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Pipe Skiing For Cert - Page 2

post #31 of 48
Not that I'm really worried about this, but nobody here has shown "in writing" where this is a reqirement. Until I see that, it's a rumor....

L
post #32 of 48
No rumor, Ishull. As a member of the PSIA-Rocky Mountain Alpine Committee that makes such decisions, I hereby confirm, "in writing," that to pass the Level 3 Certification exam in the Rocky Mountains, you must pass the basic maneuver in the Half Pipe as VailSnoPro and others have described it. As of this season, you must also fulfill an "out of exam" racing requirement as a prerequisite to the exam (there are several ways to do this). Other skiing requirements in our division include fundamental skiing tasks designed to showcase your skill--or lack thereof--across a broad spectrum of movement patterns, conditions, and terrain. Terrain includes everything from groomed to the steepest, deepest, crudiest, bumpiest terrain at one of Colorado's or New Mexico's major resorts. To pass the skiing component of this exam, you really have to demonstrate a high level of performance over a broad range of tasks and situations, from pure carved turns to pure pivot slips, green terrain to double black diamond. And the terrain park.

If you still have any doubts, go to the PSIA-RM web site (www.psia-rm.org), where you will find both the National standards and the PSIA-RM specific exam requirements. You can also purchase our Exam Skiing Standards DVD, which includes demonstrations of every current task at each certification level (except the new "switch basic parallel" task which we added to Level 2 this season).

For what it's worth, I agree with those who have suggested that the Half Pipe requirement is--BY FAR--the easiest skiing task on the exam. Anyone with skiing skills even close to the Level 3 standard can easily perform this maneuver IF he or she has spent just a little time in the pipe. And that's really the point--to ensure at least basic familiarity with terrain that is a growing part of the sport these days.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
You can also purchase our Exam Skiing Standards DVD, which includes demonstrations of every current task at each certification level (except the new "switch basic parallel" task which we added to Level 2 this season).
Bob

Can "anyone" buy this dvd, or do you have to be a member?
post #34 of 48
Personally the only time I venture into the park is to pick up those who fall!!
post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpringsRegular
Personally the only time I venture into the park is to pick up those who fall!!
But have you heard about the training rails/fun boxes were are *supposed* to have this year?

Tough to teach entry level stuff when the lowest rail is 3-4' high.
post #36 of 48
Anyone can buy it, Coach. It's a pretty good resource for good skiing images, too--I recommend it. (Disclaimer: I edited it and did a fair amount of the videography as well, so I may be biased.) On the other hand, there is not, and never will be, a "perfect" turn on the whole disk, so it's good material for movement analysis and critique too. Nobody's perfect!

There is no dialog and no verbal description on the video--just skiing. (Written describers of the maneuvers are available elsewhere.) On the DVD, you can click from the main menu directly to any of the maneuvers. It is an ongoing project, so as we acquire new footage, we'll incorporate it into the next edition. Unfortunately, the only half pipe footage we had available when I put this edition together was shot on old VHS tape, so it isn't quite up to the standards of the rest of the DVD. But it shows the task!

Anyone who wants a copy, e-mail or call PSIA-RM in Steamboat Springs, Colorado (970-879-8335).

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #37 of 48
Thanks Bob. I'll pick one up.
post #38 of 48
Coach,

Bob may be a tad biased, but he deserves to be, as the DVD is very well done and does include great images. As a bonus, it comes with the Ski Instructor's Blues soundtrack ...probably worth the cost alone! Last season you could order it directly off www.psia-rm.com shopping cart without having to call or e-mail anyone.
post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
No rumor, Ishull. As a member of the PSIA-Rocky Mountain Alpine Committee that makes such decisions, I hereby confirm, "in writing," that to pass the Level 3 Certification exam in the Rocky Mountains...
Thanks Bob. However, having it as a requirement in PSIA-RM is a bit different that having it as a national standard (which wasn't clarified in the original post). Now that opens up another can of worms. We now a have an additional standard for RM. Theoritically, what's to stop somebody who couldn't pass this requirement to change their affiliation to another division, pass their Cert III and transferback into RM???

I personally see this as a problem.....
post #40 of 48
When I first read the new requirement about pipe and park maneuvers I thought "No Way, I would never be able to pass that" Well, I think back to last season where I was teaching a 9 year old who demanded runs through the park as reward for learning on the groomers.

