1. ALF ENGEN SKI SCHOOL, ALTA, UTAH
You rip on steeps, weave through bumps and tear through race courses with fearless abandon, but when it comes to powder¿especially chunky powder¿your technique falls apart. Chances are good that a few tweaks are all you need, and Alta's instructors are just the folks to suggest the necessary adjustments. After all, the school's founder¿Alf Engen¿is considered the father of powder technique. So, sign on for an hour, or a week, and lose the last weak link in your lineup.
Log onto www.alta.com, or call 801-359-1078.
2. CHRIS ANTHONY'S ADVENTURE FREESKIING CAMPS, ARAPAHOE BASIN, COLO.
Once a season, Chris Anthony brings his Adventure Freeskiing Camps to Colorado's legendary A-Basin. Anthony, the1996 Alaskan Extreme Skiing Champion, combines steep skiing with technical backcountry training in this two-day camp. Participants can expect a strong component of aggressive skiing tied together with instructional tips on skiing technique and high-altitude hiking. The curriculum educates skiers on the best types of equipment, route selection, snow cave construction and avalanche and snow safety. The camp emphasizes adventure and attitude. This season, the two-day camp is being held April 27-28, 2002 and costs $250 (or $200 if you book before April 1), including two lift tickets, lunch and an apres-ski party.
Log onto www.arapahoebasin.com, or call 970-496-7077.
3. BABES IN THE BACKCOUNTRY, COLORADO CLINICS
These clinics are for any woman 18 or older who has the urge to learn not just how to survive, but how to thrive in the backcountry. Telemark freeskiing champion Leslie Ross started the program six years ago, and this winter she and her staff lead eight clinics from December through April. Pick from two-day workshops at various ski resorts or two- and three-day inclusive overnight backcountry cabin/yurt workshops. Participants will learn about avalanches and winter snow pack, as well as the skills necessary to react appropriately if an avalanche occurs. Topics range from weather, snowpack, avalanche phenomena, terrain analysis, stability evaluation, human factors, risk assessment, rescue techniques and beacons to route selection, safe travel techniques, basic map skills, appropriate backcountry equipment, clothing and nutrition needs. Clinics are available for both introductory and intermediate level backcountry users. All clinics are taught by American Avalanche Association Professionals and follow the AAA guidelines for backcountry and avalanche classes. Ross and her crew are dedicated to creating a non-stressful, supportive teaching atmosphere.
Log onto www.backcountrybabes.com, or call 970-453-4060.
4. CANADIAN MOUNTAIN HOLIDAYS, BRITISH COLUMBIA
In life, there are few guarantees. And when you book a ski vacation, there's no guarantee the snow is going to be abundant¿unless you book a trip with a heliski operator that works out of a region known for reliable snow. Such is the case with CMH, which has been offering guests deep powder skiing for more than 30 years. With 11 remote British Columbia heliskiing areas (Adamants, Bobbie Burns, Bugaboos, Cariboos, Galena, Gothics, Kootenay, McBride, Monashees, Revelstoke, Valemount) CMH accesses almost 10,000 square miles of terrain! If you're up to the task, CMH will show you the way. The company hosts comprehensive three- and four-day trips to the Kootenays and seven-day trips everywhere else.
Log onto www.cmhski.com, or call 800-661-0252.
5. ERNIE BLAKE SKI SCHOOL, TAOS SKI VALLEY, NEW MEXICO
The late Ernie Blake was a salty resort developer and teacher who resisted instructional convention and embraced international ski teachers who shared his love for Taos' steep, snowy, isolated valley. The ski school's philosophy remains, "To instill a love for the mountain, the sport of skiing and the lifestyle of Taos." The long-standing Taos Ski Weeek is relaxed and provides a unique opportunity for skiers of all levels to improve. And because of the mountain's steep, hike-to terrain, that includes those who think they have nothing left to learn. Like many other great schools, Taos focuses more on the total experience and less on the nuts and bolts of technique.
Log onto www.taos.com, or call 505-776-8596.
6. KILLINGTON, VERMONT, PERFECT TURN PROGRAM
Learning to ski need not be painful¿or expensive¿if you know where to go. Killington makes it easy: The day starts indoors, where newbies are outfitted with gear appropriate to their size and athletic abilities. After you're outfitted, you're coached on basic technique and what to expect, so that the transition to the slopes is painless. One day, with gear, costs just $65; a two-day program, $125; three days, $150. By day three, Killington guarantees you'll be skiing from the summit.
Log onto www.killington.com, or call 800-621-6867.
7. MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN, CALIF., ROSSIGNOL RACE CAMP
This seven-day adult recreation camp for skiers and racers of all ability levels is coached by a combination of local Masters coaches and celebrity guest coaches. In 2001, the coaching roster included, Sarah Schleper, David Mannetter (12-year veteran of Demo Team). Mike Tache, Sean Worman, Greg Tim and more. The $1,350 cost is all-inclusive and covers everything from lift tickets and coaching to lodging and food. This season, the camp is slated for May 4-12, 2002.
Log onto www.Rossignol.com., or call 760-934-2571.
8. SQUAW VALLEY, CALIF.
The Squaw Valley Ski and Snowboard School offers various clinics that can help ambitious intermediate to advanced level skiers achieve confident, fluid technique in all terrain or conditions. These challenging programs include advanced ski clinics, just for women clinics, telemark clinics, snowboard clinics and adult racing programs.
Log onto www.squawvalley.com, or call 530-581-7263.
9. TAOS, NEW MEXICO, The Taos Ski Week
In December 1999 SKI Magazine, we named the Ernie Blake Ski School one of the nation's best ski schools. The long-standing Taos Ski Week provides an opportunity for skiers of all levels to improve, and the mountain's super challenging terrain ensures even experts will reach new skiing heights. Cost: about $200 for six days of instruction.
Log onto www.skitaos.org, or call 505-776-2291.
10. TELLURIDE, COLO., SKI FOREVER WEEK
If you're frustrated by how the years are taking their toll on what and how you ski, Ski Forever Weeks may be for you. No doubt, our bodies change as we age, but if you learn about the nature of these changes, then you can learn to accommodate them with through adjustments to technique and equipment, and even clothing and accessories. Throughout Ski Forever Week, Telluride's ski professionals carefully evaluate your biomechanical alignment, recommend appropriate adjustments, and teach you simple, effective skiing techniques. The five-day clinic includes a welcome reception and orientation, daily on-snow coaching, a biomechanical alignment session, demo equipment, video analysis, a function-oriented fashion show, morning and evening seminars, an afternoon of pampering at the Golden Door Spa at The Peaks, casual social gatherings and a farewell dinner. Jan. 28- Feb. 1, 2002; $575.
Log onto www.telski.com, or call 970-728-6900.