Originally Posted by BigE
So that would make a level 1 instructor an advanced skier, level 2 expert, level 3 .......??? and what about racers?
You run out of headroom if the criteria for intermediate is just to maintain control on a blue trail. I take the Green/Blue/Black rating system to say something about the mountain. It is completly independent of the ranking of skiers.
Yep, trail ratings in the US are relative to the mountain. And it's well known that some mountains are much more difficult than others for the same color rating. But how much of the lesser mountain blue skeirs can't ski the larger mountain blues, especially after a day or two of exposure? Sure, I've seen moguls on green trails at Sun Valley too. The skill ranking by trail rating method is not perfect, but it is simple and close enough for most purposes. I originally was going to write 10-20 degree pitch instead of blue trails. That's more accurate but less easy to use.
Personally, I would not want to imply a one to one relationship between PSIA certification level and skier ability level. Would I call most level 1 certs advanced skiers? Yes. Would I say that all level 1 certs are? No. Could a level 1 be an expert? Sure. Are there different kinds and levels of experts? Sure. Do we need labels to make the distinctions? Well, we already have a few (e.g. extreme skier, film star, guide, park rat, powder hound, pro mogul skier, coach, contest winner, etc.). Does the fact that I have no climbing skills make me any less of a back country skier? Sure. Do we need a label for that? At some point, creating more labels becomes tedious.
It is only natural that we want to do this. If you look at pro sports we have labels like rookies, veterans, role and utility players, all stars and hall of famers. For many, the overall category of "pro" works just fine. For the true fan, not knowing the difference would be a rookie mistake.