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L3 report from Stowe

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
so here is a quick little summary of the L3 at stowe the past couple days.


wedge turns(blue to steep IMO)
wedge christy turns(blue/black too steep IMO)
open parallel(blue/black)

the rest are all 'dynamic"

short radius turns groomed(black)
short radius turns off trail(double black)
bumps in the fallline(double black)
medium radius turns in the bumps(double black)
freerun(upper national double black awesomeness)
Railroad track turns (green/blue/black)
Leapers groomed(black)
Leapers bumps/crud (double black)
lane changes (blue)
White Pass turns (blue)

so first this exam was so fun. the terrain here at stowe is flat out awesome and its an awesome place to take you L3 if you like to ski, and not do stupid human tricks. the bumps are round sometime they are soft but sometime there is hard pack in between but unlike the bumps near me in Pa they are nice and round. the pitch is enough to make lesser skier not be able to ski. lastly there is enough natural terrain to really show who can actualy ski and not just do wimpy turns on groomers all day.

The first morning.

we started off with bumps in the fallline on national. I skied this very well, I would continue to ski off trail very well the entire time. We then went right in to leapers in bumps on liftline. Again I felt great here. We skied 100 percent off trail with the first examiner except for the the lower end task. the low end stuff I felt ok with. the railroad tracks turns were done on a trail with so much snowmaking I dont know how he could of possiable saw us.

I failed the first guy. here is what the comments were

try to be less aggresive with retarction. Now a quick release followed by a quick push to an edge. good touch in soft snow. Now use the same touch on hard snow. Also explore more long leg short leg as you do in the carving on groomers.

my response, I ski with retraction and alot of flexion. Its stronger and more dynamic more nearly anywhere on the mountain. It lets me skis more efficiently where I like to ski (off trail) and how I like to ski groomers (dynamic SL and GS turns). IMO extentsion turns SUCK. they are horriable skiing in alot of cases and really put you off balance. So whatever I passed I am not going to ever change that in my skiing.

the first day in the afternoon

this was IMO my best skiing of the whole exam.

We did all of the above tasks with out white pass turns or lanes changes.

I felt very balance the whole afternoon and layed down some really smooth bump runs. We also skied groomers more and the guy is a racer and looks at thing differently(better) than the average PSIA guy. He told us to 'frolick" frolick I did. unlike the first guy I didnt purposely tone down my skiing I toned it up to near my limit. this was about the most fun you could have at an exam . My only complaint, who the hell does wedge turns or wedge christies on blue level stowe terrain? yeah really we can teach we dont end up on steep stuff with wedge turners.

here is what he said.this was a pass.

you showed consitant skiing in all high end task. very comfortable and good adaptability. However low end demos were abysmal mostly due to too much speed - think tactically when skiing at a lower level.

yep tactically wouldnt be skiing wedge turns and christies on on steep blue level terrain. other than that of course I agree with him.

2nd day 1st morning.

I skied like crap this morning, what saved me I think were some great white pass turns and railroad track turns. I felt like crap in the off trail stuff and really didnt do any of the low end stuff good. I pretty much gave up thinking that I passed the first too I was wrong.

ended up being I passed, the old adage you should be able to pass on your worst day held true.

too much flexing at the waist. try flexing the ankles instead. Poles should swing freely. all terrain. (good) wedge, christy's need work. Poles need to pass each other in flight to aid readiness for next turn.

so I skied like crap, still passed. best thing is I can focus on how I want to ski now and not how they want me to ski. which is very awesome.

so let go back, overall I skied worse here at stowe than at snowbird. I passed here where I skied worst, but didnt pass at snowbird where I skied better. So yes Eastern Division is easier to pass at simply the terrain is not as steep as intermountain mountain.

sorry east coasters Id stop waving I ski the east there for I ski better flag, you might ski better but it has nothing to do with where you ski but how you ski.

ok no more bitterness though!

I passed it took me 7 years of skiing and now I have to study up on the teaching. so yeah!!
post #2 of 22
Good job. Congrats.
post #3 of 22
good for you on the pass!
post #4 of 22

I also passed when I skied "worse" and failed when I skied "better". Both on the East coast. Now that you're ready to learn how to ski, you might discover the mountain has nothing to do with it. Now go pass the teaching and get the job done!

post #5 of 22
Half way home Josh. Now finish your work and bring that pin home where it belongs. On your coat.
post #6 of 22
Nice work, Josh.

