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2007-08 Updates

Heidi Ettlinger – Publicity & Advisory Committee

Launching our New Website and So Much More.... This fall kicks off a number of new benefits that deliver quality services to our membership including member snowsport schools and their directors. These improvements were developed after careful consideration of your feedback on how we deliver services, growing our member base, and our commitment to increasing the member benefit package.

President’s Message

One of the most significant changes this season will be how you access information and sign up for events using the new web site. We have created menu options that divide-up the disciplines to make accessing certification and event information more straightforward, as well as providing several new opportunities to register for events and re-new your membership online. One of our goals is to make locating important information from manuals and study guides to preparing for Module/Certification events easier. We encourage you (cont. on pg. 15)

By Neil Bussiere, ASEA Western President

More in Store than Before As November sneaks up on the northern hemisphere another season of sliding takes aim on all of us eager to put our summer training regiments to the test. Over the summer your Western Board of Directors met to Neil Bussiere, piece together a season full of ASEA-W President exciting events and expanded offerings. Leveraging off the momentum of a fully incumbent board returning for ’07-’08 you can expect more event Event scheduling options, added publiCalendar . . . pgs. 12 & 13 cations and materials, expanded Ed Core and Education FoundaNational tion Scholarship event scope, a Dues Increase . . . . pg.14 new Senior’s Level I Specialist Accreditation to complement the In Defense Level II offered at Convention, of Gravity . . . . . . . . pg.17 greater alignment between disciplines, added recognition items Remembering Thredbo, and a completely revamped 10 years later . . . . pg. 20 website with greater e-commerce capabilities.

The Board has also moved out on the effort to grow and expand the Education Foundation and associated scholarship fund through the implementation of a structured strategic plan based on the recommendations outlined in the Streamline Consulting study conducted last season. Based on the themes of Leadership, Camaraderie, Adventure, and Excellence, areas of concentration include membership growth and retention, international exchanges, expanded event scope and tiered adventure offerings, and active solicitation of corporate sponsorship, mutual by-products of which are intended to be broader membership access to additional perks and increased exposure for our sponsors. Stay tuned and keep your (cont. on pg. 21)


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Fall Events Come get “fired up” for the 2007-2008 season, hone your skills and fulfill your educational requirements. Use the website or the “Event Application” to your right to sign up. Fall Rally/Alpine Ed Core Heavenly Ski Resort December 2-3, 2007 Space is limited to 100 participants, so get this application in as soon as possible to the PSIA/AASI-W office. Fall Rally is open to all members and will offer a variety of Educational clinic topics. You may attend one or both days. Alpine Ed Core is for Level 3 certified members and Level 2’s who are the primary trainers at their snowsports school. Recommended for members who want to try out for Tech



The Edge is a publication of the The Western Division of Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA-W) and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI-W) covering California and Nevada. We are one of nine divisions that make up the American Snowsports Education Association (ASEA). PSIA was founded in 1961 to develop a standardized system for teaching and to unify instructors throughout the country in the disciplines of: Alpine, Nordic, Snowboarding, Adaptive, as well as Backcountry. The Edge is published three times annually. For advertising submissions and information, contact our office: PSIA/AASI Western Division 9709 Highway 267, Suite B, Truckee, CA. 96161 phone (530) 587-7642 fax (530) 587-4273 For all membership inquiries, check out our website at or contact our office for additional information.

Team, or will be conducting In-House training at their school. Both days recommended. Level 2’s please e-mail Mike Hafer, for permission to attend. Snowboarders, don’t be shy! We will definitely be there offering clinics. Cost is $40 per day, which includes a Heavenly lift ticket.

Cost is $60 per day for Education clinics and a sliding scale for Exam Prep (see below.)

Snowboard Ed Core Heavenly Ski Resort December 3-4, 2007 Snowboard Ed Core is for Level 2 and Level 3 certified members who are the primary trainers at their school. Cost is $40 per day, which includes a Heavenly lift ticket.

Dec. 13-14 – Telemark Level 2 Prep Sugar Bowl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$80

Nordic Symposium Donner Summit December 12-14, 2007 Nordic Symposium is an event for Telemark and Cross Country skiers to jump start the season with a variety of education clinics and exam prep opportunities. The Cross Country events will be held at the Auburn Ski Club and Royal Gorge, and the Telemark at Sugar Bowl.

Exam preps offered at Nordic Synposium: Dec. 12 – Cross Country Level 1 Prep Auburn Ski Club . . . . . . . . . . . . $70 Dec. 12 – Telemark Level 1 Prep Sugar Bowl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $70

Participants will be required to purchase lift tickets unless they hold a pass at the above areas. Expected prices are: $15 at Sugar Bowl, $19 at Royal Gorge, and no charge at Auburn Ski Club. We will be holding our banquet Wednesday, Dec. 12 – location and price to be determined. Numerous lodging options are available in the Truckee area. Here are a couple options near the events: Clair Tappan Lodge, operated by the Sierra Club @ $54/night,; Ice Lakes Lodge @ $100/night, www.royalgorge. com, click on “lodging.”

Spring Convention – April 18-20, 2008 Mammoth Mountain will again be hosting our Spring Convention. This event is built around opportunities for camaraderie and fellowship with our fellow instructors, combined with an impressive array of on-snow clinics and learning experiences. Mammoth has offered our membership discounts at all three Mammoth operated resorts, Mammoth Mountain Inn, Juniper Springs Resort, and The Village. Information on lodging and event registration will be located on our website, and in future

issues of “The Edge” as the season progresses. Responding to member suggestions, we will be offering more selection for attendees who want to try a snowboarding or adaptive clinic. How about, “Fun with Sit Skis?” We expect a very high-energy event, as tryouts for the PSIA/AASI National Tech Teams will be held at Mammoth following our event.

Visit for more information!


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Honorary Members Elissa Slanger Elissa was born in New York in 1933 and began skiing in Vermont and New Hampshire in 1954. She joined the Squaw Valley Ski School in 1967, was awarded her PSIA Associate Certification (Level II) in 1968 and Full Certification (Level III) in 1972. The following season she became an examiner/clinician and in 1974 was elected to the Board of Directors of the FWSIA (PSIA-W). In 1975, recognizing a need that was not being met, Elissa started Woman’s Way Ski Seminars, the first women’s only ski instruction program. By 1978 she was running the seminars in 10 ski areas across the country, from New Hampshire to California. Her book, Ski Woman’s Way, co-authored with Dinah Witchel, was published in 1979. There are now over 200 such programs across the country. As a result of her experiences teaching skiing Elissa became interested in learning theory, in gender differences, and in the factors that motivate people and those that hold them back. In 1983, at the age of 50, she returned to school and was awarded a Ph.D. in Psychology. Elissa is still involved with skiing and ski instruction, working as a Special Instructor on the Squaw Valley Ski School, skiing 3 or 4 days a week, and giving clinics for PSIA/AASI on such subjects as dealing with fear on the slopes, the psychology of the aging skier, and other aspects of Elissa Slanger

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These six Western Division members are being honored for their outstanding contributions furthering the profession of teaching winter sports. sports psychology. Elissa was instrumental in the formation of the newly created Senior Certification program in our Division.

Nancy Fiddler

Today Nancy continues her love of skiing and teaching as the Director of Skiing at Tamarack Cross Country, Mammoth Lakes, CA. In her ‘spare time, Nancy works with skiers of all ages, starting with the Tamarack Gliders program, and coaching the Mammoth Middle School and High School Cross Country Ski Teams, the Far West Junior Nordic Ski program, and Masters clinics.

George Twardokens aka “Dr. T” Nancy Fiddler – Photo courtesy of Mark Nadell.

