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PSIA-E Level 2 Skiing Tasks, 3/2005

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Short-time lurker just back from the PSIA Level 2, Part 1 exam at Mt. Snow. Prior to going I found this forum to be a great resource for what to expect. So I'll try to return the favor and provide another data point while it's still fresh in my mind. For those familiar with Mt. Snow I listed trail names. Our tasks:

- Wedge Turns
- Wedge Christies
- Open Parallel
- One Footed Skiing (outside ski)
- Skate down Fall Line (easy terrain)
- Bumps
- Short Radius Turns (dynamic)
- Railroad Tracks (easy terrain)
- "Free" run (groomed blue/black, Fallen Timbers, Upper Canyon )

Seems everyone practiced one-footed skiing with the inside ski, myself included. Our group was surprised at the difficulty we had in doing it the "other" way. I found myself relying on a heavy pole drag on short radius one-ski turns, one of the key crutches the examiners were looking for.

Almost all groups did bumps on Exhibition on the main face (blue). I saw one group on Free Fall, but don't know if they were being evaluated at that point. One other group did Beartrap under the guise of "this doesn't count", but were told at the end that they all did fine and that it would count.

A few more words on bumps, One examiner told us specifically it wasn't supposed to be a bump exam and we could take lines on the side of the mogul field if so inclined. The next examiner didn't say anything, but also seemed OK with an easier line. Our last examiner essentially said no way-right down the middle! Conditions for bumps were stellar, sunny and temps in the 50s, so a line "right down the middle" of Exhibition was pretty tame.

The "no feedback" policy was definitely in effect, but examiners were able to gently suggest various tasks that we, as a group, might request a re-evaluation on towards the end of the session. All three examiners did a nice job of putting us somewhat at ease. Comments I received afterward were well written and accurate. I did pass. Thank you to all that posted their experiences.

I believe about 40 people passed. Not sure how many took the exam; our numbers ended around 75 but there were gaps here and there. I would guess 65.
post #2 of 12
Congrats and thanks for the feedback.
post #3 of 12
t-bar, first off, welcome to EpicSki, and thanks for posting this. Also, congratulations on the significant accomplishment of passing level II!
post #4 of 12
T-bar, thanks for posting the rundown. Interesting that there was no inside-ski skiing. Who were your examiners?

Tom / PM
post #5 of 12
Way to go, T-bar. Thanks for the additional data point. I continue to be surprised and somewhat disappointed in the wide range of examiner opinion on moguls. It's almost as bad as the strike zone used to be. Does anyone think that the NFL would tolerate such variation in calls involving, say, clipping, or pass interference?

Anyhow, thanks again for the report. Very helpful contribution for those of us working toward LII.

post #6 of 12
Hey, congrats! A lot of smiling faces yesterday; I know; I was one of them too:-)

I lucked out and got in a group with two no-shows so we only hade five people. We got our tasks done so quick, we had a lot of time to just ski for fun. I have to say, even though it was an exam, we sure had a blast, 50F, no wind, not a cloud in the ski and spring bumps on everything from easy blue to double-black, did a couple on Ripcord while waiting for the scores.

A few thoughts....

We got a lot of coaching from our examiners. At first it sounded like a lot more than you'd get based on the exam description. It really was more in the vein of instruction in just what they were looking for in the task so I guess you couldn't call it feedback. Still, when one or two people didn't get a task right with one examiner, the examiner said right out "You guys want to try that again" and then said "don't worry if you can't do one task, you don't necessarily fail if you can't do just one task".

I hadn't skied Mt. Snow in almost 20 years; I had thought I should get up there for a day and learn the place before the exam. As soon as I got on my skis, I realized that would have been a waste of time. It was much more of a rush to just ski not knowing what was coming arond the corner and ripping it up anyway.

Someone tipped me off before the exam that every now and then, the examiner may just take off. At least once with each examiner, be ready and get right on their tail and rip (within your comfort zone of course so you are still skiing safely with proper movements). I did it and it really helped my confidence. One of the things on the card that T'bar didn't mention is "versatility/agility". Skiing fast when the group is skiing fast (and slow when the group is skiing slow) is a good way to nail that.

