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Volume 2, Issue 2 December January 17, 21, 20132012

Volume 2, Issue 1


Training Manager: Jonathan Ballou Editor: Kate Howe Asst. Ed.: Emilie Lantelme

Submissions, letters and inquiries with subject: EDITOR to

Clearly, we are killing it.

PROFESSIONALISM Every issue, we focus on folks who are crushing it with their training ethic. These teams get together on their own, and help each other improve. They are dedicated to their professional development on and off snow.


Profile on Training Teams: Amy and Erik “Yoda” DaRosa By Emilie Lantelme

A dynamic duo that have a little more in common than just skiing— Amy and Erik DaRosa dig deep into the hard work and commitment that goes into their Alpine Cert 2 Training. Having met in college, Amy and Erik are no strangers to the pressures that come along with taking an exam. Fortunately, these two are willing to work with one another, sharing their own ski performance and how best to prepare on and off the hill. The DaRosa clan have racked up their fair share of in-house and on-snow training hours both this winter and last, but usually opt to go in separate training groups. “This allows us to be more open to criticism and gives us a chance to compare notes at the end of the day,” says Erik, “Both of us have very similar teaching styles, but different skiing styles, so being in different groups is helpful because we can focus on our own individual goals. We then meet in the middle and discuss everything.” They also agree

that taking exams in different places helps them to branch out and meet new people at different mountains, which is what skiing is really all about. So how do Amy and Erik go about getting in their daily dose of training? On free ski days, they go out on the hill and focus on a particular skill or concept that they want to work on. Next, they ski and critique one another. “We are able to do great self-coaching,” raves Amy. Skiing with their friends and trainers also help them recognize certain skills that they would not have come up with on their own. It’s also helpful because their friends can communicate to them in a way that they might not be able to in a clinic by giving them real candid feedback. Although Amy and Erik are working on different aspects of their own skiing, both aspire to be better teachers and give clients the best feedback possible. Fortunately, level 2 training is available to help us all get to this level of confidence in our teaching. Studying for their exam isn’t the only endeavor these two have taken on. When they aren’t buried nose deep in level 2 material, they spend their time studying Portuguese!


Married and training together! Part of their secret is respecting each other’s learning style and space.


ON SNOW PERFORMANCE These clinics leave at 8 a.m. sharp. We look forward to seeing you out there!

Earlybird Training


Earlybird training refers to on-snow training that takes place in at 8 AM sharp. These training take place across all four mountains and cover various themes, from skiing and riding to teaching to certification and a re a great way to start your day of with a clear focus. These clinics usually last one to three runs and, space available, all pros are welcome to join. To attend Pros must be in uniform. The schedule for Earlybird training is as follows: Buttermilk: Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  Meet at the base of the Summit Express. No signup required. Buttermilk Snowboard: Tuesdays. Meet at t he base of the Summit Express. No signup required. Aspen Highlands: Fridays and Saturdays.  Meet at the base of the Exhibition lift.  No signup required. Aspen Mountain: Tuesdays and Thursdays. Meet at the base of the Gondola.  No signup required. Snowmass Adults: Monday and Tuesdays. Met above the base of the Burlingame lift across from the Snowmass Mall.  Signup online. Alpine Certification: Wednesdays. Meet at the end of the Snowmass Mall.  Signup on line.

Love a clinic? Tell us! Have you found something particularly helpful in your training? Did you go to a clinic that just blew your mind? Learn a tip that the world should know? Give your favorite trainer a shout out! Drop us a line at and we’ll post it right here!

Do you kill it on the slopes? Send us your photo!! Aspen Academy Training News needs photos! Send us a picture of you and your buddies getting after it and you could be featured right here! All photo submissions to:

Training Website The training website was experiencing some issues recently, and thanks to some diligent hard work, its back up and running! Lots of great clinics are posted, so get on there and sign up!

