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steep camps

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Anyone with any experience? Have heard a few good things and thought the program at Snowbird might be cool and could learn a bit.
post #2 of 41
I've done a couple of steep terrain PSIA clinics in Summit County. I've really enjoyed them, learned a lot and met great people. All the ski instructor excessive talking doesn't bother me because I need the time to catch my breath. (I'm from the East.) These clinics are really cheap for the quality of the experience.
I can't comment on the Snowbird program, but my experience with non-PSIA programs (race camps, catapiller sking)is that your experience depends heavily on the other members of your group. I was once stuck with a group that complained every time the terrain got as steep as what I typically ski in the East. The best experience for me was cat skiing with a group of my friends who were all good skiers. The problem (for me)is that, no matter what I say about what a great skier I am, the coaches/guides hear "middle-aged tourist." The PSIA clinics are better (for me)because "anyone who does not exhibit the skills necessary to ski safely in this clinic will be invited to take another product or receive a refund!"
You should definitely do a steep camp if you can, but try to form your own group of similarly skilled skiers ahead of time.
post #3 of 41
I have not done the Camp at Snowbird, but I skied with instructor that teaches it (one of those group lesson turned private deal) and really enjoyed the lesson.

In all the camps that I went to there usually was a ski-off on the first day and people were split in groups based on their skills and not what they thought their skills were.

Snowbird camp actually has a couple of sessions where they cover avi/rescue and rope handling skills which I have not seen in other places. As added bonus Snowbird terrain is perfect for this type of clinic. I would be really surprized if you got bored.

Please post a review when/if you end up taking it.
post #4 of 41
Thread Starter 
Yeah, not concerned at all about being bored at Snowbird. Have always had a great time there-just have never committed to a 3or 4 day thing before.
post #5 of 41
2 Years ago, myself and three friends went to Jackson Hole and took the Steep and Deep Ski Camp. It was probably the best week of skiing I've ever had. It was also what I think was a great bargain.

See this year's dates and info here: http://www.jacksonhole.com/skiing/steep_camp.html

My friends and I were able to form our own group with one additional skier, since we were all of comparable ability. Most groups had about 5 skiers to each coach, and although most of the skiers were level 9 types, there were a few groups of solid upper-Intermediates.

We skied hard from 0830-1600 hrs every day in places that we'd never have found without our guide Jimbo Collins who is a top Jackson mountain guide and heli-ski guide in Alaska, late season. They brought each group along at their own pace, but the ultimate goal was to ski Corbett's Coulior by the 4th day (the choice was ours).

They provided the gear, and we got some good basic backcountry training and had some epic backcountry skiing on 2 afternoons. We were provided with great gourmet buffet lunches and plenty of apres-ski activities including either kayaking lessons in the town indoor pool, or rock climbing lessons, parties, and clinics.

In addition to getting the best instructors, and having a private 0830 tram for 1st tracks each day, the highlight was having Rob DesLaurier and Tommy Moe make the rounds between the groups.

Rob is an amazing instructor, and Tommy was a blast to ski with. They, and the entire ski school staff made us all feel like part of their family and we all had a fantastic experience.

I'm not sure if Rob and Tommy are the guest coaches on a regular basis, you can call and ask, but I highly recommend this camp, and hope to be going back myself ASAP.
post #6 of 41
Hi Timber--I know you've been around EpicSki for over a month, but I haven't run into you before. Welcome to EpicSki! Where are you in Maine? I grew up skiing Sugarloaf when I could, and the smaller local hills in northern Maine when we couldn't get to Sugarloaf (4 hours to the southwest--I'm from Houlton).

Anyway, you want a steeps camp? Join us for the Inaugural Barking Bears Camp in Utah--check the Instruction section and the On-the-hill-planning section for more information. Essentially, this is the opportunity to design your OWN camp, choosing your own format, and even selecting the instructors you'd like to ski with. So whatever your specific desires or requirements, express them, and join us! Utah will provide the steeps!Why try to find a camp that suits you, when you can design your own the way you like it!

That's the plan, anyway, and it's up to all of us to make this work. The more participants, and the more actively the participants get involved, the better it will work.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #7 of 41
Bob Barns - Hello I am one of the Lead Coaches for the Snowbird Steeps Camp - I would love to see your people participate in one of our camps - But I hope you understand that having a camp of your own on our mountain ( Snowbird ) will not fly with the mountain ops. ( Bob Black to be specific ) I may be misunderstanding where and what your camp is and I apoligize if this is the case. Forest Service regulations will prevent any group other than Snowbird Mountain School Instructors form running any type of camp , be it free or paid. I talked to Bob Black today and as far as he see this situation : Any Coaches/Instructors/Ect. that try to put on a camp or lession will be in violation of the law. Bob I apoligize again if this is not the case , but after reading a number of threads it seems that you are involved in some type of camp. Bob being a professional skier and National team member you can understand my concern about any one comming in and trying to put out a service that is the same or very similar to what we ( Snowbird Mountain School )are trying to do. Peace
post #8 of 41
The great secret of steeps skiing: its physically easier, in fact MUCH easier -- you are more in line with gravity. The only thing that can be harder is mental (which is often no small thing).
post #9 of 41

Could the issue against 'ski camps' be solely tied to compensation. It is hard to believe that friendly instruction without compensation involved could be considered a threat to any resident ski school.

