by Kristen Lummis, braveskimom.com
What do free ride skiing legend Glen Plake, Olympians Bode Miller and Daron Rahlves and Kevin Jordan, the Children’s Coordinator for the Ski and Snowboard Schools of Aspen/Snowmass, have in common?
Besides incredible skill on skis, they are Ambassadors on the Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month Leadership Team, charged with getting people fired up about winter and about learning how to ski and snowboard.
Jordan is one of three PSIA ski instructors on the team, and the only team member from Colorado. As someone with extensive experience working with beginner skiers, Jordan has created a Facebook page that shares one “learn-to” tip each day during January.
Tips include how to size skis, how many pairs of socks to wear, knowing “The Code” and more. The tips don’t have to be read in order, and some will resonate more with some people than others. But they are all designed to help “clue in” beginners and give them some heads-up information.
“I wanted to do something that would help beginners,” explains Jordan. “One of the biggest challenges in learning a new sport is that there are a lot of questions. Everyone wants to learn quickly and be good at something right away. They don’t want to look silly or look like they don’t know what they are doing.”
Jordan’s goal is to help answer beginners’ questions, before they’re even asked. His favorite tip is that learning to ski or snowboard should be fun. And also, that it’s a process that will take more than one lesson.
“Learning a winter sport is not a ‘one-off’ experience,” he explains. “There is always something that we can improve upon in terms of skill development.”
Lessons aren’t just for beginners, and teaching pros have plenty of skills they can share with intermediate and advanced skiers to help them explore the mountain in a safe and fun manner.
“For example, at the Ski and Snowboard Schools of Aspen/Snowmass, we teach kids how to ‘self-arrest’ or stop themselves before we take them onto steep terrain,” Jordan shares.
“We have a double black diamond checklist and this ‘self arrest’ skill is just on of the many skills they learn and have to be proficient in before we take them into this difficult terrain.”
So whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced skier or rider, check out Jordan’s tips and take a lesson this January. It will be so much more fun than hibernating!
When You Go…
For information on Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month programs available across Colorado, check with your local resort or check out this information from Colorado Ski Country USA.
If you and your family do find yourself at Aspen/Snowmass this season, Jordan suggests purchasing half and full-day private lessons at least seven days in advance for the greatest savings. He also suggests that families check out the Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center, which has programming for infants through teenagers, and Ullr Nights.
An on-mountain celebration of winter, Ullr Nights happens every Friday night through March 28 at the top of the Elk Camp Gondola with great food, live music, sledding, ice skating and skibiking. As for skiing Snowmass, Jordan suggests taking a “couple of days to explore the mountain.”
“Snowmass offers something for everyone, from a beginner’s paradise at 10,000 feet known as the Elk Camp Meadows, to extreme terrain in the Cirque and the Hanging Valley Wall.
“For intermediates and advanced skiers and riders, try skiing or riding from one side of the mountain to the other. It will take you a few days to really do this.
“I’m still learning new lines here in some of the extreme terrain!”
Aspen Gay Ski Week is a week-long LGBTQ winter event held in January each year, featuring daily skiing/boarding on one of the four mountains in the area with guides for all abilities. There are also daily apres ski parties, dinners, comedy, film, boutique & art walk, nightly parties, snow shoeing, sleigh rides, yogo & spa days, and much more. (continue reading…)
Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) announced on Monday that its 21 member resorts reported an increase in skier visitation for the beginning of the 2013/14 ski season. Skier visits at CSCUSA resorts were up by 22 percent during the first period of the 2013/14 season, defined this year as opening day of the season (October 13, 2013) through December 31, 2013, compared to the same period of the prior year. Significantly, this season’s first period skier visits also exceeded the five-year first period average by approximately 6.7 percent. (continue reading…)
A three-day weekend is a precious and rare commodity. With Martin Luther King weekend just around the corner, we have some fun ideas to spark your imagination about a different part of Colorado than you might typically consider.
Durango, Colorado, is nestled in the Southwest corner of the state and is home to Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort. Purgatory has 1,360 skiable acres to explore with plenty of eateries to refuel after a long day of fun. Move over San Francisco, Durango happens to boast the highest number of restaurants per capita than any city in the nation. In addition to the skiing, here are other fun winter activities: (continue reading…)
A widespread winter storm that entered Colorado last Wednesday has blanketed all corners of Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) in snow, delivering powder days at all 21 CSCUSA resorts. This most recent weather system has dumped up to 31 inches on grateful snowriders in some places with more snow to come today. Since the storm began late last week, CSCUSA resorts have received 20.0 inches of new snow on average; 18 resorts have recorded double-digit snow totals, and seven resorts have enjoyed two feet or more of fresh powder. (continue reading…)
by Megan Barber, Curbed Ski
[Note: Curbed is an online magazine covering the built environment in sixteen major North American cities. Their newest venture, Colorado-based Curbed Ski, provides comprehensive coverage of ski resorts across the United States and Canada. We will be re-posting Curbed Ski's coverage of Colorado Ski Country USA resorts throughout the 2014 season.]