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What is the best way to improve, when you can only ski 1 or 2 days a year.

Christy

Angel Diva
Again just as an example, here's how Whistler does things. All abilities can do group lessons; you choose your level from their chart with 1 being beginner and 6 being expert.

Daily Group Ski or Snowboard Lessons (18+ years)​

Group lessons create the perfect environment to build your confidence while you learn and discover the incredible mountains.
  • Full Day lessons meet at 9:45 AM and end at 3:00 PM
  • Half Day lessons meet at 12:30 PM and end at 3:00 PM
  • Beginner Skiers/Snowboarders meet at the base of Fitzsimmons Express Chair or the base of Blackcomb Gondola
  • Alpine Advanced Skiers/Snowboarders meet in the alpine (Intermediate skier to Expert Skier).

Half Day PM (Level 1 only)​

  • $189 Lesson Only

Full Day (Level 1-6)​

  • $319 Lesson Only

3rd Day Free Group Ski or Snowboard Lessons​

To qualify for the Third Day Free Program, lessons must be on consecutive days. Blackout dates apply.

3 Full Days (Level 1-6)​

  • $638 Lesson Only
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Winter Park is another resort that has group lessons for every ability level. I was surprised they went up to Black and Double-Black. I know one of the L3 instructors who teaches those level, if anyone shows up and wants to be taught on black/double-black terrain.

May be an option at Telluride too. I remember seeing a lot of flags where lesson groups started out. Telluride has Green, Double Green, Blue, and Double Blue for sure.
 

Skier31

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Winter Park is another resort that has group lessons for every ability level. I was surprised they went up to Black and Double-Black. I know one of the L3 instructors who teaches those level, if anyone shows up and wants to be taught on black/double-black terrain.

May be an option at Telluride too. I remember seeing a lot of flags where lesson groups started out. Telluride has Green, Double Green, Blue, and Double Blue for sure.
Many resorts have lessons. Sadly, there are lots of instructors with varying skill levels in terms of teaching. I am not trying to disparage anyone. I have been fortunate enough to train with several excellent instructors, all of whom have been examiners in the Rocky mountain region.

Proper ski stance along with proper boot fitting can be key to dealing with the issue. It is super critical to get an instructor who understands this and not just some random instructor at any resort.
 

Lmk92

Angel Diva
I see there's a women's ski week coming up at Taos. Had I had any idea of just how much help I need, I'd have my bags packed and a ride arranged for the airport!

You ladies are the best. I'll do what I can for the remainder of this season, and at the very least, I'll have a plan for early next season!
 

Skier31

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I would be willing to do a 2 day clinic in the early season. I can teach at any resort in Colorado. People can book me through the Aspen Ski School. If Several people split a private lesson, it can be very cost-effective.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
How can I tell if I’m in the backseat?
Here's a very good diagnostic exercise. Doing it will tell you if you are in the back seat.
--Get yourself on a low pitch slope that is not crowded. The bunny slope is ok for this. So is a green slope.
--Head across the slope. Look uphill to make sure no one is uphill of you getting ready to come down. You don't want to be heading across the slope when they head down. Wait till the way is clear.
-- Push off heading across the slope. Lift the tail of your uphill ski, just the tail, while keeping its tip on the snow. Lift that tail, set it back down, lift it, set it down. Repeat all the way across the slope. You can make the tail come down with a "thump." This is an exercise called "thumpers."
--Think of it this way: lift the heel of your foot, while keeping your toes pointing down. That should get the tail up with the tip down.
--Do this as you head across the slope. Tail up, tail down, tail up, tail down, tip stays down on snow. Thump thump thump. When you get to the end, turn around and do it in the other direction.

Can you do it?

If your tip keeps rising, you are in the back seat. If the whole ski keeps rising, you are in the back seat. If you can't lift the tail nor the tip, you have another issue. You are not putting all your weight on the downhill ski. In your turns you need to be able to do this. So keep trying to stand on that downhill ski so you can work on lifting the uphill ski's tail without lifting its tip off the snow.

If you can do the tail lifting, you probably are not in the back seat. Congratulations!

If you can't, bend the ankle of your downhill leg so your shin tilts forward, lift your hips up up up, and hold your hands forward as if you are holding a cafeteria tray out front. Try thumpers again until you can do it.

Once you can do thumpers on low pitch terrain, teach yourself to do it on steeper runs. All you need is one traverse in each direction to diagnose whether or not you're avoiding skiing in the back seat.
Whenever you have trouble, bend the ankle of your downhill leg, lift your hips up up up, and hold your imaginary cafeteria tray out front, then try thumping again. This should work.
 
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marzNC

Angel Diva
I see there's a women's ski week coming up at Taos. Had I had any idea of just how much help I need, I'd have my bags packed and a ride arranged for the airport!

