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Hey Tag,
I know Cal Cantrell from years ago when he was a big mucky muck in the
certification process for PSIA. I saw him a couple of years ago hanging out
at Aspen.  I know him through a friend of mine, Ray Smalls who still
instructs at Aspen.  I'm curious about what you thought of him (back channel
if you want).
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tag Gross" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2003 10:14 AM
Subject: Re: Ski Instruction?


> I agree with you 100%. Instruction is not only necessary but it's fun!
Some
> of my best ski experiences have been with instructors. Yes I did patrol,
My
> dad was the patrol leader at Belleayre and one of my uncle's has an NSPS
> first aid award named in his memory. My other uncle was one of the first
> employees in Jackson Hole and also worked for Ski the Rockies which was a
> trade group that particpated in those big Harry Leonard (?) ski shows that
> used to come around. They all had very low National numbers. My first
major
> injury occured at Belleayre in 1963. My father and Hans Kraus (who taught
me
> how to climb) set my leg on the hill.
>
> One of my memories from patrolling is when an instructor broke his femur
> during a jumping contest. They brought out the Thomas splints to put him
> into traction but the guy was about 6'8" and there was no way they would
> fit. We came on the scene with all these people scratching their heads and
> not knwoing what to do. My dad was completely unfazed and put him into
> traction using the guys own ski. It was pretty cool to watch. There was
> another femur where the guy had a huge bulge on his leg. You couldn't even
> touch the guy without his screaming. He was finally transported to the
> hospital in Margaretville where the x-ray revealed that nothing was wrong
> with him and that the big bulge was a wad of cash! I always enjoyed
> patroling but the time commitment made it impossible to continue. When I
> finally had the time again the patrol scene had really changed. Many
> mountains were not NSPS patrols anymore and some required EMT
> certifications!
>
> My father was roommates with a guy named Cal Cantrell who was really
> instrumental in helping setup the PSIA and also the Amateur association so
> getting instruction was always something that was believed in. I spent
many
> winter vacations in JH where I skied with Pepi Stiegler and many other
great
> teachers. I spent more than a few ski weeks in Stowe skiing with Stu
> Campbell. These people were not only great skiers but they were great
> teachers not only because they were able to give me technical knowledge
but
> because they shared with me their love of the mountains and the sport. I
was
> fortunate to have this background because I know how great an experience a
> day with a good instructor is.
>
> After 40 years, I still take lessons. It's a great way to learn a new
> mountain and to be shown it's in and outs and to improve your skiing. I
have
> many lifelong friendships that have developed with my instructors. With
that
> said, it's really important to get a good instructor. Here is the best
> advice I can give anyone:
>
>
> Private lesson:
>
> Don't waste your time on a 1 hour private lesson. They are useless. Go for
a
> minimum of a half day and if you are out west then go ahead and get a full
> day. It is money well spent. However, you must make it clear to the ski
> school when you book the lesson what you are looking for. I can tell you
> that if you do this you will not be dissapointed. Be specific. If you are
> truly an expert skier then say so and tell them that you want someone at
the
> level of a staff trainer. If all you want is bumps tell them. For example:
> years ago I was going to Vail. I called ahead to book the lesson and
> explained my ability level and my goals. I spent two days skiing with
Franz
> Fuchsberger and have some great vid (something he arranged for free
because
> he was having fun) of us making 8's in the back bowls. Of course he would
go
> on to become the powder 8 champion! These are the types of skiers that are
> available to teach you!
>
> Group Lesson:
>
> Unfortunately many ski areas have ruined the group lesson by listening to
> focus groups of people who don't ski or have never taken a lesson. Groups
> used to be a half or a full day and of course there used to be entire ski
> weeks. Oh well that aside, If you are an upper level skier then group
> lessons can be amazing. Very rarely will there be another skier of your
> ability in the group. Perhaps there will be one or two others so you end
up
> with essentially a private lessson. Now sometimes a supervisor will try to
> feed you the line that because you are the only one in the group that you
> are getting a private for the price of a group and therefore the lesson
will
> only be an hour. Don't agree with this insist on the full time. The
> instructor you have will be happy also because he's going to go rip!
> Supervisors will also try to group you with people who are not really at
> your level. Don't let this happen either. Speak up.
>
> Don't forget that liftlines are no longer a problem when in a lesson.
>
> Remember that whether you are in a group lesson or a private that if you
are
> not happy that you speak up and try and tell the instructor what you are
> looking for. If that doesn't work you should complain to the ski school
and
> get your money back or another lesson. The make good lesson is almost
always
> good because they are going to make sure to assign one of their top
> instructors to you to make you happy. Every ski school has a number of
very
> lame teachers but they also have a number of amazing ones. Once you
connect
> with one of these you will have a great experience.
>
> Skiing is also very personal. No matter how much organizations like PSIA
try
> to homogenize it, everyone has a personal style. There are examiners in
PSIA
> who I have absolutely no desire to ski like. On the other hand being able
to
> follow and emulate a Jerry Berg or a Terry Barbour is amazing. You need to
> dig the style of the person teaching you also.
>
> If you are patrolling at a mountain then usually there will be a program
> where the ski school takes the patrol out to work on their skiing for
free.
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Vermont Skiing Discussion and Snow Reports
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Mark P. Renson
> Sent: Monday, September 29, 2003 9:13 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [SKIVT-L] Ski Instruction?
>
>
> On Monday, September 22, 2003 9:29 AM, Tag Gross wrote:
> >
> >       [blah-blah, good stuff, good advice, blah-blah]
>
> > As I recall from taking the senior exam 25 years ago there are
> > certain tasks that are required. Ie: straight running a loaded
> toboggan into a
> > box and having to stop inside it. Make sure you know exactly what
> those
> > tasks are and then see if you can go over them with your
> instructor.
>
>         Plus, I strongly encourage instruction.  Absolutely nobody in my
> family - including extended - skis, so I learned it from friends at
> age 20-21. I guess you can sorta' say that skiing is my own monster.
>  In the early years, I never took a formal lesson .... and then,
> CRUNCH, I sufferred a severe leg injury.  This explains why I have a
> bit of a distinct gait.  After that, I started taking lessons on a
> regular basis just to keep my head above water and to ensure that I
> increase my chances of avoiding injury.
>
>         Tag, you're inferring you patrolled?  If "yes", any comments?I
> think you mentioned that your dad patrolled at Belleayre.
>
> Mark
>
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