What level skier are you?
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16 users
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dcmidnight
November 15, 2007
Member since 11/11/2006 🔗
125 posts
Ive always been curious as to what the average level skier is on DCSki.

Me - Intermediate, stick to the blues 99% of the time depending on the resort and the level of the black runs - whether there are bumps or not etc. When my wife and I went to Whistler for a week I tried 3 black runs in 7 days.

Scott, please delete this post if I screwed the poll up somehow, which is a real possibility \:\)
jimmy
November 15, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
I'm interested to see the responses. I noticed in some of your prior posts you called yourself an ~intermediate~, but you ski New England and out west, yes?

I am a strong intermediate skier, had a few lessons, never raced, can ski easy bumps, got a couple nastar bronzes, comfortable on everything i've encountered in the MidAtlantic; I remember a few years ago someone made the comment on this board that there is no advanced terrain in the midAtlantic. I didn't agree then but i do now.

Would someone like to try and define intermediate?
crunchy
November 15, 2007
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
this is always a subjective question. depending on terrain and conditions, some might give differentiating answers. some may rip up black runs on the east coast and go to say whistler, jackson hole etc, and find that they are mearly surviving on some black runs. does that mean they are no longer considered an expert? some also maybe able to ski to perfection on any groomers, but in boot or knee deep powder they run for the lodge.

one of the last real ski days i had last season really made me think about what kind of a skier i was tho. it was real steep pitch and super dense trees. (right below thunder bowl at snowbird) and the snow was boot deep sticky mank. and i was terrified because the snow was so sticky and deep that it was hard to do hop turns even. I left feeling that I was definitely not the skier i thought i was and it shattered my confidence for the rest of the day. \:\(
boarderbabe
November 15, 2007
Member since 02/7/2005 🔗
33 posts
I'm a begginer looking to be taught the ropes

wink nudge
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oldensign - DCSki Columnist
November 15, 2007
Member since 02/27/2007 🔗
437 posts
I always figured if you are not getting paid to ski you are probally an intermediate skier....

I figure myself a hardcore East Coast skier. Which means I can ski hard pack and bulletproof ice with the best of them. Also means I will ski in any weather. -20 at Stowe...bring it on!

Of course get me in powder out West in the sunshine and I will melt....
langleyskier
November 15, 2007
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
Ya there is definitely a difference between an east coast expert and a west coast expert. I would most definitely consider myself an expert here seeing that i race competitively and am coached for 20+ hrs per season. However, the one type of snow i am unskilled in skiing is 10 inches+ of powder. But i do feel that if i spent a day or two practicing powder and glades i could achieve intermediate powder skiing. Same goes for people out west coming here... they would fall everywhere and not know how to ski iced over slopes even if they are an expert.
dcmidnight
November 15, 2007
Member since 11/11/2006 🔗
125 posts
 Originally Posted By: jimmy
I'm interested to see the responses. I noticed in some of your prior posts you called yourself an ~intermediate~, but you ski New England and out west, yes?

Yup, grew up skiing in NH and Maine and still ski there once a year if I can. After almost 30 years of East Coast skiing I can ski ice with ease but still cant ski bumps to save my life. Comfortable on East Coast blacks but not so much out West. As I've found out over the years there's a big difference in the two. I had never been in real knee deep powder until this year so was a complete beginner at that as well but caught on pretty quick.

For example on my trip this year my friend, a local, took me out for a day. He told me he had a decent glade run that was a black diamond (still my favorite trail name of all time, Bark Sandwich) and I was freaking terrified. Steep drops, tight turns, thick powder - nothing like I have seen back here. I finished that run and made a beeline for the bar wondering how much practice I would need to feel comfortable on a run like that.

Good point, the choices needed to be a little more defined. I guess I could have used the stock Type I,II,III definitions.
comprex
November 15, 2007
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts

I II III as on the binding release forms?

Doubt it will be much of a poll, then, I is really for 5 weeks or less total time.
jimmy
November 15, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
I think your choices are ok, maybe advanced in between intermed & expert but anyways i'm saying that someone who rides the "expert" or double diamond terrain in the mid-atlantic well is not necessarily much more than an intermediate skier.

I know skiers who can make their way down the corduroy on white lightning that don't belong on dew drop when conditions get chopped up, crunchie brought that up already; if you can't handle variable conditions are you an intermediate? I think a good intermediate skier is a much better skier than the connotation implies.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
November 15, 2007
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,857 posts
I'm of the opinion that an expert is an expert is an expert, no east or west experts. An expert will look totally at ease in all terrain and conditions. You will not discern very much difference in body position or movement on groomed. bumps. powder, trees, ice. All movements would be smooth and fluid. If an expert encounters new, untried conditions they will soon make adjustments to their technique and continue on their merry way.

An intermediate probably used most movement patterns but has trouble properly blending the different skills to meet changing conditions. In other words, an advanced intermediate probably has experienced all the necessary movements and skills to be an expert but has yet to 'own ' them and use them at will.

I can't answer this poll. I'm not an intermediate and I'm not an expert. I'm an emerging expert.

