or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What is an "EXPERT" skier? - Page 3

post #61 of 153
Maybe what resorts need to do is change their signs?
I mean, Catherine's Area at Alta is entered through a gate marked with the usual "this gate only accesses Expert Terrain" (forgive me if that's not the exact quote, but I'm sure it contains the word "EXPERT"). There are many other places where that sign exists.
I am not, nor would my ego even consider claiming to be, an expert, yet I will go into those areas, and ski them to the best of my ability. Sometimes I find parts of it tough, but mostly I can enjoy it.

So, that leads me to three possible conclusions:
1. I am not an expert, so I should not have been there, and by being there, ruined it for others who are experts.
2. I am an expert, because I was able to ski it, OK, I wiped out once, but I skied the run without resorting to wedges or much sideslipping.
3. The resort sign was incorrect. It was not an expert only area.

I believe the correct conclusion was 3. Some may argue it was 1, but I'll just ignore them!

So, we have two versions of Expert - Expert Terrain and Expert Skiers.
Skiing expert terrain does not make you an expert skier. Just because someone straightlines the steepest, hucks the furthest, etc, does not make them an expert skier. It may mean they only ski terrain marked as expert, but at least that keeps them off the rest of the mountian for those of us with realistic and intact egos. Expert has to do with completeness. I think I used the word "sussed" in one of my earlier posts. If you are at one with the mountain, if you have a complete box of tricks, if you have skiing sussed, then you are an expert.

S
post #62 of 153
Pierre,

respectfully, where could this discussion have gone but where it has always gone in the past?

"expert" seems inherently subjective.
as in Art with true Masters. (there is Picasso, for example, then the thousands-long line of technically proficient imitators.) similarly, it is one thing to be able to "cover" a great song, if you're a musician. it is something else entirely to have conjured the music in the first place.

the layperson with no musical sensibility or understanding of perspective observes the work of the comic book illustrator or the garage band that sounds just like the real thing and appreciates that technical proficiency that he can't himself duplicate. so there is THAT appreciation of "expertdom." there is also the understanding that there is a level ABOVE that, where "mere" technical proficiency gives way to something else, some "next" step, where the skier's personality, or self (sorry, getting kinda hocus-pocusy here), emerges in one's skiing, to the point where technique is so deeply-ingrained that it is forgotten, and what comes through is something seamless.
post #63 of 153
OK, James, you got me. I think I should have mentioned that you had to look for the unmarked protruding rocks but could see them if you looked. My words were not intended to include land mines, booby traps, and obstacles totally invisible to the eye - hitting one of those babies is just luck of the draw and has nothing to do with skill.
post #64 of 153
Quote:
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 am sorry if I thought this thread was an invitation to open debate so we might give some folks here a little something to shoot for with an acceptable definition of expert skier. The suggestion of PSIA level III skiing ability was meant as a starting point for debate since the PSIA standard is most familiar to the skiers on this forum.

ryan:
Quote:
respectfully, where could this discussion have gone but where it has always gone in the past?
Right where it has gone, it was meant to try to humble a few on this forum.
post #65 of 153
Quote:
Originally posted by PinHed:

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.
PinHed, from my perspective you've got it right. Asking someone to define what an expert is and where they fit into the hierarchy is not, IMHO, a positive or effective orientation. On the other hand, to experience even glimpses of expert skiing is something that I certanly strive for. Additionally, these glimpses can provide a wonderful basis for communion and fellowship with other skiers, even the world's best, and are an important component of skiing brother/sisterhood. Trying to put a measure on what makes an expert skier and determining where you fall short is certainly a popular approach (as I interpret from the posts in this thread) but for myself I'm going to keep on trying to find those moments and build on them.

In fact I think your comments point out a critical difference between traditional ski instruction and the popular all-mountain programs which serve as an alternative for many skiers. Now this may be a gross generalization but I think it is still worth thinking about. "Traditional" ski instruction focuses on what is correct or incorrect technique (better or worse, efficient or ineffecient - if you like), points out where you are using one or the other other, and give you drills and exercises to practice the right moves. "All Mountain" coaching tends to be more experiencial in nature, giving you opportunites to get a glimpse or two of expert skiing and gives you guidance (some technique), support (especially psychological) and encouragement (motivation) to reproduce that more often on a more consistent basis.

