UPGRADING YOUR SKIING AND RIDING
With such incredible terrain, Whistler Blackcomb ( WB) is a great place for skiers or snowboarders to advance their skills. As a global ski mecca, Whistler has no shortage of skilled instructors and guides who can help you chase your goals, whether that’s carving in perfect parallel or learning the key points of safe backcountry travel. For the ladies, The North Face Women’s Ski Camps offer a chance to improve your skills regardless of your current proficiency level. Throughout two days of guiding, guests can learn everything from basic ski techniques to tackling moguls, steeps and even terrain park features. Perhaps most importantly, women skiers often find success with a female instructor. These all-women groups create a comfortable and social setting to encourage personal development. “The synergy that’s created with women teaching women is unparalleled … it’s a very effective way to teach, and it’s also very welcoming for the clients,” says Nadio Hachey, adult group snow school manager. The North Face Women’s Ski Camps are scheduled to take place on six weekends this season, and are intended for adult skiers aged 25 and up. Whistler’s pioneers in professional guiding, Extremely Canadian, are offering a Big Mountain Awareness (BMA) Program, a full-day lesson intended for skiers and riders aged 13 to 18. The inbounds program was designed with input from certified Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) guide Mitchell Sulkers, to teach youth the vital skills to make sound decisions in changing weather and perhaps perilous circumstances. It also covers essential topics for safe backcountry exploration. The overall idea was “to create a program whereby kids can learn about mountain safety, how to get around the mountain safely … what to do if you’re lost, basic survival tactics … ” explains Hachey, adding that it’s an ideal program to take before pursuing the Avalanche Skills Training (AST) 1 and 2 courses. There will be 10 BMA program dates throughout the 2016-’17 season. Avalanche gear is not required because the program takes place within WB ski-area boundaries.
Extremely Canadian is also offering Freeride Snowboard camps this winter. The program is similar to the company’s Steep Skiing clinics, but has been custom designed for boarders and led by professional snowboard coaches. While exploring WB’s alpine areas and glades, participants will learn the best techniques for tackling advanced terrain like steeps, forests and pillows. Not only will your skills benefit from professional instruction, you’ll also save time with lift-line priority and your guide’s shortcuts to WB’s most exciting terrain. The Freeride Snowboard camp includes two days of guiding and après sessions where you can decompress, socialize and analyze video of your skiing or riding. This season’s clinics are planned on Monday/Tuesday, Thursday/ Friday and Saturday/Sunday between Dec. 10 and April 18. For more information, visit whistlerblackcomb.com.