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  1. #1
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    Tips for first time private ski lesson?

    Hi all, I never had a formal ski lesson and am thinking of booking a full day private lesson at Keystone next month as it's the resort I'm most familiar with. I only get to ski about 10-15 days per year due to coming from Florida. I am at Beaver Creek for the first time in March, if there's a reason to do it there instead.

    I'm comfortable attempting any lift-served terrain at Keystone, and spend most of my time on the trails served by Outback. I love the trees, especially Timberwolf and the Glades, but I'm certainly not blasting through them. I was thinking I'd benefit from having a pro tell me what all I'm doing wrong for typical terrain, but also determine if I'd be okay attempting a bowl, accompany me, etc.

    Is this the kind of thing a private lesson is good for, and the resort can match me up with an appropriate instructor? Or is it completely hit or miss based on instructor, so perhaps better handled in person where I can talk to a human and have a better chance of getting someone most appropriate?

    Thanks for any advice!

  2. #2
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    You may want to post this to pugski rather than tgr.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeachBarsBooze View Post

    I'm comfortable attempting any lift-served terrain at Keystone, and spend most of my time on the trails served by Outback. I love the trees, especially Timberwolf and the Glades, but I'm certainly not blasting through them. I was thinking I'd benefit from having a pro tell me what all I'm doing wrong for typical terrain, but also determine if I'd be okay attempting a bowl,
    Well since your up to speed on bars and booze, I say try a bowl

    It might help your skiing to the point you donít need a pro instructor
    ďLife has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.Ē
    Hunter S. Thompson

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeachBarsBooze View Post
    . . . but also determine if I'd be okay attempting a bowl. . . .
    This matter is best discussed with your doctor and/or substance abuse counselor, not with a ski instructor

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Core Shot View Post
    Well since your up to speed on bars and booze, I say try a bowl

    It might help your skiing to the point you don’t need a pro instructor
    lol, I do often smell what I think are other people's attempts at that while skiing the tree trails.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeachBarsBooze View Post
    ...while skiing the tree trails.
    Your doing it wrong.
    °”rale, vato!

  7. #7
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    what skis do you have? Are they red?

  8. #8
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    Feb 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeachBarsBooze View Post
    lol, I do often smell what I think are other people's attempts at that while skiing the tree trails.
    Safety Meeting!

    As to the private lesson....it should be perfect for what you are looking for. Just be honest about your ability and what you want to accomplish, and they should hook you up with a suitable instructor. At this point in your skiing you probably donít want too much technical instruction, but having a pro to ski with who can evaluate your technique and give you some pointers, while showing you the stashes and cutting the lines, is ideal.

    I did something similar six or seven years ago (after skiing for 30 years and being able to ski anything) and it completely changed my skiing. While my technique was very good, I wasnít all that efficient making the skis work to their potential, and my carving wasnít nearly as good as it is now. Helped that I hooked up with an instructor my own age (who knew the stem christie origins of my technique - yeah, Iím old), and with whom I spoke the same language. That said, I did hook up with a younger (former Olympian) Squaw instructor who was great helping me with steep skiing pointers, so an age difference isnít necessarily a bad thing.

    Have a good time, and donít forget to tip well!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Side note....both of those lessons I mentioned were booked as group lessons, that ended up being ďprivateĒ. Not many expert skiers are taking group lessons, and if nobody else shows up......

    The lesson at Squaw did have one other person show up, some woman from China who had been skiing for three years. Only took one run for them to determine she wasnít ready for an expert lesson (at Squaw no less), and they quickly found me one of their North Face Guides who was about to go home for the day (because the client that booked him didnít show.).

  10. #10
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    Jan 2020
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    Very cool; thanks JTG4. It sounds like you had the experience I'm looking for with a set of experienced eyes telling me what I could be doing better. I'll have several weekdays available so I may try the advanced 'group' lesson the first day and see how that plays out. One of the ski school folks for my kid suggested doing exactly this when we're at Beaver Creek in March because almost every parent there opts for private, so many times the 'group' kid lessons have only one or two kids in them lol.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    93
    Keystone offers a 3 (full) day adult advanced group lesson for $298. If you need a lift ticket it looks like you can add it for $111 (assuming thatís 3 days to match the lesson itís $37 a day, a regular 3 day pass runs $366). That would save you a heck of a lot over the single full day private (at $825). Three days being guided around the mountain getting pointers, cutting lift lines, with lift tickets, for less than $500? Thereís a steal, that would be all the better if you donít have anyone else in your group on any of those days.

    Heck, Iím due to chase a storm soon so I might move Keystone up my list!

    They donít give the lift ticket add on option on the $149 single day group lesson.

    Have fun, whatever you decide!
    Last edited by JTG4; 01-29-2020 at 04:30 PM.

  12. #12
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    Private lesson coul dbe great... if yo ucan meet some of the instructors (online or whatever) could be a help.
    …. Mostly because, some instructors are totally dialed into the mechanics of official teaching techniques; that can be overwhelming and confusing.

    The best instructors I met, taught how to quiet down our style , so we have better balance and edge contact. Its kinda simple.

    You also learn 10 x as much ,if someone videos you on instruction day.. then analyzes the footage. Its like night and day, the differences between instructor styles.

