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Women's Ski Clinics?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Any thoughts, comments, or opinions on any Women's Ski Clinics that are available, like Jeannie Thoren or Kim Reichhelm. I am considering sending my wife to a women's specific clinic next season and I was wondering what any past atendees thought about such clinincs. Location is not as important as quality of instruction and overall improvement. I am also interested in the student:teacher ratio and how much individual attention each student will get. I want her to enjoy her time and develop more confidence. It's not important if it a clinic with Jeannie or Kim, just that it is geared for women only.

BTW, she is in her second year of skiing and can ski easier blues under control and has no interest in any extreme skiing.

Any thoughts or ideas that you have would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Ty [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by Ty Webb:
Any thoughts, comments, or opinions on any Women's Ski Clinics that are available, like Jeannie Thoren or Kim Reichhelm. I am considering sending my wife to a women's specific clinic next season and I was wondering what any past atendees thought about such clinincs. Location is not as important as quality of instruction and overall improvement. I am also interested in the student:teacher ratio and how much individual attention each student will get. I want her to enjoy her time and develop more confidence. It's not important if it a clinic with Jeannie or Kim, just that it is geared for women only.

BTW, she is in her second year of skiing and can ski easier blues under control and has no interest in any extreme skiing.

Any thoughts or ideas that you have would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Ty [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by Brightoned:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Ty Webb:
Any thoughts, comments, or opinions on any Women's Ski Clinics that are available, like Jeannie Thoren or Kim Reichhelm. I am considering sending my wife to a women's specific clinic next season and I was wondering what any past atendees thought about such clinincs. Location is not as important as quality of instruction and overall improvement. I am also interested in the student:teacher ratio and how much individual attention each student will get. I want her to enjoy her time and develop more confidence. It's not important if it a clinic with Jeannie or Kim, just that it is geared for women only.

BTW, she is in her second year of skiing and can ski easier blues under control and has no interest in any extreme skiing.

Any thoughts or ideas that you have would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Ty [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
</font>[/quote]
post #4 of 19
I will actually post something...

My wife and Mother-in-law and Niece have been to the one at Okemo and swear by it. This was their second year (there) and are already are planning on going next year and the year after and... well you get the point. Instructor ratio was anywhere from 3-1 to 5-1 student teacher ratio. Call Okemo and for Maria Tomaselli, she runs the sha-bang, tell her that the Puglieses' refered you.

Oh, and ask yourself, do you want her to go for her or for you?

[ February 10, 2003, 07:06 PM: Message edited by: Phil Pugliese ]
post #5 of 19
Ty,

I have been thinking this over and discussing this with my wife who has just completed a once a week six week women's ski clinic. Here is what I think.

If the woman specific clinic has quality instructors who are women then fine take it but if the clinic puts women instructors in charge of students just because they happen to be a woman instructor that is bad. My wife got crappy instruction from an instructor who could not give my wife what she wanted. She wants to become an aggressive skier. She wants to learn how to attack the mountain and own it. The instructor in question had no clue and would not even take the class on a black run.

My wife skied with a friend of mine who is a PSIA level III certified instructor and started working on those things that she wanted. This instructor was a man. At the end of her session with the male Level III she exclaimed that she learned more in one afternoon then she has all season in the women specific clinic. Now there are women in our ski school who could have given her this information too. However, they are not available to teach the woman specific clinic which is a weekday event. However, there were qualified male instructors who could have given her this information but they are not asked to teach because they are not women.

So my advice to your wife is that she must decide what she wants and make sure that the clinic can provide the instructors that she needs regardless of gender. Ask the women who attended the Academy if they cared if a man or a woman taught them. They didn't they just wanted to learn.

Just my .02

Ed
post #6 of 19
Careful - that's an anti-female attitude there - or so I have been TOLD - don't let Fox read this...

BTW for the record again - I agree - womens clinics that subsistute warm bodies, with cells of XX chromosomes, for highly qualified instructors STINK!
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses.

