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Consecutive Week Lessons

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm going into my third season of skiing and want to improve. I've had a chance to ski quite a bit the last two seasons and consider myself an upper intermediate. I'm willing to tackle any terrain in any conditions and was just starting to get reasonably comfortable in bumps and powder towards the end of last season. I have no problem with steepness and will ski WA State resorts' black and double black terrain well in good snow conditions, but struggle when those same runs get icy or (esp.) bumped up or really cruddy in spring time.

I'm trying to decide whether to take a consecutive week lesson series at Alpental, a series of individual private lessons or take 2 or 3 camps next season (yes, including EpicSki camp). I'm looking for the best way to allocate my dollars and time for the most progression in my skiing. The consecutive week series is cheaper (8 2 hr lessons for $168), and I imagine 10-15 private lessons would be the same as 2 camps over the season.

I took the Master the Mountain camp at Gore Mtn my first season (2000-2001) and it was great, I really progressed and came away with a lot to work on in my skiing. I haven't yet had a great experiences in individual private lessons - a couple of good pointers here and there but I've learned more from reading books like Mark Elling's All-Mountain Skier and just experimenting on the hill.

Here's the description of the consecutive week series at Alpental:

Our top adult instructors help you improve your skiing on Alpental's varied terrain. Moguls, steeps, deep snow, and even backcountry skiing under certain conditions. Emphasis on individual feedback, attention and fun!

Abilities - Intermediate or above
Ages - 18 and above
Base Area - Alpental
Discipline - Ski or Snowboard
Dates - January (Sat.) 11, 18, 25 & February 1, 8, 22 & March 2, 9
OR January (Sun.) 12, 19, 26 & February 2, 9, 23 & March 2, 9
Times - 12:45pm to 2:45pm

Lesson Only Prices - $168
What do you recommend, balancing cost with most effective way to progress over the season?
post #2 of 14
Your question is a challenge, I would have to know how you learn in order to begin to give advice. We all learn in different ways, some of us by seeing, others by doing, still others have to think it though and others still by copying. Once you know how you primarily learn then you might may begin to have an answer as to what format is going to be the best for you. one note, no one learns all one way, but all of us have a primary way we like to learn. Discover yours and see if that helps you at all. another consideration is your own personal feeling about groups and whether you are shy or outgoing. A great lesson in an uncomfortable format is a less than good lesson. I hope this helps a little to ge you started, I have other thoughts but getting the answers to the above may solve the problem. Good Luck, have fun Oh by the way is that the Gore Mountain in North Creek?
post #3 of 14

I teach ten week classes at Bridger Bowl that sound like they're similar to the Alpental program. I think the student who has improved the most is the one who does the weekly classes and a ski week at Taos every year. From the standpoint of sport physiology, she has the advantage of both distributed and massed training, which is likely the "silver bullet train" to improving your performance fast.

Of course I heartily encourage you to play hooky Jan. 27-30 for the EpicSki Academy. It is the best bang for your buck, and that's the truth.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Goremtn -- It's the NY state-owned Gore Mountain. I started skiing in 2000-2001 with a season pass at Butternut Basin in Berkshires, MA as I was in the area for just over year before heading back to Seattle. Took the weekend Master The Mountain camp at Gore Mtn, the tech director Dave (Brummel?) led the course. It was great.

I think I best learn through understanding the theoretical framework around an activity or movement and then repeating it over and over in the real world. The first step is important for me - I'm not successful going out and experimenting without context over and over until I intuit the proper strategies and tactics for dealing with different skiing situations. Guidance, practice, feedback, then repeat works best for me. So I'm thinking Nolo is on track with the suggestion of combining weekly lessons with an intensive camp. Thanks for the feedback so far.
post #5 of 14
I'll do a "me too" on that. Especially as it seems that your preferred learning style would respond to the regular lessons + intensive camp structure. One lesson a week and then some skiing to experiment and reinforce is a great way to go. Then you can go to your next lesson with some questions or whatever, get them tweaked and then continue learning and progressing. Then the immersion of an intensive camp in the middle of it. You are bound to progress markedly.
We do that here; masters every sunday, and a full Masters week in August. It's excellent.
post #6 of 14
If you can do it there's nothing like a "camp" or ski week such as those at Taos. When you ski with the same group of people and instructor every day and you're focused on learning every day with these people it really begins to add up. It sounds like the week of lessons would be close but it's all different people right? With the same group you really can get a lot of synergy that'll help you out. You'll also help others at times which improves your own skiing too.
post #7 of 14
Originally posted by nolo:

I teach ten week classes at Bridger Bowl that sound like they're similar to the Alpental program.
How's the snow out there @Bridger around/thru March...?
Thinking about a Western trip...but the Jan-Feb times are too
early this season...
[img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #8 of 14
darrellcraig- I agree with what everyone is saying, you seem to know your learning style well and that is a good thing. Glad you enjoyed Gore mountain, it is a small world, Dave Bulmer is now head of the ski school, he is a great instructor, I work for him as one of the supervisors of the children's program. one other thought,make sure you give yourself enough time inbetween intensive lessons to fully digest and test what you have learned.You are a thinker learner, give yourself the time otherwise you will OD on thinking and not get enough time to practice. Remember practice makes perminent not necessarily perfect!Practice it wrong you will do it wrong.
post #9 of 14
I agree with Nolo, but...If I had to choose between the weekly and weeklong, I'd choose the weeklong every time. I believe in total emersion in the process. The weeklong thing absolutely grabs your full attention and gives you the chance to get good guided practice and really make changes. Even if you don't succeed during the camp, the info and experience will sort itself out with time and make you a better skier.
post #10 of 14

The skiing is great in March. The snow is deep and the days are long. The crowds are pretty much nonexistent.


Listen to Weems. He gives great advice.
post #11 of 14
The great thing about the Academy
is that its a cohesive experience, combining ski instruction, boot fit and fitness training.I have attended many ski camps, but i have never seen all these aspects of skiing presented in an interelated manner.
post #12 of 14
I'm with Weems--If you have to choose one, go for the multi-day camp over one-day-a-week multiple lessons. As I noted in another thread recently, learning to ski is a journey, and you can certainly go a lot further in a week than you can in a day-trip. Even a series of day-trips won't take you far from home.

You said you're considering our own EpicSki Academy, and I hope you'll join us. Especially if you're looking for the most "bang for the buck," there is nothing better anywhere. Even if "the buck" doesn't matter, with the caliber of instructors who will be there, you won't find a better program at ANY price!

See you in Utah!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #13 of 14

I'm not an instructor, so keep that in mind, but I'll ask a question for clarification...

If you take the consecutive-week lessons, would that be your only skiing for the week or would you be free-skiing other day(s)?

If you'll have other days of skiing in addition to the lesson day, I really like the consecutive-week idea (particularly if you can combine it at some point with a longer, intensive session like the Academy). I believe it's nice to work on something in the lesson, practice it in your free-skiing, then move on to another segment the following week.

If the lesson would be your only skiing that week, I'd be more inclined to go with a week-long lesson.

My wife has done once-a-week lessons for the last four winters and I think it's been great for her (but she gets to ski other days of the week too).

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Bob.Peters asked
If you take the consecutive-week lessons, would that be your only skiing for the week or would you be free-skiing other day(s)?
I will probably ski twice during most weeks. I'm planning on going one day on weekends (the day of the lesson) and one night during the week. A couple of weekends I'll go both days, sometimes neither. I got a little more than 30 days of skiing in last season and expect to get the same, maybe a bit more, this year.

Thanks for the great feedback. I LOVE these EpicSki forums! I think I need some time to digest it all.
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