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How would you define an intermediate or advanced skiier?

post #1 of 116
Thread Starter 

How many weeks would an intermediate skier have to have done?

How confident are they?

What runs can they go on easily, or with difficulty?

Is there a certain age they have to be?

 

What about an advanced skier? How many weeks/how confident/what runs can they go on?

 

I'm not sure which group to put myself in for ski lessons with school, the only groups are beginner, intermediate and advanced.

post #2 of 116
They are better than beginners, but not as good as experts lol~but seriously, there is a huge gray area in terms of defining intermediate. Your best bet may be talk to your ski school about what you can and cannot do, and see which category they would recommend you to be in.
post #3 of 116

Not sure about how many weeks it takes, as I am thinking years, but an intermediate should feel comfortable on all blue runs and maybe some blacks. An advanced skiing feels comfortable on all blacks and can do some of the double blacks.  At least, that is how I always judged myself.

post #4 of 116

As soon as you start judging based on terrain, you're entering a very gray area.  Even blue  rated terrain is wildly different across different areas.  Black rated terrain is even more variable across different areas.

 

I think of the distinctions as being technique based -- i.e., what's the method for releasing the skis from one turn into their next turn?  Can the skier manage pressure / absorb terrain, or are they getting bounced around by every little bump?  Stuff like that is how I'd classify  it.

 

As this is for ski lessons though...  Is this a seasonal program or just a one-time lesson?  Seasonal programs will probably spend the first morning or so sorting everybody out, so I wouldn't worry about it too much with them.

post #5 of 116

VERY roughly (in my head, this isn't anything official):

 

Beginner (excluding 'never-ever' or someone who skied a couple times 20 years ago, etc.): reasonably comfortable on green trails, uneasy on blues, would have a lot of trouble on blacks, unable to deal with steeps/bumps at all.  Can control speed on a green trail making linked wedge turns, or a mix of wedge turns and wedge christies.

 

Intermediate: very comfortable on green trails, reasonably comfortable on blues, some difficulty with groomed blacks.  Could possibly deal with moguls on blue terrain, but would have a lot of trouble with 'black' moguls and a great deal of difficulty on 'double black' terrain.  Able to control speed making linked wedge christie turns or a mix of christie/open parallel on groomed green/blue trails.  Might revert to wedge or stem moves on steep groomed terrain or in moguls.

 

Advanced: no trouble with green/blue trails, reasonably comfortable on groomed black terrain.  Can handle 'easy' bumps, probably some difficulty with black/double black moguls but able to survive them.  Able to control speed making linked open parallel turns on any groomed green/blue/black trail, maybe with the occasional wedge christie or stem in more difficult terrain.  Can possibly carve 'arc to arc' on easier trails.

 

If you're able to ski comfortably on ungroomed black/double black terrain or you can carve down a groomed DH course you're beyond 'Advanced' IMO.

 

I wouldn't put any specific age limits on those categories, although the part about speed control is important.  A little kid who can 'power wedge' his way straight down a groomed black trail may tell you can he can "ski" it, but if he can't link turns down a blue while controlling speed he's a "beginner".

 

Some people will reach 'intermediate' very quickly, especially if they have skill crossover from an activity like skating or ice hockey.  Most people are going to need some mileage (5-10 ski days?) to start feeling comfortable on blue terrain.  Beyond that it's really variable and depends on how often you get out and how much you want to push yourself to improve.

 

EDIT: like Kevin said, there is definitely some variability in ratings between ski areas.  It's certainly possible that, say, blue runs at a big mountain will be tougher than black runs at a small hill.  And if you're used to skiing at a resort without much vert, skiing runs that are several times longer than the top-to-bottom vertical at your home mountain can be an eye-opening experience.

post #6 of 116

jkb123:  Welcome to EpicSki!  Good for you to want to take lessons.  Where are you planning on skiing?  How many days have you skied so far?

 

There is a broad range of abilities that fall into "intermediate."  Usually people who are skiing blue runs more than greens or blacks are considered intermediates.  "Advanced" is also a very broad category.  Some advanced skiers may have skied for 50 years and others for just a few.  It depends a great deal on how many days per season and what type of ski area.  Age is not used to determine ability level, but most ski schools try to keep adults and kids separate.

