A great influence on the mountain | AspenTimes.com

A great influence on the mountain

Dear Editor:

The ski industry has treated me pretty well since 1995. I have spent time on the hill coaching, working in ski shops and most recently as the president of POC USA. Throughout, I feel lucky to have met some great people. I have seen a lot of good … and bad skiing.

Wednesday, while taking a couple of laps at Highlands during lunch, I ran into Clay Dahlman and a group of skiers he was teaching. Think … three enthusiastic young women between the ages of 10 and 12 (home state for these women: Michigan).

The girls invited me to ski their last run of the day with them and here is what I found:

• Three girls who ski tall, balanced and were pushing their limits.

• A run at Highlands that I didn’t know existed and one that had an impressive amount of snow for this time of year.

• At least 10 bumps to jump on the side of the trail that I am sure I would have missed.

The point of this letter is to note how impressed I am that Clay worked with a group of “vacation” skiers over six seasons and progressed them to this expert level of skiing. These were not kids skidding sideways on blue terrain. These kids were ripping, jumping and laughing all while standing tall and carving.

My hat is off to Mr. Dahlman and the Aspen Ski School. I knew Clay was a great teacher from a bit of time I have spent at Aspen CrossFit, and I knew he was personable thanks to a few dinners at Casa Tua, where he works evenings.

That one run Wednesday reminded me how important great coaches and teachers can be. Thanks to Clay and the girls for letting me join their last run. I look forward to more snow and more runs.

Jarka Duba


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