For anyone who has ever harbored a ‘closet’ Olympic dream, Nordic skier Nancy Fiddler provides inspiration. Nancy started out as lacrosse and field hockey athlete at Bates College in Maine. As a sophomore, she discovered the sport of cross-country skiing and excelled, nabbing All-American status. After graduation, and an unsuccessful attempt at making the U.S. Ski team, Nancy moved to California and taught skiing at Bear Valley Nordic. In 1981 she completed her PSIA Nordic Full Certification and was the PSIA Nordic Chief Examiner from 1985-86. All the while, Nancy raced in citizen races, and kept training. In 1986, after teaching herself the skate technique only a year prior, Nancy finished first in a skating race at the National Championships at Royal Gorge. As a predominately selftaught and self-coached athlete, Nancy made the United States Ski Team in 1987, and for the next six years competed on an International level. Arguably one of the top U. S. Cross Country skiers of all time, Nancy was a 14 time National Champion and a member of two U.S. Olympic teams.

George was born in Poznan, Poland and was a world class fencer in his early years, participating in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics and medaling in several World Championship competitions. George became an American citizen in 1965, and began a long association with the University of Nevada, Reno, teaching classes

George Twardokens – Photo courtesy of Lori Adamski.

on kinesiology in the Physical Education and Recreation Department. First as a ski coach, and then Director of the UNR Ski School, George began studying the biomechanics of skiing, eventually authoring numerous publications on the subject. George was an examiner for PSIA-W from 1968-1976 and held senior staff positions at Alpine Meadows for many years. Skiing is a family affair for the Twardokens. His wife Halina,


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We extend them our heartiest congratulations. is a former downhill racer, and daughter Eva was a member of the U. S. Ski team, participating in two Olympics.

David Mannetter

David Mannetter

David Mannetter began his skiing career in 1965 at Kratka Ridge in the San Gabriel Mountains. In 1969, David and his family moved to Mono County, CA. where David skied at June Mountain Ski Area. Between 1969 and 1980, David continued to free ski and race as a member of the June Mountain Ski Team and the Far West Ski Association. In the fall of 1980, David was hired as a part-time apprentice instructor by the June Mountain Ski School, where after a short time, he realized how fun and rewarding it was to teach skiing. Since that time, he has been an instructor, supervisor and trainer at June Mountain, Mt. Rose, Kirkwood and Mammoth. David joined PSIA-W in 1980 and passed his Associate Certified (Level 2) exam in the spring of 1981. He became Fully Certified (Level 3) in the spring of 1982. David became a member of the PSIA-W Examiner Trainer Squad in 1985, and served as a Trainer and Examiner until 2001. In 1988, he was selected to the PSIA National Demo Team and served three four-year terms as a PSIA National Demonstration Team Member. He represented his

country and organization in two International Conferences of Ski Instruction (Interski) in St. Anton, Austria in 1991 and Nozawa Onsen, Japan in 1995 and has traveled and coached extensively in the U.S. as a D-Team member. David served as a member of the PSIA-W Board of Directors (Education VP) and was Chairman of the PSIA National Education Committee from 1998-2000. He also co-authored PSIA’s Workbook series and has had articles on skiing and technique published in several major publications. Today, David continues to teach and coach on a part-time basis at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and looks forward to many more opportunities to contribute to the success of PSIA and its members.

Doug Pringle Doug Pringle is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and a disabled Vietnam veteran. In 1972 Doug Pringle became one of the first three-track (one-legged) skiers to be Alpine full certified. There was no adaptive certification at that time. During the 1970s and 80s, Doug led a team of clinicians across the nation teaching people with disabilities to ski and training ski instructors in adaptive techniques and teaching methods. They conducted nearly 50 five-day clinics over a 10-year period.

Doug Pringle

Honorary Members In the mid 80s Doug developed an adaptive ski instructor Training and Certification Program. He developed certification levels, teaching progressions and standardized methodologies for all forms of adaptive ski instruction. He assembled a team of examiners and traveled to all the PSIA Divisions conducting certifications. After four years, PSIA integrated the program into its divisions. Doug was honored by a plaque in the Ski Hall of Fame in 1990 and inducted into the Disabled Ski Hall of Fame in 1997. He currently serves as President of Disabled Sports USA, Far West.

Leroy Hill Leroy was born in Logan, Utah in 1937 and started skiing at age 19. His ski industry involvement began in 1960 at Squaw Valley, where the winter Leroy Hill Olympic Games had just been held. As a member of the Squaw Ski Patrol, Leroy was fortunate to work with legends in the ski patrol and snow avalanche fields. He began teaching skiing in 1971, joining Far West Ski Instructors Association (FWSIA) and passed his Full Certification (Level 3) in 1973. He joined the Kirkwood Ski School as Assistant Director that same year and was elected to the Board of Directors of PSIA/AASI-W. He served 21 years on the Board of Directors, including two terms as President. Leroy returned to Squaw Valley as Assistant Director in 1977 and became Ski School Director. He remained in that position until the mid 90’s. He teaches skiing full-time at Squaw and plans on continuing into the future.


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By Mike Hafer, Alpine Vice President

New Season – New Offerings course offering this season. First off, in an attempt to accommodate our weekend staff, there are more clinics scheduled on Sundays. New for the season will be a six day clinic for anyone outside of the industry that is interested in becoming an instructor. It is listed as the “Level 1 New Instructor Module” and will be offered twice this season (December and April.) The “FundamenAlpine VP Mike Hafer tals of Instruction and committing to a turn. Photo Skill Development” courtesy of Aaron Rosen. clinics will be for the apprentice instructor. These clinics are designed to give the first year instructor some guidance in the beginner zones of A co-worker of mine came teaching and skill improvement. up to me this week and stated These clinics will be helpful for that we were in for a big winter. I those interested in becoming cerasked what made him so optimistified down the road and for the tic. He said the large amount of mountains that may have limited pine needles falling off the trees resources for training. was the sign of a healthy winter Last season I received multo come. His prediction, whether tiple requests for clinics designed true or not, fired me up and put specifically for training candia smile on my face. The anticipadates towards certification. Your tion of winter is why I love this wishes are granted. On the calentime of the year. My ski buddies dar you will find several “Level are rolling into town and bringing 2/3 Module Training clinics.” their energy with them for the upThese are NOT prerequisites for coming season. So what’s in store taking the certification modules, for the upcoming season? but are optional days to give Our early season event, the candidates a better idea of what Ed Core/Fall Rally will be held at to expect. The clinics will focus Heavenly. The number of particion the format of the modules, the pants will be limited on this one, standards, and feedback on your so get your applications in early. teaching and skiing. The focus for most of us will For the ladies in our division, be shaking off the rust from the the 2 day “Women’s Seminar” will summer. If you are interested in be conducted by the division’s top trying out for Tech Team, or will female clinicians. Please watch be conducting training at your the web site for details. mountain, I highly recommend I have invited Nick Herrin Ed Core. and Chris Fellows, both from the In response to your requests, Alpine National Demonstration you will see a number of new

Team, to give a couple of clinics in January to take your skiing and teaching to the next level. One day will be ski improvement and the following day will be teaching improvement. Bring your skiing legs to this one, these boys love to charge. Our very own Western Demonstration Team will be trying out in Mammoth at the end of the season for a spot on the National squad. There will be two events offered that will give you the opportunity to ski with the new team, one in the north and the other in the south. This clinic will be a skiing improvement clinic. Come on out and meet your Western Team and get some feedback from the best our division has to offer. To top off the list of new clinics for the season is one of my personal favorites, a back country day. This clinic will work in conjunction with the North American Ski Training Center. The group will be exploring the Donner Summit area. You will be experiencing some amazing views of Donner Lake and the surrounding terrain. There will be a limit on the group size due to guiding permits and safety. You must supply your own equipment. This is for a randonee set up only, sorry snowboard and tele! If you have any questions regarding this course you can contact the NASTC office at (530)582-4772. Remember to have your applications in by the two-week deadline. Thank you for your feedback, which helped us to develop this season’s calendar. I look forward to serving you for another season as the Alpine Vice President. Hopefully the fallen pine needles are forecasting a good winter for us. I look forward to seeing you on the hill! Mike


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By Doug Fagel, Snowboard Vice President


New Regional Snowboard Demo Team! I hope that everyone is excited for the fun season we have ahead. I have been appointed as the Division’s newest Snowboard Vice President and am looking to continue to lead the Western Division’s snowboard development where Ken Mattson left off. NEW REGIONAL SNOWBOARD DEMO TEAM!! First off, we must recognize our four new regional Snowboard Demo Team Members: Josh Spoelstra, Steve Bethell, Ryan Goralski, and yours truly. These individuals have been chosen to represent the western Division over the next four years and will be trying out for the National Demo Team at the end of this season. All four team members demonstrated the potential to advance our standing as a Division in snow sports education and we support them as they train to represent us all at a national level. The Demo Team will be training each month at Mammoth with the two selected Regional Snowboard Demo Team Coaches: Blair McLeod and Stu Rea. Make sure to talk to your school’s trainer about using Member School Clinic Days to bring

The Level 1 & 2 Freestyle Accreditation is a great way to enhance your skills as an Instructor. Photo courtesy of Aaron Rosen.

a Demo Team member to your resort for a day this season.

specialist while improving your ability to educate and ride in freestyle terrain arenas.

