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2010 Steeps Clinic

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

 

 

Here's some footage I pasted together from a Steeps Clinic I took last year.  Hope it helps with the summer skiing withdrawl.  I can't wait to ski this year!

 

 


Edited by tetonpwdrjunkie - 8/22/10 at 12:20am
post #2 of 26

Sweet!

 

So did that clinic turn you sadness to joy?..... sorry, I'll shut...up.

post #3 of 26

STFU!  I'm going to watch that too many times.  Love the song too.

post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 

Actually it was a 2 day PSIA event at which I learned nothing.  The people were fun and I always love skiing, but I feel like PSIA owes me my money back.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post

Sweet!

 

So did that clinic turn you sadness to joy?..... sorry, I'll shut...up.

post #5 of 26

Let's make something out of it.

 

I see a lot of interesting skiing: uplifting over that spine, engaging tips with tails continuing to rotate to desired point before engaging, etc.

 

Which skier were you? What techniques were you using, practicing, drilling, at what spot on the video.

 

EDIT: for those of you who don't know, the depth of focus of the camera makes it look not very steep at all.  That's a camera effect, it's probably steep enough/

post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 

I'm the camera operator so there is no footage of me.  The reason that I felt let down in that clinic was that there was almost no feedback, skills, or drills given out.  We mostly skied and a lot of the terrain choices were not the best for the outcome I was looking for.  I felt like the flavor of the day was Vanilla.  The problem was that PSIA choose to hold a steeps clinic at JHMR and staff it with examiners from UT.  I took the same 2 day clinic the year before and got lots out of it.  This year I felt like I was paying to take a tour of my own mountain.  I wasn't the only one who felt this way and the two of us Jacksonites tried to express our feelings to the examiner early on in day 2.  The examiner did start doing his job towards the end of the day and was actually pretty good at it once he focused, but it was late and not enough.  I actually have lot's of footage from this event, but didn't want it to be too long.  It also wasn't meant to be for MA, although I agree that we could pick apart a few things if we wanted to.  I would say that my skiing is probably closest to the guy in the yellow coat who waves at the end he was the other Jacksonite.  The pitch of the slopes in the video shown is pretty steep.  Probably in the high 30s or low 40s.  It's Tower 3 chute, Toilet Bowl, Casper Bowl, and a bit of Lower Face.  The snow conditions were also a bit challenging as it hadn't snowed in about 2 weeks.  People were calling it "steep & fast".

post #7 of 26

Hi David,

 

Thanks for posting. Great summertime stoke to remind me of Jackson Hole. Is this the same January clinic that Kawo, who posts here, did for the last 2 years? If I remember correctly you did some video of he and Fireball (Ben) skiing in the Hobacks this year. Is a Hobie 16 still one of your summer activities?

 

I find it hard to believe that the JH Steep and Deep Camp is taught by outsiders to JH. If I was with the JH ski school, I'd be pissed. Totally agree that if you pay for a camp, then instruction and feedback really need to be included.

 

I'd enjoy seeing video of your skiing. Philpug and I had a discussion about really good skiers and he included your skiing as an example. He stated you won't find many L3 instructors in the east who ski as well as you.

 

Mike

post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 

It's not from the JHMR steep and deep camp.  It's from a PSIA steeps training.  Totally different thing and has nothing to do with the Jackson Ski School.  I am still pissed about paying for something that proved to be essentially useless.  I don't think I have video of fireball and kawo from this year, although I do remember skiing with them.  I also remember breaking kawo right before his Steep and Deep Camp.  Sorry about that.  I don't have the Hobie anymore.  I've been focusing on fly-fishing more these days.  I wish I actually had some footage of my skiing.  I would post it if I did.  I'm usually running the camera.  The only stuff I have is a bit of my tele skiing from late in the day when my friend started shooting and a brief snip that was shot of me doing a wedge to tele demo.  Both have been posted and both are a bit disappointing to me, but I stand behind my skiing in the videos and put it up even though it's not really my best.  It's nice of Phil to pay me such a great compliment.  Thanks Phil!  

post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 

BTW....  The video was put up for mid summer stoke, not so I could complain about PSIA.  I have nothing more to say about the clinic itself.  Please enjoy the Video and we will be skiing soon!

post #10 of 26

Video in August of people skiing good terrain, that is a very good thing.  Thank you for shareing it.

