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Copper's skier levels 1-6

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Just read another post where Copper changed their skier level from PSIA 1-10 to a shorter 1-6. I love it and would highly recommend this simplified method for our customers. 1-10 is very confusing...

1-never
2-green
3-blue/green
4-blue
5-blue/black
6-black.


Teaching in the centerline form---lets teach where the students are comfortable skiing (age/ability/agressiveness whatever) A good instructor will of course lower the terrain for the drills.

Generally when I get upper level lessons 3-7, I am teaching to 3 or 4 different corrections eventhough they all classified themselves as level (x).

I feel we (PSIA) are the only ones reading the fine print in the classification system, our guests are picking cool numbers and applying them to a system like Copper.

SWEAR to GOD---I now have had two students over the past 2 years who have classified themselves as 8 & 10 respectively...."that is what I am on my video game" Both level 4-5 skiers; males of course.
post #2 of 11
Really funny. But I have to say measuring one's skill according to the terrain he or she skis/can ski isn't always realistic.
It is not improtant that you ski black diamonds it's more important whether you can tackle such a terrain at a good pace and with style.
Otherwise anyone who has sometimes in his life sidestepped down Tower 3 Chute should be classified as expert (level 9).
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by I:)Skiing View Post
Just read another post where Copper changed their skier level from PSIA 1-10 to a shorter 1-6. I love it and would highly recommend this simplified method for our customers. 1-10 is very confusing...

1-never
2-green
3-blue/green
4-blue
5-blue/black
6-black.


Teaching in the centerline form---lets teach where the students are comfortable skiing (age/ability/agressiveness whatever) A good instructor will of course lower the terrain for the drills.

Generally when I get upper level lessons 3-7, I am teaching to 3 or 4 different corrections eventhough they all classified themselves as level (x).

I feel we (PSIA) are the only ones reading the fine print in the classification system, our guests are picking cool numbers and applying them to a system like Copper.

SWEAR to GOD---I now have had two students over the past 2 years who have classified themselves as 8 & 10 respectively...."that is what I am on my video game" Both level 4-5 skiers; males of course.
You realize, of course, that except for raw beginners all of these levels are validated through discussion and a ski off. The terrain designation by the guest is only a starting point that is complemented by the instructors discussion with the guests at line-up before the groups leave for the mountain. For example, asking where they ski blues-Baby Bottom Acres or Alta-there is a big difference. Also discussed are the guests goals for the day, desired terrain and conditions. Then their information is validated by the ski off. They have used this system for a number of years and it is highly effective.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
1--I believe people exagerate raw numbers, expecially when confusing jargon is used...AKA 1-10 in PSIA.

2--I give people more credit when it comes to "what do you ski comfortably" They know if they are in a deep wedge on black.

3- I also believe people above the age of 12 understand to change their colors in congruence with the resort they are at..... Unless this lesson day is the first time they have skied this area.


Again, I give my thumbs up on this system and would wish PSIA consider it.
post #5 of 11
I agree 9 is too many divisions. Your new set sounds good, but did you really have to number them? That's just asking for confusion. Give them letters, or just use the shorthand description without the numbers.

Compare, for example, the Crested Butte "workshop" levels. There are only four of them (though no never-ever level). And they are not labelled with numbers.

(And even with only 4 levels, which sign you stand by is only a jump-start to the conversation when the coordinator comes over and chats with you.)
post #6 of 11
My take is that the PSIA 9 levels actually describe where the skier is on the progress chart. i.e. it describes how they ski, not just where they ski.

The Copper designations simply state trail ratings, and my experience is that nearly everyone claims to ski black runs. And of those that actually do ski the black runs a sizable percentage are hacking their way down and would be better off retreating to easier terrain to work on better technique rather than skiing out of their comfort zone and reinforcing bad habits through repetition.

