Top Ski Clinics

Utah & Montana
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Park City Bluebird
ONE WITH THE BIRD: Carving through Snowbird’s scenic slopes (Dan Campbell/Park City CVB)

Think Squallywood may be a bit more extreme than your skill set? Then consider these other U.S. ski clinics, where you can hone in, bone up, and get schooled by world-class mentors, from Warren Miller skiers to Zen masters. Even neophytes get into the action this ski season with family-focused clinics for beginners.

Ski to Live Clinic at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, UT (January 3–6)
Skiers, snowboarders, and telemarkers can explore the intricacies of the slopes at Snowbird by day with extreme-skiing icon Kristen Ulmer and the inner workings of their own mind by night with Zen master Genpo Roshi in this irreverent four-day ski/mind clinic. A former U.S. Ski Team mogul specialist, Ulmer found herself asking what the countless time she had logged on the slopes had actually taught her in life. Desiring a deeper consciousness about her own actions, Ulmer participated in Roshi's Big Mind process and found what she was looking for. With 30 years of Zen teaching and Western therapeutic practice under his belt, Roshi created Big Mind as a "process that enables participants to experience a shift in consciousness from an ego-centered perspective to a universal one." Ulmer says, "He now takes Ski to Live participants on an experiential journey of what it would be like to become a Zen master." While this unusual session target=s a new level of awareness, participants still come to ski. "We get a lot of people who are looking for new ways to explore the sport." Airport transfers, four nights' lodging, lift tickets, meals, and three days of on-slope instruction are included ($2,276 double; $2,694 single; www.kristenulmer.com).

Backcountry Skiing Essentials, Bridger Bowl Ski Area, MT (Dec. 30, Jan. 13, Feb. 5, 17, 26, and March 9)
This one-day clinic guides participants into the powdery backcountry of Bridger Bowl ski resort with experts from the Montana Mountaineering Association (MMA). The goal is to introduce skiers to a whole new off-piste world through a dose of backcountry education and skiing in the area's best, hidden stashes. The session utilizes Bridger Bowl's lifts to access the backcountry through the resort's boundary gates. The day's instruction covers how to use skins, skinning technique, avalanche awareness, and skills for skiing powder. MMA will supply all the goods, from alpine touring gear or split-boards to transceivers, shovels, and probes. A three-to-one participant-to-instructor ratio makes the deal even sweeter ($135 plus $35 for lift pass). The Backcountry Skiing Continuum takes it to the next level; this four-day program includes avalanche safety and route-finding information, 6,000 vertical feet of skiing, and an overnight traverse that bunks down in a snow shelter ($1,320; www.montanamountaineering.org/backcountry-es.shtml).


Published: 14 Dec 2007 | Last Updated: 7 Nov 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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