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Eastern Level III Skiing Tasks - long

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I got some really helpful feedback on the level 2 tasks (thanks Rusty!). So I thought I’d try the level 3 tasks. This is a very rough draft, please share your observations and comments on both the level 2 and 3 tasks. My tech director suggested this format I think it works, but I’m not sure if I’ve slotted tasks in the right spot.

Again, I am not trying to create a reference manual, but a cliff notes style quick reference for each task. If you would like a copy of the final edited version, PM me your email address.

Thanks in advance.

Eastern Level III Skiing Tasks


Tasks are used to poke holes in your skiing mechanics. If you own the mechanics and movement, you shouldn’t have trouble with any of these tasks. If your skiing is not where it needs to be, these tasks can aid in your preparation. At level three they are looking for tactical ability and versatility, be prepared to ski terrain and tasks with a variety of focuses.

Don’t assume how to perform a task from its name. Listen carefully for the specifics of what the examiner is requesting and verify by watching the examiner perform the task. If you don’t understand the task, ask for clarification or a demonstration. If there is a conflict between what the examiner asked for and what they did, you can ski the task either way, but ask the examiner for clarification when you catch up. Good skiers can fail from either not listening or not speaking up.

Be prepared for examiners to ask you perform tasks differently, they may add a twist to a common exam task to determine if you can ski as opposed to replicating movements from rote memory. For example, you might be asked to perform wedge christies on a cat track with a double fall line.

Don’t forget:
· Don’t watch other candidates, they may confuse you
· Always start in a straight run
· Start slow

Tasks you will get (99.783% chance)

Short radius turns in fall line
What they want to see
· Consistent speed and radius
· Tails follow the tips
· Skis are tipped on edge and carving before the fall line
· Poles swing smoothly in the direction of travel
· They may ask for a change in speed (moderate to slow or vice versa)

Focuses or Cue Words
· Constantly swing poles, the pole should be vertical in the fall line. The Cue is “and swiiiing”

Medium radius turns
What they want to see
· Consistent speed and radius
· Skis are tipped on edge and carving immediately
· Balance over whole foot so that outside ski bends from the middle
· Inside half of the body leads the outside half through the turn
· Shoulders stay level with the horizon
· They may ask for a change in speed (moderate to slow or vice versa)

Focuses or Cue Words

Free run
What they want to see
· Versatility – changing turn radius, responding to demands of conditions or terrain
· That the mechanics don’t fall apart
· Speed control

Focuses or Cue Words

Whitepass turns
The skier initiates the turn on the inside ski while the outside ski is lifted off the snow, the outside ski is set down at the fall line.

What they want to see

Focuses or Cue Words

Ski a rhythmical line through the bumps, while remaining in balance. No traversing. Candidates should be prepared to ski the bumps many ways depending on the task (e.g. medium radius turns, ski the tops, ski the sides)

What they want to see
· Speed control
· Constant turning, no shopping
· Flexion and extension to maintain ski-snow contact

Focuses or Cue Words
· Don’t forget to breathe – “Turn, turn, turn”
· Nail every pole plant

Railroad tracks
What they want to see
· Linked parallel arcs in the snow
· Simultaneous and progressive engaging and releasing edges while maintaining matching edge angles
· Hands, arms, and upper body movements align upper body according to lower body tipping activity
· No twisting or skidding of the skis.
· No pole use
· Forward pressure to engage tips
· Equal edging (sharp knees)
· Consistent track width
· Pressure on both skis

Focuses or Cue Words
· Tip with the ankles
· Drive the shins forward into the boot at turn initiation

Tasks you will probably get (50% chance or better)

Pivot slips
What they want to see
· Good fore aft balance.
· Upper body faces downhill (femurs turn in hip sockets).
· Movement downhill, simultaneous edge release, parallel skis.
· Clean pivot (no turn).
· Clean slip (no skid).
· Stay in corridor. The corridor is maintained without stopping. The center of mass travels a straight line down the hill.
· Appropriate use of poles.

Focuses or Cue Words
· A directed movement for release, timed with a pole swing is crucial, as is foot steering (the pivot point must be under the foot).

Stem Christies
What they want to see
· A slide is as good as a step unless specifically requested
· Movement of the center of mass into the turn (modern) or up the hill (traditional)
· For traditional stem christies, examiners are looking for an edged track from the uphill/outside ski. For modern stem christies, both skis should leave a skidded track.

Focuses or Cue Words

Spontaneous Christie or Wedge Christie – vary the turn radius, speed, terrain
What they want to see
· Inside foot and leg are steered to a match, not simply pulled in
· Timing of match is dictated by speed, terrain and snow conditions.
· The tip and the tail of the ski move an equal amount during matching.
· Some turning occur above the fall line
· Turns of equal size in both directions (or an appropriate rhythm if on a double fall line)
· Flexion and extension of all joints may involve a greater range of motion then a wedge turn, and a more pronounced weight shift due to increased speed and terrain.
· No pole touch

Focuses or Cue Words

Open Parallel – vary the turn radius
What they want to see
· They may ask for this with no pole use

Focuses or Cue Words

Skate to shape
What they want to see
· Balanced stance
· Movement in the direction of travel, not vertically or laterally
· Pushing off from and edged ski
· Active but stable upper body

Focuses or Cue Words
· Point glide ski in the direction of travel
· Bring other foot back
· Land on the inside edge

Pain in the S turns
A series of short radius turns along a medium/long radius track.
What they want to see
· A rounded path instead of a traverse
· Maintaining flow

Focuses or Cue Words
· Make at least two turns in the fall line
· Use a pole swing or cue word to establish rhythm

Tasks you might get (less than 50% but still in the mix)

Lane change – five short turns, change lane on the 5th turn (width of a grooming lane)
What they want to see
· Mechanics change from short to medium or medium to long turns
· The larger turn is a turn and not a traverse
· Consistent path and turn radius
· The lane change may be on one foot

Focuses or Cue Words
· Count out the turns (One, Two, Three, Four, Fiiiiive….)
· Swing your pole throughout the long turn as opposed to doing a pole swing at the end of the turn.
· Start your run on the edge of the trail
· For an odd number of turns per lane, ski towards the edge of the trail for your first turn (e.g. start with left turn on the right side of the trail). For an even number of turns per lane, ski towards the middle of the trail on the first turn.