EDUCATIONAL EVENTS THE POSSE This year we will again be This past spring we set up offering a full module based The Posse. This is the core group certification program. This will of Tech Team snowboard volunallow our developing members teers for the Western Division. to receive direct feedback in all This group helps to distribute the exam situations and promote a work load of the Snowboard Vice positive learning environment President and will help to improve at all certification events. We are the productivity of the snowboard adding some optional educational disciple for the western division. events to this season’s calendar Look to the web page for more inthat will offer developmental formation on the members of The training to candidates preparPosse and which member to direct ing for their Level 2 & Level 3 your questions and suggestions Teaching Modules. We expect to throughout the season. Also that these optional education feel free to contact me anytime days will assist more members in at: We all their pursuits for their next level look forward to seeing you out on of certification. the snow this season. With the great success of the Level 1 & Level 2 Freestyle Accreditations last season we Exciting Employment Opportunities will be offering a few Available at Tahoe Donner more of these events Race Coach /Staff Trainer on the calendar for Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Area is looking for a Level this season. The 3 certified instructor to help coach our Tahoe League Race Freestyle AccreditaTeam. This is a great opportunity to gain race coaching tion Program is a experience while working with kids ages 7 to 12 on weekgreat way to develop ends and holidays. During the week, you will be involved yourself as a freestyle with staff training of candidates for PSIA certification as well as teaching group and private lessons. Snowboard Supervisor /Staff Trainer Tahoe Donner seeks a qualified Level 3 snowboard instructor to supervise daily snowboard school operations ad develop and implement training programs for staff members seeking AASI certification. We offer competitive pay, free access to our Trout Creek Fitness Center and Cross Country Ski Center, as well as discounts at the Lodge Restaurant. Ski and Snowboard Instructors Tahoe Donner seeks ski and snowboard instructors for the 07 / 08 season. We offer competitive pay, in house training for PSIA and AASI certification, free access to the Trout Creek Fitness Center and the Cross Country Ski Center, and discounts at The Lodge Restaurant. Please send resumes to: Jim Gregory, Tahoe Donner Ski and Snowboard School, 11509 Northwoods Blvd., Truckee, CA 96161. Email to:


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By Glen Smith, Adaptive Chairperson

Adaptive Committee Takes a New Look This summer the Adaptive Committee was reorganized to be more representative of the membership and to include all disciplines that are teaching adaptive in PSIA /AASI–W. The Board of Directors asked the Adaptive Committee to conduct an election to reestablish the committee to represent the regions and disciplines of PSIA/AASI–W. An Interim Adaptive Committee was formed and sanctioned by the Board of Directors to conduct an election. Current Adaptive Certified members were asked to nominate members to serve, and an election was conducted by mail and e-mail. The following Adaptive Certified members are serving on the new Adaptive Committee:

Chairperson: Glen Smith Secretary: Lynne Haile Treasurer: Robin Conners Nominations & Standards Chair: Peter Axelson Certification Chair: Brent Kuemmerle Communications Chair: Ralph Aros Study Guide and Written Test Chair: Karey Kusuhara Events Chair: Josh Spoelstra By-Laws Chair: Bill Bowness The Committee met in Mammoth on September 22nd to plan the 07 / 08 season. Some of the directions established by the interim committee are:


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Revise the Level I / Level II modules so that Level I candidates will be responsible to teach up to beginning intermediate, and be responsible for basic knowledge of one discipline (cognitive, visual impairments, etc.). Conduct education events in all regions of PSIA/ AASI–W that will welcome members seeking Adaptive Certification for the first time. Continue to improve coaching in education and exam events. Simplify study guides and written exams. The Adaptive Committee Bylaws are being revised to support these concepts. The Adaptive Committee will include alpine, snowboard, and any other discipline that want to participate in adaptive education and certification. The election process was conducted to give all adaptive certified members a voice in the selection of the new committee. However, the new Committee is open to comments, questions and suggestions of all members who have an interest in adaptive. We encourage members to take a clinic, seek out information on the PSIA/AASI–W web site or contact committee members for information. See you on the snow! Glen Smith

Greg Lyons – Children’s Chair

General guidelines for interactions to prevent misunderstandings with children: I don’t usually like to talk about the negative, but here are a few tips to keep in mind to protect yourself and the children you are teaching. These guidelines were unofficially adapted from my AYSO Soccer training class. Avoid situations in which you are alone with a child. This is challenging for the snow sports industry because of the large use of private lessons. When teaching private lessons be aware of your surroundings. Find areas that are practical for your teaching sce-

narios, but within sight of others. Privacy in changing clothes and toilet use should be respected. When necessary to supervise children in these situations have at least one adult of the same sex of the child do the supervising. Touching or hugging should be in response to the need of the child, not the need of the adult. Give a hug from the side over the shoulders, not from the front. Touching should be done in the open, not in private and be of a brief, limited duration.

Western Division member Josh Spoelstra (pictured) earned the AASI Level 3 Adaptive Snowboard certification last spring in Mammoth. Josh is the first person to attain this certification in the U.S.

Sexual jokes, comments of a sexual nature, kissing and sensual massages are not appropriate. Do not use corporal punishment in any form: spanking, slapping, hitting, etc. It is the adult’s responsibility to set and respect boundaries. When a child initiates inappropriate behavior the adult must reject the overture. Above all, stay focused.


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Nordic Notes By Urmas Franosch, Nordic Chief Examiner With another winter season approaching we are all wondering whether it will or whether it won’t. For many years it seemed we could take it for granted! I hope we’re up to our necks in winter weather by the time you read this! I’m pleased to report that PSIA-W Nordic is ramped up for the season with some new developments that came out of the summer committee meeting. It was decided to formalize the length of term for Nordic committee officers at two years. Cedar Seeger and Urmas Franosch were voted in as Nordic Chairperson and Chief Examiner/Telemark Director respectively. The positions of Back-Country Director and Cross Country director will be voted upon this coming summer. Anyone interested in these positions should contact Cedar or Urmas for more information. Their contact information can be found online at The telemark and cross country handbooks were updated this summer, and are available for free on line as well. These booklets complement the Nordic Technical Manual available from PSIA national, and are important reference materials for understanding skiing and teaching. They are required reading for exam candidates, as they explain the exam philosophy and process, and contain invaluable information on the structure of PSIA-W Nordic. Members interested in taking exams are encouraged to download the new handbooks even if they own older versions, as much information has been added, and numerous corrections have been made. Starting this season, the Level 2 Telemark Prep Clinic and Exam have been expanded to 2 days each. This is in response to feedback from members who felt they would benefit from more

time practicing skiing tasks and teaching scenarios. The back country program is being offered again to all disciplines. There seems to be considerable interest among alpine skiers for back country education. Let your fixed heel friends know that they can participate in these events without having to telemark ski (Gasp!!). Back country education events can be attended with alpine touring skis or split boards. In the Nordic discipline, we bend over backwards to be flexible and inclusive. I hope to see you all at the Symposium for the big Nordic throwdown!

