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Pros & Cons of Private & Group Lessons - Page 2

post #31 of 54
Originally posted by mxp:

There have been many occasions during group lessons where I wanted to help one of my fellow students by providing some tip or information that I thought was relevant to what they were having problems with.

I have very rarely said anything, though, because I felt uncomfortable and didn't know how the instructor would take it.

Is peer-to-peer help common in other people's group lessons?

How do instructors feel about it?

Mxp – I really have no problem with those types of comments if they are addressed directly to me as the instructor in an appropriate manner. For instance if you notice, and I would bet a lot of skiers have this problem, a fellow student tends to watch their skis instead looking more downhill. Possibly you could say, “Mr. Instructor SIR – must have reverence- I notice that some of us and myself in particular, tend to look down at our skis. Is there some way I/we could break this habit?”

Normally there can only be one instructor in a group but there is ways to have group interaction so the group benefits and the instructor can maintain a semblance of control. We can’t see everything, particularly when we are looking for the rocks as we are crossing the water, so a few other eyes can help. That being said the instructor may setup peer-teaching groups and then appropriately you can say what you need to your fellow student. Of course each instructor and group dynamics to there own since group dynamics may be the force that drive the lesson.

While I am at it a little food for thought. Sometimes groups do not work well because the instructor fails to “pull” out the group and I mean everyone in the group. A group is just as it says and if it is always use “command style” teaching with little inter action the gaggle will never become a group!
post #32 of 54
Thread Starter 

It seems to me that "team teaching" is the answer to the problem of teaching busloads of beginner schoolkids. I think Kneale or someone said that's the best strategy that has evolved to date. This sort of group lesson has both vertical and horizontal dimensions, as we have teachers teaching teachers and teachers teaching students and students teaching other students (by design or by default). Then 20% of the teachers can take the leadership roles and 80% can take the supportive roles and maybe 97% of the participants will go home happy to have taken part.


I like your thinking about creating an open atmosphere for learning.


I invite my students to step up in front of the group as much as possible, because they never learn as well as when they are teaching others. Plus it gives me a chance to check understanding and determine if there are any loose ends that need closure before we move on. If I see someone who really excels at a task, I'll ask her to do the demos while I do the commentary and point things out to the group.

But the easiest way to get peer-to-peer going is to pair the group members up and give the leader a simple, relevant performance task and give the observer simple, relevant parameters for feedback, and let 'em go. Be sure to have them switch roles and set a time limit on the feedback or the bonding could get out of hand!
post #33 of 54

Great question and its not just one that applies to new instructors. I've always felt that you could tell more about a level 3 canidate by watching how they deal with the inevatable split in a level one class than in watching them teach a dozen level seven classes.

Here is what flashed through my mind after reading your post. First, thank god that where I teach eight would be considered a big class. Second, we are so fortunate that if something like that happened we would have a spare instructor (or supervisor) around to step in and help out with the struggling student freeing the assigned instructor to work with therest of the group. It is certainly wonderful to work where I do.

My next thought was why was that student up the lift and skiing down the beginner hill. Obviously, the instructor has made a bad decision here. Faced with having a group where all but one are ready for the lift the instructor needs to make one of the harder calls in our profession. Splitting a group. This is espically difficult when it is a group of teens, knowing the kind of peer pressure and interaction that takes place there. My choice would be to explain to the struggling student that I was going to take the rest up and that as soon as I got them going I would be right back to work with her/him some more. Once I got the others moving safely down the hill I would leave them with a task in mind to work on and ski down to the straggler to work with them on terrain that is appropriate for them. I would tell the group to ski past me and I would have them make another lap or go with them again to give them another task to play with, depends on what's going on with the straggler and the group. Unfortunately there is no good solution to this problem if extra help isn't an option just do the best you can.

Another possibility here is that the group was supposed to be level 3 so you were up the lift before you realized the one student was going to have a problem. Again, splitting the group is the only answer that I can see and hopefully the instructor will have recieved some training on how to do that tactfully. Give the struggling student a task, like side slipping, that will hopefully keep them upright and show them how to remove a ski to get up and how to put it back on on the hill. Then get the rest of the group moving and return to the struggling student asap. Or if its a situation where you can't leave and lap then you might just have to work the struggling student down a ways then skate back up to the group and bring them down with some kind of task. then work the struggler down. After this kind of experience the instructor should be allowed to join you for a Bass.

