PMTS in Europe?

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PMTS in Europe?

Postby JohnMoore » Thu Feb 12, 2004 3:14 pm

As far as I can determine, PMTS has pretty well zero presence in Europe, apart from the Hintertux camp, which is a real shame. I for one would love to be able to take lessons from a PMTS accredited instructor at a resort over here, and would certainly choose which resort to go to on the basis of there being such an instructor there.

What chances are there of spreading the word over here a little, doing some missionary work?

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Postby Bluey » Thu Feb 12, 2004 8:14 pm


I understand your feelings.

Apart fron the USA, the Good Word has not translated into a sustainable Instructor presence in countries like ours.... so enthusiastic skiers like us will need to look at finding some other type of work-around solution.

My current & only work-around solution which I'm toying with at the moment is my fledgling Plan B............which is to see if I can russell up/network with some PMTers in my own country....but I don't have a contact that's my first obstacle.
However, I thought I would wait until one month before the snow season starts in Oz which is June 04 and via the local ski internet noticeboards see if I can find anyone who would be happy to "hit the slopes" for some weekends of skiing whereby we try to help/instruct each other.....not the best way to do it.....kinda like the blind leading the blind......but as yet I can't think of any other options........

As I'm the first to admit, I'm not the smartest guy on the planet does anyone have any other suggestions/ideas on this???
I'm happy to throw this open to a bit of brain-storming if anyone's interested........I'll even accept dopey ideas as long as they're funny ones.

Given some of the more recent threads being posted..... this might be a chance for us to lighten up a I've said before skiing is about having lets not get too's too short.......and so's the snow season, as well as a lot of my favourite runs.

Gotta go...

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Postby Mr. T » Fri Feb 13, 2004 10:21 am

It is not easy. The French, Italian, Swiss and Italian ski schools operate differently. But, for example in Italy and France, you need to pass a pre-exam that consists in a GS where you need to finish not more than a certain amount of time behind the pace-setter,usually a former racer.
This should explain to you that in these two countries you need to be pretty much a former racer just to enter into a ski school.
In Switzerland, friends told me things are different. In Austria I do not know.

Also, consider the following: in Europe most black runs are relatively easy, red runs (our blue) are overly crowded. In Italy, which I know fairly
well, for instance the slopes where they run World Cup down hills or even some GS events are often rated black when the average pitch is sometimes 20 degrees and the top pitch a mere 30 degrees. The real blacks are mostly closed due to marginal snow. Double-black runs are basically all off-piste and are popular only in France where many complain about the French ski schools in generals.

I am telling you this to explain that over there everybody feel like he or she is already a super-skier because they can ski where the WC skiers ski
(even if they go 1/3 the speed of the WC skiers and even less perhaps).
Off-piste (read expert terrain) is only for people out of their minds. So do they think they need instruction? No. It is already not a great business for the current ski schools, my friends over there tell me.

Advertising your services as a PMTS instructor could get you in trouble. To operate as an official instructor you need to be recognized by the Regions, same as saying you need to be recognized by the States in the US and to do that you need to pass the exams in the format they set up
already. Of course, you can teach friends and family, but then you are like a shadow man, nobody will ever know you before you get to be 85 or 90 year old.

Finally, in several countries (Austria and Italy mostly) skiing well means you are good at gates or the downhill race. Nothing else will do. Why should you ski well if not to win races.

Maybe I am painting the picture a little bit too dark, but on an Italian forum I have been preaching PMTS for 1 year and a half. Amount of people I got interested: 2 (two).

