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Thread Starter 
Hi all,
I just got back from a wonderful week in Alta. 7 of 8 days of powder.

Thanks again to Harpo for the quick short tour.

On the airplane to SLC I was reading some articles from the PSIA magazine. One of them was from an old post here about reaching short turns. The other one that caught my eye was on Alta Powder. Both of these articles were written by Scott Mathers. I decided (alas too late) that I wanted to get a private session with Scott to inquire about the reaching short turns. When I inquired at the ski school I was informed that Scott was booked for the whole week but if I wanted to ski with him I could sign up for the "Black Diamond Challenge" (not really a lesson but a tour with a pro and some tips) and that he would be leading the "Challange". I jumped at the opportunity.

At the beginning of the class we made the test run to make sure everyone was at the level of the challenge (lvl 9) One person was asked to move to the level 8 clinic due to control issues and one person was told she would be pushed hard but Scott had no problem with her control. Some of the places he was planning on taking us would very steep and very narrow.

As we took off for the next chair, he asked if there was anything special we were looking for. I decided to ask about "reaching short turns." and also explained that I had hoped to get a private with him but he was booked and this was my next best chance.

We skied all over the mountain. For those who know Alta, a little chute above Nina's curve, Warm up, East Greely bowl/Glory hole (entered just left of the gunsight) Devils castle, Yellow Bear trail, High Traverse, Regal chute, and Alfs High Rustler/lower rustler. At that time I had to leave the group to get back to the cabin I was staying at.

I had a chance to talk with Scott about the reaching short turns and deep powder. The big difference it seems in reaching short turns is that instead of directing the Center of Mass of your body down the fall line, the whole CM moves across the fall line and through the whole turn. This makes for a great deal of force to be built up under foot in the belly of the turn and the whole CM travels across the fall line into the next turn. The turns are slower to complete but move much faster. I got a chance to try these on some very steep crud and found them to be quite fun. I think I understand how to do them even if I am not doing them to perfection. I will have to keep at it.

Scott was very fun to ski with with a great sense of humor and I only wish I had a chance to take a private lesson with him. He spent a bit more time with me on instruction (since I had mentioned I was interested in the private) but since the tour was meant to be more of a guided ski with a few tips I didn't get a chance to really get a "high end lesson" I did learn a lot and after the session, I found that I was being much more confident in my steep crud and powder skiing. Pole touch timing was the biggest tip I got on this lesson.

The next day I had hired Lyle from the Canyons for an all day private (see my other posts about lessons at the canyons) He got a chance to talk with Scott before I met him on Thursday. We then took off to get some skiing in with my family. He did mention that my skiing had improved from the last time we skied at the Canyons and we continued to work on counter rotation of the hips in high angle edging (I need to do less, a habit from straight skis skiing) and we worked some on more calm upper body skills.

With Harpo I got to see how some of the locals ski (hope I didn't slow you guys down too much) I'm not as aggressive as he was but I enjoyed watching him jump off some rocks and rip down the hill.

All in all I had a wonderful time and would recommend anyone heading for Alta try to look Scott up for a private or if you are at a High level 8, level 9 Check out the Diamond Challange. It was a lot of fun and great tips.