I agreed and the first thing the kid does is challenge me. "I can do a 180 off that jump, if I land it will you". Ahhhhh oh boy, maybe!!!, ahhhh to my suprise I did it. Next this kid rips through the pipe. In order to stay up with him I really had to move. I was watching him instead of where I was going. I found myself going up a near vertical section of the wall and sailing well above the lip. I was in balance and in total horror wound those skis around 180 degrees to come back down the wall perfectly. I ran out on the bottom of the pipe to calm down. Now I had never done that before and after thinking about it for a while decided to inentionally try it on the next reward run.

Once again, it scared the livin S out of me but this time it was intentional. I did it another time and decided my luck might run out and the lesson was over.

The lesson here is that a level III candidate, that can pass, posseses all the skills necessary to make a very good run in the pipe. From there in its guts. In my case I found out you never know what your student will want so be prepared for the pipe.
post #41 of 48
Thread Starter 
Now that the smoke has cleared a bit, I would like to say again thanks for the enlightening insight on what's really required to pass the full cert exam. If in fact the candidate is only required to go half way or so up the pipe, this is fair. I'm not a piper, but I can and have done this with no problems. I also believe that the racing requirements are fair also. So lets see what happens this season with the exams and how the candidates respond to the tasks.

As for the other RAGING going on in this thread, come-on guys! Who needs to read that crap! And thanks Bob for letting us all know what the real deal is.---------Wigs
post #42 of 48
What happens if a level III was certified in a different division where they do not even have pipes or, if they do, they are so small compared to those you find in the RM or IM divisions?

What is exactly the racing part? Is it the same as in Italy or France that they require you to ski a GS course in no more than 10% in addition to the time set by the pace-setter, usually a member of some level of the alpine ski national team ?
post #43 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by vail snopro
Another new requirement this season, at Level 2, is to be able to perform parallel turns, SWITCH, on very easy terrain.(green/blue) The rationale is again the same.
:
Is this for real?! Is it just RM or national?

I agree that just about anyone can make a couple of turns going backwards, but really (and because of this), what the he!! is the point?! Have you EVER asked a student to ski backwards? Why would someone need to be able to do this to earn a pin? What happens when I ask a student to ski backwards and they bowl over a 4 year old?

It sounds a lot like PSIA is just trying to stay "hip" or "cool" or "young". Get a grip!

And to be perfectly honest, although I can get off the lip of a superpipe and rather enjoy it, I absolutely do NOT see the point in having this as a req't for the gold pin. In normal (read, NOT freestyle lessons) there is little use in taking people into a pipe. Yeah, I've done it a few times with Jr High age kids, but it was just for grins. Next thing you know, as the X games get more popular, you'll be asking us to slide rails for a gold pin. I've attempted this once, in a group with Katie Fry, and we both had the same outcome, of wrapping ourselves around the rail as if hung out to dry. And by the way, what if our ski area doesn't have a half pipe?

Asking instructors to do this sort of stuff is nothing but marketing hype. Having special accreditations for freestyle is the way to go.

As for gates, I think that's much more appropriate. They have been requiring basic gate teaching as part of the L3 teaching exam in the East for a decade now. Running gates is used much more frequently and with much more purpose than freestyle. The flip side of that, however, is that I do not think it's appropriate to require a certain time or NASTAR pin to pass a cert. Tactics and teaching ability are what it's all about. It should be about the ability to ski a proper line through the gates and make the appropriate moves.

You know, as it is, 99% of the GP doesn't give 2 poops about instructor cert levels (the GPs in this forum are NOT part of that 99%). If you want instructors to stay motivated and in it, you can't discourage them by throwing roadblocks at them and making it seem that getting to the next level is not achievable or desireable.

My guess (hope); In 5 years from now, PSIA look back on this and think "what the he!! were we thinking?" and it won't be part of the exams anymore.

VSP (and others here), you're part of the decision makers on this. Please don't get all defensive about what I said. Think about it, and figure out what is right for the members. After all, that's who you serve, right?
post #44 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
:
I agree that just about anyone can make a couple of turns going backwards, but really (and because of this), what the he!! is the point?! Have you EVER asked a student to ski backwards? Why would someone need to be able to do this to earn a pin? What happens when I ask a student to ski backwards and they bowl over a 4 year old?
Regarding bowling over a four year old, if you knew how to ski switch properly you'd know how to watch where the heck you are going.
Quote:
It sounds a lot like PSIA is just trying to stay "hip" or "cool" or "young". Get a grip!
Yes, what a terrible plan. PSIA should make no attempt at remaining hip, as they've already clearly failed miserably. :
Quote:
Next thing you know, as the X games get more popular, you'll be asking us to slide rails for a gold pin. I've attempted this once, in a group with Katie Fry, and we both had the same outcome, of wrapping ourselves around the rail as if hung out to dry. And by the way, what if our ski area doesn't have a half pipe?
So, you slid a rail once, fell, and gave up? And you deserve to be certified as the highest level of ski instructor? Sorry, that kind of work ethic doesn't cut it. What would you do if your students gave up after their first shot at whatever task you put in front of them? Poor example setting.

