How do people handle the difference in terrain/snow east/west? That's something I keep struggling with when trying to place myself, whether officially or unofficially in my own head.
Back east, or out west on bad "icy" conditions, I'm probably a definite level 7. But put me in powder and I'm a gaper. Drop back to a 4 or 5 at best.
For example, at the ETU last year I was skiing in a group with Bob Barnes as coach, and the other people in it were all instructors. No problem keeping up. But we were on hardpack, ice (real Eastern Ice, not that western "Ice" that's really packed powder) and gravel
Plus a few death cookies, but that's ok. That was a blast (except for my poor bases!)
But at ESA, I was in the "learn-to-sniff-pow-in-baby-steps" group. Had some really good coaching from foosh and ydnar and tips from drop-ins to our group like mike_m and vail_snopro, but I was definitely way down there.
I will say that I "got it" about why
people like being out in that, and did a fair amount of "sniffin'" later in the season. But it's hard going from feeling like I'm skiing well on
snow to major suckage in
Since I'm in the middle of about a year-long process of moving full time out west, that's an issue for me, and makes it hard to place myself in a lesson - though I guess I now have a great opportunity to work on it, where probably 90% of my ski days will either be out in my new place in CO or at the Academy.