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Reading list for Level II

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I am trying to compile a reading list for level II. My favorite books to-date are "How Racers Ski", and ATS Manual, Child Centered Skiing. Of course there is the Alpine Guide and Technical Manual (PSIA) but I am looking for "eye-openers" kind of books or articles, or even advice. One of the reasons I joined this forum is for the various approaches to skiing improvement, so I am hoping anyone can help me out. Last year my coach suggested I do research on the White Pass turn. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 25
Here are a couple of threads where books are discussed.

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=52849

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=26010

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=58812

There are references to some great books in these threads. I highly recommend that you get Bob Barnes "Encyclopedia of Skiing". It's available at the PSIA-RM website on a CD-ROM for $10.

http://www.psia-rm.org/products.php?sorttype=alpine
post #3 of 25
Look it up over on the PSIA site. While there are several other good reads, if you are targeting a test why not read the source material.
post #4 of 25
Most of the PSIA study guides have a suggested reading list. With respect to questions on the written exam, it's been my experience that the number of written exam questions from non-PSIA material aren't worth the effort to go through the entire suggested reading list. But that's not the point of the reading list. The point of the list is to encourage you to broaden your horizons and deepen your knowledge of teaching and skiing. Therefore, it doesn't really matter what you read. What does matter is that you develop the habit, make some discoveries and incorporate those into your own skiing and teaching skills.

The White Pass turn can be very effective at improving your skiing, but that's not what it was invented for and the current exam task is different than the original White Pass turn. How's your research coming?
post #5 of 25
don't know about Western Division (which looks like OP is in), but in RM, when I took the level II written (3 yrs ago) a large number of questions came from Bob Barnes' The Encylopedia of Skiing.
post #6 of 25
When I took the L3 written there were questions from the old Alpine Exam Guide,the Technical Manuel and also Core Concepts Manuel.This was 3 years ago Eastern Division.

T
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcarey View Post
When I took the L3 written there were questions from the old Alpine Exam Guide,the Technical Manuel and also Core Concepts Manuel.This was 3 years ago Eastern Division.

T
PSIA-E had a data base of questions, and I was told that all the questions came from those 3 sources at that time. That's probably still true, but I can find out for sure sometime before January.
My strategy was to read all the glossaries from all the recent manuals, and I should have had the Pocket Guide to Effective and Ineffective Movements in my pocket. Examiners want people to use the common vocabulary from those sources for the whole teaching exam, not just the written. If you make up your own definitions, use terms from other sources that are not defined in the PSIA material, or describe things in obscure technical terms, you are asking for trouble in an exam.
The written part is the easiest part by far. If you want to read something that goes beyond just preparing for the exam, read Witherill and Joubert for skiing, and Kolb for teaching/learning theory. Read Horst Abraham as well.

BK
post #8 of 25
Level two is pretty simple if you keep it as uncomplicated as possible. I would suggest finding a study group and a mentor.
Why? It allows you to ask questions and it provides you practice in an interactive learning environment.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by White_shine View Post
I am trying to compile a reading list for level II. My favorite books to-date are "How Racers Ski", and ATS Manual, Child Centered Skiing. Of course there is the Alpine Guide and Technical Manual (PSIA) but I am looking for "eye-openers" kind of books or articles, or even advice. One of the reasons I joined this forum is for the various approaches to skiing improvement, so I am hoping anyone can help me out. Last year my coach suggested I do research on the White Pass turn. Thanks in advance.
White_shine, you sound like the kind of person who could benefit from some subscription forums that are not visible from here; Instructor to Instructor, and Instructor Resources. These were set up as "study areas" and mentoring as described by justanotherskipro, for instructors pursuing Level II and III exams. Contact BillA by PM if you have an interest, and request entry.
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of your in-put. I took it all down. I appreciate also, the 2cents on the white pass turn, those are my sentiments as well. In addition, I am going to access some subscription forums, as suggested, and Bob Barnes book. (is this the same Bob Barnes who was the Director at Crystal Mt_washington?)

I was also reading some of the technical analysis thread. This would be a good area for me to advance on my tech talk. Not only that, I want to post a picture of my skiing and get some feedback. Thanks everyone.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by White_shine View Post
I was also reading some of the technical analysis thread. This would be a good area for me to advance on my tech talk.
The discussions here tend to use different definitions (often within the same thread) and go into an excessive, counterproductive level of detail. In an exam, you want to avoid all jargon, use PSIA definitions, and above all, keep it simple. None of that happens here. That's why I discourage the candidates I train from getting involved here to prepare for exams. There's just more detail (much of it wrong) than can be used by an actual instructor with an actual student. If you bring more to an exam than you can actually apply on the mountain, you are asking for trouble. Examiners see right through that.
This may not be true of the subscription forums (I don't subscribe any more), but the same concerns apply there as well.

BK
post #12 of 25
BK raises a good point. That's certainly a potential downside. But those of us who are experienced sometimes forget how screwed up we were when we were learning. Participation in Epic technical discussions, especially because they are often screwed up, can be valuable practice for developing the skill to talk clean tech in the future. Many pros have slow progress in this area because they don't get a lot of opportunity to practice. Epic can be a valuable tool when there is a good fit between expectations and capabilities. Tech talk practice here is less effective than getting it in person at home, but more effective than nothing.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
BK raises a good point. That's certainly a potential downside. But those of us who are experienced sometimes forget how screwed up we were when we were learning. Participation in Epic technical discussions, especially because they are often screwed up, can be valuable practice for developing the skill to talk clean tech in the future. Many pros have slow progress in this area because they don't get a lot of opportunity to practice. Epic can be a valuable tool when there is a good fit between expectations and capabilities. Tech talk practice here is less effective than getting it in person at home, but more effective than nothing.
The key thing there is that you need to be aware of when things are screwed up. If not, you can easily go off the rails here, if your goal is to take a PSIA exam. Regardless of the quality of the discussion, for me, typing is incompatible with skiing, and confusing the 2 will only lead you to believe that your own BS is worth listening to. For less experienced people, it's safer to stay away than to participate here. That's something that has changed here. In the past, when more Examiners posted, there was a better discussion, and it was more applicable to PSIA certification.
Take the time you would have spent here and read Joubert, Witherill and Horst Abraham. You'll learn a lot more.

