for 8 weeks next year and would like some advice on how to best use that 8 weeks to improve (dramatically I hope) our skiing. We live in the UK

We had originally thought we would do a 6 week ski improvement course or one of the 11 week instructor courses on offer from the UK (all accomodation, flights, lessons etc) but due to the fact that my wife and little boy are coming out for 4 of the eight weeks we didn't want to be in a big group with shared accomodation and a very structured program so will rent a condo.

What we would like to learn/get better at is all mountain skiing including:
Basic technique
Ice
Powder and off piste
Steeps
Bumps
Deep powder

In addition we would like to do

. some sort of Avalanche/Safety training
. A backcountry tour
. Some freestyle (in the last week just in case we bust something)
. Also if possible a few days on how to teach others the basics (so I can give tips to my little boy and some other friends)

I have contacted the Whistler ski school who have put me in touch with their lead private instructor who has suggested the best thing (as they don't do any long structured programs) is to have a number of private lessons and attend the odd camp (like the Dave Murray camp). However the private lessons are very expensive - almost $600 canadian a day. There are other lessons called supergroups which are $150 a day each and max of 3 people so we could do these but not sure how structured or relevant they will be over 8 weeks.

Does anyone have any advice and guidance about how to maximise improvement we will get from the 8 weeks we are spending over there without spending a fortune (if we don't have to !)

In particular :-
are there any other ski schools ?
Should we be looking to cover everything we are trying to ?
Are there any programs you are aware of in Whistler which we can join ?
Any other advice ?

Also thinking about a couple of sets of skis, probably some twin tips to muck around on and a set of all mountain type skis which will be pretty good on and off piste - any advice on makes and models or should I look to take other types ?

Any help really appreciated.

Thanks,
Matt.
WOW!!!

All that in 8 weeks????????? I know it may seem it now, but 8 weeks is not that long...if you want to improve the most, my advice is to get into those programs mentioned like Yes/Dempsey/International Ski Academy...they are all pretty much the same, as the instructors come from the same pile...all top pros...the best of the best. Definatley best value for money...most will accomdate you staying in your own place.
post #8 of 14
Take a couple of those "camp"s. Pick the instructor you like the most and do private with him/her. That way, the instructor already knows how you ski. And you know the instruction/learning style matches.

I don't know why everyone is so shocked that you want to learn all that. Sure, you won't become an expert in ice/pow/steep/bump in mere 8 weeks. But there's no reason not to get SOME exposure and gain some experience on how to tackle them properly to the point you can pratice on your own after the 8 weeks done.
post #9 of 14
Buy a supergroups season pass. You won't regret it. Incredible value, access everyday to Whistler Blackcomb's top instructors, you will experience the local lifestyle in a way you will never experience by taking private lessons, Dave Murray camps or any of the other programs. We get a "family" of passholders every season, some of whom have been coming back for many years so you will make lots of friends, people who are doing the same thing as you.

Many of the supergroup passholders are part of the Dempsey program in which they work towards taking entry level intstructor courses so if you are interested in learning the foundations of the Canadian teaching system, you can jump in one of these groups, you don't have to be part of Dempsey, just get the pass.

Best way to go.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for advice everyone. Think we are going to probably go with the supergroups season pass and then book additional camps if required.

Matt
post #11 of 14
Good choice. I agree, you won't regret it.
post #12 of 14
Yep - I teach on the Supergroups program on Blackcomb - and we have season passholder regulars that are here from 6 weeks up to 22 weeks. It's fantastic value for money, and providing you get yourself into the correct level we do technical, groomers, powder, crud, bumps, steeps, deeps, scary, not so scary, and some park as well.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Question gfor V8

V8 - with a supergroups season pass are there any restrictions
e.g. can you book lessons weeks in advance or only a few days or just turn up on the day, are there any specifric dates that the season pass is not applicable , also if we particularly get on with an instructor can we look to specify that we get that instructor for each lesson (if he is working of course)

Thanks.
post #14 of 14
You should "reserve" your place at least 24 hours in advance, and this can be done for the whole week (ie: you can book a whole week ahead). It's particularly important during the busy periods (eg: Easter, Christmas, President's week etc) as we sometimes cap the maximum number of clients for that day.

The season pass is valid for the whole time that Supergroup lessons are on offer.

You can request to ski with a particular instructor, but aren't guaranteed it, if, for operational reasons he or she is needed elsewhere. The only way to guarantee a particular instructor is via a request private , but we will try to accommodate where possible.

Re cancellations: A $25 Cancellation Fee will be charged for no shows and cancellations within one hour of the start time.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Best approach for ski lessons over 8 weeks and advice on what skis to take.