I sure like the 500th thread,
and maybe I decided to read it since there were many references about my comment to Nolo, and maybe i finished it because it reminded me of why I enjoyed the culture at epicski for so long (especially when I had too much time in front of computer...).
I feel like quoting and agreeing with so many of the points here,
but first, I have to admit that I said in a PM to Nolo a couple days ago,
"it seems the teaching/instructing forums have gone to the dark side."
While all the meanings that have been atributed to my quote have made me smile, laugh and maybe even scoff, maybe the meanings may be more appropriate then the one that I actually meant when I wrote it.
When I refered to the dark side, I meant the negative, confrontational, my way or the highway, exclusive, argumentative side. Where people only hear their own voice and don't listen. Where the loudest most often yelled voices are the ones who get heard. In many ways, the dark side is exactly where I think our national politics are right now. Its where my local school board politics are. Locally, in response to this, our town has started a website called the "Civility Project", with agreements on how to discuss differences in a productive manner. My town (truckee), needed it, and I believe our government does as well.
That said, I hadn't been back to epic much, as I told nolo, except to post ski reviews (which i enjoy being the gearhead). But in reading this entire thread, much of the tone I enjoyed so much in epic is here in this thread. Seems like quite a few people who listen, think, express themselves well and are inclusive.
There are other issues of course: I agree heartily w/ Rick's points that much has been said toooo many times.
I want to distinctly point out that my dark side reference wasn't about the "pmts/psia issue", as has been eluded here. Many of you know that I'm level 3psia, and taught many years for Eski's All Mountain Ski Pros, which where thought to be more pmts. The division between these camps wasn't why I pulled back, I believe it was a breakdown in tone.
Uncle Louie points out cordial pm's in some of those discussions, and I thought our discourse in the threads themselves was pretty civil as well. But, as with the dark side comment, I believe he's commenting on private discussions with me (as well as others I"m sure) in which we found a heck of a lot more common ground than not. Discussions I greatly enjoyed as well.
Cirquerider points out that new and old voices return when the snow flies, and maybe it's not just my brief discussion about a ski review w/ Nolo that brough me back tonight. We do have snow on the peaks after Wednesday and that makes us all smile and think of sliding on snow...
Another point, that was part SSH's list on why some coachs don't contribute here, is the writing itself.
There are many good writers here who express themselves in print extremely well. It's great. But, for those of us who spend more time climbing mountains then writing, and have limited time at the keyboard, (and maybe just plain don't write as well no matter the excuse ) it can seem daunting to write something that may actually makes a meaningful contribution.
Anyway, thanks to all who contibuted for the nice reading this evening. I hope my intention of my 'dark side" quote doesn't take the value out of any of the meanings attibuted to it here, as I enjoyed them all.