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Steep and Deep camp at JH - anyone done it?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

As a Mainer, I got a sweet taste of western snow this year at Vail and Deer Valley. And I really liked the steeps they got out there. I'd like to give JH a go and have read about their Steep and Deep camp. Any graduates of it? Any other similar programs out west?

Thanks.

David

post #2 of 20

Steep and Deep Camps are great.  I do a lot of boot fits for peeps in the camp.  I also have gotten to lecture the camps on boot fits and foot stuff.  You've probably firgured out by now that I work for JHMR.

 

Everybody who takes the camps are very happy.  The staff and instruction is excellent.  The terrian is unmatched.  We closed on Sunday, so I trust you're thinking about next year!

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiing-in-Jackson View Post

 

Steep and Deep Camps are great.  I do a lot of boot fits for peeps in the camp.  I also have gotten to lecture the camps on boot fits and foot stuff.  You've probably firgured out by now that I work for JHMR.

 

Everybody who takes the camps are very happy.  The staff and instruction is excellent.  The terrian is unmatched.  We closed on Sunday, so I trust you're thinking about next year!

Thanks for the reply. Ya, I need some ski thing to obsess about over the miserable summer months. My SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) kicks in....just about now.
 

post #4 of 20

I did one in 2002, and had a great time.  Much better than a similar camp at Snowbird in 2003.  They'll MAKE you improve, for sure.  I've bumped into a few fellow campers over the years at JH, and we still have stuff stuck in our minds from camp that we remember clearly.

 

What surprised me the most at the camp was the number of repeat campers.  Fully 50% had taken the course before, and one guy was on his 10th or 12th camp.  Can't beat the food, fun, and people you'll meet. 

post #5 of 20

I haven't done it, but a couple of friends who I often ski with were in the camp a few years ago. They rave about it. It's on my list of things to do also.

 

More on it:

http://www.examiner.com/x-4364-Chicago-Skiing-Examiner~y2009m2d27-Jackson-Hole-holds-Steep-and-Deep-Ski-Camp

post #6 of 20

MDF has.

 

Michael

 

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

Great feedback. Got to do it. Does it matter what time of year to take it? In 2010 it is offered twice in Jan, once in Feb and once in March. Closest is only like nine months away. Tx.

post #8 of 20


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WILDCAT View Post

 

MDF has.

 

Michael

 

 

Twice in fact.

 

There are probably Trip Reports around here somewhere.

 

Or see home.comcast.net/~mdf_ski_web/home.html

for a description and photos of my second camp.

 

The first camp was what convinced me to get modern skis and modernize my skiing.

 

Guessing from this year, I'd say the March dates are more apt to have deep snow.

I felt that the January session was too early to have near-certainty that everything would be open.

(I did Feb both times.)

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

Mdf, thanks for yours. Checked out your images. Amazing terrain, especially in flat light. Did the sun ever come out?

post #10 of 20

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post

Mdf, thanks for yours. Checked out your images. Amazing terrain, especially in flat light. Did the sun ever come out?


 

Well, that was two years ago, so the memory is kinda fuzzy.  I think there were a few sunny hours.

post #11 of 20

Ah, here's a pic from my 1st camp, in 2006, when it was sunny.  This little spot is called "Jaws" and it was where I realized there might be something to those "modern" skis.

 

 

 

Here's a shot from our out of bounds afternoon.

 

We were wimps -- we didn't go all the way up there.

post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

Mdf, as I was looking at that image, the shark attack music from Jaws inevitabley came to mind. Thanks for sharing. I do hope to get to this camp next season.

