or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What is an "EXPERT" skier? - Page 2

post #31 of 153
Despite all the definitions and categories out there, skier ability remains extremely subjective and open to interpretation. Even instructors are all over the map in terms of skills and expertise. Age, past injuries, disabilities, fear, terrain can easily change a skier's level of expertise. The Academy was an eye-opener in this regard. :

To me an expert skier is one who can ski any terrain with no major change in technique and flow regardless of conditions. My definition of expert skier allows for occasional mistakes and does not include out of bounds terrain (or terrain where conditions are unknown and surprises could kill you).
post #32 of 153
You'll know when expert skiing is achieved...

...All the angels sing. [img]graemlins/angel.gif[/img]
post #33 of 153
All "expert skiers" are not alike, but TomB describes the minimum requirements as usefully as I can imagine. If I had to choose how I'd like to have "expert skier" defined, I'd vote with TomB's definition - what more could we want?!
post #34 of 153
Originally posted by vail snopro:
Disski / Pierre-
Why does a cert pin have to be aligned with this question? I don't care what nationality, because most top level certs from any country ARE NOT experts, but interestingly enough, I know a few who I would consider experts who have no level of cert at all. Granted, in time many of those certified pro's might become experts, but it's not the pin that makes them so.

I was not suggesting the pin... just questioning how Pierre chose the levels he did ... - see my confused face at the IDEA that our level 2's are 'expert' by his standard....

When I think of an expert I think of Frank - he is 70's or 80's & our last season while the rest of the people complained about the snow he was out every day skiing off-piste in tricky conditions & looking SMOOTH doing it....(had just sold his business so he could ski every day now) I love to watch him race too...
I wanna ski like Frank when I am 70-80!
post #35 of 153
Originally posted by Pierre:
Expert, Its kinda hard to nail down so I will go with the standards that are out there to measure by. Here are just a few. I suppose we could set them as the minimum entry standards.

PSIA level III skiing test
CSIA level IV skiing test
PSIA STAR gold test

In my opinion, having read the study guides for Level II and III cert, these certifications make you an advanced or expert instructor - not necessarily an advanced or expert skier. Of course, Pierre's response is what one should expect from a community made up mostly of those who are professional teachers. If this board were race focused the definition would probably be in terms of FIS points. If it was powdermag focused, it would be how big a cliff you can huck and ski away. If it was freezemag focused it would be if you could do a corked 720 (btw, I almost got mine on the trampoline today - not bad for a 40 year old).

I don't think you can lump the total ski community into an instructor cert process to classify who is advanced or expert.

Expert in the general sense means you can utilize the right type of turn in the right situation - skiing any snow condition and any level of steepness of slope - maintaining balance and control (slow or fast).

If you look at the trail map and say, I bet there are some great lines in those cliffs - you may be an expert. If you look at the map and wonder why they don't groom more runs, you are probably an intermediate - to adavanced skier. If you worry about having perfect form on every single turn - you're probably an instructor
post #36 of 153
Originally posted by Pierre:
...PSIA level III skiing test
CSIA level IV skiing test
PSIA STAR gold test

Ummm hang on a second...

now the way I understand it PSIA III is considered about equivalent to APSI II - right???

so is CSIA III - right???

so BECAUSE the CSIA has ANOTHER level you are discounting CSIA III?

& all our level 2's are expert skiers? :
post #37 of 153
Thanks oboe!

Too bad my ability to describe an expert does not match my ability to emulate one! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #38 of 153
Ok I will modify my parameters.
An expert skier is anyone who knows more than me and can ski better than me. Now I know what an expert is.
post #39 of 153
Isn't an 'Expert skier' an 'Extreme skier' without the headband?
post #40 of 153
Tom B makes an interesting point when he said that age, among other things can change what an expert is. I am 71 now and I ski smooth and varying snow conditions don't bother me and I'm always in control. Yet...

I have skied 57 seasons, been full certified since 1963 and gone through a number of skiing techniqes.

Though I've learned always to adapt to new equipment and techniques, at this stage of the game I am trying to keep as much as I can of what skills I have, challenging myself beyond my physical strength would be asking for trouble.

In my forties and even fifties I skied everything everywhere and knew I could handle it and folks around me called it expert skiing, but now I would call myself an intermediate by the standard you propose.

I still have expert knowledge but I avoid conditions and terrain that I perceive could hurt me because at my age I'm neither as adventureous nor as carefree as I used to be. That doesn't prevent me from learning new developments in skiing but I realize that hard fall could end my skiing forever.

....Ott, up close and personal..
post #41 of 153
But isn't it true, Ott, that even though strength and wisdom keep you out of those conditions, you still have the skills to do those things?

