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Free Advanced Lessons, Sierra @ Tahoe

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Anyone done this? Offered to level 7-9, 11:30 and 1:30, top of West Bowl chair. Lesson lasts 1 hr. 45 min.

(also, sierra rates level 5, 6 and 7 skiers as intermediates with three sub-categories; intermediate, confident intermediate and aggressive intermediate. a level 8 skier is "advanced" and skis blacks but "has difficulty skiing them consistently with style."

just to take a peek at THAT tried and true can of worms and the creative use of semantics in skill summation.)

[ February 26, 2003, 08:14 AM: Message edited by: ryan ]
post #2 of 4
I did at different times levels 7 and 8 at Northstar (same company owns both resorts). It was good, especially useful when I was just transitioning to level 7. We progressed in technique and skills from easy blues to confidently skiing easy black runs and moguls - all in just 2 hours!

The only problem with level 9 is that they take you to the woods; so if you don't want to ski trees, you end up with level 8, which is just advanced moguls and some crud runs. The only difference from level 7 is that level 8 is all on black runs.

I took level 8 clinic twice: it's free, and I had some spare time, and I wanted a qualified instructor to see and tell me what I was doing wrong. The first time was excellent. The second time was nothing but a repetition of the first one; I didn't learn anything new, and the instructor said he had nothing to teach me in level 8.

[ February 26, 2003, 11:51 AM: Message edited by: AlexG ]
post #3 of 4
sorry, i don't have any input on S@T, but along the same lines... out of curiosity, anyone ever tried the 'free advanced clinic' at mt. rose? i have seen the sign under the top of the northwest lift for years, but i have yet to ever see anyone convene up there?
post #4 of 4
I've been taking the free lessons at both Northstar and Sierra for the past 5 years. I typically take 5 or 6 of these lessons per season.

Here's my short answer: Sierra's program has deteriorated in the past few years and is now, in my opinion, only marginal. Northstar offers, by far, the better program. Here's my long answer: Sierra usually only offers two groups per session. This not only increases the student-to-instructor ratio to a questionable level (on 2 occasions I was one of nine students in a lesson), but it also tends to force skiers with widely divergent abilities into one group. The result? Advanced skiers get bored, instructors struggle to control their groups and create a lesson plan suitable to everyone, and some weaker skiers get pushed to tackle terrain/conditions at speeds that approach their safety threshold. The uneven quality of the lessons is also a reflection of the instructors. I've skied with several PSIA Level 2s and, if I remember correctly, even a Level 3. However, that was when the program was in it's first few years. Lately, the instructors aren't as technically skilled; and this season, I've noticed more non-PSIA certified instructors (although they are usually enthusiastic and personable instructors and may well have certs with foreign ski instructor associations).

My criticism may be too sharp considering these are free lessons. However, it seems to me that it's better to discontinue a program rather than to run it poorly. The way it stands now at Sierra, too many eager students are turned away because there are not enough instructors and, for those who do participate, the experience isn't as good as it could and should be.

Note to Sierra-at-Tahoe: if you want to continue the program, copy your sister resort, Northstar, and devote the resouces necessary to make it worthwhile.
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