As I said, there is no good soultion to this problem but I would probably lean to the idea that the majority of the group is just as deserving of your time as the person who is struggling and then try to work out a plan that will satisfy as much as possible the wants of the whole group.

Boy, you ask hard questions and I sure am glad that I don't think I'll ever have to deal with it in real life,


PS. After posting I saw Nolo's post about team teaching and agree that would offer a solution as would some kind of station approach. But both of these would run into problems in your situation where the numbers would mean thirty to forty person masses to start the team out on and the teen attitude to skip the stations and bolt for the lift if given half a chance. Again I am so glad I don't have to actually experience this just think about what I would do. My hat is off to all instructors for whom this situation is the everyday expectation.

[ September 26, 2002, 01:27 PM: Message edited by: Ydnar ]
post #34 of 54

We have instructors that aren't teaching assigned to help out on the beginner lift. They are there to help each class on its first couple of runs. One of them would take the girl down and either put her in a class in the base area or stay with her.

About 8 years ago I had this lady in a one piece blaze orange jump suit. She had been hunting an already killed her elk. She ahd never skied before but had always wanted to try. For the first time she felt that she had the time and opportunity decided to give it a try. She was probably in her late 50s and moderately heavy. She struggled all morning, after lunch I had to split the group and I stayed with her. After three hours in the base area she still couldn't hold a wedge, no strength(or so I thought).

Since it was just the two of us and probably the only day that she would ever ski I decided to take her up the beginner lift. I figured I could get her down. The whole time we were connected, she would try to stand on her skis and slide while I would be the breaks. We were about half way down the run when we stopped for a break, ciggarette I think. As we talked she admitted to being on anti depressants. That explained why the day had been such a blast. A few minutes later she apologized for not revealing this and the big kicker earlier. She was also on muscle relaxants! So finally, after spending nearly four hours in both a group setting and a private setting I had the missing piece to the puzzle. But did it really matter, no because we both had a wonderful day.

I hope that she still views that day with the same fondness that I do. And that she enjoyed her one day on skis.

[ September 26, 2002, 01:36 PM: Message edited by: Tom Burch ]
post #35 of 54
Yd, doesn't it seem like the weakest student in a group gets the lions share of attention? Is it because as instructors we so desperately want them succeed? My wife Ann was renowmed for the fact that she would not give up on a struggling student, staying long after the class had ended to help them over the hump, until someone had to peel her off the slope for her next assignment.

The luxery of only eight students doesn't come often in group lessons around here, but you've heard the horror stories.

>>>We have instructors that aren't teaching assigned to help out on the beginner lift. They are there to help each class on its first couple of runs.<<<

Tom, no such animal here. With only 460 instructors in two small ski areas, each of 150 foot vertical, there are no spares between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m.

The average on any evening is 9,000 student/hours taught.

post #36 of 54
Thread Starter 
I am imagining a feedlot, Ott. It is not a pretty picture.

How much does it cost those kids to participate in a lesson?
post #37 of 54
nolo, things have changed I'm sure, but when I left students paid only $65, incl. rental, but in the dozen years since it must have gone up. Pierre eh! may know, he still works there.

Here is some info from their web site:


School Club Program
Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Resort offers a season-long School Club Program which includes the use of the snow/lifts, ski or snowboard lessons and optional equipment rental for upper elementary, junior and senior high school clubs.

The package includes a once-a-week snow/lift ticket, rental equipment (if applicable) and 5 weeks of ski or snowboard lessons. Sessions are 3 1/2 hours long and consist of a one-hour lesson with the remainder of the session open for free skiing/snowboarding.

Each school has a certain day and time for its sessions, and the club must select either Boston Mills or Brandywine for the first five weeks. After the first five weeks, students are permitted to come on their scheduled day in their time slot for the remainder of the season at no additional cost at either Boston Mills or Brandywine.

In addition, each club member will receive a passcard which entitles them to three free 4 hour snow/lift tickets and rental equipment (rental equipment is included with the freebie passcard only if the rental package is purchased) good at Boston Mills or Brandywine at times other than their regularly scheduled school session.<<<

If I find out, I'll post it... ..Ott
post #38 of 54
Ott -

Yep we play pass the kid too and they are not always small kids or even kids. Commonly called station teaching. We have between 100-150 young people several times a year and at other times we have 50-60. Heck we sometimes have them at our all niter @ 12:30. Do any of you have lessons until the 12:30 AM lesson call? One instructor at the top, one instructor at the bottom and we play push and catch. We have a station for side step, straight run, wedge to straight run to wedge stop or drop as the case may be, rope toe, and wedge turns. Believe it or not it works and so do you. Of course all the other instructors available work in the middle of the lines picking up those that are still falling over. Surely you have seen Warren Miller’s movie on the chair lift exit fire drill. Think of 150 of them on a 50 x 50 foot area!

