What is Your PMTS Experience Level?

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What is Your PMTS Experience Level?

Postby HeluvaSkier » Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:11 pm

In PMTS conversation on the forum, since we cannot see each other ski, demonstrate concepts or experience live coaching, it is very helpful to understand a bit about the background of those we are chatting with in the forum. I thought it would be interesting to see the wealth of PMTS experience that we actually have from those participating in the forum (coaches, camp attendees, HSS alignment sessions, HSS private coaching, instruction from accredited PMTS coaches, etc.). So, to the regular posters and lurkers, it would be really interesting to hear about everyone’s experience with PMTS.
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Re: What is Your PMTS Experience Level?

Postby HeluvaSkier » Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:13 pm

I guess I’ll start…

I’m mostly a remotely-taught and self-taught PMTS skier. I made significant progress working through the materials presented in the books, instruction manual, alignment manual, videos and DVDs on my own while using video to review my progress and to get feedback from coaches here, or Harald directly on occasion. Over the 10-plus years I’ve studied PMTS I have rarely gone more than a week without shooting video of my skiing and usually it is multiple runs of various types filmed per week… I have literally HUNDREDS of runs on video going back to 2006.

I’ve been told by others that my success on my own was quite rare, though, I think it is a solid testament to the quality of the materials that Harald and Diana have published. That said, I have also received, on two, multi-day occasions, feedback/coaching/abuse from Max_501 and jbotti, which was absolutely integral in helping me develop my understanding of my movement deficiencies and how to coach (and self-coach) better. I do think there is a limitation to how far someone can go on their own with PMTS before in-person coaching is required. In my case it certainly took my skiing and coaching to new heights… though it took considerable work on my part to implement those changes (meaning, the changes did not come overnight).

Hopefully, when I post my 2018 skiing to YouTube this spring, the changes will be apparent. Here’s a link to my channel for those interested in watching some PMTS skiing done by a non-pro skier: https://www.youtube.com/user/HeluvaSkier
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Re: What is Your PMTS Experience Level?

Postby jbotti » Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:52 pm

Great Idea/Post Heluva!

My first experience of PMTS was in 2003 during my first season on snow (ever). I started in Dec 2002 and by Feb on 2003 I had found the HSS website and I ordered the books and starting reading and attempting to ski with PMTS movements. In Dec 2003 I flew to Colorado and got fitted for boots, had my alignment done and bought new skis (Head IC 160s? can't remember their name for sure right now). My wife came with me and did the same (she started skiing at the same time I did). We spent 3 days with HH and Diana on slopes of Copper getting lessons. I did my first camp in Feb of 2004 (an all mountain camp) and at least one camp a year for the next several years but also did several days every year of one on one instruction with HH or Diana. The past two seasons have been the only seasons that I have not had private instruction from either HH or Diana, so I believe that's 13 seasons that I did camps and or one on one's with HH or Diana. The past 8-9 years I have done a lot of skiing with Max 501 who has acted as ski partner, ski instructor and videographer.
I stopped posting video of myself many years ago and I doubt that I will ever look at video of my skiing and be satisfied (but getting close). Having said that, this is the first year where I finished a season and felt like I had finally arrived at being an expert all mountain skier (and there are many grades of expert). Just spent the past 7 days skiing with Max and for the first time ever I was right there with him skiing the double black terrain at the same speed as him on my home mountain.

The journey has been long and arduous but oh so much fun. I have read every PMTS book multiple times, watched every PMTS videos countless times, watched WC skiing video countless hours and watched my own skiing a ton (but usually I see what's right and wrong real quick). I still do drills almost every day I am on snow (yes on big pow days I am not doing any drills but my skiing is still intensely focused even on pow days).

Perhaps not what the thread was intended for but if I can offer one piece of great advice for all advancing PMTS skiers, DO NOT DO what I did. I learned to edge lock carve and became obsessed with it (for good reason as it is so much fun). But while my on piste abilities got reasonably strong (and I was developing good PMTS movements) but they were digital instead of analog and it took me years to develop the snow feel and ability to modulate my movements on and off piste. Learn the Brushed SRT first. If you do you will be able to truly carve tight arcs on groomed terrain without effort and you will have a turn that will take you anywhere all over the mountain.
Balance: Essential in skiing and in life!
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Re: What is Your PMTS Experience Level?