You ladies are the best. I'll do what I can for the remainder of this season, and at the very least, I'll have a plan for early next season!
When you go back to Elk, you could get the names of the L3 instructors there. Not sure he's still there but one of the most respected PSIA-E trainers was at Elk a decade ago. I observed him doing a training clinic at Massanutten for L3 instructors who were interested in trying out for the PSIA Demo Team at some point. My instructor was in the clinic.

Elk used to have 1-day clinics for women on the first Saturday of the month in Jan-Mar. When I did it the advanced group had 4 students and the instructor was L3. The other women were all locals and did the clinic annually. One was the wife of a ski patroller.

I know you had a lesson when we went to Timberline. That might be an idea for early season, or at least early January. Especially if you can find a Diva or two to do it with you. I learn a lot when an instructor is teaching a friend, even if they ski at a different level.

You might see if Big SNOW does lessons during the summer.
 

Lmk92

Angel Diva
I would be willing to do a 2 day clinic in the early season. I can teach at any resort in Colorado. People can book me through the Aspen Ski School. If Several people split a private lesson, it can be very cost-effec

Here's a very good diagnostic exercise. Doing it will tell you if you are in the back seat.
--Get yourself on a low pitch slope that is not crowded. The bunny slope is ok for this. So is a green slope.
--Head across the slope. Look uphill to make sure no one is uphill of you getting ready to come down. You don't want to be heading across the slope when they head down. Wait till the way is clear.
-- Push off heading across the slope. Lift the tail of your uphill ski, just the tail, while keeping its tip on the snow. Lift that tail, set it back down, lift it, set it down. Repeat all the way across the slope. You can make the tail come down with a "thump." This is an exercise called "thumpers."
--Think of it this way: lift the heel of your foot, while keeping your toes pointing down. That should get the tail up with the tip down.
--Do this as you head across the slope. Tail up, tail down, tail up, tail down, tip stays down on snow. Thump thump thump. When you get to the end, turn around and do it in the other direction.

Can you do it?

If your tip keeps rising, you are in the back seat. If the whole ski keeps rising, you are in the back seat. If you can't lift the tail nor the tip, you have another issue. You are not putting all your weight on the downhill ski. In your turns you need to be able to do this. So keep trying to stand on that downhill ski so you can work on lifting the uphill ski's tail without lifting its tip off the snow.

If you can do the tail lifting, you probably are not in the back seat. Congratulations!

If you can't, bend the ankle of your downhill leg so your shin tilts forward, lift your hips up up up, and hold your hands forward as if you are holding a cafeteria tray out front. Try thumpers again until you can do it.

Once you can do thumpers on low pitch terrain, teach yourself to do it on steeper runs. All you need is one traverse in each direction to diagnose whether or not you're avoiding skiing in the back seat.
Whenever you have trouble, bend the ankle of your downhill leg, lift your hips up up up, and hold your imaginary cafeteria tray out front, then try thumping again. This should work.
Definitely trying this today. Good stuff, thank you!
 

Lmk92

Angel Diva
When you go back to Elk, you could get the names of the L3 instructors there. Not sure he's still there but one of the most respected PSIA-E trainers was at Elk a decade ago. I observed him doing a training clinic at Massanutten for L3 instructors who were interested in trying out for the PSIA Demo Team at some point. My instructor was in the clinic.

Elk used to have 1-day clinics for women on the first Saturday of the month in Jan-Mar. When I did it the advanced group had 4 students and the instructor was L3. The other women were all locals and did the clinic annually. One was the wife of a ski patroller.

I know you had a lesson when we went to Timberline. That might be an idea for early season, or at least early January. Especially if you can find a Diva or two to do it with you. I learn a lot when an instructor is teaching a friend, even if they ski at a different level.

You might see if Big SNOW does lessons during the summer.
I think the woman who ran that either retired or no longer does it. My instructor mentioned it, and my daughter and I actually did a clinic years ago. Timberline and the clinic at Holiday Valley are definitely on my radar for next season, and my daughter wants to go to Taos next year if she's not in Africa.

I know my instructor the other day was not L3 (I had asked his wife when I found out he was an instructor), but he spotted my issue right away. He did encourage me to sign up for the instructor training they do in December, so I may do that as well next season. Fingers crossed for good snow!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I know my instructor the other day was not L3 (I had asked his wife when I found out he was an instructor), but he spotted my issue right away. He did encourage me to sign up for the instructor training they do in December, so I may do that as well next season. Fingers crossed for good snow!
Instructor training is a very good way to improve ski technique. If I lived within an hour of Massanutten, I probably would've done that for a season at some point in the last 15 years. But not practical living 4 hours away. Also would have needed to commit to being around quite a bit the first season and I was more interested in going out west by the time I understood what PSIA training and credentials meant.