Good Times “A-Comin” By John “Cedar” Seeger, Nordic Chairman

be held at Grand Targhee resort on April 4, 5 & 6, 2008. Mark your calendars. Good friends, good skiing. As we know, the strength of the Nordic Division lies in our connection to our sport, our clients and each other. I encourage you, the Nordic membership, to contact me at any time to share your thoughts and ideas. I look forward to hearing from you, my email address is The ‘07 Nordic Symposium will be at Donner Summit this year, December 12-14, so save the dates! We have some creative lodging arranged that should suit the Nordic pocketbook (no, it’s not out in Betchawannaland). Also, I have been bidding on eBay for a couple of storm cycles to be delivered on time. The Nordic Symposium is notorious for some good powder skiing. Good times are a-comin’…. Remember, check the website regularly for Nordic updates and news.

National Demo Team member, Tor Brown. Photo courtesy of Aaron Rosen.

Season’s greetings fellow freeheelers! The first whiff of fall is here and my steps quicken in anticipation of the coming of ski season. It’s a busy time getting ready for winter, very much to get done. I’d like to thank the Nordic Committee for giving me the opportunity to serve as Chairman of the Division. I acknowledge Until then, Randy “Big Dawg” Wall Cedar and Urmas Franosch for their guidance, care and leadership in the past United States Adaptive years. As I follow in their Recreation Center tracks, both literally and figuratively, I am Big Bear Lake, California grateful for their friendship. Speaking of the Big WANTED: Full Time Adaptive Ski Instructors – Dawg, Randy has been Experienced adaptive or alpine instructors are needed at the put to work by the InterU.S. Adaptive Recreation Center at Bear Mountain. Always mountain and Northern private lessons, competitive salary, 35 hours/week through Rocky Mountain Divimost of season (December – March ). Compensation sions to organize the D.O.E. Send resume/cover letter to or call 10th Annual Nordic 909.584.0269. Ralph Aros, Program Director, USARC. Rendezvous, which will


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Western Sales Representative Office: 418.877.5584 ext 241 Mobile: 418.655.0210

Sebastien Desnoyers


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Check for updates or changes. Administrative Meetings

Per Day Date Event Location Cost 11/15 Member Schools Meeting Mammoth 4/17 PSIA/AASI-W Board of Directors Meeting Mammoth 4/19 Member Schools Meeting Mammoth

Adaptive Events

Date Event Location 1/22 Welcome to Adaptive Ski/SB Heavenly 1/26 Welcome to Adaptive Ski/SB Mammoth 2/2 Welcome to Adaptive Ski/SB Big Bear 2/12 L1/2 Ski & SB Prep Alpine 2/17 L1/2 Ski & SB Prep Bear Mtn. 3/2 L1/2 Ski & SB Prep Mammoth 3/18-19 L1/2 Ski & SB Teach & Tech Exam Heavenly 3/20 L1/2 Ski Exam Heavenly 3/24 L1/2 Ski Exam Mammoth 3/24 L1/2 Ski Exam Bear Mtn. 3/25-26 L1/2 Ski & SB Teach & Tech Exam Mammoth 3/25-26 L1/2 Ski & SB Teach & Tech Exam Bear Mtn. 3/29-30 L3 Ski & SB Prep Mammoth 4/5-8 L1/2 Ski & SB Exam Mammoth 4/18-20 Convention - clinics Ski/SB Mammoth 5/5-7 L3 Ski & SB Exam Mammoth 5/8 & 9 L3 Ski Exam Mammoth

Alpine Events

Per Day Cost $60 $60 $60 $70/$80 $70/$80 $70/$80 $70/$80 $70/$80 $70/$80 $70/$80 $70/$80 $70/$80 $90 $70/$80 tba $90 $90

Per Day Date Event Location Cost 11/13-14 Tech Team Training Mammoth (staff event, invitation only) 12/2-3 Fall Rally/Ed Core Heavenly $40 12/9-14 L1 New Instructor Module Northstar $70 12/12-14 L1 Module Heavenly $70 1/6 Fundamentals of Instruction & Skill Dev. Sugar Bowl $60 1/10 Ski Improvement w/D team Squaw Valley $60 1/11 Teaching Tactics w/D team Squaw Valley $60 1/12 Backcountry Day w/NASTC Sugar Bowl $60 1/14 L2 Ski Module Training Mammoth $60

1/15 L2 Teaching Mod Training Mammoth $60 1/23 Tech Team Training Northstar (staff event, invitation only) 1/27-28 Ski with the Regional D-Team Snow Summit $60 1/29-31 L1 Module Northstar $70 2/4-5 Senior’s Accreditation 1 Diamond Peak $70 2/4 L3 Ski Module Training Alpine Meadows $60 2/5 L3 Teach Module Training Alpine Meadows $60 2/6-8 L1 Module Mammoth $70 2/10 Fundamentals of Instruction and Skill Dev. Snow Summit $60 2/11-12 Ski w/Regional D-Team Heavenly $60 2/13 Giant Slalom Race Day Alpine Meadows $60 2/14 Off Piste for Women Sugar Bowl $60 2/25 Intro to Bumps Squaw Valley $60 2/25 Alpine Tech Team Tryouts Mammoth $90 2/26 Tech Team Training Mammoth (staff event, invitation only) 2/27-29 L2 Ski Module Sierra at Tahoe $80 2/27-29 L1 Module Snow Summit $70 3/1- 2 Senior’s Accreditation 1 Snow Summit $70 3/2-3 Western Women’s Camp Squaw Valley $60 3/3 Teaching Ideas Sugar Bowl $60 3/4-6 L2 Ski Module Mammoth $80 3/7 Park and Pipe Squaw Valley $60 3/10-12 L3 Ski Module Mammoth $90 3/10-12 L1 Module Sugar Bowl $70 3/13-14 L2 Teach Module Heavenly $80 3/17-19 L2 Ski Module Snow Summit $80 3/31-4/1 L2 Teach Module Snow Summit $80 4/1-3 L1 Module Sierra at Tahoe $70 4/7-8 Free Ride Accreditation Northstar $70 4/9-11 L3 Ski Module Alpine Meadows $90 4/9-11 L2 Ski Mod Northstar $80 4/12-17 L1 New Instructor Module Mammoth $70 4/18-20 Convention (3 Days) Mammoth tba 4/18-20 Senior’s Accreditation Level 2 Mammoth (Convention) $70 4/20-22 L1 Module Mammoth $70 4/21-22 L2 Teach Module Mammoth $80 4/21-22 L3 Teach Module Mammoth $90

Children’s Events

Per Day Date Event Location Cost 12/19-20 Children’s Specialist 1 Northstar $70 1/14-16 Children’s Specialist 2 Alpine Meadows $70


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C A L E N D A R Check for updates or changes.

