Ski Coach Z: Dave Zientko

Dave ZientkoSki instructor Dave Zientko will be joining NYSkiBlog as the author of a multi-part series on how to get more out of skiing. Dave is a PSIA Level 3 certified instructor who has been teaching at Whiteface since 2000. He has been teaching skiing for 24 years. Before coming to Whiteface, Dave worked at Killington after starting out at Vernon Valley. He’s also had staff training roles in both the Whiteface and Killington Snowsport Schools.

Early on Dave taught adults, but after his son Zach was born, he widened his focus to include working with children. He has extensive experience with advanced level kids in all-mountain skiing and has coached in Whiteface’s acclaimed Cloudsplitter Club program for the last eight years.

Dave has experience skiing across Europe and the West including France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy as well was most of Colorado, Utah and British Columbia. Dave has logged several cat skiing days out West and has attended two PSIA National Academy’s including one in Chamonix in 2006.

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Big Tupper Snow Reporter: Chris Iwinski

Chris IwinskiChris Iwinski will be joining NYSkiBlog this season as one of our Big Tupper ski reporters. Chris wasn’t born into a skiing family; but luckily his mom surprised him with his first snowboard in 1998. “That winter I took my pudgy 4th grade self, in homemade snow pants, to the top of West Mountain. I instantly fell in love with snowboarding.”

After teaching himself to slide on snow, he began to beg for rides to West and Willard mountains. Once he reached middle school, he joined the ski club and was able to ride many of the major resorts.

After spending a year and half in college, he loaded up his ’93 Honda Civic and headed to Breckenridge, Colorado for the winter of 2008/09. In Breck, he paid the bills by working at Cecilia’s, a noted local club. Then, in the spring of 2009, he came back to New York and met Jess.

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Big Tupper Ski Reporter: Mike Ranellone

Mike RanelloneMike Ranellone is joining NYSkiBlog as one of our two new Big Tupper ski reporters. Mike is a 19-year-old English major at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. He grew up in Saratoga Springs and has been skiing since age five. He learned at Maple Ski Ridge in Rotterdam, NY which was a smaller, local alternative to West Mountain.

Within a few years, his family became regulars at Jiminy Peak. Now, he’s a proud passholder at Gore Mountain in North Creek. He managed to ski exactly 40 days last season “without flunking out of school,” with his Gore pass covering 30 of those days. “I love Gore’s laid back atmosphere and surprisingly great terrain.”

Mike raced with the Saratoga Springs High School team for four years, but now trees and bumps are the name of the game. Of his four pairs of skis, he relies on 181 Icelantic Nomads the most. “I used to click into them only on the deepest days, but I’ve found them to be useful in most conditions, with the exception of ripping slalom turns down a freshly-groomed Lies.”

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