Advanced/Expert Lessons, any Friday deals?
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BackInDC
4 months ago
Member since 03/18/2021 🔗
10 posts

Wondering if anyone has suggestions on getting good value lessons for advanced/expert skiers.

I have Fridays off this season (law student), and I'm interested in taking advantage with some day trips to local mountains. At the risk of sounding snobbish, most of the mountains within a reasonable day trip of DC get boring for me pretty quickly unless there are powder conditions, especially if I'm skiing solo

I would be interested in improving my skiing though, I figure that with the local terrain I could work on my on-piste carving much more than powder or glade skiing. I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for good instruction in at local mountains for high level skiers. Is private the way to go? or are there any group lessons? Does anyone know of a any good deals for midweek lessons?

Leo
4 months ago (edited 4 months ago)
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
297 posts

This is my opinion, as someone who taught at a local mid A resort for 6 or 7 years:

Your best best would be to decide on the resort or resorts you want to ski and then be assertive talking to people there, both inside and outside of the ski school.  If you really want advanced/expert instruction there are only going to be so many instructors at any given mid A resort that are well versed and experienced enough with that to make it worth your while, because the overwhelming vast majority of the lessons are pretty much the opposite of that (i.e. beginner lessons).  

Being that you're in law school, you might not have the flexibility for this but the other kind of out there suggestion I'll throw out is to get your PSIA level 1 cert.  I was blessed and did my in-house training and clinics with my boss at the time who was a great skier, instructor, and also one of the guys who did level 1 and 2 certification locally for PSIA.  So I got to learn and ski with him a lot.  But outside of my time with him, the single most helpful thing I ever did to improve my own skiing was to get certified.  Without getting too long winded -- while the process focuses a lot on teaching you how to teach, when you get a bunch of good skiers together with top notch guys like the guys running certification for the PSIA, it inevitably turns into a bit of an expert group lesson as well.

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
4 months ago
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,936 posts

I'm surprised that Leo didn't also suggest that you ask for a PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) Level 3 certified instructor. At least you will know that the instructor has demonstrated solid technique during their certification exams. Whether or not you connect with the teacher is another matter, and a good instructor will be able to determine your learning style. Do you learn by seeing, doing, feeling, or hearing? Better if you can get one of the resort's Examiners. These are instructors that conduct the various certification exams.

 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
4 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,800 posts

BackInDC wrote:

Wondering if anyone has suggestions on getting good value lessons for advanced/expert skiers.

I have Fridays off this season (law student), and I'm interested in taking advantage with some day trips to local mountains. At the risk of sounding snobbish, most of the mountains within a reasonable day trip of DC get boring for me pretty quickly unless there are powder conditions, especially if I'm skiing solo

I would be interested in improving my skiing though, I figure that with the local terrain I could work on my on-piste carving much more than powder or glade skiing. I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for good instruction in at local mountains for high level skiers. Is private the way to go? or are there any group lessons? Does anyone know of a any good deals for midweek lessons?

Needs to be a private lesson.  There are not even that many places doing group lessons for beginners right now.

Massanutten has several Level 3 instructors who are great for advanced lessons.  I've worked with most of them in the past decade at one time or another.  What I learned was not only drills to improve technique but also how to use groomed trails for practice. I actually am less bored skiing Mnut or any small hill now that I have a collection of ways to practice in my head.

You probably could get a better deal cost-wise going to Bryce.  Also a shorter drive.  Call and talk to the Ski School Director about what you are looking for.  Ask if they have a Level 3 instructor available on Fridays.

Bryce and Mnut are on Indy.  Could get 2 days at each for whatever the Indy Pass costs now.  But midweek lift tickets aren't that expensive so might not be worth it unless you could also fit in a couple days at Canaan Valley.

Liberty also has a strong ski school.  But only makes sense if you have an Epic pass.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
4 months ago (edited 4 months ago)
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,800 posts

Laurel Hill Crazie wrote:

I'm surprised that Leo didn't also suggest that you ask for a PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) Level 3 certified instructor. At least you will know that the instructor has demonstrated solid technique during their certification exams. Whether or not you connect with the teacher is another matter, and a good instructor will be able to determine your learning style. Do you learn by seeing, doing, feeling, or hearing? Better if you can get one of the resort's Examiners. These are instructors that conduct the various certification exams.

 

 Agree that any Level 3 instructor has the potential for a great lesson.  I've worked with almost 20 different Level 3 instructors at this point between Mnut and destination resorts.

However, if you can get a recommendation by name there are also Level 2 instructors with enough teaching experience to be helpful for an advanced skier willing to work on fundamentals on blue trails.  A part-time Level 2 who also has a day job may have plenty of reasons not to take the time and money to go on to deal with the Level 3 exams.

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
4 months ago (edited 4 months ago)
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,936 posts


marzNC wrote:

 Agree that any Level 3 instructor has the potential for a great lesson.  I've worked with almost 20 different Level 3 instructors at this point between Mnut and destination resorts.

However, if you can get a recommendation by name there are also Level 2 instructors with enough teaching experience to be helpful for an advanced skier willing to work on fundamentals on blue trails.  A part-time Level 2 who also has a day job may have plenty of reasons not to take the time and money to go on to deal with the Level 3 exams.

Yes, there are very good L2s who choose not to go for L3, especially here in the Mid-A. L3 takes a big commitment of time and money, money that usually can't be recouped from teaching.