Seriously I think you should expand your chooses to:

Beginner
Novice
Intermediate
Advanced
Expert

The Professional Ski Instructors of America use a scale from 1 to 9. Here's a brief explanation of this scale and also a description of the 3 levels of ski instructor certification:

PSIA Skill Levels
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
November 15, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
I agree, a three level poll is too narrow. I am also probably advanced, but with only three levels I would have to say Intermediate. Since I usually ski alone (wife does not ski) I have to be pushed to really improve, usually I am conservative.
For example, at Snowy Luau at Timberline last year I met up with about a half dozen other DCSkiers. Most were advanced skiers. At first I had trouble off of the groomed trails (the whales on ? and in the woods); later I stayed right with the group no matter where we ventured.
Like I said, you need at least 5 rating categories.
The Colonel
Crush
November 16, 2007
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,017 posts
.... errrrr i dunno i choose option X unknown like i look at something, i say "that will ........

be fun" or
be work" or
be tricky" or
death"

and then i go or i don't go. i'm not very good at all in a park i still can't air off even a medium jump skiing switch to 180 tho maybe now i am back here i'll work on that a little. i'll never b @ the top level whatever that is b/c it doesn't exist for me i'll never reach it since there is always new stuff to do.

so OPTION (X) !
teleman
November 16, 2007
Member since 07/8/2005 🔗
145 posts
Good skiers are good skiers. The only difference between east and west is: out west you ski in the snow and back east you ski on the snow.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
November 16, 2007
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,723 posts
Ask a simple question and you'll get all kinds of crazy answers.

For me expert is a relative term, same as black diamond designations at ski areas. An expert in the mid-Atlantic could be only an intermediate at Snowbird, Utah. An expert at Snowbird could feel very incompetent if they tried to match Bode Miller on Kitzbuhel's Hahnenkamm Downhill. Bode might be humbled a bit if he went heliskiing in the Alaskan Chugach with Seth Morrison. Unless you are a one in ten million, world class talent, the longer you've been around skiing, the less likely you're going to be thinking of yourself as an expert.
skier219
November 16, 2007
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
I like the level 1-9 classification system myself. The thing is, you do have to take terrain into account. Truly great skiers are a solid 9 everywhere, but most of the "expert" skiers I know are 8-9 on piste and 7-8 off-piste or in moguls. Heck, I think I have experienced the whole 1-9 range within a single run! (When a level 9 skier reverts to level 1 it usually involves swearing, pitching ski gear into the woods, and throwing a tantrum of some sorts).

The east/west comparison is tough to pin down in my opinion. I have skied steeps out west that were not hard just because there was so much snow. Yet less steep trails in the east can be killers because there are moguls, rocks, sticks poking up through the snow, ice, etc...

Overall, I think it really comes down to how technical the terrain gets compared to your bag of tricks. Anyone can experience a range of levels depending on the relative difference between skills and requirements.
comprex
November 16, 2007
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
 Originally Posted By: JimK
Bode might be humbled a bit if he went heliskiing in the Alaskan Chugach with Seth Morrison.


Daron Rahlves did pretty daron well.

That clip of NASTAR in the Chugach just tweaked my brain something fierce. Awesome.
jimmy
November 16, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
 Originally Posted By: crunchy
.... some may rip up black runs on the east coast and go to say whistler, jackson hole etc, and find that they are mearly surviving on some black runs. does that mean they are no longer considered an expert? ..... \:\(


It means they never were.
crunchy
November 16, 2007
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
then im definitely not an expert.... my biggest problem is the mind (or fear) getting in the way. I think I should take a few skydiving sessions to free myself \:\)
JohnL
November 16, 2007
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,516 posts
 Quote:
I'm of the opinion that an expert is an expert is an expert, no east or west experts. An expert will look totally at ease in all terrain and conditions. You will not discern very much difference in body position or movement on groomed. bumps. powder, trees, ice. All movements would be smooth and fluid. If an expert encounters new, untried conditions they will soon make adjustments to their technique and continue on their merry way.


Bingo!!!!!!!!!!

For all but the most extreme situations which I doubt any of us have encountered, (skiing on a watered WC race course optimizing each millisecond, skiing 60 degree steeps, skiing following a strict style expected by mogul competition judges, etc.), the adjustments you need to make are pretty minor; ratio of edge pressure between inner and outer skis, width of your stance, etc.

If you can't handle a particular type of terrain or snow conditions, odds are you have weaknesses in your technique which are not exposed when skiing the terrain/conditions you normally ski. You may not be aware of these weaknesses, but a competent instructor will detect them up immediately.

The PSIA levels mentioned previously require pretty strict form and skills. I'd hazard a guess that a PSIA evaluator would rate most skiers 2+ levels lower than what they would rate themselves based on reading the descriptions.

IMHO, if a skier can't ski Extrovert a Blue Knob in reasonable form and speed any day of a ski season (groomed ice, Spring slush, fresh pow, bumps, etc.) they shouldn't even start to think of themselves as Experts. As Crush said, even if someone is able to ski like an Expert, there is still another Zen level to be reached.
fishnski
November 16, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
I can float thru powder like a butterfly & ski glades & miss every tree..My name is Fish & I ski better than Jean Claude Killi!
RodSmith
November 17, 2007
Member since 10/22/2004 🔗
318 posts
If you can ski "bulletproof ice with the best of them", you are an expert. I'm (advanced) intermediate. Good enough to have fun in powder, bumps, trees, steeps. Not quite good enough to have fun on ice.
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