The 12 member PSIA Alpine Team and the Western Regional Demonstration Team are selected every four years through a rigorous selection process that is based upon expertise in teaching, passion for learning and athletic skill. This is the highest level of achievement than an instructor can attain. These individuals are the “Top Guns.” Skiing with NASTC is a chance to ski with these teachers of teachers. At NASTC you will ski with the same trainer all through your course, and have the chance to join that trainer again at other NASTC clinics.
Our backcountry and European off-piste and touring courses are led by highly experienced AMGA and UIAGM certified guides. AMGA is the American Mountain Guides Association and UIAGM is the International Mountain Guides’ Association. Certification by either is an extremely difficult achievement and represents a huge commitment and body of knowledge. All of our staff members share common a love for the sport of skiing, a passion for teaching and respect for the mountains that we live and play in. The NASTC team is dedicated to providing upper level skiers with the best instruction at the world’s premier mountains and resorts.
Co-founder and Co-director of the North American Ski Training Center (NASTC). A ski instructor and examiner for over 25 years, two-time member of the PSIA Alpine Team, Education VP for PSIA-Western Division from 1998-2000 and PSIA-W Board of Directors since 1995. Chris has served as a ski school staff trainer at Squaw Valley, Mt. Rose and Heavenly; attended the prestigious Austrian Bundessporteim in 1989 and again in 2008 by special invitation. Chris is the author of two books Tactics for All Mountain Skiing and Total Skiing. Chris started NASTC in 1994 with wife Jenny and Mike Sodergren. Chris also enjoys rock climbing, mountaineering, and backcountry and is a professional member of the American Mountain Guides Association; Chris grew up in MA; moved to Tahoe at age 24 and continues to live in Truckee, CA with wife Jenny, sons Colter & Heath and, daughter Monique.
Operations & Events Manager, NASTC Trainer
Kimberly is a level III instructor and staff trainer at Alpine Meadows and a clinician and examiner with the PSIA-Western Division. She is also a member of the Western Regional Team. Kimberly grew up skiing in the Alps and has skied all over Europe and South America. Kimberly attended the Graduate Institute of International Studies in her hometown, Geneva, Switzerland before returning to Lake Tahoe and joining the NASTC team. Her passion for skiing, teaching and traveling made for a perfect fit with NASTC. During the summer months, Kimberly travels to Portillo, Chile where she enjoys an endless winter teaching skiing.
Former 3-term member of the PSIA Alpine Team, he is an instructor and trainer at the Aspen Ski and Snowboard School and has been a trainer for the North American Ski Training Center since 2000. He is just as passionate about teaching now, as he was when he started more than 35 years ago. Victor taught in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for 16 years where he was also the assistant ski school director before moving to Aspen in 1987. He has also been a PSIA Examiner and Chairman of PSIA's Steering Committee. Victor has an engineering degree and also works as the Mountain Planner, designing trails and lifts, for the Aspen Skiing Company. Victor lives in Aspen with his wife, son, and daughter, all avid skiers.
Nick began teaching at age 14 at Snoqualmie in Washington. He spent nine years at Big Sky, Montana as a ski instructor and working through the ranks as a Training Supervisor and as Group Sales Manager during the summer months. Since then, Nick has dedicated himself to profession of teaching skiing. Nick is the youngest person to have made it on the PSIA Alpine Team. This is Nick’s second term on the team and he is the Crested Butte Ski and Snowboard School Director.
Richard is the APSI (Australian Professional Snowsport Instructors) Chief of Exams for Alpine Skiing and is currently serving his 2nd term on the Australian National Demonstration and Education Team. Growing up in Brisbane, Richard started out as a secondary school Physical Education teacher in Queensland. Applying his knowledge of physical education and human movement studies his career lead him to the ski fields of Canada, revitalizing a childhood passion for alpine skiing. After serving over 11 years in the ski industry, Richard divides his time between Lake Tahoe, California, and Perisher, Australia.
A current member of the PSIA Alpine Team, Mike has been with NASTC since 1998. He is a first-class instructor and an excellent all-mountain skier. Mike is also the assistant ski school director at Northstar-at-Tahoe and oversees the training program for the ski school staff. He is also a contributing author to sport and skiing magazines. When not on the snow, Mike can be found logging in some serious mileage on his mountain bike, he also windsurfs like a pro, and has successfully completed 8 deep water dives in the Red Sea. Mike lives in Truckee with his wife and two daughters.
Michael grew up in Rhinebeck, NY and has been teaching skiing since 1985. He is the Director of Skiing at Portillo, Chile in the summer and a Trainer/Instructor at Heavenly Valley, CA during our winters. He has been on the National Demonstration Team since 1996 and the Nordica Factory Team since 2000. He is also a frequent contributor to SKI magazine. His other interests include mountain biking and golfing.