Hop turns
What they want to see
· Solid fore aft balance
· Whole ski off the snow
· Tips and tails pivoting directly around skier's center of gravity
· Landing on clean edge (no skid)
· Good hop and absorption from ankles.
· Rebound-energy from landing used to launch turn
· Rhythmic hops (no stalls, steps, or breaks in rhythm)
· Quiet upper body
· Blocking pole plant

Focuses or Cue Words

Ski on one ski
Ski medium to short turns on blue terrain with two skis on, ski a series of turns on one
foot only (must be able to complete the task on either leg).

What they want to see
· The shins maintain contact with boot tongue.
· Flexing and extending movements to release and engage ski
· The ski is off the snow the whole time

Focuses or Cue Words

Tasks you could get but probably won't (they are on the list but not used much)

Leap at the transition of the turn, change edges in the air and land on the new edges.

What they want to see
· Leap is done at initiation
· Both skis are off the snow
· Leap comes from activity in ankles
· Lands balanced and softly.
· Good athletic stance
· Solid edging skills = platform
· Consistent turn shape

Focuses or Cue Words
· Jump from BOTH feet
· Land in the fall line
· If possible, use a clump of snow for take off
post #2 of 3
I'll add some thoughts (elaborate).

The probability of one-ski skiing is probably higher than 50%.

Whitepass turns and one-ski skiing, they will be looking for a smooth movement of the CM to the new inside edge with no hopping. From the knees up, it should look as if you have both feet on the ground.

Bumps: (this is just elaboration of what you already said) Maintaining good ski/snow pressure on the back sides of the bumps and use of edges to maintain turn shape and speed control. Also looking for the upper body to remain smooth, and not move up and down nearly as much as the height of the bumps. This requires active absorbtion.

Pain in the S turns: The goal is to maintain consistant turn shapes and rhythm. Visualize the overall path, and make sure you spend as much time (as many small turns) just beyond the fall line as you did coming into the fall line. When you get to the belly of the long radius path, don't pull of a single 180 degree turn and then take a traversing line across the hill.

Lane Changers. The key here is the transition from the short turns to the medium radius turn. Since the CM will be moving a lot more across the fall line in the MR turn, you need to have the upper body act as it would in any other MR turn. I think this is what is meant by "maechanics"

Skiing on one ski. Using the same/appropriate amount of counter on both sides. Don't use excessive rotation or a big up-and-over move to start the turn (as above, get the CM across the ski).
post #3 of 3
Dn't forget to expect some "blends" of tasks. Some of the ones I ran into and know others had were pivot slip to short radius turns maintaining rythym and corridor, one footed hop turns, one footed pain in the "S" turns, one footed bumps and lane changes in the bumps.

When doing any task related to one footed skiing, remember often times the examiner is watching the shoulders, if they are able to stay squared, the turn is initiating from the CM and not from a tipping movement.

Also, on the freerun, show them "your" skiing, not instructor turns. As it was described in my exam, "I know you can all ski very well to be here, now show me how you love this sport". In the freerun, if you can show them how you ski, how you play on the snow, and that every turn in your skiing is based on a solid foundation of the fundamentals, you should do well.

Also, remember that bumps can be used in the freerun, in a "guiding first timers through" or a general teaching path. Remember that any teaching or guiding line should show many different tactics in the bumps while maintaining proper speed, control and flow. If you see bumps in your freerun, show that you can hold a line as well as change it at will (without excessive traverse type moves - going from a tight line to GS type turns in the bumps until you find another tight line, your speed should remain about constant).

In Pivot Slips, you may be asked to do them without a pole touch (because it can be used to cheat the hip into place). In Pivot Slips though, always think about keeping both hands downhill of your downhill ski (this will help maintain your hip moving downhill as well as your upper body focused on a central point down the fall line). The biggest thing to remember is most people think their Pivot Slips are "dead on", however, in fact the vast majority of people do them wrong.

With Christie turns, a "Stem" is a movement of the uphill ski, uphill, then a "recentering" of the hips, which causes the hips to move uphill slightly, but cuts off about 25-33% of the turn. A "Spontanious" christie is just like a Wedge turn, with the wedge portion forming into the turn, not before it. The biggest trick to allow the inside ski to be steered into place is to make sure that the hip is centered over the inside ski (it should be anyway if you are initiating your turns properly). Also, often times you will be allowed to pole touch during Christie turns, which can help a lot.

Just a thought on the possibility of leapers, the purpose is to leap through the transition point, not necessarily all the way to the fall line. The amount you turn in the leap should be determined by the pitch, the steeper the pitch, the greater the amount of the turn you leap through. If you try to leap all the way to the fall line, it would be very easy to use too much rotational movements to force the skis into the turn.

Both Stem Christies and Hop Turns will most likely only be used as "Versatility drills" since they are not really proper skiing anymore. However, often times they are expecting you to be able to current and previous tasks because even tasks that are no longer in vogue, are often effective, just require more energy.
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