A couple of weeks ago the ACC hosted an AMP 2 (Alpine Mentoring Program Level 2) Backcountry Ski Technique Improvement day with Brent Peters. I got in touch with Tyler, one of the attendees, to find out a little bit more about what went on:
Can you tell me what this AMP session is about?
Absolutely. Its a simple ski lesson, but focused on how to ski powder and other typical backcountry conditions/terrain, instead of groomers and moguls like you would take at the ski resort. I didn’t know what to expect for the last session but was pleasantly surprised.
A ski lesson? Didn’t you already know how to ski?
Yeah, I thought I did… You know I didn’t have great “style”, but I managed. Now I realize just how important “style” is. It really makes you a better skier: able to handle different snow conditions (heavy snow, breakable crust), it really reduces the ‘work-out’ factor associated with skiing downhill and ultimately you fall less so there is less chance of getting injured. The ‘technique’ really is different for powder and backcountry skiing compared to typical resort skiing, which I didn’t fully appreciate.
How much did you improve?
I probably improved more in the 700m of vertical we skied last session than I did all last year. The money spent to attend the day was easily well worth it.
How did you improve so much so quickly?
Simply doing a couple of drills, like you see kids doing at the ski hill when they are in lessons. The drills are meant to correct your body position, and create the individual building blocks you need to put together to really shred.
Are there upcoming sessions people can participate in?
Yes, there is an upcoming AMP Level 2 Backcountry Ski Technique Improvement Day coming up on Feb. 2nd. If there is demand we could run another Level 1 later this year. Level 2 participants should be able to ski Delirium Dive or similar terrain. The skiing doesn’t have to be sexy, but should be “easily manageable”. If you’ve never considered Delirium Dive, or would side slip/snow plow down than AMP Level 1 is probably better for you.
The next session is at the ski hill, why?
Doing the session at the ski hill gives us more time to focus on the downhill part, instead of using 90% of the day just going uphill. The plan is to split the day between inbounds ski improvement work, and then practicing in some powder out of bounds (skins and avalanche gear required).
Do you recommend the session?
Absolutely. I honestly think about 75% of the skiers within the ACC would benefit from this session. If you grew up logging lots of days skiing from a young age, and bop down the powder like a skier in a Warren Miller video, you probably don’t need this. If you started skiing as an adult you should really consider attending.
Link to the course information: HERE
Tyler Hallman, ACC Ski Chair