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Trip report: Snowbird and Jackson Hole (Epicski)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
...more precisely, The Canyons, Snowbird/Alta, Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee.

I came back last week from the Epicski Academy at the end of January and the gathering of epicski members just after that.

It was awesome - the best skiing holiday in my life. The instruction was excellent and the coaches were truly dedicated. Our group's coach was the trainer of the US Demo Team; the other advanced group had Eric DesLauriers, ski movie star of a few years back. Great snow (15 inches the night we arrived and then more while we were there), cool people, some seriously good skiers besides the coaches. It was hard to keep up with them once coaching ended and we were just being shown around the mountain by one of the locals.

What I liked most about the US? Not the service, short lift queues, etc. The concept of inbounds/outbounds skiing, which meant I got to do a lot more off-piste than is possible in Europe without a guide (about 80% of my skiing: chutes, couloirs, powder, trees...). All resorts I've visited are excellent and, perhaps because more routes down the mountain are possible, I didn't find them small compared to European ones. Didn't do Corbett's at Jackson - there's a good reason to go back.

If anyone's interested in a US ski trip next year I heartily recommend the Academy (there were four other UK-based people there). It's not even that expensive if the exchange rate stays where it is now.

Now for some photos and videos:

http://www.websurd.com/epic2004/

This is me almost ruining the rest of the holiday on the second day:
http://www.websurd.com/epic2004/video/break-down-the-wall.mpg

This is Eric demonstrating a cutting-edge short-turn technique in chutes:
http://www.websurd.com/epic2004/video/Erics-short-turns.mpg

And here are miscellaneous photos from the Gathering posted on epicski. I'm the chap in red (backpack, no helmet)

http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=005569

http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=005570
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Great pictures and clips - looks like a fantastic holiday
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
That looks awesome...nice style!! i'm hoping to get to Jackson next year, how long does it take to get to snowbird/alta from Jackson?
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
So Cedric, What made you decide to turn? Wink
Great pictures.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
WDIP: we took a minibus from Salt Lake City airport to Jackson and it took about five hours and a half including stops.

markP: I worked out in my head the effects of sudden deceleration on my internal organs, as well as the cost of replacing my skis if they hit first, and decided turning was the easier, cheaper option. As you could see, the calculations took a moment Wink

(edited to replace the inexistent Snowbird airport with the better-known SLC one)


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Wed 11-02-04 14:55; edited 1 time in total
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Nothing like impending financial ruin and a broken head to improve decision making skills eh?
Any more mpg's? Could do with a snow fix.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
here you go mark:

http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=9;t=000142

Somewhere in the middle of this page there are links to videos of my group on a nice knee-deep pow day (posted by dchan). WARNING: these are large files, between 5 and 8 MB, except for the first one.

Again, I'm the one in red jacket, black backpack and no helmet. A bit hard to work out from the low-definition video, especially as there's another guy in red (but with a helmet).
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Cheers Cedric. Its been a while since I logged on to Epic.
I'd better download these now while I'm at work.....
I nearly went to the original Academy, but circumstances got in the way.
I take it this years was good then?
snow conditions     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Yeah, this year's academy was excellent.

(Hello Mark)
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Hey Fox!
How's it going. Was it as good as the year before? I kinda got the idea it wouldn't be as good because of almost double the numbers going.
Looked like it was going to be a bit unfocussed.
Did you do corbetts then?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Thank goodness you turned! Shock
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Mark,
It was better than last year - more organised and focussed, and the numbers were perfect - I was in a group with 4 other students.
I didn't do corbetts, but I did have a LOT of fun doing other stuff!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So what's the story behind this? I've found the epicski site recently, it sounds as though you went for a two-week holiday with coaching from some top guys? Is that right? What's the cost, is it invitation only, what kind of coaching did you get? Sounds iteresting
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
It cost about $700 (that's almost £3 at today's exchange rate Laughing ) for 4 days instruction and lift passes.
No special invitation needed - just sign up to epicski.
The coaching was top notch - 12 of the best instructors the US has to offer, including:
Bob Barnes (PSIA Examiner, and author of the Encylopaedia of Skiing)
Weems Westfeld (Director of Aspen Ski School)
Ric Reiter (PSIA Examiner, Vail)
Joan Rostad (PSIA Examiner, Bridger Bowl)
Eric DeLauriers (Film star - well, he's in the Warren Miller movies)
need I go on?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I presume you need to be a fairly strong skiier to go. What sort of minimum standard should you be?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Min standard: beginner! They'll take anyone.
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