14th December 2016
This is Lars checking in from Jasper. I’m currently doing the 3 Week Instructor Program here at Marmot Basin.
After months of emails and anticipation, I finally flew out to Edmonton last week to spend my gap year skiing and working in the Canadian Rockies. In the following, I will briefly summarize the past week of training we had with Jezz, who is the local Simply Snowsports representative and the lead senior instructor at the Marmot Basin ski school, to give you an idea of what we have been working on.
Wow, it’s beautiful here! Driving up to the ski resort the first morning was quite the experience with the rising sun painting the sky pink, offering amazing views once we reached the top (it doesn’t hurt either that Marmot Basin is located in a national park...). We primarily worked on the essentials on this day, including a centered and mobile stance over the ski and bending the right joints at the right time during turns (keyword: hip!).
The agenda: how to turn. Sound’s easy, right? Well think again, there is more to it than one might think. We spent the day learning how to initiate turns properly and how to sustain pressure throughout the movement (keyword: outside leg!)
On this day, we combined what we had learned on the previous two days: how can we employ our body movements to add even more pressure during turns. For me personally, this helped to gain control and balance beyond what I thought was possible (keywords: inclination and angulation!).
Having acquired a solid foundation over the last few days, we used this day to further refine our technique by adding vertical mobility and trying to use the edges on our skis even more. In particular, we tried to increase grip my tipping over our outside ski and sustaining that position by keeping the outside leg straight. We also spent some time learning how to structure a beginner lesson (keyword: expert snowplow!).
On this day, we took our newly acquired skills to some more challenging terrain (of which you can find lots at Marmot Basin if that’s what you’re into). We learned that the fundamentals are applicable not only on groomers but also softer snow. Our focus was on having patience while initiating the turn and leaning down the hill even when slopes got steeper (keyword: rolling inside leg!).
Today, we spent time on further working out the kinks of a perfect turn. Also, we used a video camera to analyze how our skiing has developed over the last days – and it’s quite remarkable! But of course, there is still lots of work left. For example, I still struggle with bending my knees too much and not bending my hip enough, but we’re definitely getting there (keyword: bring ski forward!).
In summary, I can hardly believe what we have achieved during the past week. You would be surprised how much and how quickly Jezz can improve your skiing. So far, I can highly recommend this program and am excited for what’s yet to come! I also think that this course truly is for everyone, since Jezz creates a fun learning environment that everyone can benefit from, no matter how skilled or experienced they are. In our case, for example, we have a former racer and someone who has only skied for four weeks in their life (and who killed it today on a powdery black diamond run!) in our group. Nobody gets left behind and we are all having fun.
That’s it from me for now, hope you enjoyed reading this. I might write another one later on in the course or once I start working at the ski school.
Disclaimer: I wasn’t paid to sugarcoat things, this is my genuine experience. There might have been liquid incentives though to sit down and come up with this blog post...