2/4-5 2/27-29 3/1-2 4/19-20

Children’s Specialist 1 Sierra at Tahoe $70 Children’s Specialist 2 Mammoth $70 Children’s Specialist 1 Snow Summit $70 Children’s Specialist 1 Mammoth (Conv) $70

Nordic Events

Per Day Date Event Location Cost 12/10 XC Examiner Training Auburn Ski Club (staff event, invitation only) 12/11 Telemark Examiner Training Sugar Bowl (staff event, invitation only) 12/12-14 Fall Symposium Donner Summit tba 12/12 X-C Level 1 Prep Auburn Ski Club $70 12/12 Telemark Level 1 Prep Sugar Bowl $70 12/13-14 Telemark Level 2 Prep Sugar Bowl $80 1/9 X-C Level 1 Prep Tahoe Donner $70 1/10 X-C Level 2 Prep Tahoe Donner $80 1/11 X-C Level 3 Prep Tahoe Donner $90 1/28 Telemark Level 1 Prep Mt. Rose $70 1/29-30 Telemark Level 2 Prep Mt. Rose $80 1/31-2/1 Telemark Level 3 Prep Kirkwood $90 3/10 Telemark Level 1 Exam Mt. Rose $70 3/11-12 Telemark Level 2 Exam Mt. Rose $80 3/13-14 Telemark Level 3 Exam Kirkwood $90 3/26 X-C Level 1 Exam Tahoe Donner $70 3/27 X-C Level 2 exam Tahoe Donner $80 3/28 X-C Level 3 exam Tahoe Donner $90 4/18-20 Convention Mammoth tba

Backcountry Events

Date Event Location 1/15-17 AIARE Level 1 course TBA 2/27-28 Intro to Backcountry Riding TBA 3/19-20 Overnight Winter Camping TBA TBA Sierra Spring Tour TBA

Snowboarding Events

Per Day Cost $70 $60 tba tba

Per Day Date Event Location Cost 11/14 Tech Team Training Mammoth (staff event, invitation only) 12/2-3 Fall Rally Heavenly $40 12/3-4 Ed Core Heavenly $40 12/10-12 Level 1 Module Squaw Valley $70

12/14 Level 2 & 3 Training* 1/7-9 Level 1 Module 1/15 Tech Team Training (staff event, invitation only) 1/17-18 Freestyle 1 Accreditation 1/22 Intro to Freestyle Coaching 1/22 Intro to Freestyle Coaching 1/23-24 Freestyle 1 Accreditation 1/23-24 Freestyle 1 Accreditation 1/28-30 Level 2 Riding Module 1/31 Trainers Accreditation Prep 2/1 Intro to Park & Pipe Riding 2/1 Intro to Park & Pipe Riding 2/5-7 Level 1 Module 2/5-7 Level 1 Module 2/5-7 Level 2 Riding Module 2/11-13 Level 2 Riding Module 2/11-13 Level 3 Riding Module 2/25 Trainers Accreditation Prep 2/25-27 Level 2 Riding Module 2/26-28 Level 3 Riding Module 2/26-28 Level 1 Module 2/29 Shut up & Ride 2/29 Teaching Level 2 Training 3/3 Shut Up and Ride 3/4 Teaching Level 2 Training* 3/5-7 Level 1 Module 3/5-6 Level 2 Teaching Module 3/11-13 Level 2 Riding Module 3/11-13 Level 3 Riding Module 3/12-14 Level 1 Module 3/17-18 Level 2 Teaching Module 3/17-19 Freestyle 2 Accreditation 3/19 Trainers Accreditation Prep 3/19 Teaching Level 3 Training* 3/19-21 Level 2 Riding Module 4/16 Tech Team Training (staff event, invitation only) 4/17 Teaching Level 2 Training* 4/17 Teaching Level 3 Training* 4/17-18 Freestyle 1 Accreditation 4/17-18 Trainers Acc. Exam 4/18-20 Convention (3 Days) 4/21-23 Level 1 Module 4/21-22 Level 2 Teaching Module 4/21-22 Level 3 Teaching Module

Mammoth $60 Alpine Meadows $70 Mammoth Mammoth Bear Mountain Northstar Northstar Bear Mountain Kirkwood Sugar Bowl Bear Mountain Northstar Mammoth Sierra Summit Mammoth Squaw Valley Squaw Valley Mammoth Mountain High Mammoth Mt. Shasta Bear Mountain Sugar Bowl Kirkwood Bear Mountain Homewood Alpine Mammoth Mammoth Mountain High Mountain High Mammoth Mountain High Squaw Valley Squaw Valley Mammoth

$70 $60 $60 $70 $70 $80 $70 $60 $60 $70 $70 $80 $80 $90 $70 $80 $90 $70 $60 $60 $60 $60 $70 $80 $80 $90 $70 $80 $70 $70 $60 $80

Mammoth Mammoth Mammoth Mammoth Mammoth Mammoth Mammoth Mammoth

$60 $60 $70 $70 tba $70 $80 $90


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Craig Albright – National Board Representative

National Board Focuses on Infrastructure Improvements, Dues Both organizations benefited from the 17 year relationship, as sharing the costs of doing business has helped us run lean operations and keep costs low to our respective memberships. Though it will certainly be more expensive to “go solo”, the board believes that doing so will allow us to better serve the wants and needs our membership in the long run.

Proud members of a strong Association: promoting the profession and you. Photo courtesy of Aaron Rosen.

I hope after the long summer, all is well and that you are looking forward to a “normal” (if there is such a thing) winter as much as I am. Snow should be in the forecast any day now. There are some significant items to report on from the National front, so I will jump right in. NSP split After enjoying a 17 year relationship with the National Ski Patrol (NSP), ASEA and the NSP have moved to separate the operations of the two organizations in almost every area. After 18 months of meetings and negotiations, the two organizations each hired their own Executive Director and the respective personnel to better serve the unique needs of each organization’s membership and mission. ASEA retained the services of Mark Dorsey as the Executive Director of the organization and successfully retained most of the staff that we formerly shared with the NSP. The areas of member services, marketing, publications, administration and most of the IT department will no longer share employees and employee expenses with NSP and each of these departments will report directly to Mark. There will still be a couple of areas of shared staff, most notably the finance department, warehouse and some of the IT department.

Software Infrastructure After many years of struggling with an antiquated association management software system, it has become evident that we must make further investments in this important aspect of the association’s infrastructure. Our members, as they should, are constantly demanding faster, and more convenient services – many of which are web based – and expect us to deliver on these demands. Though this is a sizable investment (approximately $400k), there is little doubt that we will need the more robust web capabilities. We expect that the new system will help us to provide the level of service our members expect in the years to come. Strategic Planning With the new realities on the National front (NSP split and significant software investment) there is an acute need to reconnect with the nine divisions from a strategic standpoint. ASEA National will be hosting a Strategic Planning workshop in early October that will bring many of the key players from the divisions together to explore the opportunities that our new landscape presents the organization. Neil Bussiere, Mitch Dion and myself will be the Western Division representatives at this workshop. We will be reporting back in the midwinter issue of the Edge.

National Dues Increase 08-09 Dedicated staff, better software, strategic planning, new education materials…a responsible board has to ask themselves how are we going to pay for this stuff? The National BOD has wrestled with the consideration of a dues increase for a couple of years. During the process, we asked ourselves if we are spending the members’ money wisely; if we are delivering good value to the membership; how might we generate other sources of non-dues revenue; how much can our members afford? We have had only two National dues increases in the last 17 years, the latest being in 2002. We also looked forward with our financial projections to see how deeply we might dig into our modest reserves if we decided not to increase dues for a couple more years. In the end, we could see that if we didn’t increase dues we would be either putting the wants and needs of our membership on hold or the association in financial risk. The BOD moved to increase PSIA/AASI National dues by $10 for the 08-09 dues cycle. It is our hope that you will support this action with your continued involvement in the association. Closing On a personal note, it is a great privilege to serve as your representative at the National Board of Directors. It is certainly a challenging role; at times fun, at times exasperating, always time consuming, rarely boring, and ultimately very rewarding. I hope to continue to serve you well for the remainder of my time in office. I don’t know about you, but I am antsy to get back out on the snow for some turns. See you on the slopes!