BackInDC
4 months ago
Member since 03/18/2021 🔗
10 posts

Great tips, thanks all. It seems like a lesson from a level 3 instructor at Massanutten or Bryce is the way to go (or the right level 2, any suggestions at either of those resorts)

Looks like a 2 hour lesson at Massanutten would be $220 (if there is no discount on the 2nd hour) vs $180 at Bryce. Lift tickets would be the same cost for me with the Massanutten college discounts on Fridays. Do people think Massanutten is worth $40? Only 8 trails at Bryce has me feeling nervous about boredom in like an hour.

BackInDC
4 months ago (edited 4 months ago)
Member since 03/18/2021 🔗
10 posts

I just looked at Blue Knob and weekday lessons are only $65 an hour! Does anyone have experience with the quality of instruction there?

marzNC - DCSki Supporter 
4 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,800 posts

BackInDC wrote:

Great tips, thanks all. It seems like a lesson from a level 3 instructor at Massanutten or Bryce is the way to go (or the right level 2, any suggestions at either of those resorts)

Looks like a 2 hour lesson at Massanutten would be $220 (if there is no discount on the 2nd hour) vs $180 at Bryce. Lift tickets would be the same cost for me with the Massanutten college discounts on Fridays. Do people think Massanutten is worth $40? Only 8 trails at Bryce has me feeling nervous about boredom in like an hour.

 Bryce is well known for their race team.  So if carving is of more interest, then saving the driving time and having a cheaper lesson might be worth it.  Bryce is indeed smaller than Mnut.  So you probably wouldn't end up free skiing quite as long after the lesson.

As for Mnut instructors, look for a PM.  They have several Level 3 instructors and I would expect a few to be working on a Friday.  With advanced notice, there are times when a supervisor or trainer can be available for a lesson.  I made arrangements for my friends to have lessons over the MLK long weekend.  It was easier because I could stop by the ski school desk in person.  On a holiday weekend, it was hard to get through by phone.

There are three longer blue or black groomers at Mnut.  Two off the Peak quad to the top, plus Upper/Lower Showtime off the Ridge Triple (formerly Lift 5).  There are times when Paradice has bumps on the left side.  I expect that Upper MakAttack will have bumps by this weekend.  Once there is enough of a base, that trail is not groomed unless the bumps get completely icy.  So for an advanced skier Mnut has more interesting terrain.  Also easier driving since it's right off US33.  No 2-lane roads before reaching the resort.  I-66 to I-81 to US33 in Harrisonburg.  Do not follow GPS instructions to take US340.

Shotmaker
4 months ago
Member since 02/18/2014 🔗
108 posts
Drew Miller @ Snowshoe. L3 for 20 years. He is young 40ish. Also helps with the race program. You will be very happy with his communication skills. Request him ask for his availability on a Friday. 
SuicideSix
3 months ago (edited 3 months ago)
Member since 01/23/2022 🔗
9 posts

BackInDC wrote:

Wondering if anyone has suggestions on getting good value lessons for advanced/expert skiers.

I have Fridays off this season (law student), and I'm interested in taking advantage with some day trips to local mountains. At the risk of sounding snobbish, most of the mountains within a reasonable day trip of DC get boring for me pretty quickly unless there are powder conditions, especially if I'm skiing solo

I would be interested in improving my skiing though, I figure that with the local terrain I could work on my on-piste carving much more than powder or glade skiing. I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for good instruction in at local mountains for high level skiers. Is private the way to go? or are there any group lessons? Does anyone know of a any good deals for midweek lessons?

 Hi BackInDC, we have a bit of a mini mogul scene over at Liberty.  It's totally informal rather than anything official but a bunch of the gang regularly attend Whistler & Killington mogul camps and get coached by folks on the US and Canadian national mogul teams & stuff.  Happy to share the drills, coaching, technique etc.  Several of our coaches from the camps just made the US Olympic team which is neat.

C'mon over and hang out if ya feel like it.  Peeps are up most weekends and quite a few weekdays, Fridays etc.  Moguls are *never* boring :)

We have some fun pics but they are like coming out way too big when I post 'em, sorry bout that.

          1643065960_vgmiyidmarux.jpg

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wgo
3 months ago
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,451 posts
That is really cool!
fosphenytoin - DCSki Supporter 
3 months ago
Member since 12/20/2017 🔗
155 posts

BackInDC wrote:

most of the mountains within a reasonable day trip of DC get boring for me pretty quickly unless there are powder conditions, especially if I'm skiing solo

or are there any group lessons? Does anyone know of a any good deals for midweek lessons?

Agree with you, that's why I signed up Ski Liberty Adult Dev. multi week programs.  For me, there is always something I need to improve, tweak or challenge myself on..... This is my 5th season doing it and I am not bored yet.  I like the instructors and the encouraging learning environment.  Another perk is, you get to cut the lift lines on weekends...  

I know some adults have been doing this same program for the past 10 years....  Also it is good value for the money, whether or not you have Epic pass.   This program is quite popular, instructors are usually L2 or L3 instructors.  Before COVID times, this is a whole day program, started at 9 am, finished at 3 pm, with 1 hour lunch break.  With COVID, it starts at 8:30 am, finishes at 12 noon.  I don't know how they will do it in future years....  Most students prefer whole day.  

If you are interested and free on weekends, you can consider session 3, it is a back to back 2 weekends in late Feb - early March.  Otherwise, maybe it's something to consider in future years. 

Ski Liberty offers adult dev. group lessons on weekends only.  See offering dates below:

    • Program dates:
      • 1/8/22, 1/22/22, 1/29/22, 2/5/22
      • 1/9/22, 1/23/22, 1/30/22, 2/6/22
      • 2/26/22, 2/27/22, 3/5/22, 3/6/22  - Session #3

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