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PSIA - W Level III skiing tasks (long)

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
In the process of going over our tasks for Level III in a clinic and thinking about all the discussions going on I decided this might be a good thing to post.

Last season when I took my LIII clinics a hand out was given to the candidates that included the LII and LIII tasks. (I'll post the LII tasks in another post) The list included how the tasks would be scored so there would be little suprise when the scores were given.

Here are the LIII tasks (from 2003-04) and how they would be scored.

Hop Turns - Done Well

1. Solid fore aft balance.
2. Whole ski off the snow.
3. Tips and tails pivoting directly around skier's center of gravity.
4. Landing on clean edge (no skid)
5. Rebound-energy from landing used to launch turn.
6. Rhythmic hops (no stalls, steps, or breaks in rhythm).
7. Quiet upper body.
8. Blocking pole plant.
9. Good hop and absorbtion from ankles.

Scoring:

7 = All elements - flawless execution.
6 = All elements - clean and rhythmic.
5 = No major problems, no major breaks in rhythm (isolated minor problems in a few turns ok. Most turns must have all elements

Hop Turn - Problems.

1. Pivoting forward or aft. On tips or tails.
2. Skid on landing.
3. Lack of rebound, (skier has to jump).
4. Excessive upper body movement, flex and extension in spine.
5. Upper body rotation, hip rotation.
6. Stalls, stops, falls, break in rhythm.

Scoring:

3 = Any one of the technical problems.
2 = Two or more of these problems.
1 = Two or more of these problems with steps, stalls, falls and breaks in rhythm.

Retraction Turns

Note from writer: Personal opinion, I think we should stay away from the phony "slow dog noodle" variation of this task. Do thsi task where it applies. Slalom and Giant Slalom Radius retarction turns on groomers. Retraction in crud/powder. Retraction in small to moderate bumps. (I think we need to keep these real. But hey that's just me.).

Retraction - Done Well

1. Good fore/aft balance.
2. Quite upper body (head stays level).
3. Extension in control phase.
4. Round turn shape.
5. Appropriate edging skills, strong hip and carve on piste. Good progressive edge control in bumps/off piste.
6. Pole use driven by terrain (blocking or gliding).
7. Edge change occurs in low or flexed stance.

Scoring:

7 = All technical elements - clean and fast.
6 = All technical elements.
5 = No major problems, no major breaks off pist. Isoloated minor problems okay. Most turns 90%-95% have all elements.

Retraction - Problems

1. Extension then retraction (head, upper body moves up and down).
2. Balance issues on or off piste.
3. Lack of extension in control phase.
4. Inability to control speed with turn shape.
5. Skidding - weak carving skills on piste.
6. Inability to ski retraction line in moderate bumps.
7. Inappropriate pole use/timing.

Scoring:

3 = Any one of these technical problems.
2 = Two or more of these technical problems.
1 = Failure to show retraction at all.

Pivot Side Slips - Done Well

1. Good fore aft balance.
2. Upper body faces downhill (femurs turn in hip sockets).
3. Movement downhill, simultaneous edge release, parallel skis.
4. Clean pivot (no turn).
5. Clean slip (no skid).
6. Stay in coridor.
7. Appropriate use of poles.

Scoring:

7 = All technical elements, flawless execution.
6 = All technical elements.
5 = No major problems, no major breaks. Isolated minor problems okay. Most sideslips 90%-95% have all elements.

Pivot slips - Problems

1. Out of balance.
2. Upper body follows skis/ hips turn/with skis.
3. No crossover to release edges (movement downhill).
4. Sequential edge release (stem/wedge).
5. Turn, not pivot.
6. Skid, not slip.
7. Can't stay in corridor (turning).
8. Inappropriate use of poles.

Scoring:

3 = Any one technical problem.
2 = Two or more technical problems.
1 = Two or more with breaks, stops or falls, Inability to side slip at all.

Railroad Tracks - Done Well

1. Balance and stance.
2. Forward pressure to engage tips.
3. Equal edging (sharp knees).
4. Edge change in one ski length.
5. Appropriate turn shape for terrain (no Super G)
6. Constant track width.
7. Pressure on both skis.

Scoring:

7 = All elements, flawless tracks.
6 = All elements, clean tracks.
5 = No major flaws or breaks, clean tracks. Isolated minor problems okay.

Railroad Tracks - Problems

1. Out of balance.
2. Not engaging tips with forward pressure.
3. Unequal edging.
4. Slow edge change (more than two ski lengths).
5. Any skid in tracks.
6. Speed control issues (terrain).
7. Change in track width.
8. Inside ski not weighted enough.

Scoring:

3 = Any Technical problem.
2 = Two or more technical problems.
1 = Skidded track or no inside track.

One Ski - Done Well

1. Good lateral and fore/aft balance.
2. Quiet upper body.
3. Ski stays off snow.
4. Carved medium radius.
5. Active steering to progressive edge in short radius.
6. Appropriate pole use.

