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Race Camps, Clinics Plentiful At Ski Portillo

Ski Portillo, Chile

Chile’s 2012 Ski Portillo season is underway through Oct. 6, and crammed with a variety of ski clinics and camps  

The first ever Insider’s Ski Camp takes place during their Wine Fest week, Aug. 25-Sept. 1.  Intermediate and advanced skiers will be coached by Portillo’s highly respected international ski school team and some yet-to-be-announced guests. It is an intense program designed to improve skills, gain confidence, learn tactics, and make some friends in the process. Previous ski school directors have included Sigi Grottendorfer, Stein Ericksen, and Pepi Steigler. 

The camp offers six days of instruction, exclusive session with guest pros, technical talks, video analysis, private group dinners and events, 20 percent rental discounts, group transfer to/from Santiago Airport, and a “goodie bag.” This timeframe also gives you the opportunity – off the slopes – to attend wine tastings by Chilean winemakers. Camp fee is US $2,200, not including airfare or lodging.

The fourth Portillo Big Mountain Telemark Camp takes place July 21-28. You must be an expert (able to ski all black diamonds) of any age to participate in this on-piste and backcountry terrain week-long camp.  Take your skiing to the next level, develop your technique or enhance your competition aspirations. 

Focus is on technique, overall awareness, visualization, discipline, and determination. You also will learn about precaution, line choice, route finding, equipment use, and snow stability, all the while perfecting your telemark turns. You get seven days of coaching and instruction, yoga sessions, evening analysis, discussions, and video, and pro deals on Black Diamond and FlyLow equipment. Camp fee is US $1,500, not including airfare and lodging.

Guided skiing for advanced intermediates and expert skiers is available at Kim Reichhelm’s Ski Adventures Camp, July 28-Aug. 1 for families, Aug. 4-11 for adults. Guides are Reichhelm, Greg Harms, and Nick Hill, whose credits include extensive teaching, guiding, and heli skiing. 

Trip includes seven days of guided skiing; transfers to/from Santiago; seven nights’ lodging; eight-day lift ticket; four meals a day, and welcome reception and send off dinner party. Optional helicopter skiing is available daily. Family camp fee is US $4,650 (double occupancy with kids); adult camp fee is  $5,150 based on double occupancy. Airfare is extra.

The ninth annual Ski With The Superstars, Aug. 11-18, is open to only 30 expert skiers. Coaching includes skills of steep skiing, terrain recognition and management, proper mechanics, and powder skiing techniques. Coaches include Portillo instructors from Whistler, BC, Squaw Valley, Calif., and Crested Butte and Vail, Colo. 

The program gives you daily personalized instruction/guiding with a different freeskiing pro daily; talks and presentations by the athletes; edited DVD of images and footage for each participant shot by a professional videographer who accompanies the group, and social events. Camp fee is $2,500, not including airfare or lodging.

The North American Ski Training Center (NASTC) is in its 18th year of offering a comprehensive ski training program for strong intermediate to expert skiers, Aug 18-25. The 6-day program addresses technique, fitness, and equipment. Instructors include top U.S. ski instructors and members of the PSIA Demonstration Team. Groups of six or less allow for personalized instruction with similar ability participants taught by the same instructor all week. 

Camp includes evening discussions and presentations by coaches; personalized video reviews; and group events. New participants will receive a Functional Movement Screen that evaluates mobility and stability essential for good technique. Optional backcountry tours and heli-skiing upgrades are available. Camp fee is US $2,300, not including airfare or lodging.

John Clendenin, two-time world freestyle champion and creator of the Clendenin Ski Method, is hosting his Portillo camp Sept. 8-15. The camp mission is to provide participants with the foundation to become a better bump/all-mountain skier, including steeps, deeps, dumps, bumps, and hard stuff. Open to intermediate to “almost pros.” 

Fee includes accommodations (single or double) at the Hotel Portillo; six days of morning coaching and afternoon freeskiing with Clendenin and coaches; 7-day lift ticket; four meals daily; and group transfers to/from Santiago Airport. The last night’s lodging is at Santiago’s Hotel Kennedy and includes an end-of-camp dinner. You can add on an additional day to ski relax, or take a race clinic. Package fee is dependent on type of accommodation and minimum of 14 people. 

Photo: Ski Portillo, Chile

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