|Originally posted by Pierre:
If I lived in the big mountain states I am sure that I would still be a damn good expert defensive hack. Instead I have gone back and learned how to ski more efficiently out of shear bordom of slopes. If I lived in Utah, I doubt that I ever would have taken lessons. Instead I would have gone on blissfully believing that gappers had no clue and that all them lessons were for naught because they still can't ski the steep stuff out of paralysis by analysis. I thank god I wasn't arrogant enough to continue. I enjoy skiing so much more after learning offensive movements but I will admit that I would not care to repeat the humbling experience of going back to the drawing board.
Pierre, this statement to Bob is borderline offensive. In the above paragraph, you refer to us who don't take lessons, who have not gone back to the drawing board to be humbled, as hacks and arrogant who look at gapers as people who don't have a clue what skiing is all about. Nice generalization. Maybe I'm misreading, but I don't think so.
I do however feel that NOTHING should be edited because this is a great discussion. One that is very civil.
I grew up in the Midwest. I skied 120+ days a year on 180 feet of ice glued to a pile of trash. I honed my techinque in the race course with the worst coach in the league, probably even the state. Guy could barely ski, but he was out there setting "courses" every night, sometimes temps 20 below with a frozen battery in the drill. I learned something from that man those winters, and it had nothing to do with edging, wedging, or running a course. I learned passion for skiing, a passion that one other person had shown me to that date, my sister. Something I hold dear to this day. The rest just fell together. However all that race "training" I got from my friends, not from formal instruction, and most of it was trying to stay warm on the chair.
I moved to Utah a few years back. I'm a better skier today than I was when I first crossed the border. I still have not taken many lessons in my life, and none since I bought my first ticket at Snowbasin. The reason, I couldn't stand the attitude of the instructors that I did come accross. My skiing has been refered to by more than one as "expert." I could care less, I enjoy skiing for myself, not for you or the hot chick I see rip at the local hill. I can't explain why I love skiing to somebody who asks, but then again, if you have to ask, you will never "get it" anyway.
I still prefer to take advice from friends. Some of it is warrented, some is not, but they are my friends, people I respect on the slopes, so I listen. Some of the best skiers I have ever encountered have never taken lessons, nor care to. I am not "above" taking a lesson, I've considered taking one receintly at Snowbird. But I am not sure I want to deal with the 'tude I get from most instructors. I guess I'm just a hack.
No matter what PSIA tells us, there is no "right" way to ski, only "your" way. Its not math. The way I view an expert is when I catch myself watching a skier from the chair not thinking about them much, then I think; "wow, that was some damn good skiing." That is an expert skier, even though they probably made some significant mistakes in what I saw, they still caught my eye among the masses.
One day last season I was skiing in the most difficult conditions in my life. 6-10 inches of fluff on top of midwest boilerplate ice. It was at Alta, so people in Utah get all kinds of conditions too. Anyway, I caught up with a North Face sponsored skier that day, Sage Cattabriga
. I would classify him as an expert any day, and he was having a difficult time. We can't always look flawless in all conditions, it is just not going to happen.
Skiing is probably one of the most expensive sports in existance. Lessons add that much more cost. Skier days are dwindling last I checked. Survival of the sport, progression of equipment, upkeep of lifts, all things that we need depend on bringing more people to the sport. So why are we trying to convince them that they have to have a lesson to ever get good? Why not just get them on the slopes with thier friends?
Anyway, in these long time waisting words, all I want to really say is I agree with Bob, somebody can become an "expert" just by skiing, whatever that is. Lessons are helpful to some, not important to others. Pick what works for you, but don't knock those who choose a different path.
To all in this thread, this forum and others: This thread was not meant to be offensive in anyway, just voicing a different view point. I would love to ski with each one of you. Maybe we can learn something from each other, even if its just a different viewpoint.
Bob, pencil me in for a day at Solitude.