Robin has been teaching skiing since 1988. Robin is a current member of the PSIA Alpine team and the Ski School Director at Portillo, Chile. Robin has enjoyed more than 31 consecutive winters! Her year-round teaching and skiing were divided between Heavenly Ski Resort and Portillo, Chile. In the North American winters, she is an instructor and trainer at Heavenly. Robin is also a ski tester for SKI magazine. She is the owner of Tahoe Outdoor Fitness where she does outdoor athletic training and personal training. In those few months between seasons, Robin spends heaps of time on her bikes. She also speaks fluent Spanish and Portuguese, and can typically be found skiing with a grin wrapped around her face!
Kevin Mitchell moved to the North Lake Tahoe area in 1989 to give skiing a try. After two seasons at Boreal, Kevin moved over to Northstar-at-Tahoe in search of a strong training program in which to grow. At Northstar, Kevin achieved his full certification as well as a Level I Nordic and became a Snowboard Examiner with AASI. Off-seasons were spent further dedicating time to his trade by teaching at Coronet Peak/Remarkables in New Zealand. Kevin also helped develop the snowboard instructional program at Alpine Meadows. Kevin became the director for the Northstar Ski & Snowboard School. Kevin is a former member of the PSIA Alpine Team and is currently a clinician and examiner for the PSIA- Western Division. Kevin is currently the Regional Director of Skiiing for Alpine Meadows and Homewood Resorts. A little known fact about Kevin is that he can throw down in the terrain park!
Mike grew up skiing at Snow Basin near Ogden, Utah. He is PSIA and CSIA level III certified and the past Certification Vice President for PSIA-W and past President for PSIA-W. He has been a PSIA National Board member and a Western Regional Team trainer and selector. Mike served as Ski School Director at Northstar-at-Tahoe before he became the Mountain Sports Learning Center Director at Sugar Bowl Resort. Mike has spent countless of hours helping instructors achieve their goals. He is involved in the region developing the Senior's instructional program and is NASTC's resident Senior Specialist.
Experience: He has been teaching and coaching skiing professionally for over 20 years and currently a staff trainer at Cannon Mountain in Franconia, NH. He is currently a member of the PSIA National Alpine Team and serves as the Head Coach for the PSIA Eastern Division Board of Examiners. Previously, he served as the Director of Skiing at Loon Mountain.
Robbie grew up skiing in Vermont where he developed his technical skills on the race courses and ice of the east. After racing Robbie turned to Freestyle and won the National Championships in Moguls. He then went on to finish third on the World Pro Mogul Tour. Drawn by the steeps and chutes of the west he moved to Tahoe and became a coach and then Director of the Squaw Valley Freestyle Team. Soon, Robbie was noticed by Warren Miller and was a featured skier in 9 Warren Miller films as one of the pioneers of “extreme skiing”. The film bug caught him and he became a Hollywood stunt skier in many feature films. Robbie loves to teach others the technical and mental skills to break through to a higher level of skiing.
Experience: Barclay started teaching in 1973 in New York State. He has been a Ski School Trainer at Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, and Hunter Mountain, NY. In NY he served as the Education Vice President of PSIA-E. He is a staff trainer and instructor at Alpine Meadows.
After growing up chasing her brother around ski areas in Vermont, El moved to California to attend UC Berkeley and became a member of the ski team. Although El majored in Social Sciences, she seem to have minored in skiing. After graduating in 1989, El spent her “gap year” teaching skiing at Alpine Meadows. One winter somehow rolled into another . El is a member of the Western Regional Demonstration Team and the Education VP for PSIA – Western Division. El is also the Assistant Manager for the Squaw Valley Ski and Snowboard School.
Heidi started skiing in the Green Mountains of Vermont and today is recognized as one of the Top 100 Ski Instructors in the U.S. by Ski Magazine. She is a member of the PSIA Western Demonstration Team and a clinician and examiner for the Western Division. Heidi also serves on the Board of Directors for PSIA-W and holds an Avalanche I and Wilderness EMT credentials. Heidi pursues ski instruction year round dividing her time between Heavenly in Lake Tahoe and Perisher Blue in Australia. Alongside ski instruction Heidi has helped build the Lake Tahoe Women’s Ice Hockey Association.
Rich has been guiding for over ten years. From local ski tours in Tahoe, to guided expeditions in Alaska. Some of his adventures include: trekking in Bhutan, skiing the Haute route in the Alps, guiding on Mt. Shasta, Mt. Rainer, Denali, and guiding the volcanoes of Ecuador. Rich has logged numerous ski descents in the lower 48, Alaska, Canada, Argentina, Chile, France, and Switzerland. Rich is most often found in working in California, where he guides various routes and ski descents in addition to teaching glacier seminars and avalanche courses. Rich has had extensive training from a variety of schools, including the PSIA and the AMGA.
As the director of High-Alpine Mountain Guides, Michael is an internationally certified UIAGM/IFMGA mountain and ski guide. Although focusing the last 14 years on guiding in the Alps, he has over 20 years of guiding experience, including numerous ascents of Denali in Alaska and big walls in Yosemite. Michael has climbed extensively in the Alps from the Matterhorn and Eiger in Switzerland throughout the Mont Blanc range, all the way down to limestone crags in southern France, Italy and Spain. Certified by The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) in alpine, rock and ski disciplines, Michael sits on the technical committee as well as being a guide’s trainer and examiner for the AMGA. He is also the only American guide to be a member of both the French and the Swiss Mountain Guide’s Associations.