ACL Injuries are preventable! ACL injuries are still one of the most common significant ski injuries we experience in our profession, and they are definitely the opposite of a good time. Just ask any one of our pros that have had the bad luck to experience one. The good news is they are often preventable. The most common causes of this seasonending injury are:         1. Attempting to get up whilst still moving after a fall               2. Leaning right back on your skis or attempting to sit down after losing control               3. Attempting to recover from an inevitable fall


Here are few simple steps that can mean the difference between skiing away from a fall and 6 months of rather uncomfortable poking and prodding (usually done by a very nice person): • In a fall, keep your arms forward and your hands over your skis if possible •  Don’t fully straighten your legs when you fall - try and keep them bent •  After a fall, don’t try to get up until you have stopped Skier drawing by William Hamilton. For more ACL information visit


ON SNOW PERFORMANCE Retract for less impact As your ski tips interact with a bump, let that feedback tell your ankles, knees, hips and spine to flex. Absorb the bump with your lower body. Practice this in a “Porpoise traverse” across a bump line before you head down the fall line.

BUMP SKIING WITH THE BEST (INTERNATIONAL EDITION) “If you want to be an aggressive fall line bump skier, you have to be willing to spend time in the ‘fall line.’” - Karina Alder, Argentina Great bump skiing has been the passion and pursuit of skiers since bump push your feet up under you. Picture a marionette on a string. Put snow began to set up. As pros, we all aspire to fluid, seamless, rhythmic your hands under the puppet’s feet, and push up. The feet collapse, bump skiing. But how do we get there? absorbing the rising surface, but the upper body stays strong. Try this mantra out and let us know how it works for you: Stay down longer. Come off the top of the bump on your heels. Get down earlier. Go down further. Stay down longer. (HERESY! That would put me in the back seat! You say.) Get down earlier. As you see the bump coming toward Actually, it helps you get all the way across the top of the you, begin flexing before you impact it. This way, you are on bump without coming up. As your feet pass the tipping suck it up, your way down already and you have time to look ahead. point, dive the tips of your skis into the trough, reaching for buttercup Go down further. Use your ENTIRE range of motion. the outside of the turn. Get long in the trough, just before You have much further down to go than you think you do. Try you begin to flex again to eat the next bump. If that doesn’t the “slow dog noodle” as you go in slow motion over bumps, work for you, “Go that way, really fast. If something gets in see just how much you can flex to absorb that bump. Let the your way, turn.” - Kate Howe


KARINA ALDER (ARGENTINA) Don’t be afraid of pointing your skis straight at a bump, be prepared to use your whole body as a shock absorber, and don’t be shy of taking air.





Flex as your skis go into the bump, stay compact as you go over the crest. Then, extend once your feet go into the trough.

If you find yourself folding at the waist, think chest up, chin up as you ski down the fall line.

If straight down the hill is 12‘oclock, try to keep your skis pointed in between 10 and 2. This creates flow and speed. 9 and 3? You’re putting on the brakes!





Yogi and Ski Instructor Alexa Webster tells us why she believes the benefits of yoga extend far beyond the physical and material world. Stop by one of her classes this week at the Treehouse and see for yourself.

EL: Why is yoga so important to you and how does it help you personally both as an athlete and as an individual? AW: Yoga gives me a space where I can connect to something bigger than myself. It is an opportunity to drop out of my head and into my heart and simply feel. 

Ski Tuning with Snowmass Pro Squatty Schuller Squatty knows where it’s at when it comes to having the slickest skis in Snowmass. Tune in to see why it’s so important to take care of your skis this winter. EL: Why is a good tune essential? How can it increase your performance on the hill? S: If they are waxed properly, they are slipperier on the snow, they turn better, and if the edges are tuned just slice through the snow effortlessly – it is way easier to control the edge. EL: If you could send a message out to the pros about tuning what would it be? S: A lot of people will file their skis and some shops will put them through a machine. They come out sharp, but are not necessarily ‘tuned’ until you use a diamond stone, followed by a gummy stone over it. This takes out all the fine burrs and makes it nice and smooth. They need to be polished at the end – not just sharp. EL: What does the dirt in the early season snow do to your edges? S: It creates burrs so that the ski does not run clean through the snow – and its not just the dirt – if you are continuing to ski on the man made snow, the hard manmade snow will also create burrs on the edges. It is important to take a stone to them and polish them off to make them run smoother. EL: Any other important information about ski tuning that you think people should know? S: If you have somebody else tune your skis, have the same person do it all the time so that you are used to how they ski with that kind of tune. If you send them to a shop that puts them on a machine, make sure you check the edge to ensure there are no burrs!