Maybe one of our resident 'legal' bears can help.
post #10 of 41
I'm certainly no legal geek, and will look forward to the input of such. But having been a Ski School Director at an area with extreme steeps lift accessable, and a demand for clinics in such . . . I did spent a lot of time on this subject at one point.

The issues are myriad:

Snow Control: Should we? If so, how much? Too much takes the fun away, not enough and are we more liable?

Medical presence: How much staff, how qualified, how available? And how much does trying to be more helpful actual increase our risk of lawsuit in our wonderfully litegous society?

Access control: Who gets to go? Ego is rampant here and every shmoe who can sperm-turn down a steep bump run thinks they are capable of tearing up the "extreme". Is the very act of deciding who gets to go and who not also then opening up the company to more potential litigation?

Then who is qualified to coach? Somebody who has grabbed some huge air for the camera and has a cool hairdoo? Somebody who has consistantly guided and brought back living bodies from the steeps? Both? And the lawyers again will gleefully sharpen their claws with whichever choice is made.

There you see the dilemma that my old ski area spent a LOT of $ looking at. We live in the land of lawyers, everybody always blames everybody else for their problems --- and therefore it might be best if the backcountry remains the backcountry. Unspoiled by tour companies and commercial interests . . . . and legal murkiness.

But then, thats just my opinion. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #11 of 41

First off, I want to make it very clear that I don't speak in any way for anyone else on this forum. I do speak from the perspective of a Snowbird season ticket buyer for the last six years.

It appears from your posting history that you may be pretty new to this group. If so, you might not have seen the grundels of posts that have led up to this potential gathering of skiers in Utah.

Most of the people from across the country, and around the world, who will attend this event (if you want to call it that) have become acquainted on this forum because of a shared passion for skiing. Some of the participants are instructors, many of us are not nearly so accomplished.

My understanding of the "plans" (a term that is used very loosely) is that no instructor/student activity of any kind is planned for your mountain. If we ski at Snowbird at all during the gathering, it will be strictly as a group of friends spending a ski day together - a use of your mountain that I'd think Mr. Black would approve since it would involve selling some lift tickets.

Thanks for your clarification and the warm welcome to your mountain. I'm sure the others will take it into account when planning which resorts they'll visit during their upcoming trip to Utah.

Bob Peters

(I'm considering editing my profile)
post #12 of 41
Originally posted by Bob.Peters:
Thanks for your clarification and the warm welcome to your mountain. I'm sure the others will take it into account when planning which resorts they'll visit during their upcoming trip to Utah.
post #13 of 41
Graydog--your points are very well taken, and these things have been discussed at lengths that may astonish you if you search the archives of EpicSki! Rest assured that there is no intention or talk of anything underhanded, "under the table," or otherwise with this EpicSki camp. In the early discussion stages, several resorts volunteered their services to host our camp. It, and any like it in the future, will take place only with the full knowledge and blessing of the resorts involved.

It is not unique. Surely your resort, like mine, has hosted ski camps, race camps, PSIA events, and any number of private functions that involved coaches from outside the Snowbird Ski School. These things happen all the time, and it is simply a question of arriving at a mutually beneficial agreement with the mountain management. Many resorts we've dealt with have welcomed the opportunity to host an event that fills beds, sells lift tickets and other support services, fills seats in their restaurants, and generally generates some great exposure and good will.

EpicSki is a large and rapidly growing group of passionate skiers of all levels. You are part of it yourself, and I'd like to welcome you! If we were ever to look to hold a camp at Snowbird, it would seem to me that Snowbird would miss out if they objected to it. If we DID do one there, of course, your input and guidance would be a great asset! Indeed, I'm sure I speak for many when I solicit your help and ideas for THIS camp. Sounds like it's right up your alley!

As it stands, as Bob Peters points out, Snowbird is only a possible location for the annual Bears rendezvous this season, which takes place AFTER the instructional camp. It's just for fun and fellowship. Snowbird wouldn't object to THAT, would it?

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #14 of 41
Jeez, looks like I stumbled into the wrong place with my Jackson Hole recommendation. I had no idea about all this Bear Camp stuff.

Sounds Cool.

Can I come?

Love the Bird too.
post #15 of 41

If you're wanting to do some steeps and learn from the best, you need to make it to Utah for the Bears Gathering.

Lots of pros will be there. I think right now, the hottest camp going is the Bears Clinic!

post #16 of 41
Uh. Hi. Timber. If you are curious outside the Bear's camp ( I want to go soooo bad. We'll see I guess), look into the instructor listing and check out eSki. If anyone knows the whens and wheres... it will be him.

Spag :
post #17 of 41
Graydogg: maybe you can help out in marketing department when steep camps are not running.

Funny how I (having gone there once) am trying to promote your mountain and the camp and you are taking time to take the thread off topic and in the process turn off a bunch of people.
post #18 of 41

If you can't make it to Utah, from what I've seen, the Deslauriers (Eric and Rob) run what looks to be a real top notch steeps camp.

