A few of us took the AMP Alpine Mentoring Program Level 2 this past Friday at the Sunshine resort and honestly it was the best bang for my bucks in a long time!!!
Brent Peters was our guide and instructor and after doing drills on the groomers without backpacks on, we did them with backpacks and then did more drills – evolution of the starting drills – without packs in powdery/treed side slopes – which happen to perfectly represent the back-country conditions Ha! – and then the same powdery/treed slopes but with packs.
After that, we boot-packed to get higher to a couloir that is still in the resort and dropped in there one at a time applying every bit of advice we had just learned..or trying to! I still gotta practice a lot to get to the perfection I aim at for when the snow pack is not perfect.
Every time we were up top the mountain, the snow was blowing sideways and visibility was poor but Brent found us great practice slopes that were less exposed to miserable weather and finally the weather cleared towards the end of the day.
All in all, a great day of learning and practicing and I can’t thank Brent enough for being the perfect “translator”of these groomers skills for their application in the back-country because this is REALLY what we do (and love doing!) and just want to get better at!! Brent GETS where we come from and what our goals are and his methodical approach was the most useful I’ve ever experienced. (and i can compare to a course where i thought I’d learn something but ended up doing snow-plow drills for 3 days hum..)
So yeah if you see this course on the calendar again and want to get better technique for your back-country ski days, don’t hesitate to sign up, we need more better skiers in the club 🙂
Pictures credit Sean Jacklin and N. Drotar