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Skier/Instructor Ratio: 6:1

Operating under Special Use Permit, Tahoe National Forest.

Backcountry Skiing

Skiing Improvement For Mountain Guides     1 Day

This special program is specifically designed for Rock and/or Alpine Guides looking to improve their skiing technical knowledge and movement skills to help them meet AMGA Ski Mountaineering Guide certification standards.

The three day camp is conducted at Sugar Bowl Resort on top of Donner Pass in California's Sierra Nevada. The resort offers excellent groomed, off-piste and out-of-bounds access providing all the terrain we need for skiing improvement.

Topics covered will include:
  • Definition of turn types used in backcountry ski guiding applications
  • An understanding of the skills concept used in the American teaching system
  • Understanding mechanical priorities for dynamic, high speed, carved parallel turns
  • Developing controlled steep skiing (up to 50°) manuevers including the pedal-hop turn
  • Adapting technical skiing to the backcountry and high-mountain environment
  • Developing a framework for movement analysis to help your clients
  • Teaching and coaching techniques while ski guiding
  • Uphill touring technique to the AMGA certification standard
Cost: $225  Does not include Sugar Bowl pass
Dec 11, 2017 (Mon)
Dec 12, 2017 (Tue)

AMGA Skiing Standard:  (Technical Description)
To meet the AMGA Ski Mountaineering Guide Standard, a candidate must demonstrate the following level of skiing skills:
  • Ski with a centered, efficient stance with appropriate ankle and knee flexion along with the ability to move center of mass fore/aft and laterally to maintain dynamic balance in all situations and snow conditions.
  • Begin each turn by noticeably moving the center of mass in the direction of the new turn.
  • Generate turning power from the feet and lower legs rather than from the upper body.
  • Upper/lower body separation with a countered relationship to create anticipation of a new turn along with precise pole plant timing and usage in all situations.
  • A continuum of skills blending from wedge and stem turns to dynamic, high speed, carved parallel turns with high edge angles and center of mass well inside the turn.
  • Controlled skiing in any situation including very steep (up to 50) narrow chutes with the ability to bring any turn to a stop if necessary.
  • Rhythm and flow in turn-to-turn skiing with a guide's pack or multi-day pack.
To enter the AMGA Ski Guide Program, the applicant should be skiing at or very near the certification standard. If the candidate doesn't meet these pre-requisites, the Course Director will decide if they can continue with all or parts of the course and the candidate will receive an incomplete for this part of the course. They will have to be re-evaluated before being able to participate in the Ski Mountaineering Guide Course/aspirant exam.

The following videos are examples of candidates and certified guides skiing at the AMGA Ski Standard.

These are the standards that we will help you attain by taking this course.

Video 1  (516 kb)
Short radius parallel turns

Video 2  (407 kb)
Short radius parallel turns

Video 3  (712 kb)
Short/Medium radius parallel turns

Video 4  (360 kb)
Medium radius parallel turns

Video 5  (288 kb)
Controlled Steep Skiing

Video 6  (345 kb)
Dynamic parallel turns

Questions about this course?

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"The Skiing Improvement for Mountain Guides course was great. It completely rebuilt my skiing fundamentals and left me more excited about skiing than I can ever remember being. Eric DesLauriers and Bela Vadasz have very different but complementary styles that worked very well together."

- John Bicknell
  Former AMGA President

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