Not sure how to get a hold of them. Somebody else know?

post #19 of 41

Personally went to a couple (Squaw and Jay Peak) - great time on both occasions.
post #20 of 41
Thread Starter 
Wow, I thought this thread was dead.
Thanks for the advice- the JH thing sounds real good. Don't know if I can do the bears clinic because of the dates but appreciate the interest.
Bob, what ever made you want to leave Houlton? We're a little south of you, in Hampden, ski Sugarloaf every week. Usually get out west 2 or 3 times a year and like Alta/Bird pretty much the most. The way things look, I may be taking at least one trip by myself this year and that's why I thought the Steep camp at Snowbird may have worked.
post #21 of 41
...and the Snowbird or Jackson camps sound great too, Timber. Have fun, and report back!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #22 of 41

To steer back to your original question...

While I haven't participated myself, I know *many* people who have taken the Jackson Hole camps. I've never heard a complaint or criticism from any of them, just raves.

The JH camps have fabulous terrain (both inbounds and out) to choose from and I think you'd really enjoy their approach. They've been doing it long enough to have the drill down pat and all of their coaches are highly qualified.

post #23 of 41
OK, I'll help a JONG out.
A number of years ago I skied with a couple people who had done Doug Coombs' Steep Camps, both in Europe and the States. One of them was actually featured in the ads and was on his way to working with Doug. Everyone said the camps were great, BUT they agreed that there are probably more economical ways to improve your steep skiing. If you're doing one of the 'name' camps, you're going to be paying a fair amount just for that name.
Personally, I'd go somewhere with good steeps and try to ski with locals, or even set up something with a good instructor (but I'd find out about that before going).
post #24 of 41
Thread Starter 
I thought you all didn't JONG here?
post #25 of 41
Sorry. Habit.
post #26 of 41
Graydogg- As a fellow "professional" welcome to epicski.

As a fellow "professional", how about having someone who can spell prufereed your posts and yer proflile.

It's ermbaerassing.

Thanks for the warm welcome. I'm sure your marketing department will appreciate you running off a busload of customers for a week.
There aren't too many Colorado resorts that would do so in these economic times.

What would be the harm in a group of PSIA level III instructors and or examiners coming to your resort and hanging out with friends? That's all this is. Again, thanks for the warm welcome.
post #27 of 41
I read BB's post touting the Bear's Camp and I thought, "Yay, Bob. Nice marketing!" Then I read Graydogg's post turning us away from Snowbird and I thought, "Ew, Graydogg. Piss off these people who represent the 20% of customers who contribute 80% of the ski industry revenues, and they each tell 13 of their friends in the 20%, who tell 13 of their friends in the 20%...heck, could that fellow's silly swaggering comment trigger an exponential slide of geometric proportions???"

Graydogg might want to check to see if Careertracks has a seminar on Customer Care in the area. Maybe Bob Black can lead the Snowbird Guest Services team to the registration table.
post #28 of 41
Ok, then. Do any of the pros teach anywhere else in Utah that would consider hosting the Bear Camp?
post #29 of 41
to get hold of Eric D, Try sending a PM to eski here on epic.

Or check out here. www.allmountainskipros.com


Welcome to Epicski,
I think the only mention of possibly a run to mountains other than Solitude (which I understand has offered to host us) was by a single instructor and only as "a thought". No official attempts to set up "camp" have been made. This will be more a gathering of many people, instructors as well as passionate skiers. I do know that several of the UT resorts do allow for "transfer" of instructors with full blessing of the ski schools as long as the hosting school gets their "cut" so to speak. I found this out a few years ago when I hired a Canyon's perfect turn employee to come over to Alta for a private lesson. It required I hire him for the whole day, I had to "hire him" through his resort (the canyons) The Ski School at the canyons then contacted Alta Ski School to arrange the "transfer" I'm not sure how the instructor got paid or if he had to pay for his own ticket" but I do know that he was required to wear his home uniform and was not given lift cutting rights but we did have the "blessing" of the resort for the day of instruction. I was informed at the time that similar things are done all the time. I'd suspect that instructor only gets his normal "private by request" fees, but it was worth it for us and we made it worth the trip for the instructor as well.

Hope to see you at the Bird sometime this season.
post #30 of 41
Hello again - Hey Rusty Guy thanks for all the help - Maybeeee youuu couldd helppp mee withhh my postts- do you know how to spell jack a_ _. Wow what a sensitive crowd. Bob thanks for the info about what you guys are doing and the fact the camp is not a paid event. I don't know why so many people are pissed or turned off ? I stated facts straight from the bosses mouth, so that there would be no issues of underground teaching - thats it. Steeps camps are a very , very small part of our Mountain School program - so for the most part the Bears Camp is not a huge deal - A huge deal is other instructors taking food off my plate at my resort - Bob I know this is not what you are doing - So good luck with your camp and hope to see all the happy people skiing.
PS - No thanks on being part of the EPIC SKI community - you guys do a great job of turning off peole yourselfs.
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