NASTC Guide & Trainer
Jens started skiing in 1982 in St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria, where he now owns a family hotel. Since 1992, he has been a National Examiner for the Danish Ski Instructor Association. Since 1996, he has been an examiner for the Tirolean Ski Association and in charge of all the educational programs in the ski school in Arlberg. In 2002, he took third place in the International Tirolean Demonstration Championships. Jens works as a rafting guide and canyon guide during the summer months.
NASTC Rockclimbing Guide
Chris started rock climbing in the Lake Tahoe area over 25 years ago. After teaching family and friends the art of climbing for many years, he decided to turn his passion into his career. Spend a day with Chris as your rock climbing guide and take advantage of his enthusiasm, safe and patient teaching style and genuine love of the sport. Chris prides himself in getting even the “faintest of heart” up the rock. He has helped countless people, young and old alike, face their fears and realize the rush of accomplishment and the unique clarity of mind that comes with rock climbing. During the winter months, Chris instructs and guides in Joshua Tree and in the summer he is based in the Truckee – Lake Tahoe area, where he is the lead rock climbing guide for NASTCChris is an American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) Certified Single Pitch Instructor and has completed the AMGA Rock Instructor Course. He is also a Wilderness Medicine Institute – Wilderness First Responder.
NASTC Rock Climbing Guide
Holly started climbing in 1980 with a loop of 1" webbing around her waist, a rack of hexes and nuts, and running shoes. She maintains the same passion today that she had then. In these 30 years Holly has racked up an extremely impressive list of peaks and routes. She spent years in Yosemite, Tuolumne and the High Sierra back country. Her long resume includes Mt. Whitney, Keeler Needle and East Buttress, Mt. Russell, a first ascent on Mt. Tyndall, Mt Francis Farquar, Charlotte Dome, U-Notch to North Palisade, Temple Crag via Dark Star and Sun Ribbon arete, Mt Sill, Mt. Ritter and Clyde Minaret, Mt. Conness via the Harding route on the southwest face, and of course the Incredible Hulk. She did both Mt Hunter and Mt Deborah in one most memorable ski mountaineering and ice climbing trip to Alaska (if you haven't seen the epic slide show from that ask her for a showing). Holly has also climbed in Bolivia, getting above 20,000' there on Mt IIlampe. And lest we rest, she and some girlfriends once ran the John Muir Trail in 5 days (200 miles, averaged 40 miles/day)! Her deep appreciation of the granite leads her to teach young and old alike and help them grow their passion for the outdoors and the mountains. Holly is most at home on the granite crags of Donner Summit and loves teaching people to climb there. She is fun and kind and energetic. She can relate to all experience levels and make it fun for everyone!
Jarad was born and raised in Truckee, California and started rock climbing on the granite domes of Donner Summit. He is certified by the American Mountain Guides Association as a single pitch rock climbing instructor and obtained his wilderness first responder certification from NOLS in March 2009. During the summer months, he is consumed with climbing; from the pristine 14,000’+ alpine climbs on the east face of Mount Whitney, to imposing big walls such as The Nose of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. In the winter season he spends much of his time traveling through the warmer climates of the world. During 2011, he climbed the vast limestone towers in Thailand, and in 2012 trekked through the high Himalayan passes of Nepal. With a deep seated love for the mountains and a passion for sharing the benefits of wilderness therapy, Jarad's patience and compatibility make him the perfect choice for a great guide.
NASTC Equipment Technician
Born in Chicago IL, Jim started skiing at age 4 on the icy slopes of the mid-west and became nationally ranked ski racer. He was a former World Cup serviceman and manager for Salomon North America's Racing and Promotions Department. Jim has been a NASTC Trainer and Technician since 1999. He owns and operates The Start Haus in Truckee which provides World Cup-level boot balancing and ski tuning services. www.StartHaus.com
Darcy Norman, PT, ATC, CSCS
Darcy has worked with NASTC since his move to the Tahoe Area from Arizona. He isa PT and performance specialist for the world famous Athletes' Performance. He is the Director of Performance Training at the Center for Health & Sports Performance while still consulting for AP on various projects. Darcy also has had the opportunity to speak throughout North America and abroad on various topics of physical therapy and athletic enhancement. His experience of working with the wellness, rehabilitation and injury prevention of patients and athletes spans from junior, collegiate, amateur, Olympic, professional and elite athletes. Darcy is Level 1 PSIA ski instructor, and competed FIS , and collegiate in alpine skiing. He has worked with a number of competitive cycling team and was the training director for the Bayern Munich Soccer Team.
Mark is the founder of PerformanceEDU Training Center, Mark also served as the Head Strength Coach for US Disabled Ski Team. He has also worked with the Serbian and British Disabled Teams. Mark was a Performance Specialist with Todd Durkin Enterprise and Core Performance/Athletes Performance. He continues to work with Sky Tavern’s Alpine/Freestyle team and trains a number of professional athletes. Mark has joined the Center for Health and Sports Performance team in Truckee and helped direct the NASTC Coaches dryland training program.