So my hunch is that it'll cause a lot of students to be placed in the wrong group. That said, I don't run a ski school and if it works for them, fine. The only point of the execrise is to sort students into groups of similar ability for the group lessons - if it does that acceptably well then there's no need for the additional levels.
post #7 of 11

I like the 6 level system

Hi,
I'm not an instructor but take alot of lessons. Mainly at Whistler Blackcomb. They use the 6 level system and I think it makes it easier for people to find appropriate group. In talking with one of the instructors he said it does vary alot day to day in how the groups shake out. He said that the people that classify themselves level 6 skier on the weekday is on the average is a lower level skier than what you see on a weekends in the same classification. I witnessed this. I'm a mid to high level 5 skier and asked if it was OK to be in a level 6 group. He said OK. I found myself as one of the higher level people in the class.

Basically at Whistler they break each broad group into low, mid, high. They ask the guests what they're interested in skiing/improving. After the ski off people are moved around to the appropriate group. This usually works pretty well. Sometimes you get someone that's way over their head that slows down the group for the day. Fortunately this doesn's happen often.

Not sure what this adds but this is my experience with the 6 level system.
post #8 of 11
The PSIA 9-level system addresses both how & where they ski.

"Lumping" is often preferred to "splitting," but when the overwhelming majority of ski school students are intermediate by any classification or below, some further categorization is helpful for grouping students.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post
The Copper designations simply state trail ratings, and my experience is that nearly everyone claims to ski black runs. And of those that actually do ski the black runs a sizable percentage are hacking their way down and would be better off retreating to easier terrain to work on better technique rather than skiing out of their comfort zone and reinforcing bad habits through repetition.

So my hunch is that it'll cause a lot of students to be placed in the wrong group. That said, I don't run a ski school and if it works for them, fine. The only point of the execrise is to sort students into groups of similar ability for the group lessons - if it does that acceptably well then there's no need for the additional levels.
Actually your hunch is factually incorrect. The vast majority of students are pretty honest about their skills, the terrain they ski comfortably as well as their goals. If you go back and read my prior post you will see it is only a starting point. The final class placement resides with the instructors and supervisors.
post #10 of 11
As a disclaimer, I'm not an instructor by any means, I just take a lot of lessons. I've always thought it would be helpful if students indicated their technique level as well as their terrain comfort zone when signing up for lessons. It seems as though there will always be the people with level 3 skills making it down blacks as well as some level 6 skiers only comfortable on greens/easy blues (I'm assuming there are others, but maybe it is just me ) and that giving a skill indicator and a terrain indicator would give the instructor more insight on what kind of student they're getting, and how to approach them best.
post #11 of 11
Just because technically you had your skis on a diamond, double diamond or double-ex doesn't mean you actually skied it. If you can't bomb down it under complete control, you can't ski it IMHO. Everybody out there knows out of all the people you'll see on a double diamond, maybe a third actually belong there. Tons of people just wedge or scrape their way down it, taking all the fresh snow with them (grrrrr) just so they can tell their friends they skied a DD.

I'd say that if there was to be a legitimate skill scale, it would first have to be decided by an instructor who observes the skier in a). bumps b). steeps c). pow d). trees e). air f). high speed carving, with the instructor citing their aptitude in each area as a number or even letter grade. The average of all inputs would be your score/level. This way, if someone claimed to be a level 9 skier, he would have an instructor's signature saying so, and would also have a bigger picture of where they need to improve to get to a level 10, and what they do incorrectly. Because it would obviously be a huge undertaking and cost money (instructors+time=$$$) to get all that info and probably take many sessions to get good conditions for say, the pow test, we leave it up to noobs to decide for themselves, which is like a girl asking any guy how good they are in the sack- they're all going to exaggerate for the most part. With the people on this forum that may be less of an issue, but go to K-ton and ask the guy with the girl-moviestar sunglasses and the gelled-up and frosted hair from Jersey what level skier he is and he'll probably say an 8 or 9 when you just watched him wedge down the bunny slope.
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