Phil P.,
I asked myself the question about who wants her to go more, me or her. It is mutual for us. She wants to ski better to ski with me so we can spend more time together. I also want this but I also don't want to be slowed down waiting for her. I figure if she gets some good instruction, she will be skiing better than me and I will need to get some instruction myself. I have planned on going to a 5 day school that my ski shop runs next season.

I really want her to go to a women's specific camp so she can ski with other women and without pressure from me. I don't care if women or me teach the class, as long as the approach is how men and women ski differently. I want her to enjoy the school and get something out of it that will last a lifetime.

Thanks again for the responses! Keep them coming!
Brian
post #8 of 19
I watched a group of Jeannie Thoren clinic participants skiing last week. I was at the area holding the JT clinic Thursday, so the gals were in their fourth day, I believe. They were having a blast and (according to others I talked with on the lift) demonstrating definite improvements in skiing level.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
KB,
I was at Crystal last weekend. Was there with a group from my ski club. I was thinking of sending her to Crystal next year if Thoren has a clinic there. I think it is only a 3 day clinic though. I am leaning towards Jeanie Thoren but want to talk to a friend who just went to Kim Reichhelm clinic at Crested Butte. I haven't ruled out clinics in the east though. I hope I get more responses from ladies who have attended the different clinics/camps.

Ty

Lafayette Ski Club

Snowcrest Ski Center
post #10 of 19
I talked to one of the female instructors at the Snowbird Steeps Camp - she also coaches at the Women's Ski Camp. I was completely impressed with her - she's definitely into teaching women who want to ski aggressively, but she said there are lower level groups that are there for women who want something a little more laid back.

http://www.womensskicamps.com/

Edit: I was just looking through the website and noticed that their guest coach is Mermer Blakeslee - the author of "In the Yikes Zone", which has been pretty widely discussed here.

[ February 12, 2003, 04:23 PM: Message edited by: altagirl ]
post #11 of 19
OH, GEEZ!!! Altagirl, did you HAVE to! No, No, No, can't afford another vacation, already have taken 2 multiday workshops, the Bird will probably be too challenging, just can't do it just can't, damn that looks good!
post #12 of 19
The Bird "too challenging" for you! No way! There's a whole wide variety of terrain there, plus one of the goals of the camp is to help people who feel somewhat intimidated by Snowbird's terrain to feel that they can ski the mountain with confidence. (So cross that excuse off your list )

Plus you get about 6 coupons for free ski demos at the various shops there (great in the event it snows and you need powder skis), lunch is just about free (and delicious), a dinner/party event, tram line cutting privileges, video analysis, and great instruction!

Okay, I'll stop egging you on... [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img] (I just had a blast at their Steeps Camp and can't help myself.)
post #13 of 19
LM- I don't know anything about women's clinics, but I can echo and confirm what Altagirl says about the Bird- sure there is some amazingly difficult terrain there, and the trail ratings are a notch up from much of CO, but there is absolutely no question that skiing there (especially with an instructor)increased both my confidence and skill an order of magnitude. There is also plenty of terrain that is NOT extreme, and their ski school is great. Definitely at or near the top of my list of favorite mountains. An added bonus is that Little Cottonwood Canyon feels light years away from the rest of the world (even though it is close)- you will really feel like you are away on vacation there! I sure wish I could afford the trip there this season....
post #14 of 19
Actually, I was doing a sick parody of my "former self" with that remark!
Truth be told, having just returned from the Academy, another vacation at this point is out of the question. Although I'm sure its well worth it, the price is not even in my budget at the moment for a quick vacation. It will probably be awesome, though.
post #15 of 19
Ty,

Here's my $0.02 on my experience with multi-day women's ski clinics.

Kim Reichelm - Lots of camaraderie. Kim is really dedicated to her program. At the one I attended (1998), class sizes were small, in fact there was an almost-never-ever who had an instructor all to herself. Needless to say, she made great strides in four days. Her program was the most elaborate as far as off-mountain amenities - all breakfasts and lunches, extensive snacks for the after-ski sessions, a couple dinners (something to keep in mind when comparing prices). Crested Butte is a great location, and the town has wonderful restaurants. Also, being isolated lends itself to more togetherness, rather than everyone going their separate ways at the end of the ski day.