While both approaches have merit, I don't think there are many programs that mix them anywhere near optimally. From what I've read, Eric Deslaurier's All Mountain Ski Pros seems to be trying to do this but I don't have any first hand experience to know how well they do at this.
post #66 of 153
Since there does not appear to be real debate here I will give what my true definition of an expert is.

A expert is someone who is skilled enough at their respective fields and has the ability and the willingness to inspire others to betterment in that field. The title is bestowed upon the recipient by the very people whom the expert inspires. The expert graciously accepts the title for to do otherwise, is to belittle the very person bestowing the title.
In accepting the title, the true expert accepts the fiduciary responsibility of upholding an image and a standard that others want to emulate. Experts inspire others through the very acts of demonstrating ability, confidence and consideration, then passing that knowledge onto others of their own free will.

I have been bestowed the title of expert skier many times and I accept the fiduciary responsibility that goes with that title. I would certainly bestow that title to others on this forum and hope that they would not blow me off and say “Gee that’s nice but I’m no expert”. What’s that make me , a total intermediate?
post #67 of 153
If you say you are an expert , you are either bragging or downsizing , as nobody who is an expert says so .
When somebody ask me about how I ski I always say " bastante bien"( pretty good in spanish) that's enough.

If you need a definition , I vote for the one submitted by FOX
post #68 of 153
Quote:
Originally posted by Pierre:

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.

quote from ryan:
Respectfully, where could this discussion have gone but where it has always gone in the past?

Pierre's reply: Right where it has gone, it was meant to try to humble a few on this forum.
I would like to exclude myself from this motivation (which is what I was referring to in my first post as silly). While I may not be there yet I really desire to be a skier whose focus is on encouraging myself and others to recognize and expand on their expert moments. I don't find it to be an especially positive attribute to try and put down the impression others have of themselves even if it may be somewhat inflated (although I admit that I am still guilty of this at times).
post #69 of 153
My comments regarding pros compensation and attendance at the Gathering was out of line and I apologize.

I will not take back the names of those who I have deemed to be “EXPERTS”! Those people and their skiing ability have earned it in my book. Those of you who don’t think you are “EXPERTS”, let this serve as your “reality check“. Are they the best in the world? No. Were they the best on the mountain that day? No. But, they were definitely in the top ten percent of the skiing population and that is an “EXPERT” in any field. A skier who can ski the fall line of a 500 foot vertical 40 plus degree run with sound technique and confidence in most conditions is an “EXPERT”. Some do it better than others. That is not dumbing down the definition, that is simply the fact. Hell, by the standards y’all are setting, only World Cup medal winners and movie stars would fit the bill. Bob Peters, you are an “EXPERT”. You have obtained the skill, knowledge, and consideration that fits the title and if there was one “EXPERT“ skier at the Gathering I wished to emulate, it is you. If you’re not an “EXPERT” than what is the point of trying to become one. It’s inaccessible. In my opinion, Bob’s high level of “EXPERTISE” is obtainable for those who have the desire to do so and everyone I saw has progressed to the point where that is achievable. Skiing like Shane McConkey or Bode Miller is not achievable for 99.9% of the population. I have absolutely no desire to ski at the elite level they do or ski the insane lines they are capable of. Those guys are beyond “EXPERT”; they are the top level “pros”. I guess I feel that the word “EXPERT” is not as elitist as many here feel that it is. I feel that there are different levels of the term. There are those “EXPERTS” who are at the absolute pinnacle and those “EXPERTS“ who fall a few steps below them.