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Heidi Ettlinger – Publicity & Advisory Committee


Launching our New Website and So Much More.... (cont. from pg. 1)

to familiarize yourself with the new site before contacting the office – as we have developed several new pages of information to answer frequently asked questions. Also new this season is a program to recruit new members from all four corners of the Western Division. Building our member base has a cascading effect on our entire organization. It helps us to develop better products and offer more services in addition to providing a vital service to resorts, snowsport schools, and the public. The retention of our current membership is equally as important, especially recognizing the diversity among our members, in order to provide them with comprehensive benefits. The new recruitment program uses a multi-media approach to capture the highlights of instructing and presents a thorough overview of PSIA/AASI membership and benefits. We will also be

holding resort specific meetings in addition to regional presentations, to support resort training programs and provide information on membership, education, and certification. Additionally, we have put together a new Level I Module for people who are considering becoming a snowsport instructor, but not currently working at a resort. This program combines 3 days of education with the formal Level I Module that meets our National Standards for Level I Certification. Participants will still have to complete 20 hours of instructing to become fully certified, however, we hope this program becomes a valuable resource for resorts and ultimately members of the public who desire training before applying for instructor positions. Building a stronger full and part-timer base in all four disciplines is crucial to providing professional instruction to the public and maintaining

the integrity of our association. We encourage you to share this information with friends or family who may be interested in teaching. Dates and locations for these events will be posted on the web site. The PSIA/AASI national site ( / continues to provide a wealth of benefits from online educational resources (internet learning center) to promotional/professional offers. From the member services area you are able to directly access the Accessories Catalog, “Pro Offers”, and a member forum to communicate with instructors from around the country. This site is well worth checking out to get outfitted and locate the latest teaching guides for this season. We hope you find our new web site helpful and look forward to your feedback. Please feel free to email or

You Are ‘The Product’ Snowsport instructors have a reciprocal relationship with resorts. They provide us with an office and we provide them with a vital service. Instructors are the product a resort sells when people buy a snowsport lesson. How do you maintain or improve your product? All of this adds more value to your product and the resort you work for, in turn, you can expect to be compensated by the contribution that your product adds to the resort. Building strong connections with your home area is crucial to this cooperative exchange. Resort guests see us as role models and we represent the mountain with our professional presence, uniform appearance and leadership skills. We are a highly marketable commodity that adds

value to the resort and snowsport school. Instructors (like private contractors) pay for their certification, are valued by their expertise and experience, and have to continually attend on going education to keep their certification current. Like most professionals staying competitive in our industry also means regularly improving and refining the product we deliver. There are several pathways to build your talents in snowsport instruction. Two options are resort-based training or education/certification with PSIA/AASI, neither of which should become a ceiling in your overall development. Certified instructors who maintain their membership have access to benefits from the

Do you take advantage of opportunities to grow professionally? Photo courtesy of Aaron Rosen.

Western Division and our national organization ( – see member services for links to numerous promotional offers). Aside from these valuable pro deals, the most commonly used benefit is the opportunity to train with an elite group of accomplished clinicians to sharpen your skills, challenge yourself, and stay current with the latest in snowsport instruction. (cont. on pg. 16)


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Heidi Ettlinger – Publicity & Advisory Committee

You Are ‘The Product’ (cont’d) (cont. from pg. 15)

You are the product…You are it. As a snowsport instructor, like other sport trainers, all that you bring to the lesson experience is the product. [Unless of course you find yourself in a fine dining on-hill bistro for three-quarters of the lesson -that’s cheating!]. A few questions to ask yourself, “Who uses your product and why?” “What do they want - why?” “Is your product fun, exciting, captivating, does it share your passion?” Most instructors would say the reason they teach snowsports every season is because, “they love what they do,” which makes us a very unique group of people in today’s world. However, for many of us this is also our income or a contributing source and we need to be fairly compensated and recognized for our devotion, commitment, and the financial investment we have made as professionals. So ultimately who is responsible for developing instructors and the product they provide to resorts and their guests? Considering the price of instruction, the vital role that instructor’s play in growing the sport, and the amount of contact time that instructors have

with their guests – this “product” is important to the entire industry. Instructors can make or break guests continued involvement. They can often sell people on the type of equipment they should purchase, and evolve their whole perspective of the sport. Instructors develop relationships

“There are many people who want to be matadors only to find themselves in the ring with two thousand pounds of bull bearing down on them, and then discover that what they really wanted was to wear tight pants and hear the crowd roar.” (Terry Pearce, Leadership Coaching… A Contact Sport. The San Francisco Examiner, 4/00).

with their clients – often lasting several years and even traveling to different resorts around the world to guide them on their adventures. Keeping our products competitive and belonging Instructor Position to a standout school of professionals entails staying curMt. Rose - Ski Tahoe is currently accepting instructor rent with industry applications for the 2007/08 season. We are looking for initiatives, adding responsible and enthusiastic individuals to fill both part and new tricks to your full time positions. Benefits include a season pass for you teaching quiver, and and a friend if you work the minimum of days, discounts on getting out there and food and equipment, competitive wages, and much more. actually practicing Fill out an application online today at what you do. Develor contact: Brian Ligon, Ski School Director, Mt. Rose - Ski oping your product Tahoe, 775-849-0704 (ext 220), and maintaining it

also involves a certain amount of athleticism and interest in being the best you can be to market something that’s brilliant. This season, grab the bull by the horns and take advantage of what the PSIA/AASI Western Division has to offer. The 07/08 event calendar offers something for everyone with several one and multi-day education events led by the Western & National Development Teams, a 2-day Western Women’s Camp, back country programs, freestyle coaching courses, and of course the opportunity to schedule traveling clinics. This could also be the year you attend The National Academy, something every member should do at least once in their career (and generally a sell-out event). You are a part of an outstanding internationally recognized organization that values you and your contributions to the industry. For almost 46 years our association has been seeking out new and innovative ways to support instructors and maintain our reputation of excellence. So regardless of the training opportunities your resort offers, take the initiative to improve your product– unless of course you really just want to wear tight pants and hear the crowd roar….

Member Schools Management meeting open to directors and management staff of our member schools November 15 at Mammoth. Bring your ideas and energy (and your skis.)


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Alain Bertrand, PSIA W Alpine Level 3 since 1969 To my Sierras old time friends, Nick FIORE, Werner SCHUSTER, Marcel BAREL and all the brave new timers, who are busy inventing our modern world, just to remind them that some boorish truth cannot be discarded as old square tacky stuff, as it will still be with our children’s children, boosting skiers a long time after we will all be bygone. – Alan Bertrand

In Defense of Gravity

they hardly need us to teach them. The bottom line of it all is that we need to perform these actions while standing at a square angle with the slope, which, on


I protest! I've been on deck working my ass off day and night for a few billion years, and then, a mere 3 million year old, so-called, human kind has denied my very existence. The Catholic church has condemned my champion Galileo, and nowadays, hardnosed ski instructors ignore me in spite of the fact that they eat off of my plate!  Unfair!  They take me for granted just because I'm reliable and serviceable. What should I do to obtain rightful recognition? Divorce? Go on strike? If I were to do so I would instantly take hundreds of thousands of ski instructors off the slopes, as they would stop sliding downhill and their charges, I mean their students, having lost all fear of falling, would stop spending money on said, ski instructors.  Sorry, I haven’t introduced myself! Does Newton ring a bell? Since its inception over 100 years ago, skiing has been taught without reference to gravity. However, no gravity, no skiing. Gravity is the mechanical engine of skiing and the psychological obstacle to it’s learning. The salubrious terror of free falling down a bottomless slick slope that skiing instills within any healthy-minded student is the main obstacle instructors need to help overcome. The techniques for turning and stopping a sliding ski are so simple

people who are simply concerned with finding out where the brakes and steering wheel are? Pondering these questions led me to write “Glee,” the first literary essay devoted to skiing. While I lack the nerve to introduce a complete “new” skiing method after ATM’s and a thousand other excellent manuals already on the market, I do hope my effort can help us to break new ground in three ways: 1. Psychological techniques to overcome our students' atavistic fear of an endless fall induced by gravity.

the steep, amounts to throwing ourselves head first into a deep pit. In the name of ‘what’ should our students trust us, if we don’t help them face and overcome this hard fact of skiing? It is about time we realize that in spite of our admiration for Schumacher the Formula One race car driver, the mother of three, whom we currently teach, just wants to drive her Beetle to town to buy groceries.  In skiing terms, why shouldn’t we tell her that carving is a racing technique designed to accelerate and extremely useful to FIS racers whose unabashed purpose is NOT to turn but to carve a track as straight as they can?  Why couldn’t we recognize that, in the whole universe, the sole and only means to slow down is friction, and that friction for a ski is side-slipping, and therefore, turning and stopping a ski involve side-slipping, and that we do sideslip a lot, as do world-cup racers whenever the turn imposed on them does not match the radius of their edge curve or whenever the gate comes up too fast?  And that is most of the time.  How often does a car driving school instructor teach rally techniques?  Why should we teach speeding to

2. Tap gravity’s driving force, which amounts to relying on balance in place of muscular force. 3. Develop skills into kinesthetic perceptions. This new approach could have far reaching effects on our profession: speed up the teaching process, attract new categories of clients to skiing and enhance our image. If I have piqued your interest, by clicking on you can download “Glee” for free. On the same site you can find a manual available in its Chinese version only, but the accompanying English DVD can be downloaded for free. There is a soul and a spirit to skiing, let’s expand with it.