Scoring:

7 = All technical elements - clean carves at speed in medium and short radius.
6 = All technical elements - Clean carves in medium radius.
5 = No major flaws or breaks, Track mostly carved in medium radius 90%-95%

One ski - Problems

1. Out of balance, fore/aft or lateral.
2. Major upper body/arm movements to maintain balance - waving ski around!
3. Ski touches snow more than once or twice (terrain).
4. Skidding medium radius.
5. Saving falls with poles.
6. Breaks, stalls and falls.

Scoring:

3 = Any technical problems.
2 = Two or more problems.
1 = Inability to keep ski up. Major falls or breaks.
post #2 of 29
Thread Starter 

free skiing evaluation

For the rest of the skiing tasks, Here are the things we were judged on.

Dynamic medium radius turns (all conditions and terrain)
Dynamic short radius turns (all conditions and terrain)
Bumps (we did these on pretty steep and big bumps)
Steeps (think double black diamond steep)
Situational skiing (Off piste, Racing, park, Pipe, Etc)

What the examiners are looking for in these situations are solid skiing using all the movement patterns required for the skiing tasks. Active edges, Counter rotation appropriate for the terrain, good skills blend, rhythm, pole use, control, speed, COM direction, etc.
post #3 of 29
Thanks, David. Both the posts are VERY helpful. For the sake of those of us in the west, who is the source of the information?
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
I was given a big pile of stuff at the LIII clinic. My first day was with Tim Rankins and that's when I got the tasks papers. I don't know if he wrote them or if he was given them to pass out but that was my "source"

DC

P.S.

The various free skiing info came from our score cards.
post #5 of 29
Is the scoring on a 1-7 scale?

I'm surprised by one thing and that is the reference to "forward pressure" vis a vis rr track turns.
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Scoring is 1-7. No 4's are given. 1-3 fail, 5-7 pass.

Forward pressure, They want to see the skis tips engage! If you don't have any forward pressure, the transition from one edge to the other would not cause the ski to "hook up" as quickly.

DC
post #7 of 29
so allow me to play devils advocate for a moment.

if a student said to an instructor or an instructor to a clinician please give me a detailed explaination as to how I create "forward pressure" any guesses as to what would be said?

i honestly have never heard mention of this in the context of rr track turns hence my surprise.
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
should I answer? I know what one of my coworkers would say!
post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
Oh, and I don't think they need to see you really "into" the fronts just enough to get thoses skis hooked up quickly. How do I know? I've been working on not being "way into" the fronts of my boots for my RR tracks and I think I scored the RR tracks pretty well.
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchan
Oh, and I don't think they need to see you really "into" the fronts just enough to get thoses skis hooked up quickly. How do I know? I've been working on not being "way into" the fronts of my boots for my RR tracks and I think I scored the RR tracks pretty well.
I too have been working for a year to get off the front of my boots. In addition, as read through the thread I thought about students who lever the front of their boots in tandem with a little rotary and the result is a wrecked railroad!
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
No rotary! Shankles!
post #12 of 29
DC and Rusty Guy,

DC is right about the forward pressure. One thing examiners in this division look for is the early engagement of the tip of the ski. That goes to two of the visual clues identified above: engaging tips, and no Super G turns.

Try doing some rr turns with too much forward pressure (early entrance but tail washout), and then too little (at least a Super G turn, if ever). It is definitely a matter of subtlety.

Shankles rule!
post #13 of 29
I think of forward "pressure" as keeping a connection between my shins and the front area of my boot. The area is diagonally from say 10 o'clock to 2 o'clock if using a clock face with 12 o'clock straight in the front of the boot. The tipping of the skis to edge and maintaining contact with the shins in the front area of the boot allows me to create the edging needed to get the railroad track effect of skiing. When I get blown back to having heel pressure or back of boot cuff pressure is when my skis rail out on me so I'm allways trying to maintain contact with the front area of my boots. I think of it as micro adjustments with the lower body joints starting with the ankle than working up to the knee and hip as needed.
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowbowler
I think of forward "pressure" as keeping a connection between my shins and the front area of my boot. The area is diagonally from say 10 o'clock to 2 o'clock if using a clock face with 12 o'clock straight in the front of the boot. . . I think of it as micro adjustments with the lower body joints starting with the ankle than working up to the knee and hip as needed.
Ding Ding Ding....

Winner...

Shin/Ankles = Shankles
post #15 of 29

PSIA-RM skiing maneuvers

As I posted on the L II thread, the PSIA-RM Level III skiing descriptions are available on the PSIA-RM web site as a PDF document.
post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
I talked to Ted Pitcher (one of my examiners from LIII) and got the low-down on who authored the document. It was Ted that actually wrote the tasks document I posted above.

There were no changes to the movement descriptions but the exam format has changed. I'll post some feed back about that in another thread.

DC
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
Bump..