Some of the most respected ski schools in this country offer level 9 lessons and clearly state, “for EXPERTS only”. By the definition and standards many here are setting, they would see very few if any students. Why, because according to your definition of “EXPERT”, those are the skiers who do not need instruction because they are already there. Furthermore, who would show up because surely a true “EXPERT” would never have the audacity to assume that he/she is one by signing up for a level that clearly states, “for EXPERTS only”. Imagine Bode or Shane going to Alf Engen Ski School and signing up for a level 9. Crazy? Yep, but according to these standards, they are the only skiers with the “EXPERT” label.

I guess I’ll throw in a golf analogy. Single digit handicap golfers are experts in their game. A level they have worked hard to achieve through practice and passion. A level 90 percent of the games participants will never reach. They know the mechanics of the golf swing, a love of the game’s history, and know their golf courses like the back of their hand. Are they Tiger Woods? No, and they never will be. That does not take anything away from them or make them any less of the experts they are in their game. They will continually strive to better themselves and their game to shave that extra stroke off of their handicap. Qualities I saw in every one of the “EXPERT” skiers I had the pleasure of making some runs with. So, I guess I will continue to call many skiers “EXPERTS”. If nothing else, it may just make their day. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #70 of 153
Ok, then! Will join the commitee to have Bob Peters become an instructor? [img]smile.gif[/img]
I can vouch for the fact that Bob Peters is not only a phenomenal skier, but he has such a complete understanding of the sport that he can explain any skill in both the simplest, as well as the most comprehensible manner.

In about 5 minutes, me to do something I've been trying to get for a long time: a short radius turn on a narrow trail with zero visability!

I think the ability to do, coupled with the ability to explain, is a sign of expertise.
Now stop blushing, Bob!
post #71 of 153
Quote:
Originally posted by Pierre:
Since there does not appear to be real debate here I will give what my true definition of an expert is.

A expert is someone who is skilled enough at their respective fields and has the ability and the willingness to inspire others to betterment in that field. The title is bestowed upon the recipient by the very people whom the expert inspires. The expert graciously accepts the title for to do otherwise, is to belittle the very person bestowing the title.
In accepting the title, the true expert accepts the fiduciary responsibility of upholding an image and a standard that others want to emulate. Experts inspire others through the very acts of demonstrating ability, confidence and consideration, then passing that knowledge onto others of their own free will.

I have been bestowed the title of expert skier many times and I accept the fiduciary responsibility that goes with that title. I would certainly bestow that title to others on this forum and hope that they would not blow me off and say “Gee that’s nice but I’m no expert”. What’s that make me , a total intermediate?
Exactly what I was trying to articulate sir. Only you have said it better and more directly to the point.

You are an "EXPERT". The chair lifts we rode together were filled with inspiration and encouragement for me to get into some really tough terrain and ski it well. I enjoyed watching you make turns in some of those difficult conditions and I tried to take something from it. Thank you.
post #72 of 153
I'm working on it. (the expert part)

By the way, I like the comment my last instructor made regarding PSIA Certification. It should be an affirmation of what you are doing as an instructor. In other words, although we as instructors strive, study for, and stress out over getting that pin, We need to take the process as a journey and just one more stop on our quest for better skiing and better instruction. When we receive that pin (whatever color), it just affirms what we are already doing (hopefully) and drives us to continue to improve and share our passion for skiing with the customer/guest.
post #73 of 153
Ott - I was thinking the same thinks when I posted about Frank...

Frank doesn't jump off cliffs(that I've seen or heard of recently anyway) & he certainly does NOT ski like the 20something year old instructors in ski school....

He is still one of the people I would REALLY like to ski like...

So people does he NEED to ski like a 20 year old to be an expert?
post #74 of 153
Let me say this:

Any, ANY, level 9+ who skis 100+ days a year who does not think or feel that he/she is an expert is the one who needs a reality check. These must be the people who received no praise or encouragement when they were being raised and need their egos to be stoked by someone in a position of instruction and authority telling them what a “great skier” they are.

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! Bob Peters, Altaskier, Fred, Mary, Pinhead, Spring Hill Crazy, Marcus, Miles, Harpo, Si, TOG, Pierre, Lodro, AC, 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!