BK
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by White_shine View Post
...(is this the same Bob Barnes who was the Director at Crystal Mt_washington?) ...

You mean there's three of them? This one is the one who is Training Manager at Keystone. There's another Bob Barnes in Colorado, he's the Ski School Director at Winter Park.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
You mean there's three of them? This one is the one who is Training Manager at Keystone. There's another Bob Barnes in Colorado, he's the Ski School Director at Winter Park.
Nope....Barney used to be the SSD at Crystal before coming to Winter Park about seven years ago. Best darn SSD I've ever worked for. He sponsors "Beers with Bob Continuing Education Seminars" and is an incredibly nice person.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by daysailer1 View Post
Nope....Barney used to be the SSD at Crystal before coming to Winter Park about seven years ago. Best darn SSD I've ever worked for. He sponsors "Beers with Bob Continuing Education Seminars" and is an incredibly nice person.
did not know that. And beers with bob (or beers with Cindy, for that matter) is pretty good. He is a nice person; ask Lauren (if you know her, another Boulderite) about Bob's driving.
post #17 of 25
I know Lauren. She helped me out when my radiator decided it couldn't handle the -35 F weather in Fraser this past winter. Are you suggesting that Bob's driving is not quite on par with his bump skiing?:

I apologize for the thread hijack.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post
Take the time you would have spent here and read Joubert, Witherill and Horst Abraham. You'll learn a lot more.
Here's where I disagree, kind of. I see a lot of cert candidates who are very good at translating the technical information they read into simple language in their lessons. But when it comes time to communicate the technical information betwen pros they can't do it well because they have not practiced enough. Epic gives these people a place to practice when they can't get the opportunity at home. Further, one key method for increasing understanding of a topic is repeating the information in your own words. You may learn a lot more from reading, but you can increase your understanding of skiing and improve your communication skills from participating on Epic. It should not be an either/or proposal.

Another advantage of Epic is that provides additional "real world" problem solving situations at a higher level than many cert candidates have enough access to on the job. Most cert candidates spend the bulk of their teaching time with lower level classes and get precious little real world experience with higher level classes. Many cert candidates have access to less training than they would like. Most resorts have little or no training occurring during the off season or at night. Epic is 24/7 x 365. For most pros, Epic is not nearly as good as in person training from an examiner. But this is not an either/or proposal. Although I value my time spent with examiners and Dteamers highest and I am enjoying the growth of my personal ski library, my experience with Epic is that attempting to help other skiers online has also been helpful for my personal growth.

When I was preparing for my level 3 exam, my techical director asked me a question while riding up the lift. There was something about the way that he asked the question that raised a mental block in my head that prevented me from answering. I felt really stupid and frustrated that I could not adequately express my knowledge in that situation. If this was an exam situation, I would have failed. It was a simple question asking what my lesson plan would be for a student with a certain problem. I've seen fellow exam candidates fail in similar situations in exams either because they could not get the right words out of their mouth when they knew the answer or because they only used the words that they knew and answered the wrong question. Answering questions is a critical exam skill that you can not develop from reading books.
post #19 of 25
I will add to the above is that the cost of using the "free" wealth of information posted on Epic to help a pro on their path to certification is the time and skill required to "weed" through all of the posts to find the worthwhile gems that are helpful for certification. For some, this might be a problem (thus we get BK's recommendation). For me, it has not been (thus we get my recommendation).
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
I think I am in the group that can take tech talk to the public but when it comess to talking technically to other instructors I strumble for the right words.


(fyi, my husband and I used to teach at Crystal Mt., I think I skied with Bob on a run with a couple of other ex-directors,...or I tried to)
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
I will add to the above is that the cost of using the "free" wealth of information posted on Epic to help a pro on their path to certification is the time and skill required to "weed" through all of the posts to find the worthwhile gems that are helpful for certification. For some, this might be a problem (thus we get BK's recommendation). For me, it has not been (thus we get my recommendation).

Yeah . . . I don't have enough money to fill my house with a library of ski books and reference materials. But I do have enough time to pour through every post in the technique and analysis forum.

It's not too hard to pick out the flaws in people's skiing and then find someone who agrees and can put it nicely into words.

I suppose that person to person interactions are the same as online. I've heard some outrageous things from instructors (at my own hill, in PSIA clinics, and in Exams), just as I hear outrageous things on here. You just have to pick out the gems from the piles of idiocy.
post #22 of 25
I don't know if I would have passed my Level II last year if it weren't for the wealth of information that I obtained on Epic's Barking Bear Forum! After hanging around here for a while, you learn pretty quickly whose advice that you will take and who's you won't want to take!

I sometimes get irritated by the nit picking that goes on on this site but that's nothing compared to what happens on the hill with an examiner!
post #23 of 25
I took the level II written exam and all the questions were from the Alpine Tech manual and the Core Concepts manual . Every one . PNW region is where I tested.
post #24 of 25
As above, my level II written was Alpine Tech and Core Concepts - Intermountain region.

Not hard if your reading and comprehension skills are up to par.
post #25 of 25
I should note, for anyone that's taking the written in Rocky Mountain div, it is (at least when I took it) an open book exam - or open laptop if one has the encylopedia pdf on their laptop. Some of the examiners that are members here could verify if this is still the truth.
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