 

Clinics will run the gamut no matter who puts them on.  Sometimes they just miss the mark, sometimes they are earth shaking.  You will know when it is over. 

post #11 of 26

Looks more like a bumps clinic than a steeps clinic.

post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsirin View Post

Looks more like a bumps clinic than a steeps clinic.


That's what happens to steep trails when it's not snowing.

post #13 of 26

Nice stoke - fun jam to listen to.  Can't imagine why I've never heard that song on the radio?

post #14 of 26

TPJ,

 

If you have more video from this event, by all means post it (we'll cheerfully tolerate the greater length  ).  

 

BTW:  What were some of the tips/suggestions they gave for skiing those slopes?

 

.ma

post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 

That's the problem....  There where no useful tips or suggestions.  If it was me running it, I would have been talking about line selection and visualization, schmearing vs. edging, releasing edges through flexion, and terrain absorption.  That's just for starters.  The stuff I would normally cover in a level 8-9 lesson.  We had two days.  The only drill I remember doing was to pair off and closely follow your partners line, then try to analyze what was different in between your styles that lead to the line selection chosen by your partner.  IMO a pretty decent exercise, but not enough meat for a two day clinic that I was paying to attend.  The DECL running my group (the top group) was pretty new as a clinic leader and didn't assert himself.  He was from UT and didn't know where to go and had me and another JH local (who truly is a legitimate skiing legend) to give terrain suggestions.  The other guy was there to fulfill some PSIA continuing education credits to prevent PSIA from taking away his certification.  He has major pain issues with his back and knees and whatever and wanted to do a lot of fast groomer skiing.  I wanted to do tight, steep skiing on terrain with a few consequences.  Most of the others in the group had never been to JH before and wanted to see the whole mountain.  For them the fast groomer skiing and tram laps were cool because they don't get to ski the big unbroken vertical at their home mountains.  Chris didn't want to ski the steeper stuff because it hadn't snowed in a few weeks and was bumpy and variable with exposed rocks and in his mind it wasn't worthy.  A lot of long time JH locals hate bumps.  I don't.  To me bumps are just another condition that needs to be mastered.  We skied a lot and it was fun, especially for the out of towners.  That night in the bar I caught a buzz and was throwing out terms like useless, lame, waste of time....  The next morning I felt bad and talked privately and frankly with the clinic leader about my goals and how I was feeling about the clinic so far.  He agreed to try and do more.  He also commented that my skiing was strong and confident and that he hadn't felt the need to give me any specific feedback.  He made the comment that I never seemed to slow down or pause or change my skiing regardless of the terrain, pitch, or conditions.  He used the terms balanced and smooth which of course I love to hear, but I got the feeling that it was a backhanded compliment.  We had another JH local join us for day two.  After about two hours of skiing he turned to me and was asking WTF are we doing skiing groomer laps.  I immediately felt like less of an asshole.  He was really pissed for exactly the same reasons I was and I hadn't said a word about it.  

 

My goals were to ski some interesting technical lines, to get some specific feedback on my personal skiing on that harder terrain, and most importantly to learn some new drills or other good stuff from an examiner level skier that I could incorporate into my upper level lessons so that I could be a more effective instructor.  I didn't really achieve any of these goals.  I am a 20 year JH local skier who knows the mountain very well.  While there isn't much new for me terrain wise, I have learned some interesting variations, visualizations, and skill blends from some of the JH trainers who also know the mountain very well.  We almost exclusively skied the most obvious vanilla flavored lines.  That's fine for the warm up.  It's what I do with students to prequalify them for the more interesting lines that require specific skills and movements.  It's a progression and you don't progress if you don't raise the intensity.  The intensity should come up in stages and there should be bail out options and a specific goal for each technical task.  For example it's fun to ski over to the dope cave and down the gut of Toilet Bowl.  It's more challenging to do one of the more demanding lines through there like "Rock and a Hard Place" and to maintain flow while doing it.  We did that line at my suggestion and most of the group choked which is OK and kind of normal for the first time.  IMO we should have gone back and all nailed it on the next run.  Instead we skied the groomer to the bottom and caught a tram.  The best part of that mostly useless clinic was when Ryan and I convinced the group to hike the headwall and ski Casper Bowl.  Chris didn't want to do it and met us later.  Without Chris the DECL started giving feedback and we started skiing more challenging terrain for the last few hours of the second day.  I would guess that the DECL was intimidated by skiing with Chris.  As soon as Chris rejoined us he started agitating for more long groomed cruiser runs which the group vetoed... Finally!  Last run of the day....  2000' of refrozen bumps and crud on a lower face.  Rough conditions, but if you want to get better you have to ski some bad snow and IMO that was more appropriate and interesting terrain for that group in a Steeps Clinic than doing the groomer AGAIN. A few people opted out of that run and that option was a good one for them, most people did it and enjoyed it.  Remember this was the self selected top level group for this clinic, all level 8 & 9 skiers.