I fall somewhere between a solid level 8 and a low 9. Unfortunately, now, in my best years I get to ski a dozen times a year. Up until I was 19, I skied nearly every day or night that I could while taking lessons along the way. To me, it’s like riding a bike but I still take lessons when I’m out West. Not to hear what great turns I make but to receive tips and improve my skiing on all terrain and in all conditions. To build confidence on steep terrain and become a better more competent “expert” skier. There, I said it. I’m an “EXPERT” skier and I’m damn proud of it. I may not be the best and I know the areas I need to improve but I’m not going to let a bunch of “PROS” take that away from the time, effort, passion, and money I have put into my skiing to get to the ability level I’m at. Nor should anyone else.

Vail Snopro, you were the first person I met when I arrived at the Extended Stay. Tom Burch, I think you were there too along with Weems. Where were you guys during the Gathering? I would have loved to have made a few runs with you. To watch and learn from you. Did you guys not show up because you were not “getting paid”?

I’m beginning to think that this post was a set-up by a bunch of egotistical “PROS” to see who they could bait. If you guys are not “experts”, than who is and what the Hell is the point of the term? Give me a break, this kind of crap makes me want to go hang out with the punk Maggots.

Sorry for the rant but I just got finished playing ice hockey and I’m too fired up to sleep!
post #75 of 153
This thread is funny.

Ski for yourself, don't worry about labels. Its more fun this way. Find a way to challenge yourself, so you can grow with your sport. Everybody's got something to learn.
post #76 of 153
We just got back from skiing today and I made it a point to get to the bottom of this "expert" thing...so I watched a lot of skiers, some I've known for some time, others I have never talked to and got at least one charilift ride with each (not hard to do when you catch a lift after a run of about a minute) and asked them about their expertise.

It was enlightening, to say the least.The poeple I picked were the ones that did their turns with full competency and assuredness, expert level turns.

And then it hit me. Each of these super skiers skied every run making exactly the same turns with the same timing and the same line, THEIR line on a particular slope.

And their reasoning is that these turns are their best and most comfortable and why change? This one short swings everything, that one GS turns everything, this woman makes the most beautiful rounded medium turns and looks oh so solid, that speed demon only know how to make RR tracks and I have NEVER seen him ski any other way, he said he loves the Gs.

And then there was the one I admired most. He skied bouncy turns, took a little air over some moguls, skated across a pretty steep section of the hill to holler something to someone on that chair, bombed up the side of the trail through the weeds sticking out did a 180 on top and wiggled back down. He took advantage of every little variation in the terrain to do some playfull thing and through all that he was so solid a tank could not have knocked him over.

When I got on the chair with him I found out that he was 16 years old, couldn't remember when he started skiing but does a lot since he is home schooled, but when asked, couldn't tell me how he did any of the things he did, he just did them. He also had no knowledge of technique or ski technology per se and wasn't interested to learn about it, skiing was second nature to him and all he cared about was having fun. He also never has taken a lesson and never worked on his skiing skills.

He was no daubt an expert skier but was he an expert in skiing?

My conclusion is that almost all good skiers do certain things expertly.

....Ott
post #77 of 153
Wow guys, what a monumental waste of potentially useful energy this thread has been. Nice job snopro. There is no difinitive answer to a question that carries such a high degree of subjective opinion. OH wouldn't it be nice if we who think so highly of our skiing prowess could define the term expert in a way that would include us, yet still allow us to snub our nose at those lesser souls who longed to do be included in our oh so exclusive little club.

If you really need to point out to others the flaws in their analysis of their own skills then it is a reflection of your own insecurity.

And to those who have been intimidated by some of these egocentrics into retreating from classifing yourself as an expert I say don't allow it. Don't allow them to reserve the classification for the nurturing of their fragile egos. You've worked to hard at this sport to accept that. If you can ski most slopes with a high level of comfort and competence, if you can carve clean turns and change the radius when you desire, in my eyes you are an expert. Look around on the slope next time you go skiing, how many do you see that can do this. Not many that I see. Just how exclusive do we need to make this little club till some of you finally feel good about yourselves?