 

There is not one definition used by all ski schools for different ability levels.  Here's an example that's used by the Alta Ski School for children:

http://www.alta.com/pages/skilllevel.php

 

Advanced Beginners are Level 3 or 4 and ski green trails:

  Level 3 - Ride the chairlift to gain mileage and confidence with wedge turns, stops and balanced stance on easier green slopes.

  Level 4 - Work on a comfortable wedge turn with more speed, rhythm and flow on all green runs with a parallel stance at the completion of the turn.

 

Intermediates are Level 5 and ski green or blue trails:

  Level 5 - Focus on open parallel turns on green and the easiest blue runs.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by jkb123 View Post

How many weeks would an intermediate skier have to have done?

How confident are they?

What runs can they go on easily, or with difficulty?

Is there a certain age they have to be?

 

What about an advanced skier? How many weeks/how confident/what runs can they go on?

 

I'm not sure which group to put myself in for ski lessons with school, the only groups are beginner, intermediate and advanced.

post #7 of 116

See this thread.  http://www.epicski.com/t/66885/explanation-of-the-9-level-ski-ability-scale

Level 1 to 3 is beginner.

Level 4 to 6 is intermediate.

level 7 to 9 is advanced.

On Epicski.com, level 10 (and 11 if your amp goes that high ) is also advanced; there are no experts on Epicski wink.gif.

post #8 of 116

In a nutshell, casually...  I call someone a solid intermediate that can ski all blues comfortably and survive most single black diamonds.  I call someone a solid advanced that can ski all black diamonds pretty well and survive most double black diamonds comfortably,  If you're totally rocking  the really nasty stuff then you're probably somewhere between very advanced and expert.  I'd put the top top skiers at expert professional instead of just expert being a notch above advanced.

 

I like the standard 1-9 definitions above for getting technical about it.  They've been in use and worked well for a ling time now. 

 

Edit for clarity/general framework:

Sketchy on Greens comfortably=NOOB "Beginner" terrain.

Solid on Greens=Competent Beginner."Beginner" terrain.

Solid on Blues=Competent Intermediate, "Intermediate" terrain.

Solid on Single Blacks=Competent Advanced. "Advanced" terrain.

Solid on Double Blacks=Debatable.. somewhere between Advanced and Expert depending on the company/others. 'Expert" terrain.


Edited by crgildart - 5/16/13 at 5:15pm
post #9 of 116
I like Mattias99's summary.

I don't think it is hugely meaningful to find the borders of what is 'intermediate'. I think it has been argued that there is no such thing - you either have beginner technique (wedge based) or advanced technique (parallel based). An intermediate perhaps describes somebody who takes refined beginner technique on relatively more difficult terrain. I certainly think that an expert in beginner technique can ski a lot of places that a beginner in advanced technique cannot (without resorting to beginner technique).

If you want to improve quickly, I think you spend time learning advanced technique on beginner terrain, rather than spending time refining beginner technique on more difficult terrain. A one on one lesson may serve better here.
post #10 of 116
NayBreak's last paragraph is important. It's a mistake to think that skiing terrain that's way too hard for you will help you improve. The opposite is more likely. Rather, working on technique that's challenging, on terrain that's not, will help you progress to more difficult terrain more quickly and with more enjoyment.

In other words, as Kevin almost said, don't be distracted and confused by the posers who evaluate their skill level by what they can "get down."
post #11 of 116

You should also search and read the past threads of the type of "what is an expert skier" too, as that has been asked before

 

One of the things I focus on in those discussion is there are different disciplines of skiing.  

And you may be an expert in one category but a beginner in a different skill category.

 

So then, there are different ways to look at your "overall" capability.  

For example, you might say, you're only as good as your worst skill.  Or, if you are expert in 8 out of 10 categories, does that average out to make you an expert?

 

It doesn't matter too much in practice for people to agree on 1 specific definition over another; as long as you can clearly understand or communicate what is meant when these generic terms are used.  

