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Instructor Recommendations

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My wife and I learned to ski only last season but have caught the bug! We have been happy with our progress so far and are having a blast, but are anxious to improve further. I am comfortable on blues but still have some control difficulties on steeper terrain -- and that is what I'd like to work on the most. My wife prefers to stay on green or easy blue groomed terrain -- she would like to improve her balance and work on linking her turns more smoothly.

The last couple of times I attended group lessons at Sugarloaf the level of instruction at the Perfect Turn clinics was really pretty poor. The instructor never paid close attention to the students or watched our skiing very carefully (ie. points made in the phantom student thread). Teaching consisted of comments like "You don't seem to be very balanced -- try to ski more balanced!"

Anyway, we are spending a week at Keystone later this season (our first trip out west). I was planning to take some lessons to get some fresh and hopefully more helpful guidance. There seems to be quite a few "Bears" from that area and was hoping for input. Should my wife consider one of the women's only clinics there or are privates the better way to go? Any recommendations on specific instructors at Keystone that we should request? Also, during a weeklong stay, how much instruction is too much or not enough? I was thinking of a couple of hours every other day to give us time in between to practice (and just to have fun). Is this reasonable or should I seize the opportunity to maximize lesson time?

Thanks for any comments!
post #2 of 6
I definitely prefer private lessons because the instructor can tailor the lesson to specific needs and not the "common good". To be honest, I prefer half-day lessons (3 or 4 hours) because I'm usually worn out from doing unfamiliar movements. That gives the instructor time to evaluate my skiing and provide me with suggestions/exercises. Sometimes I get so intent on performing one movement during a lesson that other things are negatively affected (like I start banking turns or sitting back). I usually don't take another lesson until I've tried to absorb what they taught- usually a week or two. By that time, I'm comfortable with what they asked me to do and can move on to the next steps. Follow-up lessons confirm if I've absorbed the previous exercises or give me alternate exercises to try if there hasn't been a positive change. And then the process begins again...

Sometimes the biggest benefit of a lesson for me is skiing with a skier who is light years ahead of me. I learn line selection, overall body alignment, and their attitude towards each section. I usually have a great time skiing with great skiers, and I usually end up skiing better with less effort when I'm with them (Insert synergy or some other management buzzword here).
post #3 of 6
Hi Phuang--

Looking for names at Keystone? Try Annie Black, Michele Fuller, Tom Newman, or Dan Dacey. Book early--these four get booked pretty regularly. If you can't get them, drop me a note, and I'll try to dig a little harder for you.

Don't hesitate to ski some of the other Summit County areas too when you're here--Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, and Arapahoe Basin are all close by, and Vail and Beaver Creek are both within an hour's drive as well.

Have fun! Don't hesitate to call if I can help you with anything while you're here.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 14, 2002 11:11 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Bob Barnes/Colorado ]</font>
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Well, I am a bit surprised that I didn't get more feedback, but I am grateful to everyone who replied. Thanks all!
post #5 of 6
phuang if you have a car and make it to Copper I would highly recommend that your wife take a womens wednesday clinic. I went in December, MJ was the instructor. My best lesson ever!!

More about the program at http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultim...c&f=4&t=000635

sorry I am no help at all re:Keystone. I have taken a lesson there but so long that my expierence would be irrelevent.
post #6 of 6
I don't know the others, but let me second Bob's recommendation for Annie Black - she is a ripper with excellent analysis and communication skills, and fun too!
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