Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lake Placid Adult Skate Camp-- Part I: The Lay of the Land (updated_2017)

All Lake Placid Posts here.


I've attended the LP adult skate camp twice, in two different years. They should be announcing the summer skate camps starting in February, so I'll prep you what to expect.

How to find out: Sometime in February, LP will announce the dates for its adult camp. In the past there has been one in June and one in August. I usually start checking the LP adult camp webpage in late Feb/early March. In 2017 the announcement was made in mid-March.

Housing: The camps take place in beautiful (but isolated) Lake Placid, New York. How that town handled not one but TWO winter Olympics, I'll never know. The town is small and expensive. It's also a tourist town, so it's casual wear all day. Even the upscale restaurants  allow casual wear.  There are hotels (expensive), athlete dormitories (you give up some of your privacy), and private homes for rent to stay in. The best deal is to go up with a group and rent a house. The most expensive is to rent a hotel room. I understand the athlete dormitories are reasonable, but I have no personal experience with them.

Travel: There are three ways to get to LP: car, train, and plane. I took the train one year when the Big Guy was still skating. From where we lived it was the same travel time as a car trip and it cost way less. But cars do have conveniences associated with them once you're in town, so it's a trade off. Last year two of the skaters in the group I was with flew in and rented cars. It's a long drive to the airport which is some distance away in Albany, NY. You can also fly into Saranac Lake--but that's expensive.

Signing up: The controller of the skate camp at Lake Placid is the Olympic Redevelopment Association (ORDA). When the camp is announced, you can go to the website and register online. The fee last year for the August full wee was $275. (In 2013 a 'processing fee' or $50 was added). That is just ice time and three receptions. That doesn't include lessons. Usually the website has an outline of what group classes they think they will hold. This is vague. Don't expect to see an exact list until you show up and sign in. (In 2013 a pdf of the schedule was emailed the week before).

Coaches: There are a number of resident coaches at LP, and ORDA brings in some guest coaches who are elite skaters.  Since there's usually an ice show during the August session, sometimes ice skating stars show up and give a group class. Jeremy Abbot showed up and gave an adult group class last year.   Ryan Bradley has also appeared. There have been some non-resident coaches who show up with a stable of students, and these non-resident coaches are sometimes available for lessons.  You can look on the Lake Placid website for coach listings. Many (but not all) of those coaches are available for Adult Skate Week. For example, in 2011 and 2012 I never saw Paul Wylie or Gregory and Petukhov coaching (but in 2013 I did) . Non-resident coaches are not listed here. You won't learn about them until the initial reception.

Tomorrow--Part II: Getting Started at LP Adult Camp


  1. Thanks for the recap!

    Can you give a range of how much to expect to spend with a number of classes and lessons? That's my issue with this camp- it seems very expensive when all is said and done.

  2. Jessim, you get ice time included in the $275 fee. I met people who came to LP just to get the ice time for practice. Daily ice time: 6 hours Open Adult, 5 hours patch, and 3-5 hours Dance. There's a lot figures people there. Ice time starts about 7 am and goes to 11 pm.

    Group lessons were $13, if memory doesn't fail. I usually did a 1-2 of the group classes a day. I'm low level so there aren't that many classes for people like me (but they were always well attended) and I took them when they were available. I would do one private lesson a day, except Thu and Fridays I did two. I practiced too for a total time of 5 hours ice time. I didn't have it in me to do night classes. I was asleep by 8 and on first ice by 8.
    Private lessons varied widely. I paid $35 and I paid $40. I wasn't skating with elite coaches, but they weren't college students either.

    I refuse to add up the numbers. Certainly less than a golfing holiday at a resort, but more expensive than a week golfing locally.

  3. Thanks for telling me more about costs. I think since I don't live close it would just be too much.

    I totally understand the refusal to add it all up. I take that approach to both my skating and my quilting.

  4. hi! i'm one of the anons who asked for a review of the LP camp -- thanks!!

    do a lot of "lower-level" adult skaters attend the camps? personally, i've never tested anything (yet) and am only just getting my backward crossovers (thank the heavens -- i was starting to think i'd never make progress there!), but i'd love to try the LP camp next summer maybe (2013).

    although my whole philosophy is to pay attention to my own skating and not worry about other skaters (except to stay out of their way!), i also don't want to be the designated "bad skater" of the group ... heh. thanks again for these posts; very informative!

    1. Well, I'm a lower level skater, and I think it's a fun place to go. I don't know what they'll offer this year. One year there were a lot of lower level classes, the other year, there weren't as many. There's always non-jump classes on edges and turns.

  5. Hi, I'm considering the Lake Placid adult week. Can you tell me how many adults attend it? Are the ice sessions crowded?

    1. It varies. There are usually 2 surfaces open; one is for group lessons, the other for freestyle. Last year there were 50 people attending, but there were never that many on ice. I wouldn't call it packed. I'm a timid skater and I never felt uncomfortable

  6. I am thinking of coming over from Europe to do the camp - but I know there are others, some more structured/inclusive (and consequently more expensive, of course). Would you be able to rate Lake Placid against others and advise on best options at all, please? (It's a long way to come and get it wrong!)


    1. I don't have any experience with other caps except Aspen. Aspen was great but I don't know if it's conducted the same way. Aspen has fantastic ice though.