 

But in terms of ski-school, go by the 1-9 ability ranking.

post #12 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

One of the things I focus on in those discussion is there are different disciplines of skiing.  
And you may be an expert in one category but a beginner in a different skill category.

This is important, on all the scales you are assumed to be of equal ability in all categories but that's just not the case. I'm half decent on icy hard pack carving, but put me in mogul or deep powder I'm back to square one, because I don't have any of those near me so nowhere to practice them.
post #13 of 116

Originally Posted by jkb123 View Post

How many weeks would an intermediate skier have to have done?

How confident are they?

What runs can they go on easily, or with difficulty?

Is there a certain age they have to be?

 

What about an advanced skier? How many weeks/how confident/what runs can they go on?

 

I'm not sure which group to put myself in for ski lessons with school, the only groups are beginner, intermediate and advanced.

 

 

jkb123,

I am thinking that you are registering for ski lessons for next fall at your school.  Am I correct?

 

How often do you ski?  Where do you ski?  

Which runs do you like to ski?  Do you ski in the terrain park?

Do you ski bumps yet?  

 

Beginners ski mostly or sometimes in a wedge (snow-plow) around here in New England.  The wedge can be done out of caution or it could be simply habit.  They may be beginning to ski parallel, but go back to wedges when terrain feels challenging.  They stay off the blacks, unless following others who know how to ski better than them.

 

"Intermediate" describes a wide range of skills.  Many recreational skiers are intermediates.  Some have been skiing for years.  Intermediates tend to ski parallel, but their range of control over their turns is narrow.  They have their favorite types of trails where their technique serves them well.  But if they wander onto other terrain or if the snow quality is iffy they may find they cannot get a sure grip on the snow.  They usually feel good doing one size of turn, but they do not know how to vary their turn shapes from long to medium to short.  Nor can they get high angles when they are needed to ski steeper terrain.  Depending on their level of caution they may stay on greens and blues, but if they are adrenaline junkies they may ski fast and at the edge of control on steepish terrain as well.  They may haltingly get down blacks and double blacks despite not being able to ski them with any confidence or skill.  Sometimes people can move up to intermediate rather fast, as someone has already pointed out, if they bring some foot skills with them from another sport.  

 

Advanced skiers know how to keep their skis gripping the snow on most terrain, whether the snow is icy or powder or bumps.  They can vary their turn shape at will, and they have at least some experience carving.  They have a higher level of body awareness than intermediates; they can tell where their feet are under them, and where their hips are in relation to their feet, and so can adjust these to manage their skis and keep a grip at speed.  It usually takes years of skiing to become an advanced skier. 


Experts are, well, experts.  They can do it all, at speed or at a snail's pace, in any condition and on any terrain.


Edited by LiquidFeet - 5/16/13 at 6:17pm
post #14 of 116

Just tell them that you're Level 7+.  That's what they always tell me you are when I am assigned a lesson....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...  Then we usually figure the reality out pretty quickly & painlessly wink.gif .

 

 

JF

post #15 of 116

Why don't you tell us a little more about yourself. How long have you been skiing, where do you ski and how often, where would you be taking the lessons, how old are you, would yo consider yourself in good shape, athletic and what kind of runs and conditions do you ski?  Groomed only? Bumps? Powder and crud? 

 

BTW rating yourself as a skier ONLY matters as far as lessons and guided skiing.  You can be a lousy skier and ski expert runs if you can do it safely and enjoy yourself. I'm proof. One of the more popular sports around here is to argue about what makes a skier an expert.

post #16 of 116

I find it funny how many people are defining one's ability by the terrain they're skiing rather than based on their skill. I've seen beginners on black runs, and regularly see intermediates on double-blacks, so when people consider themselves experts for skiing double-blacks, I find it a bit odd. 

 

I'd say skiers who ski at the CSIA level 1 standard are low intermediate (acquisition); CSIA level 2 standard are true intermediate (consolidation): 

 

 

 

CSIA level 3 standard = low advanced and up: 

 

 

 

CSIA level 4 standard = expert. 