I am pessimist.
Mr. T
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Postby Guest » Mon Feb 16, 2004 6:09 am

Hello Mr. T and everybody else. As my name tells, I'm from Italy.
I mainly frequent other forums, if you lurk/participate you'll know this.
While I confirm in general terms what Mr. T says about the Italian (which aren't Italian but regional indeed) pre-exams, I can also say that, when I tried it, back in 92, there was no pace setter at the GS run.
And the GS was only one of the tests in a two days pre-exam.
Nevertheless, very few out of the many that tried (we were over 200) did pass. I did not. Amongst them, a former racer (from one of the reserve" teams ).
But the timed GS is not necessarilty not true, it's being ciclycally inserted into the pre-exam program on and off during the years.
It is true that off-piste skiing is regarded as something for the maniacs only here...a pity. Yes, it is also true that the models the schools and most of the skiers look to consider themselves "expert" skiers are the racers...I will avoid commenting on this...
Mr.T can you pass me the url of the Italian forum, please?
TIA, Matt

Postby Matteo » Mon Feb 16, 2004 10:04 am

Apologies, I did registered and logged on wit hmy user name, but it does not show in my previous post.
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Postby Mr. T » Tue Feb 17, 2004 6:45 am

Matteo, the Italian forum is not PMTS specific and it is the one available on the website of SCIARE

and then go to the forum. Some people talk about PMTS some only about materials and some about places to ski. A little bit of everything, but do not expect too much.

Where do you live or ski in Italy?
Mr. T
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PMTS in Italy

Postby paolobw » Tue Feb 17, 2004 8:22 am

Hello ,
I'm paolobw and i write from Italy , how Mr.T. wrote before in Italy there is a different way to practice the ski.
The pepole is interested only in absolutely flat slopes and if they find some little moguls they are immediately angry , so they never go out of the slopes and the only one that sometimes make some free ride are considered out of mind.
We dont'have double-blacks slopes because the pepole dont'like this kind of ski.
I think that PMTS is not interesting for the Italian ski school because they operate in a very different way (for example the GS test is required to be an instructor like Mr.T. says).
In France the situation is not so dark because french pepole is more interested trying different experiences.
Excuse me for my very low level english !

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Postby tommy » Tue Feb 17, 2004 8:57 am

Hi Paolobw and Matteo,

I've been skiing some in Italy the past 5 years, and to me it seems that most Italians, young as old, on the slopes are quite good skiers on groomed, and that many have a technique that is very much "racing"-style. Also, the resorts I've been to have not much in terms of moguls, off piste etc, so my observations concur with yours.

But despite the lack of off piste opportunities, I keep returning to Italy to ski as much as I can: I really enjoy the relaxed atmospehere in the resorts I've been to, the limited amount (relatively speaking) of lift lines, and that the Polizia keeps patrolling the slopes, bringing out-of-control-people back in control (or out of the slopes).

And finally, not to forget: the food!!!

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Postby Mr. T » Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:21 am

How is skiing in Sweden Tommy ? I mean we all know about Ingemar Stenmark or some of the top female athletes. But what is the common
background over there? Mostly racing like in Italy and the rest of Europe?

The good thing is that in Italy, although unknown to 99% of Italians, we have had skiers like Kammerlander and Valeruz who were pioneers of extreme skiing. The first one was predominantly a climber but also one of the very first to try the descent of Mt. Everest (he had to stop for lack of snow) and K2 (he was on his way when a Korean climbers fell to his death passing a few tens of meters from Hans himself) who took off his skis and climbed down. Valeruz did some first descent on the Alps, some quite remarkable indeed. Only one skier as of today has completed the descent of Mt. Everest (Davo Karnicar of Slovenia in 2000) and nobody has ever even tried Mt. K2 (very difficult to get to the top, no easy routes unlike Mt. Everest) mainly, but also steeper on average with sustain pitches at around 60 degrees.

I am happy you had no problems with lifts and lines. I often almost get into fights when I ski at home. Food is good, that is beyond questioning,
just try it. It would be nice to discuss and review PMTS videos while seating in some mountain restaurant in some resort in Italy.
Mr. T
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Postby tommy » Tue Feb 17, 2004 1:17 pm

Hi Mr. T,

alpine skiing in Sweden went on pretty much unnoticed by the general public until early 70's, when "all of sudden" Ingemar Stenmark started to win races. Of course, there were resorts, as well as people doing alpine skiing long before Ingemar, but at least for us in the southern parts of the country, we didn't pay much attention. All that changed with Ingemar. All of sudden there were alpine ski clubs popping up everywhere, even in Stockholm area (which is faily down south), and everyone wanted to race. Of course, there were also people who wanted off piste, but the main focus was skiing on well groomed slopes.