Ott you guys always were expensive in the North Country. Heck we don’t get that much today! Purchase $40 ticket and add $2 bucks for a group beginner lesson. I think the Scout package for the day is about $28 with $6-$8 for a standard group depending whether you have a group or you are a single purchase. Then we have the high priced private @ $30 & semi for $15. I am not sure if these are current for the year! I will need to check it out shortly. Then of course there is the children’s program for $150 with rentals that last (5) weeks. At my level I get $15 for 90 minutes which does not include setting up the learning course and the video tapping I do for each of the (3) groups I have with a minimum of 12 kids per group and I have had as many as 18. Believe it or not we even have time for teaching and meeting almost all the parents that care to show up. Names can be a real problem I will tell you.

It is kind of revealing when you realize we have about 120 instructors teaching 30,000 lessons each year. The ski school doesn’t make a dime. Hey and I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell. And you call yourselves instructors!

Have a GREAT day! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]


Oh yeah and we do this from Christmas until mid March, maybe!
post #39 of 54
I don't know if I understand you right, John. That $65 is a one-time fee paid in October and includes all five lessons and lift tickets and extra four days, etc.

You made it sound as if your student pay every time they come out.

I think Sonja may remember, though it's been a while since she taught at Boston Mills.

Our level-3 cert. get $15 an hour and they don't need to put any extra time in but our school groups have been handled differently than yours for about 15 years.

Each school bus load gets assigned four instructors. They put in some extra time the first time around to familiarize the students with the rental dept. procedures and meeting place and the following four weeks they will have the same instructors, so these instructors can form a relationship with these students.

In the Fall these students are getting fit with a certain number on skis,boots and poles and are assigned a number in the corral.
All that is noted on a duplicate set of 3x5 cards, one for the rental dept. and one for the school leader.

The school calls in and reads out who is coming today and the rental dept. pulls those cards, snaps the boots into the skis and hangs the poles over the tips and puts them in the kid's corral number so that the kid can leave the bus, get his equipment out of the corral and proceed to the meeting place to meet his instructor. It has worked well after the initial week.

Your annual student count is about a week's worth at BM/BW, but we have millions of people living within an hours drive, and around 220 schools or more, it is not unusual to see forty schoolbusses parked in the lots.

The SINGLE bigest problem is the lack of real estate to teach. You hear Pierre complain that he has to teach on a strip fifteen feet wide by forty feet long and that his students stand with ski tails interlaced wiith ski tail of the adjoining class, that's a bummer.

More advanced students have it easier since the whole hill can be used. BTW, they have all-nighters at Brandywine but not classes.

The cost of a one hour private, ask for a level-3, is $35, a semi-private is $25 per person and a group of three or more is $15 per person, those are for walk-ins, many more reasonable costs are for groups or early purchases at the open house.

post #40 of 54
As one that does not post often, I would like to let you all know how much I have enjoyed this particular topic. The insight provided how instructors look at things versus the way I look at them is fasinating (sic). As a advanced skier but not an expert that usually springs for the private lessons here is the primary reason why. It is much easier to estabish a relationship with the instructor. Once the relationship is estabalished the amount of information gleemed, not only about my skiing but about the mountain, the resort, and the town far exceeds anything learned in a group scenario. I always tip good, the instructor always remembers me and my family, which has resulted in better skiing, better times, more ski trips for everybody and usually, more private lessons.

[ September 27, 2002, 05:37 PM: Message edited by: anotherskidad ]
post #41 of 54
Ott- I checked the web and for some reason groups programs are not posted. As I said I think last year if you did not sign up early 4 out of 5 lessons for the children’s program, up to age 13 was $150 with rental and $95 without. This also included one pass for an adult during the same session time. Groups were and are $45 with rental and a lesson. The pass is only good for 4 hours. Lift tickets are only $40 on the weekends. I believe the Scouts were charged $28 for the 100 plus that comes in at one time. we have a spot purchase lesson for $8 and a group lesson non-program for $6/hpur.

Our organization for the groups is nowhere as good as yours. (You didn't hear that!) I think that in part may be due to our proximity to the schools. Actually that makes little sense since your schools have farther to travel than ours. I believe we tried meeting the bus one year and for some reason it did not work. Probably could not get an instructor there early enough. Some of our groups start before most of us get off work, by demand of the schools, so they do become difficult to staff. Usually I only fill in on the adult groups. In most school group ski clubs, a way to get an early dismissal and a free bus ride, the kids must take a lesson each week for the liability. I make them stay 30 minutes if I am teaching as a group sub. A lot of times even that time is a waste for both of us. Mostly a girl guy thing!

Our pay package is a percent of the lesson cost. I believe it is still 25% new instructor, 30% non -certified, 35% level I, 50% level II, and 55% level III. Yes I do receive 55% of a $2.00 lesson. I understand at BM/BW, for those that don’t understand a couple of ski areas a stones throw from each other combined several years ago, you can really haul in the bucks! Sonja says so, so it must be so. Usually the new instructors and the non-certified teach the beginners 1st. Other than the work you can imagine the cost to the area if I taught an average of 12 students in a group @ $8/ lesson ticket five session on Sunday. $96 x 55% x 5 = Too early in the AM. $240? I should be a sleep anyway.

Yes I have been at BM/BW when the buses roll in. Not a pretty sight. I can’t imagine how you ever get an adult to return to the area after the 1st time! I assume it is the great skiing and the fact you have a closed market? BW as I recall is where the REAL action is. Heck the parking lot is bigger that the ski hill. Just kidding I think.

Have a GREAT day.

post #42 of 54
My wishfull thinking about abolishment of group lessons was inspired by knowing that a one hour private would instill more CORRECT skiing know-how in those kids than the five weeks of one hour group lessons.

The interesting thing with the group system as it stands is that those kids get to practice a couple of hours a week after or before class and by the end of the season can ski the whole hill BUT they have learned more from experimenting while free skiing than in class and most of them have a horrendous technique, if you can call it that.

post #43 of 54
Nolo, you bring up an interesting point (on the first page) "about the student's motivation to choose a private or a group lesson". I really believe that most students automatically assume that privates are better and prefer them and would usually buy them were they not expensive. So I think it's market driven--the market is driven by the demand based on perception of quality. (I also appreciate skidad's comments.)

From a non-price point of view, I believe many choose the privates because of social fears and/or the belief that any other people constitute a distraction. Fair enough.

However, the ones who choose the group (other than just for meeting someone) are really on to something. They have discovered the synergy and magic of the interchange and ambiance created by a gifted group teacher. I believe that once you've had that, you never really want to go back to privates. Lito T-F builds a whole chunk of his Breakthrough on Skis on that idea--a multi-day, group experience in the hands of gifted pros may be the number one quality product.

As for private lessons to each class member within the class, I'm not arrogant enough to say that pros don't really do that. Some pros (some whom I admire) say they do it successfully all the time. However, I don't remember ever doing that! And I have more often been a better group teacher than private teacher. Rather, my efforts seem to have been to bring the members of the group out of their individual shells to become a part of the larger flow of experience, interchange, and information. It feels like it is a process of replacing judgement of self with a full engagement in the information and process experienced by all of us. The groups I have led seemed to break through when they realized that both the skiing and their learning of it were two infinitely rich and fascinating processes. They stopped trying to conquer it and started "wandering (wondering) around" in it. At that point, they detached from results, and, therefore, got results. I think the group magic enhances that process--maybe because it's creation of vulnerability, maybe because of our social wiring (watch kids in play groups--how they stimulate each other). I don't really know. But I know it happens. Sharing is nice. Look at the group learning in Epicski. Look at the private satellite conversations that enhance it.

To facilitate that magic work, the pro has to have two (maybe more) fundamental prerequisites: 1. A complete, accurate, and thorough grasp of skiing and skiers on both simple and complex levels. (Learn your song well, as you sing it over and over.) 2. A sincere liking and caring for the people being taught--ALL of them--even when they're not very nice. Simple. Nothing to it! :

You mean Evian doesn't come from real pure springs in a french mountain paradise? Hah! The next thing you'll say is that Coors isn't real Rocky Mountain Spring Water. Evil woman.

[ September 27, 2002, 12:28 PM: Message edited by: weems ]
post #44 of 54
Originally posted by weems:

You mean Evian doesn't come from real pure springs in a french mountain paradise? Hah! The next thing you'll say is that Coors isn't real Rocky Mountain Spring Water. Evil woman.
One hundred years in the ground and then we bottle it and give it a shelf life! Water that is.


[ September 27, 2002, 01:23 PM: Message edited by: John Cole ]
post #45 of 54
>>> on that idea--a multi-day, group experience in the hands of gifted pros may be the number one quality product.<<<

weems, I think that east and west of Coors are two totally different animals. Except for a few New England destination resorts, east of Boulder are urban area ski resorts, if you can call them resorts, at which folks come to ski after works, maybe from 6-9 p.m., or on their day off.

Even if they were/are to take lessons, they are in sperodic intervals and last an hour, mostly because skiers come to ski for 3-4 hours and they do not want to spend much of that time in class. Unless folks come as a group they never learn each other's names and in a hour there is not much time to socialise if something is to be accomplished.

We all know about the captive bodies at destination resorts west of Boulder. If it wasn't for skiing and the towns that grew up or were resurected by it, there would be no reason to even stop or slow down in those godforsaken places like Copper and Vail.

In the 50s when we went to Aspen, long before Snowmass, half the town was boarded up and for sale real cheap, like a block for $4,000 but that was a year's wages for us.

With a single chair on Ajax and a shorter double on Little Nell which ended near the snowshed under the Silver Queen, no buildings at the bottom of Little Nell, and several t-bars on top, Aspen did not have an awsome uphill capacity.

We were there when they proudly announced the first day of 500 paid tickets sold, and absolutely no one dreamed that skiing would take off, it was for the elite only, and for some European instructors.

So you guys have it made now and even we took a fun group lesson years ago to have someone to ski with and we learned a lot, socialised after skiing and drank at places like The Molly Gibson and the Red Onion when it was still the Red Onion :

So I revise my stance now, if you can be in a day-long or week-long group lesson, go for it BUT ONE-HOUR GROUP LESSONS SUCK.

post #46 of 54
caveat: this reply is responding ONLY to nolo's source post, and not to any of the accumulated responses

at the risk of stating the obvious,

Group Lessons introduce and maintain the element of heightened self-consciousness that might be lacking in a private lesson. Of course, any time you ski for an instructor who's obviously got to assess your technique first, you're going to be self-conscious. But when the whole group is watching, it's manifold.
On the other hand, since you don't see yourself ski in a group setting, watching the others ski and the instructor assist them can yield things that are more productive than a 1-on-1 session, IMHO. They're also more affordable, and at higher skill levels at some resorts, a "group" lesson often turns into a private lesson but at a group lesson rate.

Private Lessons have the benefit of focused attention (instructor's not trying to watch 4 other people in addition to you) and lessened self-consciousness. Otherwise, take the converse of the points I made about group lessons.

Personally, I have benefitted from both types. I think it depends on the lesson's focus, the dynamics of the group and the instructor's personality as to which one is the better choice at any given time.

nolo, you know my guru. sometimes we ski alone, and sometimes there are 3 of us working with him. I like the group sessions because sometimes I can see what another is doing imperfectly, and check to see whether my diagnosis is correct. when Jim confirms my diagnosis, I know I'm learning, and I can picture the rehabilitative advice when free-skiing without Jim.

Short answer: I like both.
post #47 of 54
I did a Masters programme here in oz for 3 years (every sunday for 4.5 hours), and for us and the racing mob, part of the deal was the comaraderie and social aspects of being in a group. That said, it was the same core of people, and we were pretty high-level. And we did get snaky when the groups were way too big!

This season in Oz, I was at a tiny resort where a high proportion of guests take 5 daily lessons, in the same group. I got the impression that for them, lessons were part of their skiing experience, and they enjoyed being in a group. I loved a group of first timers I had late season; after their first, Monday lesson, they were out at the rope tow again in the afternoon, practising and encouraging each other! Quite often at the day's lesson end, several participants would decide to go skiing together, which was nice.

Mainly though, I think people take group lessons because of cost.
post #48 of 54
Ok - thoughts as I have just taken my last lessons for the season with one of my instructors...(Again note that the only real group lessons I've ever had were a total disaster on a ski improvement program in whistler - otherwise just some friends along in my private lessons)

Sat down at 6:30am this morning to write a 'Thankyou' card for my instructor. As per usual I was struggling with the words...(I didn't nearly fail English expression for no reason - can't write a creative sentence to save myself!)

