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In case you haven’t noticed, the best ski instructors aren’t always teaching bump classes to tourists from Topeka. They’re flashing steeps, making tough conditions look easy, and taking air—and they’re doing it all at customized ski camps with a pack of aspiring rippers in tow. Last winter we sent five above-average students to North America’s top ski camps for a little spiffing up. They came back with the skills to freeheel elevator shafts, stomp technical mountaineering lines, fly off cliffs, and generally mute-grab anything…anytime. All right, so that’s a lot of hype. The truth is, they survived—and they seemed to have picked up a trick or two along the way.