As an attorney, I am recalling a case that blossomed into at least five defendants, each blaming all the others. I represented one of the defendants, while the others all were represented by attorneys who (to be entirely candid) were brighter, quicker, smarter and many, many moons younger than I. Notwithstanding their apparent advantage, I extracted my client from the morass with very little damage, while they . . .

It has been said that youth and skill can be overcome by age and treachery, but can I be allowed to believe that certain subtle skills are born of long experience? And is it not so that your subtle skills and wisdom are born of long experience?

Are there not different stages in the life of an obviously expert skier? But he is still the expert.

[ February 17, 2003, 03:46 PM: Message edited by: oboe ]
post #42 of 153
Well, oboe, since you put it this way . I'm still expert enough to know that my reflexes have slowed somewhat so I stay out of the trees, especially the hardwoods, and though I could very well do the trees and the moguls if I absolutely had to, why flirt with possible disaster.

As for skiing technique, I can fake it with the best of them [img]smile.gif[/img]

Normal recreational skiing is easy and I don't tempt faith by hucking off big rocks though I can't resist the cornice at A-basin, but that one is easy...

post #43 of 153
Expert skier = all slopes - all conditions.
post #44 of 153
okay guys,

Inever said an expert was 100% accurate on 100% of the terrain, I only said that he could recover adequately enough to continue in rythm. Fox sums it up adequately, and in a manner that suggest humility, when he says:
What I meant was that they could ski a black with the same finesse as a green, and ski the green with as much entusiasm as the black. The colour, or pitch of the run is
Matteo also show awesome signs of brilliance that I can learn from when he says
Someone who knows when calling it a day and go home, no matter how much lust he's still left
CalG also sums it up well, when he says
Who could be an expert with only 5-10 days practice per year?

We often can not even gain experience with "all conditions" in a typical year.

Ability may set the highest bar, but getting there takes miles!

I am purely impressed with all the really good skiers out there, considering.
how can a level 8 that skis a few days a year consider himself an expert when many level 9+ who ski 100+ days per year don't? Can you spell "reality check"?

And doesn't a great instructor strive to allow his greatest students to exceed his own ability?

While some of you may have radar guns on the mountain in my limited experience the higher the din setting the bigger the mouth, I guess taht fits on the chart somewhere. At 180 I have not had a pre-release useing a din of 6 in three years. I also know a D-team member who accidently spent a day freesking on 3 1/2 and didn't have a pre-release.

An expert skier is one who know when there is something wrong with his skiing and won't rest until he has fixed it. Careful, tihs usually takes more than a day.

[ February 17, 2003, 08:13 PM: Message edited by: Tom Burch ]
post #45 of 153
Thread Starter 
I'm not going to make fun of a Bear stripped of his skiing privileges, for it's a serious matter!

But I must acknowledge how ironic it is for the only person to profess to being an "expert" on this thread, is the one who had his pass pulled.

This concept didn't figure very high on my list of "expert" qualities...

post #46 of 153
Originally posted by rustyedge:
I had the pleasure of skiing with nearly two dozen incredible people during the Epic Gathering and everyone of them was an "EXPERT". Every one of them!
So I read this and thought "He skied with me, therefore he must think of me as an expert, too! Either he has insight which I don't, or he is a fool" [img]smile.gif[/img]

I read on...

Originally posted by rustyedge:
Bob Peters, Altaskier, Fred, Mary, Pinhead, Spring Hill Crazy, Marcus, Miles, Harpo, Si, TOG, Pierre, Lodro, AC...
Then I noticed my name wasn't on the hall of fame list, which contains some great skiers, who I also enjoyed skiing with (or at least sharing the lift with them and watching them blast past me on the way down to the next chair), so I guess Rusty must have forgotten about skiing with me

I continued reading...

Originally posted by rustyedge:
...and every one of you I failed to mention put your name down here because you're all "EXPERTS!" You earned it and deserve it!
Sir, I would add my name, if the cap fits (or, perhaps, "if the green jacket fits," given your home), but while I have seen expert skiing, I have not reached that promised land yet, but I shal strive on until I do, or until I get as close as I possibly can.

post #47 of 153

No disrespect meant to the instructors, especially certified ones. I was one once too and I still feel that level II and III certification means NOTHING about how good you are as a skier. It only means that PSIA has trained you to be just like them. When you can prove that, you get further certification. As you can see, I wasn't a real big supporter of the PSIA "ski like we do or you aren't crap" philosophy. Skiing should be fun, not regimented. PSIA used to really frown on catching air of any kind, I had a HUGE problem with that. Maybe it has changed in the last 10 years and it's not so stuffy anymore, I don't know.

Does this make one an expert skier? Not IMHO. I've known quite a few level II and III's in my time that couldn't keep up with my friends or myself on the gnarly terrain. How can you be an expert if your skis never leave the ground? Was I an expert? No and as I get older, I get further and further from being one.