Requiring people to know the basics of skiing in a pipe is kind of like requiring people to know the basics of skiing bumps. So what if your area doesn't have bumps? Its still a useful skill that someone looking to call themselves an expert instructor really ought to have.

Quote:
Asking instructors to do this sort of stuff is nothing but marketing hype. Having special accreditations for freestyle is the way to go.
Again, I guess marketing hype is out of place, since the ski instructing community is thriving eh?
Quote:
As for gates, I think that's much more appropriate. They have been requiring basic gate teaching as part of the L3 teaching exam in the East for a decade now.
Its been required for longer, therefore its more appropriate. Gold star for logic.
Quote:
The flip side of that, however, is that I do not think it's appropriate to require a certain time or NASTAR pin to pass a cert. Tactics and teaching ability are what it's all about. It should be about the ability to ski a proper line through the gates and make the appropriate moves.
If you can do the latter, you'll achieve the former. Otherwise, you are just kidding yourself. Giving people credit for "gate proficiency" with tests on a NASTAR course is a bit of a sad joke anyhow.

Quote:
If you want instructors to stay motivated and in it, you can't discourage them by throwing roadblocks at them and making it seem that getting to the next level is not achievable or desireable.

My guess (hope); In 5 years from now, PSIA look back on this and think "what the he!! were we thinking?" and it won't be part of the exams anymore.
So somehow, you think that less qualified instructors will remain more motivated because the testing requirements are more lax.

Since the GP doesn't care about who gets to the next level, it makes even more sense to ensure that those who get to the highest level deserve it.

Who the heck can't ski switch, get off the lip of a pipe, and do reasonably well in gates? Think about that. Then think about whether or not those people deserve to be credited with the highest level of certification you can achieve, being fully able to stomp those trite tasks and more.

Do you actually know anyone that can't make parrallel turns switch, or learn to do so in short order, that has any damn business being a level 3 certified instructor?
post #45 of 48

Student Perspective

Now I get why I've been taken there by two instructors this season. While it's really terrifying to look at, there are a number of reasons why it can be beneficial.

1. It's teenage boy domain. Without an instructor, I'd never go there on my own.

2. It teaches you some important things about fluidity, continuity and turn completion.

3. Just by agreeing to ski it, and not wimping out in the middle feels like a really big accomplishment, even you do not ski it well at all. I got nowhere near the top, and I was too chicken to do the hop turn {my MCL seems to have healed, but I'm not sure how vulnerable it is} Still felt really good about doing it.
post #46 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
:
Have you EVER asked a student to ski backwards? Why would someone need to be able to do this to earn a pin? What happens when I ask a student to ski backwards and they bowl over a 4 year old?
Yes I have asked students to ski backwards, and the concern about others on the hill, although waranted, part of any lesson is terrain selection and safety. Of course you wouldn't have a student do this on an overly crowded section of the hill, but it is still a very valuable teaching tool.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
It sounds a lot like PSIA is just trying to stay "hip" or "cool" or "young". Get a grip!
How many younger instructors do you see becoming and sticking with ski instruction? Many areas have a hard enough time getting enough new instructors, let alone younger ones who are willing to stick with it (for a few years), let alone become involved in PSIA, so even if PSIA is attempting to be (or stay) hip, cool, or young, is this a bad thing, HELL NO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
I absolutely do NOT see the point in having this as a req't for the gold pin. In normal (read, NOT freestyle lessons) there is little use in taking people into a pipe. ...clip...Next thing you know, as the X games get more popular, you'll be asking us to slide rails for a gold pin. I've attempted this once, in a group with Katie Fry, and we both had the same outcome, of wrapping ourselves around the rail as if hung out to dry. And by the way, what if our ski area doesn't have a half pipe?
The expectation of a Level III instructor is to be able to competantly teach any lesson on the hill. Not necessarily what we want to teach but what our students want to learn. Furthermore, the way it was described to me (before taking my III exam), was the expectation was to be able to ski anything the area had to offer and ski it well (many ski areas have half-pipes after all). As far as teaching in one goes, how can you say there is little use in teaching in a half pipe? You have concepts that are easily displayed, dynamic balance, edging (and edge release), tipping (which can be a powerful tool for powder and crud tactics), driving the tips of ths skis, and many many more. Not to mention, ITS FUN!!!