Do you have to ski flawless to be an expert. Hell no, that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Skiers that execute consistenly flawless turns are skiers that are not pushing their own boundaries. The best ski racers in the world make countless mistakes most every race run. And do you have to ski as well as Bode, Herman, and Alberto to be considered an expert. Of coarse not, these guys go way beyond expert status, these are one in a hundred million athletic phenoms. Gosh, at that level even the best of the needy here can't qualify. Oh the pain!!

Continue on with this pathetic thread if you must, but it bores the hell out of me.
post #78 of 153
Seems to have fired you up this much, tho
post #79 of 153
Amusing thread. There is certainly many facets to a discussion of being an expert skier. Pierre's general description of expert is most appropriate but here we are talking about something a bit more narrow in scope with the sport of skiing.

The ski industry and ski media for years have unfortunately been labeling various things with the word EXPERT. Of course the thing we see most often so labeled are trails. Yes " EXPERTS ONLY " with skull and crossbones means beware. Thus has been the unfortunate connection resulting in thoughts as "I must be an expert skier because I ski those EXPERTS ONLY areas!". How would you like your bindings adjusted sir? And of course the choices on the wall are novice/intermediate/advance/expert. Ditto when one goes to buy gear, etc. So aside from vail snopro's question is this terminology mess which results in many skiers equating the EXPERT category with the more appropriate general use of the term Pierre posted. Certainly for many of us on the board, when novice and intermediate skiers see we advanced skiers skiing as we do, they often categorize us in conversation as "experts", ...well yes I'm an advanced skier.

Personally whether it be skiing or other areas of life, I would tend to use the term sparingly and not too generally. For instance instead of bestowing expert skier (everything about skiing) one might more realistically call someone an expert instructor (someone with lots of ski instruction experience and communication skills), an expert big mountain skier (veteran competition freeskiing pro) , an expert powder skier (veteran helicopter guide), an expert ski racer etc.

I have to admit to being an expert. Yes at the resort I've skied most during the last two decades, I have explored most all the considerable forest at my resort and can proclaim myself to be an
"Expert knower of woods powder lines at XXX ski resort". dave
post #80 of 153
Time for my two cents worth....again

I don't believe that certification at any level immediately makes you an expert skier. I believe that it makes you, as judged by your peers, technically competent to demonstrate the accepted norms of proper skiing technique as adopted by the governing body in your country.

The notion of expert would appear to be subjective at best and impossible to define at worst because it is an opinion of the individual. If enough people hold the same belief and convey it to a certain person often enough then it is possible that he or she is indeed an expert. Difficult to prove though. And with humility most people will shy away from these accolades.

The argument is somewhat akin to being able to play a musical instrument, some of us are ok, some of us are good, some of us are excellent "mechanics", some of us should paint, but how many are truly experts? and for goodness sake don't consider the majority of pop music.

There is an oft quoted expression in the consulting field to define expert.

Expert = Man who has written a book on the 500 ways to make love to a woman and yet has no girlfriend

post away, this is truly an interesting thread because it is all opinion and therefore we get an insight to how some of us think
post #81 of 153
EXPERT
ex = has been
spert = drip under pressure
An expert must be a has been drip under pressure
post #82 of 153
Quote:
Originally posted by AltaSkier:
Ski for yourself, don't worry about labels. Its more fun this way. Find a way to challenge yourself, so you can grow with your sport. Everybody's got something to learn.
[img]smile.gif[/img]
This isn't just what an expert is, this is a great definition of a good skier. Take a look at the words:

For yourself - not for others
No Labels
Fun
Challenge
Grow
Learn

S
post #83 of 153
Well, I am glad you are generously allowing me the chance to define myself. WOO HOO! After being defined by others from an opinion I posted, you would think that being an expert skier has absolutely nothing to do with actually skiing!

If you really want to know, how I define myself, check out my last post on the "Novice" thread.