Jeannie Thoren - As you probably know, equipment is her thing and is the focus of her program. Again, she's highly committed and passionate. She uses instructors from the local resort. Also very high on the camaraderie scale. I know her approach about modifying equipment for women is controversial and may not be for everyone, but if it turns some women into skiers who otherwise would give up, I say good on her!

Snowbird - A good, solid program, with a lot of repeat participants. It's definitely OK for anyone who can handle easy blues, and there has been a group at that level the two times I've attended. (I'll also be attending the session in March.) Another plus is that Steve Bagley, who did the boot tech talk at the Academy, does the same here.

In my experience the instructor quality is somewhat variable regardless of the program (but I guess that mirrors the state of ski instruction in general, unless one specifically seeks the top level instructors). If camaraderie is a high priority, the sessions at smaller, less accessible resorts are better than the larger ones (Vail, Aspen/Snowmass). For me, the biggest bang from these experiences in my earlier ski days was that I came away inspired to ski more and ski better. I have to say that I probably didn't know enough to tell whether the instruction was good, but I do know I had so much fun that I wanted more! I'm more critical now and have had a couple of experiences in the last two years that weren't terrible but not worth the $$$.

Good luck!
post #16 of 19
I have found that I made the most improvement in my skiing by taking a private lesson. Maybe instead of a clinic, you might want to consider a series of privates?

I also took a one day women's clinic once. Instructor-to-student ratio was fine (5:1 maybe?) and I was definitely in the right group ability-wise. But, it seemed the rest of the women in the group didn't want the same things I did, and I really didn't get a lot out of it.

In the privates, every time I have taken one (and this is not often, as you know they are not cheap), I have received a lot of information that really helped my skiing. I always made it clear what I wanted, and maybe I have just been lucky, but I was assigned great instructors that really helped (have had both male & female instructors).
post #17 of 19
Instructor-to-student ratio was fine (5:1 maybe?)...well, obviously I meant 5 students to 1 instructor! (sorry about that - you knew what I meant!)
post #18 of 19
I would like to comment about Women's clinics from the instructor's point of view. I am a PSIA Level II instructor at Telluride and have taught our Womens Week in the past. Telluride's Womens Week clinic is 4 days held every month and is in its 21st year. Many of the women who attend give it rave review. I do think the quality of instruction may vary since the instructors must be women and available. Many of the really good instructors are not available and do not opt to teach this program. So I would agree that perhaps private instuction would be more useful. However, many women do enjoy learning in a all female environment and the clinic experience works for them.

One other point to consider--4 or 5 days of skiing all day 9-4pm is pretty intense for many people who only ski normally a week or two a year -so be prepared and do some fitness training

If I can help answer any other questions about Telluride's program or instruction for women, let me know.
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by Ty Webb:
She wants to ski better to ski with me so we can spend more time together. I also want this but I also don't want to be slowed down waiting for her.

I really want her to go to a women's specific camp so she can ski with other women and without pressure from me. I don't care if women or me teach the class, as long as the approach is how men and women ski differently.
hey Brian,

I realize that I am "generalizing"... men typically do ski faster than women. I really think it's the testosterone. [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img] A woman's clinic MAY not make your wife ski as fast as you... the goal is to give her the technique and confidence to ski where and the way she wants to.

Does she want a multi-day experience or a "series" of instruction once a week for many weeks? What's your budget? What are her (not your) goals?

Meanwhile, I think that people can get a lot out of their on-snow instruction if they do a little upfront homework. Some light reading about technique and (as you said) the differences between men and women in skiing.

http://www.skilikeawoman.com/ Informative website for women.

There are so many things to consider:
- demoing equipment
- "chalk talk" from coaches/instructors before and after being on-snow
- varried terrain
- varriable snow conditions
- race training
- bump instruction
etc

Flexibility in a program is important, too. Someone might be looking for level 7 instruction on groomers, but has never skied a bump and is very nervous. Is there the option to switch between groups depending upon the skill being worked on?

I bet your wife will be very happy once she identifies her goals and picks a program that she thinks will be the most informative and fun!

kiersten
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