Chris and Jenny Fellows co-founded the Tahoe based, North American Ski Training Center (NASTC) in 1994, and for the last 20 years the couple has helped skiers improve their skiing with their clinics. Their credentials are impressive.
Chris has been a ski instructor and examiner for more than 35 years. He is also a two-time member of the PSIA Alpine Team and sat for many years on the board of directors of PSIA-West. He has served as a ski school staff trainer at Homewood, Squaw Valley, Mt. Rose and Heavenly, and also attended the prestigious Austrian Bundessporteim. The author of two books, “Tactics for All Mountain Skiing” and “Total Skiing,” Chris has also contributed to many magazines including 32 Degrees, Men’s Fitness, SKI, Skiing, Powder, and Outside. Chris continues to educate people.
Jenny Fellows is also a certified ski instructor. She manages the NASTC events and courses, client relations, business development, marketing and sales. She is a former collegiate ski racer and high school teacher/ski coach. Jenny speaks Spanish and has skied and climbed all over the world, including British Columbia, Mexico, Chile, France, Switzerland, Austria and Nepal.
“There are so many wonderful interesting
people that have made our job so fun for
all of these years. I love helping them have
more adventure skiing.” –Jenny Fellows
Clinics in Tahoe take place at Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Sugar Bowl. Their most recent clinic was an All Conditions-All Terrain clinic held at Squaw for two of the days and Alpine Meadows for one day. Workshops are geared toward intermediate to advanced and expert skiers looking to develop their skiing techniques.
“The All Condition-All Terrain Clinics has been one of our staple course since its inception,” says Jenny of the clinic. “I think the best stories are ones about people and the different types of students that come our courses. There are some many wonderful interesting people that have made our job so fun for all of these years. I love helping them have more adventure skiing,” she adds.
Howard Shou has taken more than 40 clinics with NASTC in the last 15 years. From the Bay Area, Shou credits NASTC with changing his life.
“When I met Chris I was a nerd, I never exercised and didn’t know how to ski. I was inspired by Chris. He gave me a prescription of what do to and how to do it. It gave me a new lease on life. These clinics have changed my life,” explains Shou, who is now an advanced skier.
“We carefully design the programs we offer. We offer good fundamentals and teach solid ski techniques. The process has been proven for over 23 years,” Chris said. He also explained that during each clinic there is an intense immersion.
During a clinic, participants are taught techniques and drills to help enhance their skiing ability. Instructors work with each skier, and help him or her focus on areas they might want to improve on. Everyone meets at the end of the day for Tech Talk session led by Chris. Instructors go over videos of each person skiing to review their skiing techniques. The videos illuminate and highlight areas that skiers might want to continue to develop and offer a visual for the instructor to teach participants.
“Everything changed in the last 15 years. I took an eight-year hiatus from skiing and then took a NASTC clinic 12 years ago. I fell in love with the programs,” says Neil Myers, who has been skiing for 50 years.
NASTC also hosts a women-specific ski clinics and recently teamed up with Tahoe Sports Hub to offer an Intro to Backcountry Skiing course, works with Granite Chief and Start Haus, and is collaborating with Homewood Ski Resort offering ski clinics in conjunction with Homewood’s back-country snowcat tours (see feature in this issue).
Jenny is also currently helping spearhead efforts to create a regulation-sized, covered skating rink at the Truckee Regional Park. The couple has three children who are or have been ski racers.
In addition to ski clinics, NASTC offers back-country programs, avalanche safety programs, rock climbing and mountaineering clinics. If you haven’t had enough skiing in the winter, there are a number of summer ski clinics NASTC offers in South America.
For more information, contact NASTC at (530) 386-2102 or visit skinastc.com.