I'm not sure how I would define "Expert". But I am generally suspicious of anyone who claims they are an expert at anything. That's not to say that there aren't any. But I suspect that those who are don't give a flying **** about labels. And probably don't care if others think of themselves as "experts".

I am an architect, and I have found that those architects who are really talented and creative don't really spend a lot of time worrying about their status. They just do it and create.

If pressed, I would say that an "Expert" skier skis beyond technique, is not mechanical but creative. Will find different ways of skiing all terrain with their own style and grace.
post #84 of 153
An expert at skiing is one who is called to testify in a court case in July to give an opinion as to why Sonny Bono hit that tree and whose opinion is respected as an expert opinion and carries weight.

....Ott
post #85 of 153
I think what stogie said about creativity is right on the money. There is a big difference between someone can go down the expert terrain, and someone who makes it look easy though their creativity. Last year in the spring for example I was going down southern cross, a Double Black on the frontside of breckenridge, when someone about my age (18) skied past. He was flowing down the pitch which had at most three lines without a shrub or tree poking though. I watched him as I carefully made my way down the slope on one of these last covered lines, and had to think I wish I could do that.

The reason why I say there are many more experts than some on this thread would say is because I see these types of skiers every time I go out, and it inspires me. Whether its a sixty year old man or a ten year old kid makes no difference, its the ability to instead of fight with the skis to play with them with style and grace that inspires me and in my mind someone makes an expert.
post #86 of 153
Quote:
Originally posted by Ott Gangl:
An expert at skiing is one who is called to testify in a court case in July to give an opinion as to why Sonny Bono hit that tree and whose opinion is respected as an expert opinion and carries weight.

....Ott
I hope that guy knows how to ski in the trees and doesn't make a point that resorts below timberline should be banned or moved up the mountain ...
post #87 of 153
Alex, an expert testifying in a court case is scrutanized and taken apart by the opposing attorney and if there is anything in the expert's past or his/her credentials that has a flaw, you can be sure it will be brought out.

If he withstands the challenge OK we can be sure he is an expert.

jfc, you are right, we can only base our judgement, if you want to call it that, of a skiers expertese in SKIING by observing the run. If a skier in my opinion, and as instructors we were trained to observe, skis a run flawlessly, as good as it can be skied, then at least for that run he is an expert skier.

But I think the question addresses something deeper, most here from what I read want an expert not just to make one expert run, but to be consistent in all conditons and terrain, to have at least a working knowledge about skiing, past and present, and preferably be able to pass on that expertese to others.

.....Ott
post #88 of 153
Ott, I understand. It was a bad attempt at a joke. [img]redface.gif[/img]
post #89 of 153
I know who ISN'T an expert: the person who describes themselves as an expert skiier.

I think of an expert as someone who is totally at home on any skis, on any terrain, on any snow. They are ready for anything, in control (even when out of control), able to retrieve most situations or avoid injury on those rare occasions that they cannot. I only know two experts, one's a swiss showoff and the other is a utah-based ski mountaineer (who used to be a national US race coach). I know lots of very advanced skiiers, but none of them are in the league of the 2 experts.
post #90 of 153
ant, I find this strange that in your skiing life you have found only two expert skiers. There is a point where an intermediate skier becomes an advanced skier and a point where an advanced skier becomes an expert skier. The difference is that there is a skill level at intermediate and advanced skiing that bumps up to the next definition, but the 'expert' label has no upper limit, thus there is a much wider skill difference among experts than there is from one who has just moved from intermediate to advanced and the one who is ready to move to the expert level.

>>>I think of an expert as someone who is totally at home on any skis, on any terrain, on any snow. They are ready for anything, in control (even when out of control), able to retrieve most situations or avoid injury on those rare occasions that they cannot<<<

I don't think that your definition quoted above is that hard to obtain, I have known, and know many skiers who are just that, at home on skis and don't think any more about their skis and skiing than you and I do about our shoes and walking, you put your shoes on to go for a walk,they put their skis on to go skiing.

BTW, heart surgeons, gymnasts or chimney sweeps have no qualms to let you know what their expertise is why should skiers?

...Ott
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion