Ski Lessons in Breckenridge – December 20-29, 2009

Lessons for Ski and Snowboard have been busy over this Christmas holiday.  I have also been transitioning from Futures and Dollar Index Trading back to equity options and teaching skiing. In addition we have been growing the instructor database, and growing our Web 2.0 reach via Twitter.  You can actually follow us  @MySnowPro or me personally @JonnieLaw on Twitter.

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I say that to say… “I have been busy”, but I wanted to share some photos and videos from the past week in Breckenridge.  The T-bar, Falcon, and E-chair are open and skiing pretty well.  One or two more storms should do us a world of good. is planning a trip to Silverton Mountain, CO for a fun trip ($285).  Arriving on January 6th and Skiing 7 & 8.  Two nights (bed&breakfast), Two days on Silverton Mtn (1 day guided, 1 day without guide), 2 Breakfasts included, Wine and Cheese after skiing, and a ski movie on Thursday night.  I will also be taking all video and photo clips and putting our personal ski movie together. 
But more important that the future, here is some of the fun I shared with students over the past week.  I have had the good fortune of skiing with many new people this Holiday period.  Here are two lesson from the a week ago.
And here is a slide show from my day with Sherry and Valerie.  We spent much of our day finding intermediate runs away from the Christmas rush. You can double click on the slide show to go to the individual photos.
I was also blessed enough to ski with the Smith family from just outside of Aberdeen.  What a pleasure.  We met in a Level 8 class in Breckenridge, and skied a private lesson two days later in Vail.   We started at Vail Village and immediately made our way to the Northwoods (chair 14) area before the people found it.  I skied with Sue in the morning.  After lunch Emily, Rachel, Patrick, and I skied SunDown for a few runs.  Whistle Pig, then several runs in Game Creek Bowl.  It was a very afternoon route in which we found some very good winter snow and “Hero bumps”.  The theme of the afternoon was to maintain similar pressure between the skis and snow throughout the turn.  We improved as the day went on.
Breckenridge still has another busy weekend ahead, and I have a Birthday tomorrow. So no rest ahead, although I can’t wait to Ski Silverton Mountain next week. We still have some space available, so if your are able to join us we would enjoy having you.

Ski Tips from the Devil

Ski Lessons from the hot house.  Some say, “No snowballs in Hades!”  I beg to differ.  I will sit upon your shoulder and tell you a few of my favorite shortcuts for skiing better. But first, allow me to share where I received my idea for this topic.

I was listening to Scott Fox‘s podcast with Jack Humphrey.  Jack wrote a post “Blog Promotion Tips from the Devil”.  I found it to be an interesting approach to the subject. 

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Basically the opposite approach of many writers in getting a point across.  What about the random ski tip in leu of ski lesson given by well meaning friends or family members?

Those who ski often may have heard of “The Intermediate Rut”.  This is a point in which the skier’s current technique prevents them from skiing Advanced to Expert terrain without the “skill or grace” enjoyed on the blue terrain
As I listened to the podcast, it struck me that Ski Tips from the Devil would fit well in the realm of the ski & ride instructor.  So often, well meaning friends give advice of which they know very little.  Specifically, how to ski well.  Usually these ski tips get passed down from person to person with their own little spin. 


Prior to writing, I decided I should do some leg work and research the subject. Where to go to find those knowledgeable about the subject at 5:30pm?  A local ski/ride instructor watering hole  Quandary Grille in Breckenridge!  
There were quite a few “devils” willing to share their stories.  It was fun to knock one back and talk about a few war stories on the hill.  
When reading over these, realize in many cases they are band-aids to a real underlying skill deficiency in one’s skiing.  In the case of equipment choices or off snow choices it is just listening what others have told them.  Ignorance in it’s most innocent sense.
Here are a few of our choice tips (6+6+6=18)
1) Push your shins into the front of the boot, and edge more to slow down
2) Just “duck the rope”.  The snow is better on the other side.
3) Turn your head and/or shoulders in the direction you want to go
4) Always lean back in powder, and lean forward when you ski
5) Use your poles to push away from the lift
6) Wear two pairs of socks to keep your feet warmer, and stuff your jeans into your boots
7) Place the metal snap on your snow cuff between your boot and shin as a positive reinforcement device.
8) Use the “Texas Tuck” to help you go faster across the flats
9) Impress your friends with jump tricks whenever possible 
10)  The “Texas Suitcase” or the “Houston Handbag” are the best methods to walk around with your skis and poles
11)  Turn with your knees, and keep your feet close by attaching the boot’s velcro straps together.
12) Let your friends “teach” you how to ski, and teach spouses and significant others whenever possible.
13) Once you “learn” how to turn and stop, you are ready to go to the top!