BTW, I agree with what you said. My story in the "how to pass level 1" thread, that was in Vermont too.
post #7 of 22
Not only has your skiing gotten much better with all that practice in the last year, your ability to judge your own skiing has improved too.

post #8 of 22
Josh, I was in your group! Early in Day 1, you told me about the low pass rate at Snowbird, and I thought that story sounded familiar. Now I know why, I had been reading about it here.

Adding to Josh's thoughts:
  • Defined tasks on the morning of Day 1 didn't include Lane Changes or White Pass. These were added by our examiner in Day 2 AM, I'm not sure if they were scored, I think they were.
  • 11 candidates (low?), of which 5 passed. 3 candidates didn't show, all were pre-assigned to the second group. We went out with the our group of 7 and the other with only 4. My first thought was that the other group would get more "ski time", but in hindsight I wonder if we had more candidate interaction (e.g. "watch the upper body", "remember no poles!", etc.). 1 of 4 passed in the second group.
  • We did ski upper National, but evaluation started below the headwall. Big difference, IMO. The "medium radius turns in bumps" task was indeed on a double-black trail, but on an easier section with smaller bumps.
  • If possible, schedule 2'-3' of snow the week before the exam....it helps.
I also passed, my first attempt. This exam _was_ fun, and Josh is a great guy to ski with. He appeared to be having the most fun out there. After the exam, he shared the "abysmal" comment on his low-end demos and we had a laugh -- but it seemed harsh, they may have been lacking a bit but I thought they were better than average for our group. Also, Josh, just remembering this now -- on Day 2 you skied past the examiner DURING your wedge christie demo, saying something like "I can't help edging!", we were below you saying "Good Lord, don't give him reasons to fail you!". See, that's Josh, analyzing and talking skiing all the time... even during an exam task.
post #9 of 22
nice job Josh - good luck on the teaching part!
post #10 of 22
Originally Posted by ct55 View Post
nice job Josh - good luck on the teaching part!
+100 Glad to hear things are going better for you this year. How's the kids ski school manager gig going?
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
+100 Glad to hear things are going better for you this year. How's the kids ski school manager gig going?
just an FYI that entire smuggs deal didnt happen, but I may be returning to stowe sooner than later.
post #12 of 22
Ron Who???????
post #13 of 22
I wonder about the tasks as you describe them. I suppose being able to ski White Pass turns demonstrates your athleticism and versatility but I imagine you could use that argument to justify most anything regardless of how relevant it is. I also wonder about wedge turns on terrain that would not be appropriate for someone you would normally be teaching. I sometimes do them on such terrain as a drill for refreshing my skills early in the season so, like most everything you can do on skis, it does conceivably have some usefulness but I would be interested to hear the examiner's explanation. Did you ask them after the exam about those things which you evidently had some reservations about.
post #14 of 22
I dunno, wedge turns on Stowe's "bunny hill" are a bit of a challenge too! Although everything's changed there now so maybe it's become a bit gentler.

I sometimes suspect that PSIA examiners and clinic leaders have not recently taught a group lesson of fat assorted never-evers, and have forgotten that a blue-ish trail is NOT appropriate terrain for early wedge turns.
post #15 of 22
Wedge turns on terrain that is obviously too steep tells me they want to see if you can maintain a small wedge and use turn shape to control your speed rather than revert to more of a braking wedge at times. Of course it's difficult and it highlights lots of flaws in your skiing.
post #16 of 22
Congratulation on passing.

post #17 of 22
Originally Posted by ant View Post
I sometimes suspect that PSIA examiners ....
Examiners will make up tasks that are inappropriate for "real" lessons. The excuse I got from one examiner was "Yeah, but if you have any flaws, they will show up here." They don't want to see what you've practiced. They want to see what you do naturally.

I was once asked to power wedge down a steep headwall (doing sweep for an Olympic qualifier downhill race). This other guy and I were so good, coach let us run the full course in a wedge after he pulled the rest of the sweep team out at the halfway point. I was so happy (cough) I was crying after the 6th run. It could have been worse. The other demo tasks were bending a ski into a pretzel or running through 3 sets of fencing to smack the only tree on the entire course. You never know when those wacky exam tasks will come in handy.
post #18 of 22
CONGRATS! Got my L3 same place, same time last yr. Studying and teaching lots for this year at White Face. Will you be there?
post #19 of 22
Contrats BW. Once the teaching is passed you can start to move beyond level 3
post #20 of 22
Congrats. Keep us posted on where you land.
post #21 of 22
Congratulations on passing...

post #22 of 22
Way to go Josh!
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