Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy
Is a level 2 not a level 2 no matter where they are?
In theory, they should be. If they aren't, then it's an issue PSIA should address. I've heard that there's been a lot of work lately to improve standards between divisions, but the very nature of the relative autonomy of the divisions will make it somewhat difficult.
Assuming that and L2 is an L2 is an L2, the difference is that at a smaller area/non-destination, there will likely be fewer L2's and 3's as a percentage of the total staff. Combine that with smaller overall numbers, and you might find the local hill with only a handful of L2's and one L3. L2 might be the training director. Then again, you might have a person who did their certs at Vail/Aspen/Whistler/etc... and for a number of reasons (love, family, etc...) have returned to their hometown/small area *. You can most certainly find pockets of excellence anywhere. JASP's language seemed to preclude the possibility. A shorter leash? Yes. It's because he's very eloquent and usually respectful when expressing ideas and answering questions about skiing and instruction. I expect the same when posting his thoughts here.
Is a bigger place a promotion? I'd say if you're young and just out of school, sure. Money will be better, and the hill will be bigger. By and large, with exceptions of course, there will be more opportunity for self improvement by virtue of terrain and a highly motivated peer group. On a personal note, one of my former touring partners taught and did his L3 at Jackson. He's now back in Vermont teaching school, coaching baseball, skiing, and raising a family. Love, professional work, and having his kids near their grandparents... case in point. He's a great skier, and would be an excellent instructor/trainor no matter what size hill he skis on these days. This is what I'm talking about. Instructional diaspora if you will. If he's teaching skiing, I'm sure his paycheck and tips are probably not what they were out west, but obviously there are other considerations.
Edited by markojp - 9/22/13 at 5:55pm
(* My own hometown offers some great jr. race programs that have over the years produced some great skiers including USST members, USSdevT members, Nor Am racers, etc... Some of them run the current programs now. And there are places like Buck Hill MN and Eric Sailor's programs. Again, vertical and small don't always equal 'poor'. Places like Boyne Mtn. MI I'd guess offer quality instruction even if their hill is only 400 and some feet high. When I was a kid, all their instructors where brought over from Austria. They came down to our tiny hill twice a week to teach us after school... we certainly benefitted skiing wise, but my yodelling still sucks.)