It’s hard to imagine a freeskiing legend like Glen Plake can almost fail wedge turns during an instructor’s exam, but then again, Plake is unlike most pro skiers. To foster connections with ski and snowboard instructors to help grow the sport grassroots-style, Glen joined PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) last year and passed his Level 1 Cert Exam last week in Breckenridge, Colorado.
Upon receiving his Level 1 pin, Plake shared what he learned during the training: “What I realized going through this process is that the long-term heart and soul of the sport is found within those who have the opportunity to influence the experiences our guests have on skis. I’m honored to call myself an instructor and humbled by the depth of the training we receive as certified instructors.” (Cited from http://newschoolers.com/ns/content/readnews/id/3695/.)
Plake can test out his newly acquired instructing knowledge on the soon-to-launch Down Home Tour. Every winter, Plake and wife Kimberly travel around the country to visit small ski areas, also called referred to as “gems” or “Mom and Pop’s,” to ski and chill with the locals.
It’s at these types of ski areas where I’ve had some of my best pow days and created the greatest memories with friends. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Glen and Kimberly pay tribute to places that prove skiing and snowboarding are not elitist sports only for the rich. Places where you can get a sense of community and truly share stoke, where lift ticket prices do not hover around the $100 mark. At my local Mom and Pop’s, Wolf Creek and Silverton Mountain http://www.wolfcreekski.com, http://www.silvertonmountain.com, I know most of the lifties or ticket sellers and I can say “What a sick day!” and get their thumb’s up. That just makes it all the more fun.
Plake is also big on supporting youth racing, park and moguls’ scenes. How awesome would it be to be doing a session in the park after school with your ski team, and see Glen roll up to do some laps with you?
To find out more on why Glen likes getting “Down Home,” check out http://www.skinet.com/skiing/fondue-party/athletes/2010/01/an-interview-with-glen-plake and http://blog.skiheavenly.com/2008/01/09/glen-plake-down-home-tour-still-moving/.
They plan to get on the road the last week of February and finish at the Sun Valley 75th event and Glen’s induction into the US National Ski Hall of Fame on April 2.
Thanks Glen and Kimberly for supporting the true spirit of snow sports, and I hope to see you in Southwest Colorado!