Postby ToddW » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:41 am

I started skiing again 11 years ago. I did my first private lessons with Diana the following December followed by a blue camp at Sol Vista two months later. I’m deeply indebted to Epic Ski’s psia and csia instructors for advertising PMTS so effectively. They were so fearful of it that I had to take a look — where there’s smoke there’s a fire.

I’ve developed strong book smarts about PMTS after 16 camps, over 40 days of private lessons, and alignment technician training. Every off season, I pore over the books, YouTube videos, and this forum’s archive to pick up new nuances.

Unlike many skiers, I am not a natural athlete. Without PMTS I’d still be a low grade terminal intermediate thinking of stomping grapes and holding a cafeteria tray facing down the hill while keeping a wide athletic stance.

With PMTS, I have much more fun on the mountain. The exit out of my left turns is messed up this year except on flats due to a knee injury (out of control boarder.) I’m optimistic that those turns will be fine next season after a summer of strength and balance work.

The last few years, my main focus items have been counteracting and flexing.
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Re: What is Your PMTS Experience Level?

Postby dtrick924 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:44 am

I am a beginning PMTS skier. My primary focus is on one footed balance/eliminating the wedge. I started distance learning in 2012 as a terminal intermediate TTS skier. I attended my first camp, blue/green at Granby Ranch in 2013 (where I had my alignment done), short turn camp in 2014 and blue/dark blue camp in 2015 (both at A-Basin). In 2018 I took private lessons with Walter Edberg at Alpine Meadows.
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Re: What is Your PMTS Experience Level?

Postby Doghouse » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:08 pm

Skiing for over 30 years. Really enjoyed Harald's instructional articles in Snow Country magazine back in the 90's. Bought ACBES 1 book in1998 and discovered the PMTS system. Some life\career changes kept me from getting serious and attending a camp or getting to Colorado for alignment (although I really waned to!) Years later, I started purchasing many more PMTS books, DVDs and eVideos. Finally, in 2015 I was able to get to the shop in Colorado for an alignment and foot beds from Diana! The following year I had private lesson with Diana and I plan to attend my first camp next year! The alignment experience and private lesson were amazing!
I ski in the East approximately 40 days per season and practice drills at least a few runs every time out. Some days, I spend most of my day doing them. I mainly focus on the super phantom, and angry mother and warm up with some slow wedge blocker releases. Video is hard to get so I really need the camp to make sure I am making the correct movements.
Heluva, I've been enjoying your youtube videos lately. Thanks for posting them!
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Re: What is Your PMTS Experience Level?

Postby geoffda » Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:11 pm

I am a PMTS Accredited Blue Level coach and I am a Black Level skier. I currently coach at most of the Harb Ski Systems camps. I live at Copper Mountain, Colorado and I ski 100+ days every season (for the past decade).

I first discovered PMTS in April of 2009. I had moved to Colorado the winter before and I had decided that if I was going to live in a ski town, I was finally going to figure out how to become a good skier. I'd been skiing for nearly 30 years at that point, and while I could hack my way down most anything, I wasn't at all good. Like ToddW, I'm indebted to the Epic/PSIA crowd for leading me to PMTS both by their aggressive bashing and their apparent lack of real understanding of anything skiing related. Frustrated with the lack of answers I was getting to basic questions on Epic, I found the PMTS forum. After reading a couple of posts (including an exceptional one from Harald), it was clear to me that I had found a world-class body of skiing knowledge. I immediately ran down to the local Barnes and Noble and picked up Essentials of Skiing. After paging through that, I called up JMD and told him that he needed to check out this PMTS thing. About that time, I decided I needed new boots. I'd been working with a guy in Breckenridge, but luckily for me, he was too busy to get back to me right away. When I didn't hear back in 24 hours, I decided to call Harb Ski Systems.

The rest is history. I went down to the shop and Chris Brown did an alignment assessment and fitted me with foot beds and new pair of shiny red Head Raptor 130 boots. I met Harald and he convinced me to schedule a private with Chris who gave me what was at the time the best ski lesson I had ever had. After that experience, I signed up for Super Blue camp in January of 2010. My camp diary can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2653&p=26961&hilit=blue#p26961. Shortly after, a couple of friends wanted to try PMTS, so four of us booked a private with Harald. From there I kept taking camps (Super Blue and Tech Camp) for several seasons. At some point, I got my PMTS Green Level coach accreditation and continued taking camps for another season or two. In 2014 I finally felt like I had outgrown the camps and I did few days of privates with Diana.

