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Want to take lesson at Keystone, don't what level-please recommend.

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
We will be out in Keystone the second week of March.  I want to take a group lesson but don't know whether I am a level 3 or 4.

My first ski lesson was actually at Keystone, we (six in our group) had a 1/2 day private lesson.  Just for 2 days, I only practiced around the Discovery area.  The following year, I had a group lesson at Breck, I was the slowest one in the entire group.  The afternoon session, my instructor gave up on me and handed me to another instructor who was free, so I practically had one on one lesson with her for about 1 hour.  I can ride chair lifts, turn but not parallel, wedge much of the time when it gets steeper (upper part of Red Rover and Silverthorne at Peak 9 Breck).  I even don't have confidence to glide at slightly higher speeds at the flat terrain.  Last year, I went to Beaver Creek, but did not like the catwalk down the mountain, I tried the short blue section of Hay Meadow, oh boy it was a biggest wedge I had ever made, and people recommended that Beaver has easy greens, at least not easy for me.  That is the story of my years of skiing experience.

I know private is the way to improve it, but with 4 lift tickets, rental and lodging during peak season, I cannot afford for private.  I just want to be in the right group, so the instructor won't have to give up on me again:-).  Level 3 or 4 at Keystone ski school?  Thanks for your input.

post #2 of 3
If you were uncomfortable on Red Rover/Silverthorne, some of the best beginner terrain I've ever seen, you should go into a Level 2 lesson.
post #3 of 3
Well, yes, except it was the steeper sections of upper Silverthorne that created the problem, it seems. I suspect that you could even be a Level 4, MTV, but it sounds like you need to develop a bit more confidence in your abilities. I would encourage you to start a bit slower. At Keystone, our Level 3 and below lessons all start on the beginner terrain (ie. Discovery), and proceed up the mountain only when you become confident. I recommend starting there.

Perhaps the most important thing for advancing, at any level, is to learn to love the gliding sensation that most beginners first fight against (usually with the chronic braking wedge that you have described). No amount of skill or technical learning will make that wedge go away, until you learn to enjoy letting go of the mountain and letting your skis run. That confidence will come if you give it a chance. But the key is not to push yourself too hard. Stay on easier runs until you find yourself wanting to go faster all the time--not slower. Whenever you feel the need to brake, you reinforce the defensive movements that you have suggested you would like to eliminate.

So call yourself a Level 3, and spend some time again on our Discovery learning area at Keystone's Mountain House base, or the Ranger area (at the top of the gondola) if you go to the River Run base.

When you feel like you can let 'em go and glide all the way back to the chairlift, without fear (but not without exhileration!), do it again. When you've done that a few times--glided comfortably all the way to the bottom of the learning hill, with smooth, rounded turns that do not avoid or rush through the "fall line" (the part where you are going directly downhill), then you will be ready to enjoy yourself and continue to advance higher on the mountain. When you look forward to letting go of the mountain, guiding your skis down the hill and gaining a little speed as you enter the turn--rather than fearing it and fighting the speed increase with a wide, braking wedge, then you are ready (and you'll know it!). Don't worry about a gentle "gliding wedge," by the way--it is the "wide," forceful, intentional wedge that you have described, every time you turn down the hill, that is the sign that you will not enjoy--or benefit from--pushing on to more challenging terrain yet.

So...Level 3. You'll start at the same place as Level 2, and can always move to a Level 2 class if needed. If you go to the River Run base, you'll go up the Gondola to our upper learning area (and you can ride back down on the gondola if you prefer--never a bad idea!). If you go to Mountain House base, you'll be on Discovery again.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes (Keystone Ski & Ride School)

PS--please don't hesitate to contact me here, or through a PM, if you have any other questions. I'd love to hear how it goes.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Want to take lesson at Keystone, don't what level-please recommend.