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Given the time that has lapsed since ESA am posting this here as well as in the Academy forum.

Having now been back in Australia for a week, we've had time to unscramble our brains from the effects of the 34 hour marathon return trip from JH and marshal our thoughts about ESA.

Firstly, and as Helen said at the closing dinner we felt really privileged to be part of ESA and to be able to share the experience with so many people that have similar views on skiing. To a person we thought the coaches were the most professional group we have ever been associated with, and coming from professional lesson junkies like us that, believe us is some accolade.

In addition, the opportunity to meet,share experiences and ski with people we knew only from EpiSki was excellent, and we expect to maintain and develop many of the contacts and friendships we made.

In terms of benefits gained from ESA, Tom Burch's instruction could not have been surpassed, and the post Academy benefits seem quite apparent, at least to us! New footbeds in JH appear to have fixed an alignment problem which Helen has unkowingly been coping with for 27 years and which Tom was the first to address with eternal cants. The difference in her skiing post footbeds was huge, and a new pair of skis (K2 T9 X) allowed her to ski runs like Thunder and the Hobacks at JH much more comfortably than would previously have been the case .

In Kerry's case, new footbeds helped address a minor alignment problem and Tom's hints for handling powder and steeps were put to good effect at JH and Grand Targhee. His only regret is that he could not buy a 175cm pair of K2 Axis XPs which he demoed several times and really enjoyed.

We also found the post skiing presentations very interesting and useful particularly those from Bob Barnes and Ric Reiter. The timing of these did make it a very long day for those of us staying in Sandy however and we will make some suggestions for future Academies in the evaluation request that Nolo has just circulated.

We found the venue to be really good. Snowbird had plenty of varied terrain, particularly when Mineral Basin was included, and the dual pass with Alta provided access to that excellent hill when we were seeking something different or when visibility was poor at the Bird. It wasn't until Kerry got nearly taken out by and out-of-control boarder at JH that we realised how few boarders there were at Snowbird (and of course none at Alta) and how much that helped with traffic.

A minor gripe from Australian's used to strong national safety standards was the lack of safety bars at Alta which had us freaking out on the old Supreme triple in particular!

Our post Academy 2 weeks at JH gave us a perspective of another region and one which we enjoyed immensely. JHMR is a great and challenging mountain made easier by the good weather we experienced, and Grand Targhee afforded us a sublime powder day with 12-18 inches of fresh. We really liked the town of Jackson Hole, and a day's snowmobile trip provided a great view of local wildlife with close-ups of elk, moose, deer, bighorn sheep and coyote. We are already planning a return trip when we can, and would love to see an Academy there although we recognise it presents more problems than Utah.

Bottom line is that we found ESA great value and plan to repeat the experience when we can. We will certainly be encouraging our like-minded Australian ski buddies to also get involved with EpicSki and with ESA.

Helen and Kerry