That summer, I got laid off from my 22 year career as a software developer and thought, "hmm, maybe I should just ski instead of looking for a new job..." So in the fall of 2014, I took the Alignment Technician Training course and got invited to coach the Blue/Dark Blue camp. Then I was asked to coach Super Blue and Hintertux. I've been coaching for Harb Ski Systems ever since. It has been an amazing journey and every season my skiing keeps getting better.
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Re: What is Your PMTS Experience Level?

Postby CO_Steve » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:33 pm

My PMTS tale starts with Geoffda and Epic. We had skied together at a couple of Epic outings. I was living on the Front Range and doing the weekend thing while my son was in school. I was getting 40 or 50 days in the winter but school would get out before the Basin closed and we would come up to our condo and I'd run into Geoff and JMD in the spring. After a year or two of this one spring I noticed his skiing had taken a huge leap up. When I asked they told me about Harald and said I had to get into a camp next year. I had skied 30 years before this but was that being mostly at Squaw Valley I was only good at getting down steeps. I think I took four camps, followed by getting my green pin. Those years were 100+ days skiing exclusively with the PMTS posse and we worked at it.

I left Summit three years ago. Live near Aspen now. I still watch videos and work on my skiing but there's no one over here to ski PMTS. The level of skiing here is pretty bad.
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Re: What is Your PMTS Experience Level?

Postby geoffda » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:37 pm

CO_Steve wrote:I left Summit three years ago. Live near Aspen now. I still watch videos and work on my skiing but there's no one over here to ski PMTS. The level of skiing here is pretty bad.

Keep the guest room available. I just bought an Icon Pass for next season, so I'm hoping to come visit and ski Aspen with you :D.
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Re: What is Your PMTS Experience Level?

Postby A.L.E » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:17 pm

I took some of my employees for a ski trip to New Zealand in about 2004 and on the way home in Auckland airport one of the guys picked up a skiing magazine. On the back page was an advertisement for Anyone Can Be An Expert Skier book/video. Having not long come back from a completely useless “ski improvement “ camp I had signed up for in Whistler, where the main focus for me was to convert to hip/shoulder stance width, I was immediately drawn to the narrow looking stance of Harald in the advert.

At that same time, I somehow became aware that two Aussie instructors (Peter Stone & Scotty Burns) had adopted the PMTS system and were running camps all winter long up in Fernie Canada. I booked in and took the wife and kids. I actually didn't go on the camp, my wife did and I looked after organizing our three youngsters. On the weekend following the camp, I skied with Peter, Scotty and local instructor Max Sherwood. They asked if I was in the banking industry……I had zero CB!!!!

Scotty Burns had full cert Australian & Canadian badges. He also achieved Black PMTS certification. Peter Stone was a great guy, a very good coach/communicator and I enjoyed skiing with him. He fitted my first pair of aligned boots back in Sydney. Max Sherwood was also a black PMTS guy, he was an awesome skier and came from a racing background. He also happened to be the local Fernie golf pro and fly fishing guide in summer. He had the dream outdoor life.

My first extended time on snow with a PMTS instructor was with Bob Hintermeister in 2007. Bob was a consultant/contributer on the ACBAES books, he has a background in health & movement sciences. Bob is an excellent skier and coach. I had some Colorado days one on one with him. That vacation took in Disneyland for the kids, skiing for two weeks and a week stop off in Tahitii. An awesome trip combo. I doubt all that would have happened without my new found PMTS bred enthusiasm to ski in the USA.

Reading the Epicski forum wars in the early years was fun. The fact Heluva, Geoff & others went from being sceptics to converts, now with immense skiing ability via PMTS, is clear proof who won the war of words.

The only PMTS Harb camp I've been to was up in Big Sky. That trip proved to be more memorable because I met some PMTS skiers who have vacation places in Big Sky, they’ve become firm friends who I visit and stay with regularly. We've had many fantastic days at Big Sky. It's likely certain, had it not been for those friendships then I'd have not skied so much in North America or perhaps immersed myself in PMTS nearly as much over the years.