Illustrations courtesy of Alan Bertrand.


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Education Foundation

By Greg Lyons

Going Back to School – St. Anton, Austria

The top of Galzig. Nancy, Mark, Victor, Greg and Theresa.

Visiting one of the premier European ski resorts had long been a dream of mine. This past winter, that dream became a reality, with the help of NASTC (North American Ski Training Center) and the PSIA/AASI Education Foundation. I attended a six-day trip to St. Anton, Austria with Victor Gerdin, a former fourterm National D-Team member as the groups’ guide and instructor. My goal was to observe a toplevel clinician and study the challenges of putting on a multi-day clinic. Specifically, I was interested in the balance between providing enough information without overloading or burning-out the attendee, and how the clinician worked with each individual’s unique learning styles, conditioning level, and all the while, maintaining the FUN factor. Victor had been to the area five times for extended stays each trip so he had a good knowledge of the terrain. Our first day provided us with sunny weather and great visibility of endless mountain tops.

However day two thorough six brought many snowstorms with white out conditions. It snowed from eight inches to one and a half feet per day. Victor modified his plans, guiding us to stunning skiing day after day even though lift closures and avalanche conditions became big issues!!! St. Anton is a huge area. Every day we skied areas that were completely new to us. I thought we had already seen quite a bit by day two, but on day three we went to Rendl for the first time and then day four we experienced Albona, another new area. A good portion of day five we explored Kapall another area we had never been to. Day six NASTC hired a local guide and we found bits and pieces of all sorts of ‘secret stashes’ that were close to terrain we had skied, but were still completely new. To my amazement, the last run of the six-day trip we skied a long, untracked powder run that we had never been to. Due to the weather we were unable ski to Zurs-Lech. I can only wonder how many miles of unbelievable terrain are waiting for my return trip!!!

A skiing highlight occurred on day four when we went to Albona. What awaited us was outstanding. Victor guided us to the top of a huge treeless bowl with maybe twenty tracks in it. We completed a short hike and were standing at the top of Albonagrat. The snow was close to waist deep and extremely dry. Can you say Endless Face Shots? 3000 vertical feet and an hour later we reached the bottom of the trail physically exhausted and smiling for hours!! I am smiling now as I recall that run!! As per my goals I watched and listed to Victor help others and myself. I observed how he dealt with fatigue and learning styles. He constantly checked for feedback and allowed each participant the opportunity to make practical choices, whether it was the opportunity for a quick break, alternate trail options for skill level, or even guidance back to the hotel. At times Victor gave comments of encouragement to push the participants; other times he backed off and let them decide their own destiny. On a training note, I especially liked how Victor did a very good job linking the morning stretching classes to areas of focus with all participants. His focus for me was on the hamstrings and which movement patterns helped me

Can you say endless face shots? – Schindiergrat Spitze


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Education Foundation

Victor Gerdin and Greg Lyons.

moving with the crowd because the floor was literally moving. Depending on how actively you participated, the quarter mile ski to town after the Mooserwirt could be quite entertaining. The nights continued for many. A person walking through town with ski boots at 10 p.m. was not uncommon. An unbelievably good time! Once again, thank you to the Ed Foundation for helping provide the initial funds to go for this trip. Also, thank

acquire the maximum extension of my legs. In my case, thinking of moving my heels away from my hips rather than the whole foot or the toes away from the hips helped. Breaking down the sensations in the toes, heel or whole foot and then adding calves and hamstring muscles while stretching gave me some very specific areas to focus on while skiing. Everyday, there were Après ski festivities! At the bottom of each major hill is at least one large outdoor bar. The Mooserwirt was our regular stop. Whether we showed up at 4:30 p.m. or after Mooserwirt Village. 5:00 p.m., the crowd would be dancing on the tables listening to old Ameriyou to Chris Fellows can top 40 hits. You would be and NASTC for putting jostled around and on such a wonderful generally event. I experienced new things, learned from a true pro, and had endless FUN! Simply put, a great experience. Greg Lyons

3,000 vertical feet and an hour later we reached the bottom of the trail physically exhausted and smiling for hours!! I am smiling now as I recall that run!! – Greg Lyons

Greg Lyons was a recipient of a $500 Tech Team Scholarship, funded through the PSIA/AASI-W Education Foundation to enhance knowledge and skills.


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Education Foundation

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By Barclay Moore

The Sodergrens Live A decade has gone by, a lifetime for a child and what seems like a moment in time for we old geezers. This July 30th marked the 10th anniversary of the tragedy Mike and Mim Sodergran. in Thredbo, Australia. In the dark of night 2 buildings collapsed killing 18 wonderful people. Two of those wonderful people were my very great friends Mike and Mariam Sodergren. The year 1997, 10 years ago, was terrible, from the moment the phone rang in the middle of the night, to the agonizing week that followed, and memorial services here and down under, to the ski season that felt empty. I knew that these were special people, extraordinary mentors and ski teachers. And I knew, and still know, what marvelous friends they were to

many others and myself worldwide. I had a good idea then that their memory would live through many people in many countries, but I did not think it would continue as strongly as it has. Their pictures still hang on my wall, Mike’s key ring is still in my pocket and Mariam’s stool is in my apartment. Each ski season their names surface scores of times with thoughts of skiing, cooking and debating. This particular year because the anniversary year ends with a zero we purposely have Mike and Mim in our thoughts even more often.  I hope you do too. Their friends proposed to PSIA-W to use some of the funds donated to the Sodergren Education Fund to send a representative “…The sun was shining and the snow to Australia to attend the memorial service was perfect. It was a very fitting morning at Thredbo on July to reflect on good friends that share the 30th. In order that we make it an educational skiing passion. There was a church service event that Mike and Mim would approve in the pm and the whole town was there... of we sent the finest ski teacher in the In the evening over 1,400 people loaded country to be present and to conduct a week a lift to set a record for the biggest torch of workshops on our behalf. Mike Rogan, US light parade in memory and honor of the Demo Team member, town of Thredbo and the friends who lost did us and Mike and Mariam proud. Mike their lives. It was an amazing display of Rogan arrived in Australia a week early and friendship, support and love.” traveled from ski area to ski area doing what Michael Rogan, July 30, 2007, Thredbo, he does best. Those Australia, excerpt from an e-mail.

If these skis could talk... Photo courtesy of Aaron Rosen.

that knew the Soddy’s and those that have never heard of them soaked up the karma these two famous instructors from California channeled through Mr. Rogan. From all that I have heard, from friends involved, it was an emotional week including a 1400 skier torchlight parade (world record) and a church memorial service for the 18 lost souls. The Thredbo Ski School held their own memorial and dedication for Mariam and Mike at the ski school before work on the 30th. Bravo Thredbo! Ski teaching is a truly perfect medium to spread good will, knowledge and fun. It has been 10 years without our friends and 10 years with them also. I thank you all for keeping their spirit alive and vibrant, both here and in Australia.  I am proud to be their friend and happy to be associated with the organization that keeps their spirit skiing amongst us all.