Do any of the examiners here have more insight on what examiners are looking for in our free skiing. How are we being scored?
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
Bump
post #19 of 29
What examiners watch for specifically in any given season is decided upon in their annual fall training session. That's when they debate and settle upon a list of exam tasks for that year's evaluations. Then they go out on the snow and work toward agreement on what each of the elements looks like. Some divisions even incorporate into that gathering a team evaluation of whether all members can live up to the agreed expectations. Those who aren't quite there are given a length of time to work on their own skiing to get back into conformity. They usually don't work exams until they've satisfied the evaluation team.
post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
The new format for both L2 and L3 exams is now a module system

The skiing module is held first. 3 days of hard skiing. The skiing module allows the examiner/trainer to ski with the candidates and coach the candidates all the way through the process. During the 3 days they will evaluate your skiing including several assigned tasks. They can however coach you during the process so if the candidate is having a hard time with one legged skiing for instance, the examiner may make some suggestions to try .... then let them work on that for a little bit. They would probably then come back to the task later in the 3 days to see if there was an improvement and if it was enough to pass.

There is no longer a "prep clinic" for level 2 or 3 so if you pass the skiing portion, you are given a go ahead to continue to the next step.

The next step would be a take home written exam which now includes an essay portion. (not absolutely sure what this is but I suspect they will give you a scenario to evaluate and develop a plan). You would present the written exam at the teaching module where you will do your MA and teaching portion of the exam.

The great part about this is if you don't pass the skiing portion, you will know where you are in your skiing. Since there is feed back allowed and they tell you before you leave the 3rd day there is no wondering if your skiing was up to snuff. And since feedback and coaching is allowed, pass or fail, you still hopefully will come away with a great learning experience.
post #21 of 29
Please illuminate me!

In the exercises, pivot slips done right is slip not skid, and done wrong is skid not slip.

What's the visual difference between a skid and a slip?
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
slips are non-braking
Skids are braking.

You should be able to slip with virtually no slowing in movement down the hill.

More skid and less slip would be scored down.
post #23 of 29
Thank you.

On what sort of terrain is this task expected to be performed? green/blue/black? Groomed?
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
they may do it anywhere!

In my L2 where pivot slips were not a requirement, the examiner decided just to see what we could do. It was on very flat terrain and 2-3" of very soft pack over firm pack.

In the L3, I was tasked to do them once on groomer Cordoroy, double fall line.
once on steep firm pack with a thin layer of crud, once on medium steep hard pack, once on very flat medium firm pack also double fall line and once on a cat track/return type run.
post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
bump
post #26 of 29
Dchan- obviously, we can't argue with the mechanical aspects as described, but is there a description of the overall manuever?? If I did not know what most of these manuevers were, I would not be able to picture them. also, a parameter as to the terrain each task is to be performed on.
post #27 of 29
Regarding the "forward pressure" issue, I think the problem is that "maintain tip pressure" is easily misinterpreted as "always press forward." The fact is, modern tips will engage when balance and pressure focus on the "sweet spot," somewhere in the middle of the ski. There need be no bias of pressure toward the forebody of the ski (with a reduction of pressure on the tail) for that tip to engage.

Furthermore, an objective of Railroad Tracks is generally (and as VailSnoPro suggests, we can only presume this to be the case in PSIA-W) to carve the cleanest possible turns from start to finish--which requires the entire ski to bend into an even arc, with pressure tip-to-tail, throughout every phase of the turn. While this does require "tip pressure," it is just as important to maintain tail pressure throughout the turn. The entire ski must bend.

Maintaining tip pressure is not the same thing as leaning or levering forward, and it requires no pressure on the boot tongues whatsoever. It does require moving forward continuously to maintain balance over that sweet spot that is racing down the hill. Ironically, the best way to stop moving forward is to bump into those stiff boot cuffs, such that they push you back. Moving forward is the opposite of being forward!

Best regards,
Bob
post #28 of 29
For what it's worth, the link to PSIA-Rocky Mountain's maneuver descriptions that SSH posted above is obsolete. PSIA-RM has a brand new website, as well as a new describers document, which you can find here. Click on the file PSIA-RM Alpine Skiing Maneuvers 2006-07 for the full document (warning, it's a big file!). Or find the abbreviated "Pocket Summaries" for each level by scrolling down the list. Railroad Tracks is a maneuver on both our Level 2 and Level 3 exams. See page 21 of the large document.

I believe these documents to be the very last word on modern ski technique. (Of course I wrote them, but I am not biased at all.)

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado View Post
PSIA-RM has a brand new website, as well as a new describers document, which you can find here. Click on the file PSIA-RM Alpine Skiing Maneuvers 2006-07 for the full document (warning, it's a big file!).
This document is an excellent read Bob. Very detailed and descriptive, yet easy to read. I ran onto it a couple of weeks ago and downloaded it to my work computer (and, yes it is a large file). I'm obviously not an instructor, but I seem to always get a great deal out of the PSIA-RM info that's available on their site.

Great job!
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