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Expert skiers
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Updated 8 months ago
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9 months ago

Does anyone feel like the term “Expert Skier” is thrown around too much? In my mind an expert skier is someone who can ski something like Palli at A-Basin (or pick your favorite tight eastern glade) with confidence, authority, and grace. 

9 months ago

…and in any conditions… and hike east ridge and drop down the chutes …. and make it look easy. 

that last part i will never achieve.  stuck here in mediocrity forever. 

 

9 months ago

Right. Even if someone can ski “garden variety” western black runs well, that does not make someone an expert. Experts make up a tiny fraction of the overall skiing population.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago

wgo wrote:

Does anyone feel like the term “Expert Skier” is thrown around too much? In my mind an expert skier is someone who can ski something like Palli at A-Basin (or pick your favorite tight eastern glade) with confidence, authority, and grace. 

I think it happens more among people who haven’t been out west or to a big mountain in the northeast and think they are “experts” because they ski the black trails in the flatlands that have signs that say “Experts Only.”  For instance, there are signs like that for Lift 6 at Mnut and at the top of MakAttack.  Take one of those people to the top of the Whiteface gondola for a run down the blue groomer to the base when it’s icy … and then ask if they feel like an “expert.”

9 months ago

1. The longer you ski, the more you realize there is to learn. 

2. There is always someone better out there unless you have a gold medal around your neck, and that only lasts until the next race;-)

8 months ago

I think experts would be those who are more knowledgeable and experienced than average and slightly above average (advanced)  folks.  Think of what you’d call experts in other industries, college professors, music teachers, high school and college coaches, paid professionals.  I think that in skiing and other trades there are prodigies and otherwise extremely gifted participants who are, indeed, quite exceptional relative to other solid pro level folks who I’d still call experts.

 

I do believe there is some level of humility involved.. It’s bad form to call yourself an “expert” when you know that there are others who are quite a bit better than you are in some way or another.  There is also the age curve.  I’d call anyone who competed or taught at levels beyond what I did an expert even though now that they are elderly I can now outski them..  But, there are younger advanced intermediates who can now outski me after my legs are fried.. which now only takes 3-4 hours at my age and physical condition. I’m not in great shape..  I know several people who I consider experts who don’t boast that they are when asked..

8 months ago

crgildart wrote:

I know several people who I consider experts who don’t boast that they are when asked..

What a refreshing attitude. 

8 months ago

In Colorado, the general assembly passed the “Ski Safety Act”, which actually defines “extreme terrain” and the requirement to post “double black” signage with the “ex” designator.  Some ski areas print the definition on the trail map as well (e.g. Copper).

(3.1) “Extreme terrain” means any place within the ski area boundary that contains cliffs with a minimum twenty-foot rise over a fifteen-foot run, and slopes with a minimum fifty-degree average pitch over a one-hundred-foot run.

Interestingly, nowhere in the text do you find the word “expert”:

https://www.coloradoski.com/sites/default/files/uploads/Colorado-Ski-Safety-Act.pdf

8 months ago

JimK wrote:

1. The longer you ski, the more you realize there is to learn.

2. There is always someone better out there unless you have a gold medal around your neck, and that only lasts until the next race;-)

Amen, brother.

But the more I learn each year, the more I realize I’m one year older…

 

8 months ago

wgo wrote:

Does anyone feel like the term “Expert Skier” is thrown around too much? In my mind an expert skier is someone who can ski something like Palli at A-Basin (or pick your favorite tight eastern glade) with confidence, authority, and grace.

I don’t really see the term “Expert Skier” used much, except in on-line forums. But I also don’t instruct and have to deal with the self-assessment of the general sking public, …

By that definition, I ski with dozens of experts each year. On Palli or even tougher stuff. I don’t think that definition of Expert is all that tough, but most of the CO locals, Pug skiers, Epic skiers I hang with out West make Palli a playground. I guess I choose my ski company well. ;)

8 months ago

If figure if you dont live or work on the mountain you are not an expert.  If you are paying for your pass….you are probally not an expert. 

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
8 months ago

oldensign wrote:

If figure if you dont live or work on the mountain you are not an expert.  If you are paying for your pass….you are probally not an expert. 

Nope, not that simple.  The few people I know who I consider experts without question are paying for their pass this season.  One learned a lot doing Taos Ski Weeks many times over many years.  He’s never been an instructor.  The other two are L3 instructors who used to teach in the MidA who are taking a break from teaching for a season or two while they go skiing at Snowbird.  What all three have in common is that they are pretty humble about their ability.  And very patient when skiing with someone who isn’t at their level.

8 months ago

oldensign wrote:

If figure if you dont live or work on the mountain you are not an expert.  If you are paying for your pass….you are probally not an expert. 

What if someone used to ski free before moving away from the mountains?  Are these people “former eperts”??  Maybe they were PSIA Demo Team 5 years but now live in Miami FL.. But not an expert because they no longer work for the resort?? Okay!

8 months ago

JimK wrote 1. The longer you ski, the more you realize there is to learn. 

2. There is always someone better out there unless you have a gold medal around your neck, and that only lasts until the next race;-)

 

I could not agree more. Every time I think I’m progressing as a skier I am humbled by what I don’t know or conditions that I’ve never experienced before. Night ice,flat light, death cookies, weekend crowds, weekend mofuls etc. Every season when I get my bindings checked, I have to check “expert” to ensure my DIN setting are right. Expert meaning on an uncrowned, well groomed, packed man-made snow day I can comfortably get down “Bold Descion” at Whitetail. 

Absolutly the term expert is thrown around too cavalier. I strive to the day, if ever, I could consider myself an expert.

 

8 months ago

I have been and always will be an aspiring expert.

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