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By Neil Bussiere

President’s Message

President’s Message (cont’d) (cont. from pg. 1)

eyes open for these opportunities and events as they materialize. And remember, if we all adopt a recruit and retain focus going forward our ability to continually grow the membership will translate directly to ever-increasing resources making the expanded Education Foundation vision an emerging reality. Across the division the summer did produce some changes in the Adaptive and Nordic arenas with Glen Smith and John “Cedar” Seeger stepping up to take the helms of those respective committees. On the Snowboard front the Board appointed Western Demo and Tech Team member Doug Fagel to oversee the Snowboard Committee to both augment the internal committee structure and address the ever-emerging freestyle expectations associated

with teaching snowboarding. We look forward to seeing these appointments pay great dividends on behalf of the membership. On the fiscal front, while the Board chose to hold dues in check for the upcoming season, they did move to increase Level 2 & 3 certification event fees in order to continue to deliver the best training, materials, clinicians and associated feedback for those in pursuit these certification levels. In fact, many on the board continue to tout the relative value of the PSIA/AASI certifications in relation to those of other countries where fees can exceed $5K to $10K for equivalent credentials. With that said the board does remain sensitive to our organization’s ability to attract and retain entry-level instructors and does strive to maintain fees consistent with that goal.

As leaders in snowsports education we look to PSIA and AASI to enhance our ability to grow as industry professionals recognized for teaching excellence. Throw in that dose of camaraderie and a little adventure and you’ll find it’s not hard to lock into a lifestyle of on-going fun and friendships. So think ahead, make a date with ’08, and prepare to slide with pride. Spring will be here before we know it… Take care and slide safely, Neil

Building lifelong friendships with fellow instructors; the best benefit of membership. Photo courtesy of Aaron Rosen.


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Senior Specialist Accreditations

By Ted Pitcher

Level 1 Senior Specialist Accreditation Added The introduction of the Senior Specialist Accreditation last year was one of the most talked about events at Convention. We awarded 35 Accreditation pins, and representatives of other divisions came by to see what we were up to. This year we are broadening the offerings to include Level I instructors who want to learn more in this area. PSIA/AASI-W has instituted a Level I Senior Specialist Accreditation, open to Level I, Level II or Level III instructors of any age interested in becoming better instructors of beginning and intermediate seniors. Successful candidates will receive our new Level I Senior Accreditation pin. We have scheduled two Level I events, February 4th and 5th at Diamond Peak up north, and March 1st and 2nd at Snow Summit down south. Our curriculum and handbook are on the PSIA-W website. This is a TEACHING CLINIC/EXAM, your skiing will be coached and we will use video analysis to help improve your skiing but there is no skiing exam.

On snow training and testing will consist of : Technical elements of contemporary skiing and modern equipment –how these elements can improve your own skiing. How to work with seniors in terms of pacing a lesson, group dynamics, and flexibility to physical limitations, and working with novice and intermediate seniors. Indoor afternoon sessions will include review of the Senior Handbook, the psychology and physiology of aging, and the demographics of the senior skiing population. There will also be equipment information on ski selection and boot geometry. Candidates will teach and be evaluated on their teaching the 2nd day of the program. The Level 1 Senior Accreditation is not a skiing test; we will stay on the groomers, develop your teaching skills and coach your skiing there. The Level 2 Senior Specialist Accreditation is back and better than ever!

The 3-day event will again take place at Mammoth during Convention on April 18th, 19th, and 20th. This accreditation is geared towards Level 2 & 3 instructors of any age who would like to improve their skills working with all levels of senior skiers. Successful candidates will receive the Senior Specialist pin on the third day. Our curriculum and handbook are on the PSIA-W website. This is a teaching clinic/ exam. Your skiing will be coached but there is no skiing exam. We will use video analysis to help improve your skiing. On snow training and testing will consist of: In-depth study into the technical and tactical elements of contemporary skiing and modern equipment as applied to seniors. We will study how modern technique can optimize strength and balance, and expand enjoyment in senior skiers. How to work with seniors in terms of pacing a lesson, group dynamics, and flexibility to physical limitations, and

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By Ted Pitcher

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Senior Specialist Accreditations

Level 1 Senior Specialist Accreditation Added (cont’d) working with novice and intermediate seniors. Candidates will teach and be evaluated on their teaching on the 3rd day. Some of our senior instructors no longer ski bumps or steeps. Because this is not a skiing test, groups will be divided into two groups: Cruisers, we will stay on the groomers and the all terrain groups will ski a small percentage of moderate steeps. And moderate bumps. And develop teaching strategies for seniors on this terrain as well as contemporary technique on the groomers. Indoor afternoon sessions will include review of the Senior Handbook, the psychology and physiology of aging, and the demographics of the senior skiing population. There will also be equipment information on ski selection and boot geometry. The Level II Senior Accreditation last spring was a very successful event with lots of teaching information, lots of coaching and skiing and lots of fun. If you missed it last year, sign up for one of these on our website, or using the enclosed event application.

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Prime Financial Group Wrightwood, CA

Mortgage Lending v Purchase Loans v Re-Finance v Owner occupied construction & rehab loans v Equity based loans v Debt consolidation v All Fannie Mae programs Call George Myers @ (760) 249-3175 Certified Ski & Snowboard Instructor Alpine & Adaptive On all funded loans we will make a donation to the PSIA/AASI non-profit educational or adaptive program of your choice.

Sierra at Tahoe – Snowboard Training Coordinator & Ski & Snowboard Instructor Positions Available Sierra at Tahoe is looking for a Snowboard Training Coordinator, and Certified Level 1 and 2 ski and snowboard instructors. Apply by calling Kevin Mitchell at 530-659-7453 x 287 or e-mail Visit for more information.

Sierra Summit Mountain Resort Is seeking talented individuals to fill both supervisory and operational positions available in ALL departments. Download an application at; mail to P.O.B. 236, Lakeshore, CA 93634; or call us at (559) 233-2500; fax (559) 233-368

North American Ski Training Center – Office Manager/ Course Coordinator North American Ski Training Center: Office Mgr/Course Coordinator. Very computer literate, 3-5 yrs Mgt/PR exp., passion for skiing! Yosemite’s Badger Pass Ski and Snowboard School – Level III Certified Ski & Snowboard Instructors Yosemite’s Badger Pass Ski and Snowboard School is seeking a level III certified ski or snowboard instructor to run the school’s training program. Six season’s ski/snb teaching experience preferred, training exp. desirable. Pay: $138.70 per day. Call 209-372-1432 or visit our website at

Positions Available Sierra Summit Mountain Resort’s Snowsports School is seeking full-time/part-time ski/board Supervisors, Trainers, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 and Novice Instructors for the 07/08-winter season. Sierra Summit is located 65 miles northeast of Fresno and offers a growing resort, comparable wages, onsite housing, an awesome mountain and an exciting opportunity. Please contact our Employee Services Office at 559-233-2500 ext 4300, or and specify the position inquiring about.

PSIA - Western Division - AASI 9709 Hwy. 267, Truckee, CA 96161 (530) 587-7642, Fax: (530) 587-4273 Email: Website:

ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED PSIA-W/AASI-W Board of Directors & Officers 2007-08 Officers: President Executive Vice President Alpine VP Snowboard VP Nat’l PSIA Representative Past President

Neil Bussiere Carl Underkoffler Mike Hafer Doug Fagel Craig Albright Dave Achey

Directors: Craig Albright (08), Neil Bussiere (08), Heidi Ettlinger (08), Steve Evenson (09), Elianne Furtney (09), Chris Fellows (09), Mike Hafer (08), Greg Lyons (10), Ken Mattson (10), Ted Pitcher (09), Finlay Torrance (10), Carl Underkoffler (10). Nordic Chairperson: John “Cedar” Seeger Adaptive Chairperson: Glen Smith

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Sacramento, CA Permit No.1704


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