14) If one beer at lunch makes you ski better, two will make you ski GREAT!
15) Your instructor doesn’t want a tip.  “Cheers!” is reward enough
16) 1990’s (faded) Neon will make you more attractive to the opposite sex.
17) Surprise your fellow chairlift riders by immediately pulling down the safety bar as the chair leaves the station.
18)  If your legs are tired at the end of the day, lean against the rear boot cuff and take an extra run.

Socialism Defined

This is from an Anti-Obama email I received.  Before I start with the email, the reader may know that I voted for Obama.  In my opinion, he was the best person for the job between our two main choices.  Although, my first two choices did not make it to the Republican Presidential ballot. Furthermore, I believe the premise of “Obama’s Plan” is not accurate.  Changing the health system is an imperative.  Although, I believe it can correct through business incentives rather than Congressional laws and regulations.  I don’t believe pure “equality” is the objective of the administration. But rather the “equal opportunity”.  And these are two very different things. 
I would also recommend that the reader take the time to read or re-read Atlas Shrugged.  Especially the chapters regarding the 20th Century Motor Company.  The concept is very relevant to the professor’s “expermiment” below.

Here is the professor who ran the experiment.It offers a very good lesson.


An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never
failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire


That class had
insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one
would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said,
we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s

All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the
same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A. 

the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who
studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied
little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a
free ride too so they studied little.  The second test average was a D! No one
was happy. 

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. 

scores never increased as bickering, 
blame and name-calling all resulted in
hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told
them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great,
the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no
one will try or want to succeed. 

Could not be any simpler than that.

Here is 1 of 6 of John Stossel’s take on Atlas Shrugged (Fox)

DewTour event in Breckenridge, December 19, 2009


I taught all day and had a good time with the Level 8 class.  The evening Skier Halfpipe is an INCREDIBLE event. Several thousand people smiling and excited for the event.  The athletes rose to the challenge.

My favorite Xavier Bertoni was awesome, but Josi Wells and Mike Riddle were better.  There were 12 finalists and I can certainly admire their go for broke approach.  The entire weekend event was awesome.
The temperatures were very pleasant and very little wind.  My wife “let” where my Christmas jacket early.  The Mammut jacket is like wearing a -40 sleeping bag.  I loved it!  And prior to heading over to the pipe we spent a little time enjoying the warmth of the Grand Lodge at Peak 7.  
I tried to get a few shots from different vantage points, and I succeeded.  The bottom of the pipe was high energy.  Since the kids couldn’t see, we decided to move it to the top of the pipe.  I love watching the athletes mentally prepare for their run.  Visualization is key.  Training and athletic ability is essential.
In case you missed the first post from the Freeski Halfpipe Qualifier, enjoy it.

1 Mike Riddle 93.00
2 Josiah Wells 91.50
3 Xavier Bertoni 90.75
4 Kevin Rolland 87.75
5 Justin Dorey 82.50
6 Simon Dumont 81.00
7 Matt Duhamel 76.25
8 Banks Gilberti 67.75
9 Dan Marion 60.25
10 Matt Margetts 50.2
11 Thomas Krief 46.00
12 David Wise 14.25


I hope you enjoy the video.  It was fun to shoot, and I feel it came out reasonable well.  

Breckenridge 09 – DewTour

P1000576.JPGThe Dew Tour is hitting Breckenridge. A tent city of swag is in the Base area on Peak 8.  Lots of cool stuff, including GoPro HD Cameras!  I made it there for Skier Halfpipe Qualifiers.  48 men trying for 9 spots in the Prelims (friday), who will eventually qualify for the finals on Saturday night under the lights.

There will be a number of exciting park and pipe events.  I for one am in awe with regard to how these athletes put their bodies on the line.  The back to back tricks they pull is quite impressive.
I don’t have must time to type this out as I have spent a little time putting a video together to better show the time I was on the hill today.
Here is a slideshow using the photos of the day.

Thankful Thursday – Breckenridge style

A few internet friends are creating a Circle of Thankful Thursday.  I like this idea.  I like it a lot.  We all have the ability to create heaven or hell on Earth.  Some people think one must wait to visit these places.  I believe it is in your power to create either one.  


How does one create these alternative realities.  It is based on our beliefs.  What have we come to hold as true.  I have the ability to generate a great day.  One in which ideal situations attract to me.  I also have the ability to create a rotten day.  This is to say, I have the God-given ability to respond to situations in anyway I see fit.  I have the ability to manifest my reality.  I choose Heaven.  The writings of Don Miguel Ruiz resonate with me at a very high level.  
This morning I woke early.  I was pleased to see the market down and the dollar up.  Yes, I was please.  Crazy huh.  Why… well in trading I have positioned myself for the US dollar to benefit from a sideways to up moves.  And I have positioned myself to profit from the Equity Mkts to be sideways to down. If I am wrong, so be it.  I limit my losses and move on.
I wake up to trade which I love.  I then move on to teach skiing, which from this blog I obviously enjoy.  This afternoon was shared with my son and daughter who are joys of my life.  And tonight I went to visit friends and teammates with our PrePaid Legal Business, which is a product I believe everyone in North America should own.
It may have been a full day, but it was a full day of doing things in which I enjoy.  A day I could have said, “Whoa is me.  I have worked for 18hrs today.”  However I chose to say.  “Wow, what a life.  I am going to fill up my day.  Then rest, and do it again tomorrow.”