 

Enough Bitching....  I wound up with about 45 minutes of footage from two days of that clinic.  I used the best, but could easily put together another segment.  If I do it will likely feature some funky skiing from some PSIA instructors.  None of those people asked to be featured in an Internet video so that their skiing could be ripped to shreds.  Also there is no footage of me so I get to escape the criticism from the Epic Experts.  I also have a fair amount of footage from three separate in-house video clinics where a lot of the skiers are in uniform.  IMO some of the skiing isn't ideal and there is none of me so it doesn't seem fair to share it.  The best instructors are too busy working to participate in clinics and the skiers who attend a video clinic are there to see their skiing and learn from it.    
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post

TPJ,

 

If you have more video from this event, by all means post it (we'll cheerfully tolerate the greater length  ).  

 

BTW:  What were some of the tips/suggestions they gave for skiing those slopes?

 

.ma


Edited by tetonpwdrjunkie - 9/17/10 at 7:37pm
post #16 of 26

Thanks for posting this. I really liked the little bump run with the skier in the the blue coat and black pants. The skiing looked effortless, smooth and elegant to my untrained eye and I found it inspiring -- I'd like to get good enough to ski bumps so nonchalantly.

post #17 of 26

Thanks for the reply TPJ.  No worries, the first video has plenty of good material for MA in a dryland clinic setting.   Bummer there wasn't any actual "Clinic" in that clinic.   Sounds like the leader just showed up and tried to wing it.  

 

I too used to get frustrated in clinics where nothing meaningful was delivered.  Now, I just 'get outspoken' - and quickly.  I first ask others if they're seeing/thinking what I'm seeing/thinking.   If so, I speak up right away and politely let the clinic leader know what we're currently seeing, what we want/expect - and then ask them to make the effort to deliver to our expectations, starting immediately (or the next run if they need Chair Time to get their act together).

 

Often, even before going out I ask for their planned agenda.   If they act unsure/evasive I ask if they even *have* an actual agenda or if they're just winging it.   If so I ask them to step aside, take a moment and create a meaningful agenda RIGHT NOW.   Once they've got a plan I hold them to it with constant reminders to keep on topic, openly make feedback requests or clarification requests, and incite 'let's-move-along' s when we stall somewhere.  

 

Heh - I figure if they're in that lofty, high visibility, high prestige job so they'd better damn well deliver a professional clinic!    They expect it of candidates when attempting an Exam so they'd better deliver in their own Lessons/Clinics.  (I'm lots of fun in clinics... really!  )

 

.ma

post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 

I am a big fan of Chris and his skiing and was also a bit intimidated by him as I think the clinic leader was.  I was really surprised that he wanted to do all the groomers.  I am generally much more outspoken during clinics than I was for this one, even though I really did spell it out for the DECL on the morning of day 2.  Tallskinnyguy...  I agree with you that the bump sequence with the guy in the blue coat is the best skiing in that video.  The DECLs wear green or blue coats.  My clinic leader was in green.  I might have liked being in blue coats' group as I admired his skiing quite a bit more than the skiing of my clinic leader.  I talked with some of the JH DECLs who I know very well and they all think my guy was pretty new in the position.  I liked him on a personal level and think he has a lot of potential.  Of course after two days of being disappointed and a little pissed off, I was a real joy for "Rattly" from Bambi Flats the following day.  I found Rattly to be dry and very dogmatic, but mostly competent in his clinic.  I was very outspoken and I think he was hating me by the end of the day.  At least that's the conclusion I draw when I heard that he told my friend "I was hoping that ****er wouldn't pass" when he was told I had passed an assessment the following week.  I don't hate Rattly and maybe like him a little, but he will always be a beady eyed dogmatic rodent to me.  I think my plan going forward is to be very selective about the clinics I pay for.  Some of my friends and mentors are telling me to keep my head down until I pass my last assessment.  I have definitely appeared on the radar screen of both the UT and WY examiners and have to wonder about my chances if I draw Rattly or one of his buddy's.  BTW the bump skier in the blue coat might be Rattly.  It's about a 50% probability. 