David

post #13 of 20

I haven't taken it, but I have done training to instruct for it.  Someday I will get a chance to teach that camp.  I have been skiing in JH for 19 seasons and was still impressed by the info that was put down and the way it was organized.  It is no joke, the instructors that you get are the best with lots of experience.  This year it was especially true as by the end of the season level 3 instructors with years of experience were lining up to teach group lower lessons.  I learned a ton about how to present and teach tactics, absorption, and line selection.  I even learned a bit about terrain progression and spots to use as "Corbets Simulators".  The half dozen S&D training days I have done have been very helpful teaching level 7-9 lessons.  I would recommend the camp to any level 8-9 skier looking to step up their game and have a great time and a safe experience. 

post #14 of 20

I've taken the camp and I had a good time.  If you are looking to for the chance to ski some more difficult terrain and get tactical instruction, then this is a good option. 

 

That said, I have mixed feelings about it.  With the exception of 3 skiers, almost everybody at the camp I attended (myself included) had serious flaws in their skiing.  I was very comfortable on steep terrain and relative to most everyone else, I was a "good" skier.  As a result, I got put in one of the top groups with a top instructor and we merrily hop-turned our way through Jackson's most difficult terrain (though none of us wanted to try Corbet's). 

 

Like I said, I had a good time, but in retrospect I expected that my skiing would improve.  While my scope of skiing certainly expanded, my technical abilities didn't.  IOW I got to take my crappy technique into places I might not have gone without a coach, but at the end of the camp I still had the same crappy technique.  And that was reinforced by the instructors--"Great job skiing Tower 3 guys!"  (No matter that not a one of us ever moved our CM down the hill during the run and we all looked like garbage). 

 

The other thing that I didn't like at all was that the promised video analysis never really happened.  We got shot doing stupid stuff (i.e. jumping a cat track) instead of actually skiing so there was very little useful footage.  It was primarily used to make a ski movie that we could buy at the end, but I was so appalled by the skiing I was seeing (especially mine) that I wanted nothing to do with it.

 

So if you are just looking to be guided into steep terrain, its definitely a good option.  However, if you are looking to improve your skiing, I would look elsewhere.  I took a PMTS lesson on Monday and it was hands-down the best instruction I've ever received. OTOH, with PMTS you won't even see black terrain (let alone double black) until you are actually ready to ski it well. 

 

 

post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

  I learned a ton about how to present and teach tactics, absorption, and line selection.  I even learned a bit about terrain progression and spots to use as "Corbets Simulators".  The half dozen S&D training days I have done have been very helpful teaching level 7-9 lessons.  I would recommend the camp to any level 8-9 skier looking to step up their game and have a great time and a safe experience. 


You just described who I am and what I am looking for from the camp. Hope you get to teach at it some day. Tx.
 

David

post #16 of 20

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffda View Post

 

The other thing that I didn't like at all was that the promised video analysis never really happened.  We got shot doing stupid stuff (i.e. jumping a cat track) instead of actually skiing so there was very little useful footage.  It was primarily used to make a ski movie that we could buy at the end, but I was so appalled by the skiing I was seeing (especially mine) that I wanted nothing to do with it.

 

 


 

I would agree with this, although maybe things have improved since I took the camp in '02.  Hardly any video at all.  The Snowbird camp was far better in this respect, with way more video.  Watching myself on video is tough - I'm my own worst critic.  Plus they never take video in hero bumps or anywhere easy where you can 'style'; more like survival skiing, which usually looks ugly.

 

However, I'm not totally insensitive.  No instructor wants to tote around a video camera all day, especially a good one that tends to be more bulky.  Some people are better at taking pictures too (paging Bob Peters).  Your hands get cold, your gloves get filled with snow, zippers get stuck.

post #17 of 20

I'd agree Steep and Deep is good but could be improved. (I'm actually thinking/hoping to do an ESA camp instead of another S&D, but I'd do either in a heartbeat if the opportunity works out.)

 

A big part is terrain guiding and progression, rather than technique itself.  But there is some technique, too.

 

My first camp several of us had straight-ski technique that needed to be gotten rid off, and a lot of that was psychological rather than technical.  Our instructor did a great job of interspersing quick tips, deeper instruction, and persuasion into intervals of "just skiing."  I went in thinking I needed to get better at what I was doing, and came out knowing I needed to do "different" instead.  