We road up the lift on the North side; there were some gourgeous black bumps underneath it on the Free Fall trail. The examiner is looking at those bumps and you could tell she really wanted to ski them. Me and two other skiers in our group were also looking lustily down the hill. She finally says "how about we just do a fun run down these bumps; I really want to ski them; it won't count as part of the exam; I won't even watch you ski". Three of us are just out jumping out of our boots ready to go; the two others said well okay. She took off, we got after her, she never looked back at our skiing; not once. We skied the whole run and when we got down, she said you guys all just passed bumps. She explained at level II, the only bump requirement is to just not ski embarrassing bad in the bumps. Oh, and the next morning, we were skiing the bumps on Bear Trap so T'bar, you might talking about our group both times.

One examiner explicitly stated that there is NO POLE TOUCH in wedge-christe at any level. Pole touch does NOT happen until open-track parallel. The next examiner had us do low-level WC matching after the fallline and then coached us to ski a high-level WC matching before the fallline WITH a pole touch. Something to remember-- Never ask or argue "but I though you were supposed to ...."; don't go there!!! Listen to what examiner says, watch the way they ski it; Smile! and ski it the way they skied it. Have a laugh over it in the bar after you passed.

Another thing I have to say is the prep I got from my home mountain was superb. I was ready for anything they threw at us. I think that for people that failed or barely passed, it was more a matter of prep more than skiing ability. A level II exam is not the place to ask what the difference is between dynamic and open-track parallel. It's not the place to find out you never practiced one of the standard exercises and can't do it. And gosh darn, you gotta be able to hold your wedge in a wedge turn and not christie if the examiner tells you not to match.

I do think all examiners did a great job with the group, were fair, professional, and gave everyone every opportunity to pass. Since I related a few stories, I don't think it's fair to them to give out my examiners' names.

One more tip-- ski like yourself and ski to have fun. My LII skiing exam will go down in my memories has two of the most fun days I've ever had with my boards on.

T'bar did I meet you up there by any chance? In the bar, at Gringos, or just hanging out?

Ken from Wa.


I have a lot of studying to do for that teaching exam next year.
post #7 of 12
Oh, one more thing, just so you aren't surprised. In PSIA-E there's a list of mandatory tasks and then three optional tasks. In T-bar's list, the optional tasks were--

Skiing on the outside ski
RR track turns

You'll always have all the others.

The examiners have a long list of optional tasks and they get together the night before and agree on a list of three based on a number of factors (including conditions). You then get the same exam from all three examiners.

You all should know this as next time the optional tasks might be lane-changes, falling leaf, and stem christies or ....
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
lol, hey Ken, not only did we meet -- we were skiing on Ripcord together Thursday morning/afternoon. Sending you an e-mail now...
post #9 of 12

way to go

Sounds like you had a great experience!

Your right. when you train hard, and know what to expect, the exam is relatively easy.....relatively that is. Its still a big challenge to put all the right pieces in the right places and at the right times.

Congratulations on the accomplishment. Youll love the teaching part!
post #10 of 12
Congrats and good work to all. You gotta ski it to teach it. But how do they differentiate between one foot skiing "inside" or "outside". Do you only turn one way and then switch feet?? If you do ten turns on one foot isn't it the inside on five and the outside on the other five?
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
We switched feet during the transition. Uphill ski goes back to the snow, downhill ski comes up. Some examiners did only one type of turn, others had us explore different turn radii.

One other unrelated story: Our examiner fell while getting into observation position after demonstrating downhill skating. We all had a good laugh (examiner included) and as we prepared to individually do the demo, some in the group was challenged the first candidate to deliberately fall in the same place. Sure enough, she did it!
post #12 of 12
Entertaining stuff! Sounds like they chose good terrain too, those bumps down the middle on Exhibition are brilliant when it's soft. Beartrap, those can get a bit big! I hope they were playing nice music (not that snowboarder stuff; they used to let the lifties choose it and it was orrible). I think Freefall is always bumped, but I might be confusing it with another run on north face, it's been a few years.
Congrats anyway, sounds like it was a fun event.
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