And I have to agree with the previous post by skiingman, what type of example do you set for a student if you, as their instructor, give up because something new is difficult. How do you think a never-ever feels when their instructor comes up and says "we're gonna learn to ski today, follow me".

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
Asking instructors to do this sort of stuff is nothing but marketing hype. Having special accreditations for freestyle is the way to go.
PSIA is going in the direction of freestyle accredidations, however that does not mean that a competant instructor should not be able to teach the very basic fundamentals and saftey tactics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
Running gates is used much more frequently and with much more purpose than freestyle. The flip side of that, however, is that I do not think it's appropriate to require a certain time or NASTAR pin to pass a cert. Tactics and teaching ability are what it's all about. It should be about the ability to ski a proper line through the gates and make the appropriate moves.
Both gates and basic freestyle have their applications in teaching skiing, however the skill sets are applied differently. Furthermore, while you do not need any NASTAR pin, or cert in racing to pass the exam, YOU DON'T NEED ONE IN FREESTYLE EITHER, however, what the pipe/switch skiing requirements do is the same as the gates requirement, it requires the examinee to be competant at the skills needed for the given application, nothing more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
If you want instructors to stay motivated and in it, you can't discourage them by throwing roadblocks at them and making it seem that getting to the next level is not achievable or desireable.
Since when is a new challenge a roadblock? So they, the new standards challenge people to adapt to the evolutionary needs/wants of our students, how is this a bad thing. Were you this oppsed to the introduction of shaped skis as well?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
My guess (hope); In 5 years from now, PSIA look back on this and think "what the he!! were we thinking?" and it won't be part of the exams anymore.
Honestly, I hope national adopts these standards, and would have no issues with them re-testing level III's to meet new standards. Hopefully, in five years these requirements will still be there and those who have been so irritated/concerned by these new standards (in RM at least) will look back at themselves and ask, "What was I thinking?"

John, I really do not mean to attack, but to question, so please realize that there is no ill will in my post, but I felt I needed to break down your post.
post #47 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
Is this for real?! Is it just RM or national?
John,

It's just RM....

L
post #48 of 48
This is great! I'm not going to rebut everything you guys said, because I don't necessarily disagree with it (a-I was in a lousy mood, and b-it was to generate discussion).

That said, should we be able to do EVERYTHING that ANY hill has to offer? Mine doesn't have a "valid" halfpipe (we have one, but it's rarely open and when it is, it's not maintained, so the walls go inverted). If this is the case, why no powder requirement ? Why no ballet or arials? Why no DH? Should I have to clear a 50' gap? (how about switch?). How about a 50' cliff?

Actually, I think basic halfpipe is part of L3 in the East.

I don't agree that anything that anyone could do at any area should be what the exam is about. If it were, there would be no/few L3 instructors, because not everyone can do everything.

An honest question though; if halfpipe is part of the exam, why not rails? And to answer the question, why didn't I try it again? Because it was too painful (literally-it left a he!! of a mark). Would I try it again? Maybe on rentals (I like my edges, thank you) on a beginner rail that's about 3" off the snow, not 3'. We don't have those at my area. And to be perfecly hones, even if I knew how, and got a lesson where someone wanted it, I would probably defer the lesson to someone willing to trash their skis.

My issue with skiing backwards is still an issue in my head. What IS the point? You all have agreed that anyone can do it. So what is the standard? Why waste the time in an exam? What are the examiners looking for? To me, it's like saying you should be able to do a static hop. Okay, but WHY?

Skiingman - if you re-read my post, I didn't say I was in danger of skiing over a 4 year old. I said what if you were teaching it to someone and your student ran over a kid? Can you say "Law suit"? My point is, why would you teach this to someone? Have you ever, or would you teach someone to ski switch? If not, where is the logic in having it as part of the exam?

PS - I still want powder as part of the exam, and I want PSIA to provide a 3' dump on exam day! In all seriousness, I think a L3 exam should ask the instructor to be able to explain powder technique (even if you are in the S East and don't have powder), and demonstrate some firm-surface powder instruction, as I have had many studens ask about powder skiing, even here in the mid atlantic, because they are about to go out west or just came back and had problems in powder.
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