 

But the main reason I signed up in the first place was to ski places that I didn't know whether or not they were within my ability limits.

 

By my second camp, I had fixed the worst problems in my skiing.  On that one, my goal of reducing/eliminating hop turns came from me, not the instructor.  (I consider hop turns something everyone should have in their bag of tricks for survival situations, but for "real skiing" they are the double-black moral equivalent of a snow-plow.)  But once I discussed hop turns with him, my instructor helped me get rid of them.  We worked a lot on line choice in the trees, flow, and having multiple style choices available for skiing moguls-- tactics more than technique per se.

 

But I think the instruction vs. just skiing mix is tuned to camper's desires.  Very few customers want to spend all week obsessing over technique -- I know I don't.  I want  bursts of instruction mixed with periods of guiding.  If you do go to camp, and want more real instruction, speak up -- I'm sure you can get it.

 

 

The video could definitely be improved too.  We had an extra staffer who rotated through the groups on one day shooting video, so each group basically got video of two pitches on one run.  Then we did video analysis at lunch (would have been better to do after 4 to avoid cutting into ski time.)  (THis was the 2nd camp -- don't remember for sure about the 1st camp).  Now that small cameras take decent video, there is no excuse not to have a lot more of it, throughout the camp rather than one morning.  (In retrospect, even the stills and crappy video I took myself would have had some instructional value that was not taken advantage of.)

 

But even the limited video was key to my improvement.  On the first camp, my instructor kept telling me to stand up.  I kept saying (to myself) "I am standing up."  When I saw the video, I said "OMG, I am bending at the waist!"

 

Looking back, I think this is the most in-depth critique of S&D I've done.  Maybe we should forward a link to the camp director.

post #18 of 20

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

I haven't taken it, but I have done training to instruct for it.  Someday I will get a chance to teach that camp.  I have been skiing in JH for 19 seasons and was still impressed by the info that was put down and the way it was organized.  It is no joke, the instructors that you get are the best with lots of experience.  This year it was especially true as by the end of the season level 3 instructors with years of experience were lining up to teach group lower lessons.  I learned a ton about how to present and teach tactics, absorption, and line selection.  I even learned a bit about terrain progression and spots to use as "Corbets Simulators".  The half dozen S&D training days I have done have been very helpful teaching level 7-9 lessons.  I would recommend the camp to any level 8-9 skier looking to step up their game and have a great time and a safe experience. 


Hey TPJ -- after skiing one afternoon with you, I think you'd be a great Steep&Deep coach.  Hope you get the opportunity.
 

post #19 of 20

 Without trying to appear to be pushing ESA, but since its been brought up, I can say that my skiing skills have improved a ton in the past year, and took a huge leap in the past week with a recent trip to BigSkyESA.  The terrain we covered was done with the reinforcement of good technical instruction as well as good tactics.

 

My goal for this event was to get more comfortable pointing them down the fall line and keeping my hands forward when doing so, especially in the steeps.

This is an area where I excelled with the instruction I was fortunate to get. 

 

I should poke someone to get video of my skiing from my first day to last.  You'd be shocked at the transformation.

post #20 of 20

I did Steep and Deep in 2005.  I agree with Geoffda, and have mixed feelings about the camp.  I thought the instruction was subpar.  But, I did get to learn the mountain, and had a great time skiing the terrain.  Having done Steep and Deep and a bunch of ESA camps, I can assure you that you will learn a lot more about skiing at an ESA camp.  You can come to Big Sky and ski terrain that is as steep as anything at Jackson, although I don't think it has the crux skiing that Jackson does (or I haven't been taken there).

 

However, if you want to ski Jackson, then Steep and Deep is a good option to pursue to learn the mountain. Just don't expect to learn a lot about your skiing -- save that for another camp, such as ESA.

 

Mike 

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