post #19 of 26

TPJ   Refreshing to see some truthful comments.  Ski schools, PSIA and a lot of clinics could use some of your honesty.  Up here (granted medium sized area and small ski school) had to get out of the ski school and start skiing with locals to get out of the mold and learn the whole mt. experience.  Otherwise I would have been a very good groomer skier but wouldn't have really experienced or taken advantage of the mountain.

post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post

TPJ   Refreshing to see some truthful comments.  Ski schools, PSIA and a lot of clinics could use some of your honesty.  Up here (granted medium sized area and small ski school) had to get out of the ski school and start skiing with locals to get out of the mold and learn the whole mt. experience.  Otherwise I would have been a very good groomer skier but wouldn't have really experienced or taken advantage of the mountain.


I was a local for 15 years before getting involved with the ski school.  IMO some of the best big mountain skiers in Jackson work for the ski school at least part time.  We have about 23 examiner level instructors on staff and many certified trainers and level 3s.  Several of our DECL level instructors heli-guide in AK every spring.  I hear stories of robotic skiing from PSIA, but don't see it much around here as the mountain itself doesn't reward that kind of skiing.  The skiing culture here including ski school IMO favors strong off-piste skiing.  I'm not so sure about some of the examiners and instructors coming up here from UT.  I am not qualified to judge them as I only see them occasionally, but that's my impression and perhaps my bias.  I certainly have seen great skiers come here from all over the world so I know better than to think we are extra special because we live in WY.  I might complain about PSIA from time to time, but it is undeniable that my skiing is much better for my involvement in focused training that I received from PSIA and more importantly in-house clinics.  Also the repetition of teaching, observing, and demoing for students has been very important for my continued development as a skier.  I was good before, but would not be where I am now without becoming an instructor.  YMMV.

post #21 of 26

Obviously JH is way different than our little hill. Don't get me wrong I am not knocking PSIA.  Have taken clinics from Chris Fellows (demo tm), Dave Achi as Pres. of PSIA West was the general manager of Homewood when I taught there, his clinics were great.  Like you though I have taken clinics that were not worth the $ or time.  The best 4 consecutive days of skiing I have ever experienced were at ESA two years ago at Big Sky. 

post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post

Obviously JH is way different than our little hill. Don't get me wrong I am not knocking PSIA.  Have taken clinics from Chris Fellows (demo tm), Dave Achi as Pres. of PSIA West was the general manager of Homewood when I taught there, his clinics were great.  Like you though I have taken clinics that were not worth the $ or time.  The best 4 consecutive days of skiing I have ever experienced were at ESA two years ago at Big Sky. 


Feel free to knock PSIA or instructors all you want.  It doesn't bother me much.  I just wanted to be clear that from where I'm standing that PSIA has helped me become a better skier than I would have been without them.  I don't love PSIA and sometimes find the organization inconsistent.  I don't know how to make the organization better, other than to outspoken about what it is that I want from them.  Probably in the end the only real way to improve it is to get directly involved and become a DECL myself.  I really don't want that and am not ready for it in any case.  There are some who have told me that I am headed that direction whether I realize it or not.  God Help Me if I ever take that thankless job.  ESA sounds like an awesome educational experience.  I would do it if I didn't already have access to such good skiing and free in-house training from some really top notch instructors here.  I also can't afford it given the fact that I am surviving on a ski instructors salary.  My goals are more in-line with someday being tapped to be an ESA instructor.  From what I can tell that would be a big accomplishment and I'm not holding my breath waiting for that call.

post #23 of 26

If I ever take a steeps clinic, I want MichaelA in my group.

post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

If I ever take a steeps clinic, I want MichaelA in my group.

I think I agree with that statement.  
 

post #25 of 26

 Epic is sort of amazing - especially if one has the ability to read between the lines.  I have a lot of respect for some of the Epic posters and a few of them I have never met.  Not including some past racers and NASTC owners and instructors, Epic has some really awesome skiers.  Have only skied with a few but boy what a humbling experience.  Sorry if I seem off subject but..................

post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post

 Epic has some really awesome skiers.  Have only skied with a few but boy what a humbling experience.


 

Technically speaking, I've never skied with them, way behind them would be more precise!

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