Edited by Metaphor_ - 5/16/13 at 11:03pm
post #17 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkb123 View Post

How many weeks would an intermediate skier have to have done?

How confident are they?

What runs can they go on easily, or with difficulty?

Is there a certain age they have to be?

 

What about an advanced skier? How many weeks/how confident/what runs can they go on?

 

I'm not sure which group to put myself in for ski lessons with school, the only groups are beginner, intermediate and advanced.

jkb123,

Welcome aboard!

 

As many have stated, it isn't about time, trails, age or even confidence (some people don't know they lack certain skills and ski hard trails anyways).  It is about skill set and skiing well.  The better skiers can ski well in more challenging areas.  From the lift you can watch little kids snow plow in a wedge down black trails.  That doesn't make them an expert skier but they are usually confident.

 

I'm kind of partial to Mathias99's signature "Don't measure your improvement by what trail you can ski but how well you can ski the trail you're on." biggrin.gif  Some people confuse "getting down" a trail with "skiing" a trail.  This does cause much confusion for folks participating in the after school programs and can eat up valuable time reassigning students to a more appropriate group after they've started.  This can also cause some hurt feelings.  I encourage parents to be conservative in their assessment of their child's skill as it is better (for the kids) to move someone up a level than down a level.

 

For assigning yourself to a group for school lessons, first think about how you ski on which type of trails.  Maybe your skis are parallel on easy green trails but when it gets a little steeper, you go to a wedge when you turn.  You need to think in those terms and not # of times skiing, age or confidence.

 

Maybe you could tell us what mountain(s) you have skied and the trails you feel you skied well and not so well and we can help you figure it out that way.  If you aren't sure what "ski well" is, maybe tell us how you felt about different trails; was it scary, did you ski it fast, did you have a hard time turning, fall frequently, skis parallel or wedge etc,? It sounds like you've skied before and probably have taken lessons before.  If so, what did the instructor tell you or have you work on?  Knowing what mountain you're going to participate in the after school program will help too.  More than likely, someone on this forum works there.

 

I also applaud you for taking the time to correctly identify what skill group you belong in.  Not everyone does and it show a measure of maturity and understanding; also a measure of desire to increase your understanding and abilities of skiing. 

 

I hope we haven't all overwhelmed you with questions and information with our desire to help.  But if it is help you want, you are in the right place.

 

Cheers,

Ken

post #18 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkb123 View Post
....

 

I'm not sure which group to put myself in for ski lessons with school, the only groups are beginner, intermediate and advanced.

 

 

I think the OP is a young person trying to figure out which middle or high school group to sign up for next season.    

post #19 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkb123 View Post
....

 

I'm not sure which group to put myself in for ski lessons with school, the only groups are beginner, intermediate and advanced.

 

 

I think the OP is a young person trying to figure out which middle or high school group to sign up for next season.    

 

In which case, holy smokes, poor kid, to be slammed with all this excess of blather. I'm sure the answer provided by 4ster and others is basically correct: Put yourself in a group. If it turns out to be the wrong one, they'll move you to the right one.

post #20 of 116

Kevin F had it right.

 

Do you have pole plant ?

 

If not, your a level 6 or lower. 7, 8 & 9 have a pole plant and can make a short radius turn, the more you own a short radius turn the higher you move up the scale.

 

Most any skier can make a mid to long radius turn. 

 

Once I learned how to make a short radius turn my confidence level began to go up.

 

Telling the ski school you want to learn how to make a short radius turn, or get better at it, I would think be more benefical to them and help them place you.

post #21 of 116

MOST. They can go on most of the terrain, in most conditions, most of the time. 

post #22 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post

As soon as you start judging based on terrain, you're entering a very gray area.  Even blue  rated terrain is wildly different across different areas.  Black rated terrain is even more variable across different areas. Yep, and ironically, the hallmark of most skiers below advanced is rating themselves based on what run they "can do." Which is why ski schools want to see their clients take a few turns. In fact, skied with the head of a school who could pretty nicely sort people on the basis of how they stopped themselves in the lift line.  

 

But agree OP is a student needing some basic guidance, doesn't know instructional theory, and on that basis should self-select a group in the middle and see what happens. 

post #23 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

One of the things I focus on in those discussion is there are different disciplines of skiing.  

And you may be an expert in one category but a beginner in a different skill category.

Don't think I agree here. Isn't it like the, "I can't ski bumps." "No, you can't ski, and bumps show it." Unless you're defining disciplines to mean freestyle aerials/park vs everything else alpine vs nordic. In which case wouldn't bet against the expert moving beyond beginner status real fast. Think about Olsson or Rahlves. Several long and tedious threads on this, which came to the conclusion, in my reading, that differences between the "disciplines" were overrated. And within alpine, if we can't ski ice and bumps and powder, at various pitches, with some confidence - allowing for occasional lapses in form - we're not even advanced. Hard on our egos, but truth. Most skiers are intermediates, even if large numbers think otherwise. 

post #24 of 116

Terrain is rated by three to four levels that correlate to ability levels fairly well.  There is a relationship based on HOW WELL you ski those different levels of terrain, not just if you can ski it or not.

post #25 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

 

 

I think the OP is a young person trying to figure out which middle or high school group to sign up for next season.    

 

LF, you are so down to earth!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

 

In which case, holy smokes, poor kid, to be slammed with all this excess of blather.

 

Oh well, good learning opportunity around filtering. 

post #26 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post

Kevin F had it right.

 

Do you have pole plant ?

 

If not, your a level 6 or lower. 7, 8 & 9 have a pole plant and can make a short radius turn, the more you own a short radius turn the higher you move up the scale.

 

Most any skier can make a mid to long radius turn. 

 

Once I learned how to make a short radius turn my confidence level began to go up.

 

Telling the ski school you want to learn how to make a short radius turn, or get better at it, I would think be more benefical to them and help them place you.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

 

In which case, holy smokes, poor kid, to be slammed with all this excess of blather. I'm sure the answer provided by 4ster and others is basically correct: Put yourself in a group. If it turns out to be the wrong one, they'll move you to the right one.

 

Hoping against all hope, that in this thread we would finally find the Holy rail, the answer, the solution, but all I've got is more questions:

 

Max I did have a pole plant but it died, what did I do Wrong?

 

Qcanoe how do you nest two quotes in the same box as in Post #19?

 

Metaphor thanks for the videos, i have not had a chance to watch them yet. Are they in English or Canadian?

 

Thread Starter, where did you go?

post #27 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy View Post

 

how do you nest two quotes in the same box as in Post #19?

 

 

 

Look in the lower-right of every post:

 

 

 

Quote:
Thread Starter, where did you go?

 

I'm pretty sure we scared him off a long time ago.  frown.gif

post #28 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

Terrain is rated by three to four levels that correlate to ability levels fairly well.  There is a relationship based on HOW WELL you ski those different levels of terrain, not just if you can ski it or not.

 

That's basically the short version.  What I wrote before is definitely too much info for what this guy (kid?) probably wanted to know, but I thought it might be illuminating to show how I would think about evaluating someone.

 

My TLDR chart:

 

Beginner: wedge turns, skis well on green terrain

 

Intermediate: wedge christie/open parallel, skis well on blue terrain (groomed)

 

Advanced: open parallel, skis well on black terrain (groomed) or blue terrain (ungroomed)

 

'Expert': dynamic parallel, skis well on black (ungroomed) or double black (groomed)

 

If you ski well on double black/"EX" ungroomed you're "off the charts" in terms of ski school lessons.  (I think they need to do what rock climbing did and extend the scale beyond 9, but I think it starts to get logarithmic...)

 

'Skis well' roughly meaning you can link turns while dictating speed and turn shape.

post #29 of 116

^^ Any "advanced" skier should be able to ski well on ungroomed black terrain.

post #30 of 116

Thanks KevinF, I know how to multi quote, how do you put a quote within a quote like  qcanoe did here vvvvvvvv?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkb123 View Post
....

 

I'm not sure which group to put myself in for ski lessons with school, the only groups are beginner, intermediate and advanced.

 

 

I think the OP is a young person trying to figure out which middle or high school group to sign up for next season.    

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