I've travelled with those Big Sky folk to Colorado for a few sessions with Diana. We've even done a road trip together from Colorado back to Big Sky via Wyoming, ski stopping at Grand Targhee. I’ve travelled from Sydney to PA for one of those friends' 60th birthday a year or so ago. My daughter & wife got to visit New York for the first time as well.

PMTS led me to meeting fellow Aussie, Monsterman (Geoff) from the forum. He’s a funny bloke. We travelled to Colorado a few times early in the seasons for some boot work and skiing with Harald. Monsterman has been to numerous Hintertux camps.

A mate of mine, who I’ve never skied with, is going to Hintertux next week with his son. They’d done many days in Whistler/Europe under ski school instruction and he sent me some video. I told him he was destined to be forever on the same ordinary intermediate platform he was on, regardless of how many more lessons he paid for but there was a way out called PMTS.

TBH, my PMTS skill set is not quite where I'd like it to be yet but given I only ski a couple of weeks a year it's become reasonably passable. I think I’ve made big improvements this recent two weeks in Telluride. In Australia, I rarely ski because my kids winter team sports always got in the way. I also still play competitive soccer in winter, something I’ve done now for 48yrs. In my 20s I played semi-professionally. A couple of teammates went on to play for Australia and at high levels in Europe. Last year I organized my team to compete in the World Masters Games in Auckland. Those events are huge fun and very competitive. The next one is in Japan in 2021.

On the hill, I get asked every now and again if I am a ski instructor, LOL. I’m sure plenty of PMTS skiers get asked the same thing. Perhaps its because we ski differently and certainly more elegantly than many of the golf cart looking ski instructors. It happened again in Telluride a few weeks ago. This time it was a ski instructor who stopped with his student. He told me he’d been watching me from the lift and wanted to know if I’d done any instruction before. I jokingly said I would like to. Picking up on the accent he said 20% of Telluride instructors were from Oz and NZ and I’d fit in. He was curious about the narrow stance and said I’d need to widen it up for their coaching. Or perhaps he just stopped by to tell me I needed a lesson!!! Hahahaha

I don’t think I saw a ski instructor in two weeks in Telluride on skis under 85+mm in width, so I’d guess teaching tipping wasn’t a major part of the curriculum. I know the ski rental shops in Telluride barely carry any skis under 84mm either.

Having bought the instructor’s manual, I’ve gained further understanding and enjoy teaching a few friends. The results are immediate. One footed balance to eliminate the stem works every time. I own all the online videos, books, DVDs. I've given away copies of the books to a few clients as well.

I’ve skied with a few of the Summit County crew. I must say Geoff Da stands out as someone who’s skiing improved from a pretty average standard when I first saw him ski, fast forward perhaps 3 seasons when I next skied with him and the difference was absolutely massive. His written skills here on the forum are equally impressive.

I skied for a day with Irwin Hamilton up in Whistler and his skiing is very impressive. Another trip last year I skied with forumite Co_Steve in Snowmass, he too skis very, very well.

What I enjoy the most about PMTS skiing is the knowledge it brings, I understand how to make a turn, very few on the mountain have a clue. And doing drills, at any speed, is a joy not a chore. This allows me to enjoy spending time with friends who are slow skiers on slopes that suit them.

I’m planning next season’s schedule now, new boots and liners from the shop as a start, I’m contemplating doing the bump camp, a few days in Snowmass, two weeks in Telluride with family & friends and a couple of weeks in Big Sky. It would be an unprecedented length of time on snow for me. With an Epic Pass in hand for USA, I’ll do some days down in Perisher Valley in Australia since it’s also on the Epic pass. Perisher resort (the biggest in Australia by area) was bought by Vail Resorts a few years ago. The attraction for Vail Resorts was that Australians spend a million ski days a year in Nth America. No doubt Epic Pass affiliated mountains get more of that traffic.

Harald & Diana have so much to be proud of and to be thanked for. They have added so much enjoyment to so many peoples’ lives. And not just for skiing. The number friendships they have indirectly instigated would be countless.
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Re: What is Your PMTS Experience Level?

Postby CO_Steve » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:30 pm

Ian, even if Geoff is taking up the extra bedroom we have a bed for you here as well. You guys need to get your schedule for Aspen together. Glad T'ride delivered for you this year. We all had such a bad start.
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Re: What is Your PMTS Experience Level?

