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Ski camps in USA (or Canada)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I live in Sydney Australia, and I'm planning a trip for a few weeks in late January, early-mid February. I've skied the past few northern winters with my wife and daughter, but my daughter is starting a new school, so this year I'm going to be traveling alone.

At the moment I think I'm going to visit Aspen and Jackson Hole; Aspen because I've been there on a couple of previous trips and know it and love it, and Jackson Hole because I haven't been there yet and everything I hear and read makes me think I'd love it.

So as not to be skiing alone the whole time, I thought I might sign up for a camp or camps. My early thinking is perhaps to do something more technical for a week, like perhaps Lito Tejada-Flores' camp in Aspen, to get my skiing in place, before something more challenging like a Steep and Deep camp in JH.

Has anybody been to either of these camps? Are there others I should consider? I would also value suggestions and opinions on back-country BC heli-skiing and/or cat-skiing camps, where a solo traveller wouldn't feel like he was crashing someone else's group (although I shouldn't really go heli-skiing without my wife.)

I'm a good skier - level 9 when I've skied with groups in CO and UT on previous visits - in my mid 40s and pretty fit, but I don't like jumping off cliffs.

I'd also value any suggestions on hotels in Aspen and Jackson. Traveling alone I don't need a suite or any pampering, but I'm happy to pay a premium for authentic atmosphere, a good bar and good food in-house and nearby.

post #2 of 7
If you are really a level 9 you can skip Lito's camp IMO. At that level a few days skiing in an intermediate breakthrough camp isn't going have much of an effect on how you will be placed in a more advanced camp. If you are concerned about dialing in your skiing before embarking on an advanced camp, a day on the slopes where the camp is taking place, even in a group lesson, should do it for you.

I understand that Steep and Deep camps will accomodate lesser skiers than level 9, so you should have no trouble going right to that. Jackson Hole aslo has a backcountry camp you can look at. Cat skiing and heli skiing is in groups so any one of them will do just for company. Check out Steamboat powder cats as they may also have some trips that include instruction.

finally, you can post in 'get together' forum to see if there are any bears who would be available to ski wtih you outside of a camp.
post #3 of 7
Steep and Deep is divided into multiple groups the first morning, and accomodates a wide range of abilities.  At the low end, if you are comfortable on blacks and willing on double blacks you'll do fine and have a great time.  (One of the times I went I seem to remember there was even a group below that.  I suspect that if they have enough campers at a similar ability level to fill up a group, they don;t really care if they "ought" to be in the camp vs regular ski school.)  The high end is ridiculously good.  Many groups come back year after year.

My key piece of advice -- get in shape! (If you aren't already.)  It is a full day, skiing bell to bell (albeit with a long lunch).  A couple of days everyone else in my group bailed before the end of the day and I wound up in the equivalent of a private lesson -- good for me, bad for the other campers.

I've been to S&D twice.  The camp is also a great way to learn JH -- I'd never been there before my first camp.  I went a couple of days ahead to get my ski legs first.

THere are a lot of other upper end camps I'd like to go to rather than repea agian, but I'd recommend S&D at least once.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mom and MDF. The Steep & Deep camp sounds great.

Mom - Thanks for the tip re Steamboat Cats. I don't know whether I'm really a level 9, that's just the group I've ended up in after ski offs on previous trips, though I'm sure resorts and camp operators like to flatter guests and the highest group isn't necessarily the number they call it.

I can ski most conditions and more or less all of the terrain at the resorts I've spent the most time at - Aspen/Snowmass, Vail/Beaver Creek, Zermatt, Courchevel/Meribel, DV/PC + Australian and NZ resorts - but I know I can still improve (I improved my double-black skiing a lot last season in Aspen) and I'd still like to do something technical somewhere as well as the S&D. 

MDF - I better spend my summer down here on the bike. There is no way I want to be coming off the mountain. I've had that private lesson experience at a Mahre Camp in DV, where everyone else went in at lunch the last two days. It was brilliant.

Any advice re hotels in Jackson?

post #5 of 7

Another possibility -- if the dates work for you and you feel like Utah, go to the gathering.  I went to the one last year (which was at JH) and had an incredible amount of fun.

If you search for the thread from last year you'll get more info on JH lodging than you can shake a stick at.  But here is my capsule view on the matter:  First, I can only tell you about the cheaper end of the scale, since I prefer to go cheap on the room and spend money on the hill instead.  (But, I'm a grownup with a real job, so I'll only go so far in search of economy.) 

I was really happy with the Antler in town (one of the town square motel group).  Pretty cheap, walking distance to the downtown square, clean, good beds, free WiFi, right on the bus route.  (It is only a short drive from town to JHMR.)  I would expect the other motels in the group to be similar.  Quite a few people stay at the Painted Buffalo, but I have no direct knowledge of what it is like.

If you want to stay at JHMR itself, that is called "Teton Village".  The Hostel used to be the standard recommendation, but I think they raised their prices from a steal to just reasonable.  My favorite was the Village Center Inn. They were supposed to tear it down to build something fancy but it looks like the economic collapse may have prevented that.  There are also a very (I mean very) small number of studio condominiums in Teton Village.  I stayed in one once - it was nice.

If you want to spend money, there are some realy classy looking high end hotels in Teton Village -- I've drunk in their bars, but never seen upstairs. 

I've always done JH without a car.  The buses are good and cheap, and frequent enough in the daytime -- but a bit sparse in the evening.  Also, most in-town motels have shuttles.  If you stay at Teton Village, you are already there.  One drawback to Teton Village is that there is no cheap food, just good but expensive places.  There is pizza, pasta, etc within a mile or so out on the main road, but it is too far to walk,  In retrospect, taxis would probably have been a good option, with a lot of trips still costing less than a rental car. 

post #6 of 7
 January in Aspen, eh? What to do, what to do.... http://esa.epicski.com/
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi Epic,

The Snowmass ESA would have been perfect, but I need to be in Sydney until the last week in January.

I'm definitely going to do the Steep & Deep in JH and before that I'm thinking seriously about the gathering in Utah. But I skied around SLC in February of this year, and if I go back to somewhere I've been already I think it will be Aspen.

Has anybody done any of the Clendenin camps?

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