As best I can put it though - I was struggling to express the passion for skiing that this instructor continues to shine with & the provision of a 'stable home base' from which I can work on improving my skiing - I know that no matter how bad a day I'm having on the snow he will turn it around into a POSITIVE GLOWING memory - that shines like a west australian outback sunset in my memory. HOW? I have no idea - except I know I FEEL how much passion he has for the sport & how INTENSELY HAPPY he is when I make a breakthrough.

I can NEVER imagine developing this relationship in a group lesson where I have different instructors all the time...
post #49 of 54
There's another motivation for taking a Group lesson I don't recall seeing yet, but that certainly used to apply to me and still does to some of my friends that have recently taken it up. When you start skiing as an unfit couch potato you are desperate to stop and rest as often as possible. Everyone in Europe starts with snowplough which is seriously hard work for thigh muscles unused to it. You do get a fair amount of standing around watching other people in a group lesson, particularly a near-beginners one. That gives your poor abused legs a chance to recover. Of course in a private lesson your instructor must go at your pace but it's humiliating to admit you can't manage the lesson becuase you're so unfit.

p.s. skiing after work - I'm drooling with jealousy. There's a 50m dry ski slope near our house, but somehow it's not the same...
post #50 of 54
Ott, I agree with you.

Your comments about early Aspen were great. I remember driving up from Boulder with my dad--6-8hrs. Aspen was like the center of the Galaxy and it was still spinning off of having the World Champs in 1950. Zeno Colo was a huge name, but all the young stars were out and about: Max Marolt was one of my heros then. Still is.

I remember one Christmas in Aspen, when I was about 8 years old. The lift line at the bottom of Lift 1 was usually about 1.5 hours of waiting. I got in line at 5:30 in the morning (for a nine am opening) because I wanted to have been the first guy up once in my life. By 7 AM I had made about $50 saving other people's place in line. They would just lay their skis, and I would take a couple of bucks for holding the place. I was such a hero, riding up over the hundreds of people lined up for a couple of hundred yards up the hill.

Aspen's better now--no lines. But then that was a really amazing time. And the Onion is still going strong.

It's been really fun raising my kids here.
post #51 of 54
>>> And the Onion is still going strong.<<<

Only now it's a spaghetti house, at least it was a few years ago at my last visit. They told me that they had to keep the name because of it being on the national register. The bar still looks the same with the booths and the old pictures on the wall, but what used to be the 'cheap side' restaurant on the right that had red checkered table cloth is now a poster shop or frame shop, and I don't know what is now in the 'expesive side' to the left as you look from the street.

And my old parking place in front is now a walking mall, progress it's called, I think.

That single chair up Ajax was scary since it had a pole at the bottom and one at the top and halfway up you were two thousand feet above the valley which made rescue impossible. But those panchos they handed you for the ride up on cold days were nice. Nowadays the chairs follow the contour of the slope.

But as you say, it was inportant to show up early for the chair. And avoid Spar Gulch at four p.m. [img]smile.gif[/img] . Somehow it seemed narrower then.

post #52 of 54
Spar Gulch was narrower then.

Klaus Obermeyer tells a story about how the lift ride up Aspen Mountain was part of the inspiration for the first down parkas. He said that in the real early days, there were no ski parkas--only overcoats. You would wear your overcoat up the lift. Take it off at the top (you couldn't ski very well in them), and the lift op would drape it over a chair and send it down. You would, of course, arrive at the bottom way before your coat and jump on the chair and freeze on the way up while you passed your overcoat coming down. You'd get it back for the next ride. Rich guys had two overcoats.

From that he figured a light weight skiing parka was just the thing, and he took the idea from the big down comforters on the beds in Europe. He says he built one for himself, (a messy job that caused a lot of feathers around the house for weeks), and when he first took it out, some guy bought it off him for $300 (in the early fifties!). The rest is history.

You're right, the old Red Onion restaurant was wonderful. I believe that Johnny Litchfield, a 10th Mtn vet, who started that is still alive. I spoke to him about five years ago, but I don't know for sure how he is now.

I love the mall. No traffic there is nice.
post #53 of 54
weems, have we highjacked this thread? My apologies to everyone.

post #54 of 54
me too. Us old guys---our minds wander!
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