Feeling like you could improve some of those snow skills?
Why not combine your snow holiday with an improvement camp and address the challenges blocking your progression.
We’ve curated five of the best from addressing fear to skeletal awareness, steep and deep and kids that want to be Olympians.
Go forth and prosper.
Face your fears at Alta, Utah
No one is fearless, even in skiing. But extreme skier, Kirsten Ulmer, insists it’s possible to have a healthy relationship with fear and anxiety. For more than a decade, Ulmer risked her life skiing down some of the most extreme terrain known to man or woman, allowing her to forge a reputation as the world’s best big-mountain extreme skier. At one point, her peers in the outdoor industry voted her the most fearless athlete in North America.
But that reputation for bravery didn’t come by accident. After much trial and error, Ulmer learned from her mistakes, which she generously imparts on others during her two-day Art of Fear Camp at Alta in Utah, a skiers-only resort. It’s not about where you plant your pole or how to finish your turn. Instead, these camps promise to alter your mindset so that by the end of it, nothing will hold you back.
Ski-in geek-out in Telluride
Science knowledge has been applied to practically every sport on the planet, all in the pursuit of seeing how far mankind can run, jump, lift, swim, kick or throw. Limits are tested and boundaries continually reset. Skiing is no exception, with the Rocky Mountains resort of Telluride leading the way through their three-hour, on-snow private lessons in Ski Biomechanics.
Dr Kim Hewson, an orthopaedic surgeon, former Director of Sports Medicine at University of Arizona, and ski school instructor, has devised a step-by-step approach to skiing more efficiently, based on increasing our awareness of our natural functional skeletal alignment. Private lessons are open to skiers of all levels.
Steep and deep with a helicopter in Canada
For 60-odd years, ever since Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) Heli Skiing’s founder strapped a car’s ski rack to the skids of a helicopter and flew to a remote glacier with visions of skiing untouched powder, the company has been ferrying adventure lovers to remote slopes in British Columbia’s Bugaboo Ranges and beyond.
CMH’s Steep Shots and Pillow Drops Trip goes a step further, with expert tutelage by guides and athletes who give you the coaching you need to tackle gnarly drops and navigate leg-burning lines.
Ski instructor course, Banff Canada
Specialist ski and snowboard improvement company, Nonstop, offer three, five and 11-week Ski Instructor Courses based in the Canadian party town of Banff. Twenty-five per cent of students who sign up for the five-week course are Aussies, with each of them gaining CSIA Level 1 accreditation upon completion.
Courses operate in the three surrounding resorts of Sunshine Village, Lake Louise and Mt Norquay. Each have their own unique characteristics, allowing for a varied training experience.
Nonstop’s coaches will be on the slopes with you for five hours per day, four days a week, leaving plenty of free time to practise what you’ve learned or try other activities (ice climbing, anyone?). And even if you don’t plan on teaching skiing, completing one of these courses will improve your technique and skills, making you a better skier.
Wannabe Olympians in Italy
Forget ordinary ski schools. Instead, The Arc will fast-track your kids towards becoming highly skilled athletes using programs designed by two-time Winter Olympian, Jono Bauer. Based in the Italian Alps resort of Livigno, The Arc offers a choice of four programs across two- or three-week periods.
Children aged seven years and up can get expert tutelage from world-class coaches across Alpine, Ski X and Moguls in the Core Skill Development Programs. Or maybe they want to hone their Giant Slalom, Slalom and Ski X racing skills; for that, they should join the Alpine Race Training Program.
The Arc’s Slopestyle Development Programs focus on terrain park skills and safety. And snowboarders haven’t been forgotten either; the Snowboard Programs for shredders aged 10 and above sets the foundation for excellence in a variety of disciplines.