Into the swing of things – Breckenridge Dec 12 & 13 lessons

Many of the local skiers are still in training mode as we prepare for a real snow fall.  We are looking at the upper mtn wishing for a few big dumps.  It will come.  Breckenridge has had the temperatures to make snow.  We have had the winds to blow snow into the bowls. We just need some more snow soon.  Contest Bowl did have a brief opening on monday.

Continue reading “Into the swing of things – Breckenridge Dec 12 & 13 lessons”

Dec 3-6, 2009 in Breckenridge, CO



It has been a busy few weeks for me.  I have not been posting my own stuff as much as usual. The good news is that we have been adding dozens of new instructors on during that time.  We are also improving the search feature, and doing a homepage redesign which will make it more valuable for visitors to the website.  On a similar note, I made the Windows 7 upgrade on 3 of my computers.  It was somewhat time consuming but not difficult.  We have also been building a following on Twitter I will be posting from the mountain daily.  We are also gaining a presence on the Facebook Fan Page.  You can find the link in the right hand column of this MySnowPro page.


I have finally put this together a benefit to those who visit  You can get your own Blastoff Network homepage for free.  This has been a real cost saver for my family.  Also, a portion of actual purchases goes to the Educational arm of Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA-RM).

Breckenridge had a busy Thanksgiving week.  Although peak 8 was busy (due to Gondola offload), peak 9 had few lines of more than 30 seconds.  Continue to plan your ski day around this pattern.  Skiers and Riders can get up the Gondola and then head to P9 (open now) or P7 (scheduled Dec 11).   I have my ideas where the morning and afternoon powder stashes will be, but I will make sure my students are privvy to that knowledge.


I have been getting into the lesson teaching groove.  Specifically making it as easy as possible for my students “get it”.  Rather than filling the lesson with fluff, there are nuts and bolts mechanics we can address as we move about the mountain.  We then take it to the mountain and put the content (teaching) in to the context (different conditions on the mountain).

The past week has offered some good examples.  It is important to remember that the first few days of a persons ski year (which I see all year long) requires dialing in our fore/aft balance. While I was skiing with Laura C. we identified such a situation.  I placed captions below the slideshow.


This past weekend I have skied with some great people via private lesson.  Specifically put together a trip for a number of Ski Club board members from around the country.  I skied with folks from Massachussetts, New York, and Florida.  Yesterday and for the rest of the week I am skiing with a group based from St. Louis, although the members of the group are from Germany, China, France, and Belgium.  This is one of my favorite parts of teaching.  

As we move into December it is important to know that the Snow Guns have been working overtime.  The cool to cold and dry temps have been fantastic for making snow.  As of this writing we are expecting 4 days of snow.  I will believe it when it is gliding over my boot tops.



What I do on a day off

Great snow. Here are some action videos for you skiers and riders. We are looking forward to another nice winter storm on Thursday.

This was a fun day of skiing. My wife and I were skiing around the mountain and we had a video camera handy so we took a few shots. Here is what I do on my day off.
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8:30am clinic with Carl Richter. A few runs in the bowl. A few phone calls while I ate a bit. Meet up with a clinic group @ 11. Then met Sadie for a ski and some video. The temps were great. 20’s light breeze. Super fun snow. And low crowds.
I have been asked on a few emails to show you how I ski on my day off. Well, here it is. I put this together for you rockers.
I will also be breaking this video up to describe some bump skiing and air carving.
Enjoy and rock on!
Some visitors and guests have asked about my bio and background. Here goes:
Hometown: Dana Point, CA I moved to Breckenridge in the Fall of 1993.
Teaching: Cross Country and Track Running 1987-89, Skiing 1992- Present, and Golf Professional 2000-04.
Past competitive Sports: Surfing (NSSA), Triathlon (former Quintana Roo team rider), Golf (former Titleist club pro), Skiing (Fully Certified Alpine, and PSIA-RM Accredited Trainer), Track and Field, and Cross-Country (sub-4 minute mile).
Teaching Philosophies: A) Teach, Coach, Guide B) Safety, Fun, and Learning
C) Learning is a partnership between the student and instructor. It takes both parties to create an excellent lesson and learning environment. The instructor should not be the cap to progress. He should be the magnifier of possibility.
Where I teach: I can teach on the mountains of Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail, Beaver Creek, and Arapahoe Basin. I also am available for Snowcat and Heli-skiing around the globe.
Favorite Books (abridged selection):
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, Power vs. Force series by Dr. David Hawkins, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, The Market Wizards series by Jack Schwager, and Journey to Center by Thomas Crum