PSIA-AASI National Academy and Telemark Academy 2018 wrapped up Sunday evening in Big Sky, MT. This was the biggest Academy in PSIA-AASI history, with more than 400 attendees, coaches, and staff coming together at Big Sky, which had a 128-inch base on the upper mountain, and an 85-inch base on the mid-part of the hill.
After a sun-splashed week with temperatures in the 40s and 50s, providing soft snow and perfect visibility for training, attendees woke up to blizzard conditions on Monday as they headed home. The dark gray skies provided the perfect environment for some deep reflection. Here are some personal highlights from members of the Alpine, Snowboard, and Nordic/Telemark Teams.
PSIA Alpine Team Coach Michael Rogan
1) Being in a new place for the event was amazing.
2) Big Sky did not disappoint.
3) Having so many alumni on the coaching staff showed the depth of quality among our Team members. These are leaders of the ski industry who are still very active today, which continues to demonstrate that once a quality person and clinic leader, always one. It was a honor to be a part of the roster we had at Big Sky, and I hope we are able to continue utilizing the depth of our alumni pool to allow the membership to participate in National Academy.
AASI Snowboard Team member Brennan Metzler
1) Community through Coaching: The highlight of our Academy experience was the close-knit family that formed over the five days. Through shared adventures on snow, conversations at mealtimes, and evenings by the fire pit, 20 snowboarders came to know and care for one another. That family vibe supported progression on hill, as participants had more than Amy Gan and myself to help them towards their goals.
2) Big Sky Brilliance: Big Sky is wild. The terrain goes from playful to precipitous real fast. There were zones that pushed each of our participants, from fun natural freestyle features to the steep chutes that kept us hiking for more.
3) Soft snow is the way to go: The best part about sliding in April at Big Sky is that there is always soft snow to be found. The first couple days we tracked out powder stashes and stayed in cold snow on the upper mountain. Then, as temps warmed later in the week, we transitioned to mid and low mountain zones to rip sun-softened goodness.
David Lawrence, PSIA Nordic/Telemark Team Coach
1) Big Sky was AWESOME! The mountain has something for everyone, from gentle groomers to big steeps and everything in between. Add to that a fun, personable Big Sky staff and great food. Plus, the energy! Skiing at Big Sky during closing weekend added to the electric energy of the week.
2) The best instructors in the world (in my humble opinion). Getting almost all of the National Team members together on one mountain is like getting all your favorite bands together for a single concert. The depth of skill, knowledge, and ability continues to amaze and inspire me year after year!
3) Friends, old and new. You can't leave an event like this without commenting on the relationships and connections built during five days of skiing, learning, and laughing.
- Peter Kray