Again, my feelings are not directed towards PSIA as a stereotype that all PSIA III's can't go big, because there are some that can, but there are plenty that can't as well. I just don't think that can qualify you as an expert on it's own.
post #48 of 153
Margaret Thatcher (I believe it was her at least) once said "being a lady is like being powerfull -- if you have to tell somebody you are, you aren't".

A little paraphrasing of that pretty much fits my description of expert skiing -- you just know when you see it.
post #49 of 153

I'm sorry that we didn't make the gathering, it was our intent, but Weems, Bob Barnes and I wpen FRiday skiing with the Brighton Ski School. We wanted to ensure that they had a great impression of our event and that we left with much goodwill. We were actualy at the Bird on Saturday but due to the conditions (and wind) elected not to ski and try to beat the storm home.

Nice response KevinF.
post #50 of 153
Thread Starter 

Several posts on this thread have mentioned the idea "if you are an expert, you don't have to say it". It's demonstrated every time you put your skis on. By your actions, how you respond to others, how you respect the environment. Not necessarily by how fast, high, steep you go. It's a package thing!

I'm sorry I couldn't be at the gathering, as were BobB, Weems, and Tom Burch. But unfortunately, as working pro's, we all had committments.These were known long before we drove out to Utah. Mine were at home, while BB, WW,and TB each spent the day after the Academy, working with the instructors of our host area (Brighton), prior to having to be back at their respective jobs. I would have truly enjoyed meeting and skiing with everyone who did make the effort to get to SLC for the Gathering. I heard/ read about alot of fun people and good skiing.

Not being at the Gathering had nothing to do with pay-. As a matter of fact- neither did being AT the Academy! To the best of my knowledge- not a single coach at the Academy has received a single penny from the Academy in any form of payment. We volunteered our time, not expecting to be compensated. If any payment might be forthcoming, it likely will just cover our expenses. My respect has grown immensely for the other pro's who were willing to extend themselves for others, at their own expense! And I already held them in high esteem!

Before you start throwing the title "expert" around, and hanging it on others, you'd better do some checking. You might find that a couple you have named have already declined the title, on this thread. And I wouldn't be suprised that others might do so as well. So maybe your perspective of an "expert" might be a little skewed. But it's your perception, and perception is "reality" to the viewer. I think the Academy was a great reality check to most of it's attendees, and their growth curve has now become much steeper as a result. And I applaud them.


If you read several posts back (page 1), when Pierre and Disski tried to draw comparison between cert levels and the idea of being an "expert", I denounced that such a correlation could be made. A pin does NOT make an "expert"! Nor does using any "PSIA technique" make you an expert. PSIA is accused of using the cookie cutter approach to training skiers, but I can't recall two experts ever skiing alike! Oh- they can, if they so wish (eg- Chris Ryman and Jens Husted, Sybervision/ Black Diamond Skiing) for thats another dimension of an expert, to be able to copy another expert accurately. Certainly there will be many similarities, as most experts will use the most efficient techniques.

post #51 of 153
Seems to me we have a simple disagreement about where the line between advanced and expert is. Do we down-standard and make more people feel good about themselves or do we keep it high to give people a worthy goal?

Rustyedge, what's your preference? Should we give the blue runs a black diamond and double-black the former black diamond?

It's all the same thing to me: grade inflation.
post #52 of 153

I read that post and was essentially backing you up on it. There are tons of great skiers out there that have never and will never have anything to do with PSIA.

I guess when you think you are an expert, ask yourself:

"could I hang with these guys"?:
Tommy Moe
Johnny Mosley
Alberto Tomba
Glen Plake
Doug Coombs
Bode Miller

Just to name a few, if your answer is yes, then you may be an expert IMO.
post #53 of 153
Vail Snopro started this thread with reference to another - the stogie thread about those less skilled who are getting in the way of experts on black slopes.

The question is a vaild one - just what exactly defines an expert skier? However, in the context, there may be another valid approach:

If one is an expert skiing on a black run, one presumably is of sufficient skill to handle the unexpected - such as "unmarked obstacles". Those "unmarked obstacles" can be protruding but hidden rocks, roots, branches - or slower, less skilled skiers. Let's face it, you never know what to expect on those "expert" trails.

I would still consider Ott Gangl an expert because, I'll bet, he skis the terrain of his choice as well as it can be skied. The question is, are you of sufficient skill to handle whatever may come up on the run you choose to ski?

If Vail Snopro and others are suggesting that humility is an important aspect of skiing, be it expert skiing or otherwise, then I would concur. It's important that we celebrate our abilities while recognizing our limits, rather than blaming those less skilled for our difficulties when they "get in the way".

Are you on an "expert" run and faced with lower intermediates, scared out of their gourds, who are clogging the way? If you're an "expert skier", you can handle it - and you'd better, because "it's what they're serving."

