January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. And while much of the focus is on beginners, with resorts offering great deals on lessons, we think it’s equally important to remind experienced skiers — from intermediates to experts — that no one is ever too good to take a lesson.
In our experience, lessons are incredibly rewarding and a fabulous way to reinvigorate our love for skiing.
The Gift of Better Skiing
Six years ago, I went to a three-day Clendenin Method camp in Aspen. It is no exaggeration to say that my skiing was forever changed, especially in moguls.
After three days skiing with John Clendenin and his team, I had the tools to make skiing easier, better and less exhausting on any terrain. I also understood how to properly use all four edges of my skis (no joke!).
My husband, Jamie, did not go with me, drawing the short stick and staying home with our children. This means that for six years, I’ve tried to explain some of what I learned to Jamie and “help” him improve his skiing. As you might guess, this hasn’t gone over so well.
Thus, when he told me in October that “all I want for my birthday is a Clendenin Method ski camp,” I was thrilled.
A “Transformative Experience”
I can go on and on about my experience with the Clendenin Ski Method (and I have), but I think a testimonial from Jamie is better. Here’s what he had to say two weeks after the camp on a bright, frigid, windy afternoon.
As you can tell, his experience with John Clendenin, instructors Chino Martinez and Mark Borderick, and the rest of the Clendenin Method team was 100% positive.
From my perspective, whether it’s one’s first, second or tenth time through, the Clendenin Method ski camp experience is empowering. Learning the skills to have a plan, a way to warm up on the first run of each day, a strategy to analyze what’s working and what’s not, and the skills and understanding to correct bad habits is transformative…and a whole lot of fun.
Even better, the benefits are lasting. Today, after a full day of skiing, my husband proclaimed, “I’ve never skied as well, with so little pain.”
What a gift.
The Clendenin Method
Over the years, John has refined and expanded his teaching method, published a comprehensive guide to the Clendenin Method (Four Words for Great Skiing) and expanded his camp offerings within Colorado and to Utah, Chile and France. Private lessons and video analysis are also available.
In 2013, John Clendenin was inducted to the US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame for his status as a two time World Champion freestyle skier and for his contributions to ski instruction.
Finally, for another opinion on the Clendenin Method, check out this 2017 article from Forbes, “Is John Clendenin the Best Ski Instructor in the U.S?”
Discussing the target market for Clendenin’s camp, the author puts it this way: “(The Clendenin Method camps) are aimed not so much at the private jet set…but for mature skiers – read anyone over age 30 — who wants to ski bumps, crud, powder and any expert-level terrain safely, with as little effort as possible.”
That pretty much applies to all of us who love skiing.
Questions? Please ask them in the comments. Additionally, the Clendenin Method website has a wealth of information. All opinions are my own and are exactly what I would tell my family and friends.
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