    Heck youcan do ski drills on your own ! don't pay 100$ + an hour to do simple edging drills ,you can google and learn yourself.
    ski paintingshttp://michael-cuozzo.fineartamerica.com" horror has a face; you must make a friend of horror...horror and moral terror.. are your friends...if not, they are enemies to be feared...the horror"....col Kurtz

  13. #13
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    For what you are looking for I would stick with a private and not opt for a group lesson. For the group lessons the instructor is forced to choose terrain that is navigable for the least-skilled student. I would also ask around or try and find reviews online and request the instructor. Find a guy or gal that is making a career out of ski school not a part-time retiree. Someone with their level 3 ideally. Just me, but I would consider taking it at A Basin or Copper rather than Keystone, too. Instructors spend a lot of time at the mountain, much of it unpaid, so better teachers migrate towards more challenging areas.

  14. #14
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    Make sure to ask the PSIA level of the instructor
    You have to insist if you want level 4 or above
    They'll try to tell you level 3 is good enough

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ::: ::: View Post
    You have to insist if you want level 4 or above
    They'll try to tell you level 3 is good enough
    I seem to go through the exact same routine every time I visit a Nevada brothel.
    °”rale, vato!

  16. #16
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    Keystone?!?


  17. #17
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    www.apriliaforum.com

    "If the road You followed brought you to this,of what use was the road"?

    "I have no idea what I am talking about but would be happy to share my biased opinions as fact on the matter. "
    Ottime

  18. #18
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    Is this a DSM alias...?
    Anywho...
    See it from ski schools point of view. As long as you book it a bit ahead, you are gonna get one of their top-dog instructors. Not gonna give lucrative Private lessons away to underlings, are they?

    Sent from my SM-G950U1 using TGR Forums mobile app

    ...Remember, those who think Global Warming is Fake, also think that Adam & Eve were Real...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ::: ::: View Post
    Make sure to ask the PSIA level of the instructor
    You have to insist if you want level 4 or above
    They'll try to tell you level 3 is good enough
    I looked at the PSIA website as I wasn't familiar with it; I only see levels 1 through 3?

    Quote Originally Posted by skaredshtles View Post
    Keystone?!?

    Out of financial necessity; I travel frequently for work and need to stay at Hyatt properties, which means Keystone, Vail or Beaver Creek, and Keystone's Hyatt Place is dramatically more affordable. Two great restaurants in walking distance too, that aren't Vail/BC prices. Then my six year old ski's free (kids 12-under ski free at Keystone when you're staying on site). Get much more ski days that way vs coming out of pocket.

    Quote Originally Posted by TurxSki View Post
    Is this a DSM alias...?
    Anywho...
    See it from ski schools point of view. As long as you book it a bit ahead, you are gonna get one of their top-dog instructors. Not gonna give lucrative Private lessons away to underlings, are they?
    I always wondered about the financial aspects and which type of lessons instructors generally prefer. I was thinking a group lesson would result in a larger overall amount in tips than a single private? Groups at the lower levels seem like they're always 10-15 people who probably tip $20+/ea, vs a single private tipping $100? Of course single private is probably dramatically lower stress and they get to do some of their own skiing as part of it.

  20. #20
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    Howís your form doing pull-ups?
    crab in my shoe mouth

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeachBarsBooze View Post
    <snip>
    Out of financial necessity; I travel frequently for work and need to stay at Hyatt properties, which means Keystone, Vail or Beaver Creek, and Keystone's Hyatt Place is dramatically more affordable. Two great restaurants in walking distance too, that aren't Vail/BC prices. Then my six year old ski's free (kids 12-under ski free at Keystone when you're staying on site). Get much more ski days that way vs coming out of pocket.
    Not convinced.


  22. #22
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    Don't neglect the balls.
    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    the situation strikes me as WAY too much drama at this point

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeachBarsBooze View Post
    I looked at the PSIA website as I wasn't familiar with it; I only see levels 1 through 3?



    Out of financial necessity; I travel frequently for work and need to stay at Hyatt properties, which means Keystone, Vail or Beaver Creek, and Keystone's Hyatt Place is dramatically more affordable. Two great restaurants in walking distance too, that aren't Vail/BC prices. Then my six year old ski's free (kids 12-under ski free at Keystone when you're staying on site). Get much more ski days that way vs coming out of pocket.



    I always wondered about the financial aspects and which type of lessons instructors generally prefer. I was thinking a group lesson would result in a larger overall amount in tips than a single private? Groups at the lower levels seem like they're always 10-15 people who probably tip $20+/ea, vs a single private tipping $100? Of course single private is probably dramatically lower stress and they get to do some of their own skiing as part of it.
    A lot of group lesson participants don't tip. Some private clients tip extremely generously. The vast majority of lessons are for children. Most instructors are pretty happy if they get a little bit more experienced client and don't spend all day teaching pizza and french fries. Group lessons are a lot more work.

  24. #24
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    Feb 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowsparkco View Post
    For what you are looking for I would stick with a private and not opt for a group lesson. For the group lessons the instructor is forced to choose terrain that is navigable for the least-skilled student.
    Yeah, no doubt going the group route is a massive roll of the dice. If you donít happen to get lucky, if wherever you book is good they should at least make sure there isnít too big a disparity in ability level in your group...but the hope would be that no other advanced skiers show up. Of course, the only way to be assured of getting exactly what you want would be to book the private.

    On the rare occasion Iíve felt the need to book a lesson the full day private was just way more than I was willing to spend, so I took the chance on the group. Worked for me at Whiteface and at Squaw....but YRMV.

    Iíve had to make the same kinds of decisions with backcountry days. When I first got into it I booked a private guide, but lately Iíve transitioned to booking group tours to save some bucks.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ::: ::: View Post
    Make sure to ask the PSIA level of the instructor
    You have to insist if you want level 4 or above
    They'll try to tell you level 3 is good enough
    PSIA only has levels through 3. You could ask for a divisional clinic leader (DCL) or examiner, but a full cert (level 3) should be able to handle anything the OP throws at them.

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