Is there such thing as a skier who isn’t hoping to rise to the next level? That’s one of the beautiful things about skiing: It can take a lifetime to master, and that keeps us motivated.
The great news is, no matter what level you are at and what level you are reaching for, there’s a ski camp for you. That’s right: Take away all the icky of the camp experience you knew as a kid (bunks, cold showers, soggy food) and ramp up all that you loved (camaraderie, mastering new skills, seeing new places, building self-confidence and self-esteem), then add to it some modern, grownup stuff (spa treatments, upscale accommodations, gourmet meals), and you’ve got just what a skier needs to find that next amazing place. Consider these camps, and get out there and stretch your body, mind, and skill — all without ever coming in contact with poison ivy.
For chicks who want to rip: Women on SnoW Camp, Stratton Mountain, Vt.
(Photo: Hubert Schriebl / Stratton Mountain)
If you are an intermediate skier looking to go bigger or an expert looking to fine-tune or push more, this camp is right for you. Each day starts out with a group yoga/stretching session and then takes you out for the day on the mountain, where you’ll do drills, address fears, break through to new levels, and, yes, bond with a group of amazing woman. Stratton’s elite coaches focus on individual achievement while building a group bond. Three-day programs are available midweek or over a weekend.
For your body and your mind: Ski to Live, Alta, Utah
(Photo: Kristin Ulmer)
Kristin Ulmer is a world-class free skier, a ski-film star, and a Zen therapist. That combo means that her camps help skiers work on their mind, which leads to better body performance. At Ulmer’s camp you won’t vanquish fear or doubt. Rather, you’ll learn how to have a better relationship with it. Working on your mind while on the snow not only sharpens your turns but gives you sharper skills for your life off the snow as well, via Ulmer’s “10,000 voices” game. Wherever or however you are stuck, Ulmer works with you on the snow to address it. Group bonding is a big part of the camp, and with three- and four-day sessions offered, there is plenty of time for that. Skiers who are intermediate and better are welcome.
For the ski-film-star wannabe: Steep & Deep Ski Camp, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
(Photo: Steep & Deep Ski Camp)
Here’s one for the gnarly in you or for those who want more gnarly in their lives. This camp matches you up with other advanced skiers and takes you out on some of the most challenging terrain out there. You’ll learn how to pick — and then attack — a line, how to observe steep-skiing etiquette, and how to push yourself to take the most challenging pitches of all and feel good about them. Elite coaches also promise you the first tram run each day, as well as off-snow bonding and après fun. On your last day, you’ll take on Corbet’s Couloir, one of the most intense and brag-worthy trails out there. Open all season, for experts only.
For the love of your sport: Dan Egan’s Ski Clinics, various locations
(Photo: Ski Clinics / Facebook)
Dan Egan was and is a free skiing pioneer, and if you’ve watched a Warren Miller film, you’ve probably seen him in action. But Egan loves nothing more than helping all skiers learn how to ski all terrain, from trees to steeps to ungroomed and more. With his camps, you can choose to focus on a specific goal (like taking on the steeps of Europe) or choose a location and learn how to expand your trail-run choices while there. Never felt good in the trees? Egan and his team of pros are masters at not just getting you in there but helping you to love it. Camps are offered for almost all levels and match you up with a group looking for the same outcome as you. The best thing Egan does is jazz you up — to get out there sooner, ski more lines, and feel great on every part of the mountain. Choose from dozens of dates and locations, or hire Egan and his team for a “CMA” (custom-made adventure).