A L2 instructor who has been teaching 10+ years at the same small resort can be quite helpful for an intermediate, especially a skier with bad habits that they want to deal with. Most likely the instructor can relate to the journey required to ingrain new habits.

Small ski schools like Elk and Massanutten that have had a PSIA Examiner and multiple L3 instructors on staff (who help with instructor clinics) can be great places to take lessons, instead of heading to destination resorts.

I think the woman who ran that either retired or no longer does it. My instructor mentioned it, and my daughter and I actually did a clinic years ago. Timberline and the clinic at Holiday Valley are definitely on my radar for next season, and my daughter wants to go to Taos next year if she's not in Africa.
Too bad the Elk Women's Clinic went away. The same happened with the Silver Clinic at Massanutten over Over 50. Although in that case the instructor is still around, but was needed for general lessons and training.

Hope you can figure out how to get to Taos. There will undoubtedly be a few weeks that Divas will be doing a Ski Week during the season, in addition to the annual Women's Ski Week. That seems to have settled on happening in late Feb.
 

Lmk92

Angel Diva
I'm definitely having an issue with the terms, and rereading the Aha Moment thread. Uphill, inside, soon-to-be, etc. Working through it, though.
 

echo_VT

Angel Diva
I am a skier stuck in Alabama. I'm a VERY solid intermediate. I can confidently ski black terrain in Colorado that doesn't have moguls. I've skied when I can over 30 years. I also lived in Denver for a while and skied a lot more regularly. (Again, I don't post here very often; I completely messed up when I made my username FOREVER ago). I say this all to say I'm not just someone who thinks they can ski well but is out of control, etc. As my Norwegian expert skier family has attested, I'm actually a good skier.

As far back as I can remember, the biggest thing standing in my way on ski days is that I get really sore legs. After reading and talking with my family, who have observed me skiing, I realized it's probably because I've been skiing in the backseat my whole life. It honestly probably started when I started being an intermediate skier in the 90s and my Dad used a harness on me.
I really want to get over this, and I'm willing even to take a trip to help me with this because it's cutting into my ability to enjoy ski vacation. My legs can feel completely done for the day after two runs. NOT FUN. I know I could be in better shape, but it's not the only issue here.
I'm also SUPER short on money. Especially since I will have to travel to make this happen. I've been looking at lessons for my ski ability. I know for most resorts, my only choice is a private one. I phased out of their adult group lessons 25 years ago.

Also, to further this issue. I most likely have something called dyspraxia. Short story: body awareness isn't something I have a lot of. If you're somewhat aware of what dyspraxia is, know I have an exceptionally mild case, and it looks VERY different in each person.

Any tips are so appreciated.
Leg day, core day, and glutes day at the gym in the preceding 1-2 months before a ski holiday in order to continually ski for a ski holiday. @empogo turned me on to lifting, and not only does it make me feel better but it’s also great for lasting out there skiing for consecutive long days on hill… best of luck OP!
 

Skier31

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
One of the things that I used during my four hour journey was an external cue of keeping my heel pieces of my binding behind my hips.

At first, the seem very strange, and it involved a bit of turning around and looking to make sure it was happening.
I started out on green runs, and when I could successfully do that, gradually increase the steepness of the hill.
What I thought was centered was really not. This was an eye-opening experience.



I started out on green runs, and when I could successfully do that, gradually increase the steepness of the hill.

Also, before you start skiing, stand on your tiptoes and feel your heels come up. Relax your ankles and feel your heels go down. When you are skiing, concentrate on feeling your whole foot, having contact with the bottom of the boot.

Open and close your ankle to move yourself forward or backward.

Use your shin, touching the front of the boot as a sensor. If your shin loses contact with the front of the boot, you are likely back.

Play with the extremes, so you can feel what is right or wrong.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Uphill? Outside ski?
If you are heading across the slope doing that exercise I recommended, you will not be making any turns. You will be coasting across in a traverse.

There's an uphill and a downhill ski all the way across the slope. When you get to the edge of the slope, come to a stop, turn around, go across the other way in another traverse. No turns, just traverses. That should make uphill/downhill ski easy to figure out. (Granted, uphill/downhill and inside/outside gets confusing when talking about turns.)

Does that help?
 

Lmk92

Angel Diva
If you are heading across the slope doing that exercise I recommended, you will not be making any turns. You will be coasting across in a traverse.

There's an uphill and a downhill ski all the way across the slope. When you get to the edge of the slope, come to a stop, turn around, go across the other way in another traverse. No turns, just traverses. That should make uphill/downhill ski easy to figure out. (Granted, uphill/downhill and inside/outside gets confusing when talking about turns.)

Does that help?
Yes! Thanks!!
 

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