UP­GRAD­ING YOUR SKI­ING AND RID­ING

Whistler Traveller Magazine - - CONTENT - STORY BY STEVE FISHER

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.

PHOTO EX­TREMELY CANA­DIAN - RANDY LINCKS PHOTO W/B - JU­LIAN KENCHENTEN

PHO­TOS JOERN ROHDE

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