Postby noobSkier » Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:49 pm

This is my 6th season on snow, skiing the first 4 at around 15-20 days per year without focusing much on improving. I found PMTS last season, and became enamoured with HH's skiing! For whatever reason sports come pretty easily to me (being 27 helps) so I felt like I could implement the essentials and start skiing like HH in a couple of weeks! Obviously I couldn't have been more wrong, and I'm still far from HH, but the frustration gave me the motivation to ski 70+ days that season and I'm up to 62 days for this one. I've become obsessed with the books+videos, and I try to post MA whenever I can. Although I don't consider myself an expert, I get stopped at least a few times a week by people (and sometimes race coaches) commenting on how good my skiing is...it's actually kind of annoying and probably speaks more to the low level of skiing in my area :lol:

I haven't been down to CO yet, but I can't say that I'm self-taught because of the gratuitous guidance that I've received through my MA thread and privately. My current skiing was a team effort; special shoutout to HH, Max_501 and DougD! I haven't been to a camp yet, but its only a matter of time. It feels like I'm at a point where some 1on1 coaching would be most valuable.


Heres a quick summary of my progress:

Last season: https://youtu.be/hIO7D4TIQfo
Early this season: https://youtu.be/ZOMs5CLcPoA
Most recent: https://youtu.be/vPy2GCSkq9Y
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Re: What is Your PMTS Experience Level?

Postby skijim13 » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:58 am

I started my quest to improve my skiing by taking the ski instructor route thinking with all the free clinics I would improve my skiing. Initially I saw an improvement in my skiing but my progress was very slow and each clinic was not consistent with what the other teacher taught. About six years ago a friend showed me Haralds performance free skiing video and I was sold on PMTS. I purchased all the videos, and books and put a great deal working on learning the material and training with my wife Lorie at our home mountain. Both of us have been to a total of five camps and like anything else you start to learn you realize how much more you need to learn. Key things I have learned in my quest to master PMTS, just because you have watched the video and have it in your head does not mean your body is really doing the movement correctly. You need keep taking video of yourself to validate you are really doing the movement. I really enjoy the challenge of PMTS and the quest to keep improving keeps skiing exciting and fun. The only thing I wish Lorie and I had was other PMTS skiers at our mountain to ski with, because most of our friends don't ski with us since we make turns and a have speed control and they bomb down the mountain and don't want to wait for us.
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Re: What is Your PMTS Experience Level?

Postby Max_501 » Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:54 am

Currrent level: Blue Coach and black level PMTS skier.

My PMTS journey started in Jan 2002 after I spent a weekend teaching my kids a wedge and noticed that once in a while one of them would make a nearly parallel turn. This clued me in that something was different about the shaped skis and after a some research I purchased Expert Skier I, II and the videos.

02-04: Spent hours upon hours studying and practicing the drills in Books 1 and 2 and developed a half way decent super phantom given my alignment limitations.

05: HH's coaching became interactive when I discovered the PMTS forum, followed by my first on snow PMTS lesson with Jay - this is when I realized how valuble in person coaching is for those that want to improve quickly. IMO, new members are very lucky to have the video MA forum at their disposal, we didn't have that option back in the day!

06: First trip to HSS - spent a week with HH getting new boots, footbeds, alignment, and on snow instruction with the master. By the end of this trip I was hooked on the idea of becoming an expert skier.

June 06 : Race Camp

Spring 07: Week with HH and jbotti - I think this is the trip that pushed me into the advanced skier category and got me interested in attaining the Blue Coach pin.

June 07: Race Camp

07 thru 09 - Decided to focus on Green and Blue level coach training and then accreditation.

09 thru today - during this period I've been lucky to spend time skiing with HH, Diana, and jbotti so plenty of feedback on what I need to work on. I'm pretty happy with where I'm at today but I still strive for perfection.

Along the way I spent time in SL/GS gates and served as my kids personal race coach. I've shot and analyzed hundreds of hours of video of racers and some great skiers including HH, Diana, jbotti, and heluva.
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Re: What is Your PMTS Experience Level?

Postby A.L.E » Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:53 pm

CO_Steve wrote:Ian, even if Geoff is taking up the extra bedroom we have a bed for you here as well. You guys need to get your schedule for Aspen together. Glad T'ride delivered for you this year. We all had such a bad start.


Thanks Steve, sounds like a plan.
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