At some point (maybe at the "discovery" of snowboarding) resorts started to offer fun parks, and nowadays, if you look at the teenagers on ski, I'd say that more than half of them have twin tips, and spend their time in the fun park. Racing is still popular (maybe because of the success of Pernilla Wiberg and lately, Anja Parsson), but I guess there's been quite a lot of drain from the racing sections to the ski cross & big air sections.

Now, the above is for those who are pretty serious about their skiing. Obviously, quite a lot of people go to the resorts just for a nice winter vacation, and skiing is only one of the activities (After ski comes to mind... :-)

Most of the major Swedish resorts are actually not up in the northern most part of the country, and therefore, they often do rely upon machine made snow. So, powder skiing is quite rare here. For that, you have to go to the most northern resorts (which are not that many) and that's quite a distance: for instance, Tarnaby, which is where both Ingemar and Anja Parsson is from, is some 1000km from Stockholm, and 500km from a major airport, so it's almost easier to go to Italy/Austria/France/Switzerland... And of course, our mountains here are more of "hills", at least when compared to the alps, so we simply can't match the run lenghts nor the number of pists.

Wrt. reviewing PMTS videos in Italy: I completely agree with you: maybe we might be able to persuade Harald to have a camp in e.g. Bormio, which I think is a very nice place, people are very friendly, seldom crowded, and always excellent food!

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Postby DB » Wed Feb 18, 2004 1:04 pm

It's in France where you have to race gates and come close to an area ski champion in order to qualify as a ski instructor.
In Europe the mountains are lower but the vertical drops and ski areas are generally much bigger than the states.
Skiing off-piste normally means going out of bounds and can be extremly dangerous. There's no patrollers and court cases to protect you over here.
In general European skiers like well prepared pistes (to race on).
There are some areas with inbounds off piste but they are few and far between (e.g. Various French resorts, St Anton - Austria).
To be honest when ski racing is seen as the ultimate skiing, why would countries like Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Norway and France (all of whom who have produced many ski champions over the years) look at some American teaching style. Bode Miller has a good chance of coming up with something this year but he has his own style and I doubt it's PMTS or PSIA for that matter is it?
Last edited by DB on Fri Feb 20, 2004 3:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Guest » Thu Feb 19, 2004 6:56 am

Thanks Mr T.
Sciare is one of the three ski mag in Italy that I know of, the other two are Sci and MonteBianco.
Their (Sciare I mean) annual buyer's guide is one of the mags I eagerly wait to buy.

Anyone going to the Hintertux camp in May ?

Postby tommy » Thu Feb 26, 2004 4:25 am

Just curious whether any of you plan to attend the PMTS camp in Hintertux, Austria, in May ? As some have stated in this thread, the availability of PMTS instructors in Europe is almost nil, so the camp is probably the only way to get proper PMTS instruction without crossing the "big pond".

For whatever it's worth: I attended the camp last year, and it was a FANTASTIC experience, both in terms of ski instruction, as well as the excellent group of talanted, friendly and commited people attending, instructors included!

Wrt. the instruction: last weekend I was skiing with a friend, who's quite good skier, who has not seen me skiing since before last years camp. His immediate comment was that my skiing had improved tremendeously after attending the camp. Some weeks ago, I persuaded him to register for the camp, which he did, but after last weekend he said that the improvement he saw in my skiing really has made him looking forward to the camp. Now, he's asking me questions about PMTS, and to me, it's quite funny that he's now asking me to comment on *his* skiing, while last season, before I attended the camp, it was obvious that there was nothing I could say nor do to help him to improve his skiing!

So, I can really recommend the camp from personal experience!

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