EL: How has yoga changed your life and how do you hope to impact others by teaching it? AW: Yoga has changed me entirely. I am no longer the same person I was when I first stepped onto the mat.  Not only is my physical body completely different, so too is my mind and heart.  I have let go of many aspects of myself that were not helpful and stepped more fully into my self, passions, relationships, gratitude and ultimately, love.  Yoga is a life practice. EL: Dispel some common myths/stereotypes about yoga and tell us what you think it truly does for the human body and mind? AW: Yoga is for everybody.  With that said, there are many styles of yoga being practiced today.  If I am someone who is constantly active... most likely, I need a more calming practice where I call my body back into harmony.  I believe Yoga is meant to bring balance back into our lives, cleanse and calm the mind, and create a space where we can nurture our body and commune with the part of ourselves that is unaffected by the sometimes chaotic ebb and flow of life.    EL: Why do you think yoga is important for athletes, in particular ski instructors? AW: Yoga is important for everyone.  Many athletes/ski instructors spend a large amount of time doing the same, or similar, movements, over and over again.  This leads the big muscles to fall out of balance with the little muscles.  Yoga allows us to empower the smaller support muscles, increase range of motion & flexibility

Yoga makes you strong and flexible in both mind and body.


and bring breath and feeling into areas of the body that are otherwise neglected. EL:What advice do you have on how to get into a consistent routine of practicing yoga? AW: Often times, in the beginning, it is difficult to conjure up enough motivation or knowledge to practice at home.  Therefore, taking a realistic look at your schedule and choosing 2 or 3 days (ideally more) that will be dedicated to taking a class.  (Make sure the classes you choose are actually restoring your energy and not taking it away).   Then, finally, this is the most important part -- Don't let anything get in the way of you going to that class! We must all take control of our life and prioritize ourselves! It's not selfish, it's self-care. Once we've committed to bettering ourselves, and individually begin to follow thru with that commitment, the rewards far outweigh the sacrifice. EL:What are yoga’s benefits? AW: The benefits of yoga extend far beyond the physical, material world.  Physically, practicing yoga is said to release the lactic acid that naturally builds up in the muscles from exercise, increasing flexibility, strength and muscle tone.  It can also increase range of motion in the joints and the soft tissues of the body as well (ligaments, tendons, fascia surrounding the muscles).  The practice offers greater body awareness, improves posture, increases lung capacity, boosts oxygen levels to the brain, increases endurance, lowers blood pressure, and decreases stress hormones. Additional benefits of a regular yoga practice include reduced stress, mental clarity, calming and quieting the mind, greater happiness, more fulfilling relationships and ultimately, a deeper connection to spirit, yielding compassion, and courage. The next time one of your ski buddies suggests grabbing a drink after work, maybe consider a healthier, more nourishing “happy hour” at the Treehouse for Donation Yoga—MondayThursday 4:30-5:30PM in the Snow Cubs Beaver Lodge.

WHAT’S UP? Ski School has a Facebook Page! Check it out! Many of you already use Facebook as a tool to stay in touch with guests and other pros, and we want to have one page as a meeting point for all pros and guests. We are not thinking of this as a marketing tool- just a

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CLINIC ALERT: Planning for Performance

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certification this season?


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success? Sign up for Planning for Performance 101-401. This series of indoor

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if they are children. Encourage your guest to

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Pack Your Bag: Set yourself up for success when traveling for exams. Want to reduce your stress in exam situations? Start living out of your bag about three weeks before your exam. Repack it the same way every time, so everything is always where you expect it to be. Put your gear on in the same order out of your bag every morning, building a ritual. This way, when you are away from home, you will never wonder if you have forgotten something, and you can focus on the task at hand rather than looking for your other socks and wondering if you forgot them. Want more tips like this? Come to Planning for Performance clinics all season long!

Submissions, photos, inquiries and letters to the editor with Subject: EDITOR to:

Aspen Academy Training News is a semi-psuedo bi-weekly publication of your training department by and for the pros of Aspen Snowmass. Our content is only as good as its contributors, please write and tell us what you want to read! We did this last season, too! To read Volume 1, Issues 1-6, email and we’ll send you the links!

Jonathan Ballou Training Manager


Kate Howe Editor

Emilie Lantelme Asst Ed.

Aspen Academy News Vol 2 Issue 2  
Aspen Academy News Vol 2 Issue 2  

Training Newsletter of the Aspen Academy