If you’ve ever heard of TJ Burke, Dexter Rutecki, and Aspen Extreme, then you already know that being a ski instructor is one of the raddest jobs in the world. And while the sex, drugs and rock n’ roll lifestyle depicted in the film may be a bit removed from reality, in the third episode Aspen/Snowmass’ Our Story the real pride of the Aspen ski school is revealed.
“My favorite part of the job as a ski instructor is that we get to ski every single day,” says Aspen Mountain ski and snowboard school manager Andy Docken.
For those who don’t live in a ski town like Aspen, but are perhaps just visiting, partnering up with a ski instructor has a ton of advantages. Spending a day or two with a local instructor is a great way to get a crash course on the terrain, plus you’ll never have to wait in a lift line (not that Aspen really has any of those to begin with). If you happen to be visiting with a group, split up the costs and explore the mountain together with an experienced guide.
“A common misconception about taking a lesson is that it’s all drills and detailed working on your skiing all the time,” says Docken. “Part of skiing with an instructor is learning how to appreciate the mountain the way a local does and being able to read it with friends and really figure out where the best places to go are.”
Episode 3 of Aspen/Snowmass’ Our Story – Tuning Turns
The culture of Aspen, and skiing in general, also comes down to building relationships, which is something that the ski school takes pride in.
“Repeat guests is what Aspen/Snowmass is all about,” says Buttermilk ski and snowboard school manager Georgie Bremner. “You’re building relationships with your guests. That’s the beauty of here, you’re beyond just teaching them something, you’re friends and you’re enjoying this place together.”
In the end, if you want to become a better skier, whether it be surfing through powder, ripping steeps, or jibbing the park, a couple of days with an instructor will get you there.