National Team 2021-24: Meet Stephen Helfenbein
Stephen Helfenbein is a member of the 2021-24 PSIA-AASI National Team where he will help set the standard for snowsports instruction. PSIA-AASI hand-selected the 37 team members – 8 coaches and 29 team members – for their range of skills that allow them to serve as inspirational leaders and build enthusiasm for learning and having fun skiing and riding.
Listen to PSIA Alpine Team member Stephen Helfenbein in this podcast.
Where is your home mountain?
Deer Valley in Utah.
What other occupations are you involved in?
None! I’m all in on skiing.
Describe a teaching or learning experience that sticks out in your mind.
Facilitating the PSIA-certification process for coaches and athletes of the U.S. Ski Team. It was so impressive to see how elite athletes can adapt their skill sets to meet the demands of PSIA-AASI’s Level III certification.
What are your specialties as a team member?
High performance off-piste skiing, teaching skills, training skills, and certification training.
Any relevant certifications?
PSIA-certified Alpine Level III and Children’s Specialist 2 credential.
Is there anything we missed asking?
Teaching skiing is my favorite activity. No matter what I’m doing – running, cycling, paddling, strength training, skating – I am considering the implications for snowsports instruction.
Who is your greatest inspiration as an instructor?
My peers on the PSIA-AASI National Team are my greatest inspiration. The team is an amazing collection of talented and dedicated humans. Any amount of time with them fuels my motivation to keep challenging and improving myself.
Best part of teaching?
Some people retire from life-long careers to teach skiing. We have such a great lifestyle that financially independent individuals who could do anything choose to do what I do – teach snowsports. The lifestyle, the relationships, and the experiences that I am afforded are the best part of teaching.
What’s your favorite run at your home mountain?
For the past 25 years I have been at Alta, Utah, where the conditions are very dynamic. Your favorite run can change from day and day – and even morning to afternoon. I enjoy searching for the best conditions and finding the goods. Every day is a puzzle of factors. When you piece it together you feel a deep satisfaction as well as the visceral experience that comes from riding one of the many awesome textures that snow can provide.