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Seventeen make list of top ski pros

Jennifer Davoren

Locals have always known that we have some of the best ski instructors in the country. And now the word is out on the World Wide Web that Aspen is home to the top of the crop.

The Web site Bergiesbest.com names 17 locals among its list of the best ski pros in the country, and three from Aspen and Snowmass are in the top 10 – Katie Fry, Megan Harvey and Charlie MacArthur.

MacArthur, an instructor at Snowmass, said his 21 years of experience, along with his recent naming to the U.S. Alpine Demo team, might have helped him earn high marks from Bergie’s Best.

“I’m really passionate about it, but it’s the people [I teach] that make it fun,” he said.

Twelve Aspen Skiing Co. employees made Bergie’s list, thanks largely to the ski school’s commitment to skill development, MacArthur said.

“It’s our level of training,” he said. “We have a certification calender, so the instructors are constantly working on their teaching skills and working toward higher levels of certification. That’s what really helps the ski school – the cutting-edge programs.”

Katie Fry, ski school manager at Aspen Highlands and director of training for all four schools, agreed.

“One of our goals since 1994 is to be the best trained ski school in the nation, if not the world,” she said.

Fry said the Web site rankings is more than just a good slap on the back for area instructors. It may also help generate more visitors to the area, as people look for resorts that can offer top quality skiing lessons.

“Hopefully, I’ll get questions and contacts from it that I can redirect,” she said.

Finding a way to generate contacts for top ski professionals was the main reason the Web site was created, said Jerry Berg, an instructor at Crested Butte. After Berg met his future partner, Julie Calzone, during a ski lesson, they decided that cataloging top instructors seemed to be a good way to support the sport.

“We wanted to recognize ski instructors and also build a directory of instructors,” Berg said. “It gives them a forum and helps promote the industry.”

Berg joined 13 industry professionals from different regions of the country to craft the list, but it took the selection committee five months to sort out the nominations that flooded the office. The lucky instructors that made the cut had extensive experience and training, Berg said.

“Nominators would send in a resum for us to look at,” he said.

Names were posted in September, and will remain on the list until its annual review.

Visitors not only find names of top ski instructors on the Web site, but can also book airline seats and lodging, make restaurant reservations and check weather reports. As the http://www.bergiesbest.com grows, it will allow tourists to plan an entire ski vacation, Berg said.

“It will be everything from technique to fun stories about ski instruction, terminology, chat room and the ski shop,” he said. “It’ll keep growing.”

The other local instructors who made Bergie’s list include:

From Aspen – Chino Martinez, Jim Schanzenbaker, and Lavelle Saier.

From Snowmass – Jessica Berg, Andy Docken, Karina Alder, Tanya Heller, and Toons Bridgewater.

From Carbondale – Scott Kane, Martha Rose, Rod Carnie and Calvin Cantrell.

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