Did I say that right, nolo?
post #54 of 153
"clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap ", well said.
post #55 of 153
Yes, you did. I suppose I would say an expert squeezes every last drop of ENJOYMENT out of "what they're serving" no matter what it is. I wanna be an expert to get a taste of that kind of JOY.

The opposite of which would be playing king of the mountain in the lodge (or forum).
post #56 of 153
There has been a subtle but disturbing entitlement attitude that has been creeping into threads, whenever anyone mentions the academy. Most of the pros here spend a considerable amount of time on this forum giving out advice with any compensation.

Why would anyone begrudge the fact that they needed to go home during the gathering, for either work or family. For that matter a few of the coaches, Tog and Pierre and Arcmeister did actually ski with us "mortals" before and after the academy, and did in fact offer advice.

There have also been requests to post on this forum the actual details of what we did in classes, and how it was done. Do you realize how long it would take to write that out?
I was not aware of any unwritten agreement that said the coaches had to hang out and give free advice to anyone who chose not to attend the academy, nor do I think anyone needs to post the details of what they taught on this forum, just to be "fair" to those who did not attend.

Everyone who teaches anything has been more than generous with their time on this forum, answering individual questions.

Could we all try to be a bit less greedy? [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ February 18, 2003, 03:15 PM: Message edited by: Lisamarie ]
post #57 of 153
Originally posted by Taylormatt:

I read that post and was essentially backing you up on it. There are tons of great skiers out there that have never and will never have anything to do with PSIA.

I guess when you think you are an expert, ask yourself:

"could I hang with these guys"?:
Tommy Moe
Johnny Mosley
Alberto Tomba
Glen Plake
Doug Coombs
Bode Miller

Just to name a few, if your answer is yes, then you may be an expert IMO.

I think your post sums it up perfectly. The way I define the term, there are only a few "experts" in this sport. They're individuals who combine power, balance, "feel", and sense of line into a package that you can recognize from half a mile away.

I've been lucky enough in my skiing years to share the hill with a few skiers who would qualify (by my definition, anyway) as true experts, and there's just a magic about the way these people use a pair of skis. When I see that kind of ability up close, I truly understand how high that "expert" bar really is.

rustyedge, you were very kind to include me in that group but I'm going to respectfully decline. I've never even considered calling myself an "expert" skier because I've seen firsthand how good that truly is and I'm not even in the ballpark.

My own rating system for better skiers kind of starts with "good". To me, a "good" skier can comfortably ski most everything on the hill in pretty much any kind of conditions. I know a lot of "good" skiers and consider myself one of them. My next rating up is VERY "good" and that means the person truly can ski everything in sight, at any speed (INCLUDING very slow), in every imaginable snow condition, and almost always in total balance. I know a few skiers in this category. I may even have briefly flirted with this ranking about fifteen years ago when I was younger, stronger, quicker, and skied every day. (An interesting aside here is that almost every one of the VERY good skiers I know can recite a list of skiers they consider much better than themselves.)

Lastly, there's true experts. There aren't very many of them and when you get a chance to watch one ski, you know it instantly.

For me, Nolo's comment about where you define the term is the key. Expert ought to mean the very best of the best.

post #58 of 153
In order to get to the bottom of this I agree that we need to define the term expert.

So I'll pose a couple of questions to that end.

Is it possible for one expert skier to be more proficient than another expert skier?

Does expert also mean flawless skiing?

I still think that there's really no such thing as an expert skier only expert skiing. If you're "in the groove" and everything is happening the way it should then maybe it's expert skiing. But nobody can be expert all the time. Therefore, they can't be expert skiers except in points of time and space with frequent interruptions.
post #59 of 153
Originally posted by oboe:
If one is an expert skiing on a black run, one presumably is of sufficient skill to handle the unexpected - such as "unmarked obstacles". Those "unmarked obstacles" can be protruding but hidden rocks, roots, branches - or slower, less skilled skiers.
I guess this rules me out from the expert category.
post #60 of 153
So let me see if I can get this right.
There is no definition of an expert and the only way to get there is to have the title bestowed upon you (you know an expert when you see one but what you see isn't an expert, only what I see is).

Its obvious there is no standards currently available that can be agreed upon as a starting point or guide line for developing a standard by which to measure expert status.

At the top of the list you can only be an expert if you win at the WC level. At the other end of the spectum is the ski area brochures. Some have suggested that expert goes way beyond skiing such as environmental. I can never be an expert cause I have peed in the woods, Tommy Moe probably has too, strip his title.

Are we going anywhere with this discussion or was the whole idea of this thread to cut the rug out from under a few Psuedo experts. No one has anything other than "I know it when I see it". I for one would not quit learning more and trying to get better should I meet anyones standard of an expert. The title for me carries no elitist value where I can relax and say I have made it, now its your turn.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion