Let’s Take The Bumpy Road! Or, "Making Friends With Moguls," 2/27 & 28

Making Friends with Moguls Camp” is a program of the Telluride Ski Resort’s Telluride Ski & Snowboard School. The last session took place Saturday and Sunday, February 10 & 11. Last chance: final session is Tuesday & Wednesday, February 27 & 28. For more information and to sign up, go here.  

For more on the Telski initiative, watch my video featuring co-founder Richard Thorpe, then read on for further details about the program and the instructors.

Many years ago when I was just getting to know the mountain in Telluride, I found myself on Lift 9 with a stranger. As we rode up over the big moguls on Kant-Mak-M my seat-mate seemed to be salivating as we watched the young hot-shoes catapulting down the run, knees all but smashing into their chins. When I questioned the man’s obsession with these athletes, he responded that he was an orthopedic surgeon, implying that the scene below us was guaranteeing his kids’ college education.

Fast forward to 2018: In my work with Telluride Adaptive Sports Program, whether a young beginner or an older person, I strive to make the skiing as efficient as possible. It saves energy, and I am old enough to appreciate saving energy.

Larry Hopkins in summer

It occurs to me that efficiency is a big piece of what the Telluride Ski Resort’s “Making Friends with Moguls” is all about.

I recently spent an enjoyable hour (or so) with Richard Thorpe in order to get a feeling for the Making Friends with Moguls camp. My guess was correct- this two-day program is about getting stance and technique right in order to ski moguls without beating up the body.

Richard gave me an abbreviated version of his camp, beginning with a few pertinent drills and exercises to get me in proper stance and balance. Then he took the properly balanced me to the edge of Henry’s Run to demonstrate how little energy is required to turn the skis when balance is correct and the pivot point is utilized.

Richard Thorpe

What the camp is designed to accomplish in two days, we sped through in about an hour. And you know what? That was enough to really raise the level of my mogul skiing.

I spend a lot of my skiing time on the lower mountain teaching people with disabilities, so my never stellar mogul abilities are definitely rusty. To begin to enjoy the bump field of Henry’s after such a brief session gave me a great appreciation of what will be accomplished with a dedicated intermediate skier in two intensive days.

My advice: Give it a try. You have nothing to lose but your bruises and your fears.

Nancy Ayers

Below are the biographies of the instructors, more information about the camp and its benefits.

Bump on!

Camp Description

This two-day camp is aimed at the mature intermediate skier who is very proficient on all the groomed runs a ski resort may have to offer but avoids mogul runs.  The goal of the camp is to make friends with moguls and develop confidence in blue-level mogul fields.  We will start out slowly with proven exercises and progressions to get you to your goals.  You’ll be skiing in a small group setting with like-minded skiers who share your same goals.  Instructors leading the groups are mature skiers who have taught for many years at the Telluride Ski Resort who will base all teaching on the Professional Ski Instructors of America core principles, as applied in moguls:

Stance – balance fore and aft and side to side

Steering – actively turning both feet

Edging – increasing or decreasing the amount the ski is on edge

Pressure – increasing or decreasing the amount of weight applied to the ski

Instructor Bios

Larry Hopkins

A 6o+-year-old, fully certified instructor who has skied for over 60 years of his life. Larry has been skiing Telluride for 43 years and taught for 28 of them, teaching guests as young as two and as old as 80 all levels of skiing. Larry currently specializes in teaching mature skiers how to enjoy skiing with less fear and muscle fatigue.

Richard Thorpe

Richard is a fully certified, 64-year- young instructor and Telluride Ski Resort trainer who specializes in mogul skiing. Richard has an extensive bag of tricks to make learning to ski easy and fun. Richard has 43 years of teaching experience and in 2010, he was selected as Colorado Ski Country’s Instructor of the Year.

Nancy Ayers

A Colorado native, Nancy Ayres began skiing at the age of 7 with her parents, both avid skiers. Her passion for the sport led to a successful career in skiwear design. After a stint as art director for a print media company owned by Ayres and her husband, she returned to the industry as a Telluride instructor. A regular practitioner of yoga and meditation, Nancy likes to apply these concepts to her teaching. She also enjoys swimming, cycling, hiking and golf.




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