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PSIA Level II skiing tasks?

post #1 of 17
Ability to demonstrate and teach effectively any skiing maneuver through open stance parallel, I believe. You should be studying the Level II Study Guide and obtain from the Rocky Mtn. Division its particular exam information packet. Each division determines how it will conduct exams (whether written is required and whether it must be passed before the on-snow event, for example) as well as typical question material for both written and on-snow oral quizzing.
post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 

PSIA Level II skiing tasks?

I'm hoping to attempt my Level II (in CO) this winter. What skiing things could one expect to be tested on?
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks, both of you! Actually, wedging and wedge christie is a challenge...we actually learned the proper wedge in our level 1 exam...we weren't pivoting on our feet at all. And then the moguls, ulp! everything else should be OK. er, is one-footed skiing involved?

I'm headed for Keystone. It was a hard decision, I was really drawn to Copper, the people were SO nice and friendly! But Keystone has staff accommodation - turning up in Colorado without accommodation is a tad adventurous for me.

sounds like I'll have to get stuck into the training early, both skiing and professional knowledge stuff. My level 1 examiners in Vermont said I was skiing and teaching at level 2 standard...but I think I need to do some work still.
Black moguls...hmmm! Definitely work needed. I can survive them, but it's the weak point of my skiing.

I'm really looking forward to working for an US ski school again. There's a whole different atmosphere there - supportive, positive and constructive. And Colorado! Wow.

post #4 of 17
Cool ant! You'll like Summit CO. Let's make some turns... I hang at Breck, but ski at Keystone often... and especially at A-Basin, just up the road.

Copper is a great mountain, but you made a good choice with Keystone. It's all good!

Visit me here >>>SnoKarver
post #5 of 17
Bob, thanks for the info. I, too, am considering becoming a ski instructor this winter.

I've never given a formal lesson, but plan to take the clinic at the beginning of the season.

I know the pay isn't great, but what can a first year ski instructor (Level I or Level II) expect to make generally?? Given that the instructor is full time?
post #6 of 17
Inester, there's no "general" pay scale in the ski industry. I know Level III instructors with 10 + years of experience making only a buck or two more per hour than burger flippers. And I know folks with no certifications who work in programs where they make considerably more. It depends upon the pay arrangement and your assignment. A school that pays you a base hourly rate plus a commission for each student you handle or the group handles in the day can be pretty good pay, at least during busy times. A school that pays a higher hourly rate may only pay for actual lesson hours and not for the time they ask you to stand around or run errands for the boss.
post #7 of 17

Vail, for instance has their pay scale on-line. It's a little hard to fathom, however, you can take a look.

I started last year at Eldora and obtained my level I cert. I worked full time. I think Eldora is in the mid-range for pay scales. I worked full time and was paid $10.00 per hour. I only know what Keystone and Loveland pay. Keystone is basically the same and Loveland pays a little less, although, I think Loveland will "guarantee" hours. Our full time level II's are paid $12.00 and level III $14.00.

Our business got a little slow in February and then was real strong in March and April. We were down to a minimal # of instructors for the last four weeks of the season and every customer wanted lessons.

Averaging the slow times and based upon a five day work week I would guess I would work
16 hours per week and be average$10.00 in tips per week. We were very slow in February, so that's as honest an estimate as I can give.

I'm a 46 year old retiree with a wife that still works. Why do it? A pass for my family, pro prices on goods, your skiing will improve if your resort has good clinicians, my kid could join in on any lesson and grab a snowboard out of the kids center when she didn't want to ski, great coworkers, and it beats bagging groceries.

Oh, half price burgers! Hope this helps. Beware the folks who inflate what they make. It's a great job with lousy pay.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the great info! I'm bringing a laptop to Colorado when I come over, and if anyone wants to ski with me, I'd be flattered and honoured! Thanks for all the encouraging words about Keystone, too. I go by gut feeling in most things, and it was a hard choice between Copper and Keystone.
I've got a Keystone trail map here at work, so I'm following Bob's recommendations and thinking ahead impatiently. Spent all weekend trying out the suggestions for teaching beginners. I noticed other first timer groups on teh hill had 2 skis on while we were just progessing to one ski, but, I had less failures...in fact, I didn't have any!!!! I had a group of 11 teenagers doing fast happy linked turns down the hill within the hour. That's 11 new people who are going to stick with skiing, I reckon.

Pay? Better in your US West and midwest, pretty woeful in the East. I started in Vermont on 7.85/hour. You only get paid if you are allocated a class. If it's quiet, you don't work ("oh but you can go skiing, isn't that great" "yeah but food and stuff is good too").
This year I'm headed to where there's plenty of work, lots of people coming for a holiday (so they are HAPPY) and hopefully they tip, too. No tips in Australia, I'm on $16.80/hour here, but the fulltimers report that things can be very slow in the shoulder season.

Yeah, it's a great job with lousy pay. I'm on a very comfy gov't salary here in Oz, but am planning ot give it all up and become a citizen of the world, commuting between Oz and the US, following the snow. Outside in blazing sunshine, sanblasting blizzards and miserable rain with sore feet...

I can't wait.

post #9 of 17
Ant, I hate to dig up a semi-dormant thread, but I passed Level II just this spring in the Rocky Mountain division, and maybe I can add something useful.

I'm thinking of summer preparation but man, you're still on the snow! I can't stand it.

Bob gave you the right stuff and obviously will be your best authority on this year's changes. The best thing you can do is take an early clinic, so make sure PSIA-RM has your membership and address...the curriculum guide will come out in early October. Before you go, read the bible. I mean, of course Bob's book! Cover-to-cover. It'll affect the way you think about your skiing today, and give you the terminology to communicate with your clinician (and later your examiner). That will cut down on the confusion and really help to gell the concepts for you so you can get right to work. All the clinic leaders and examiners I've worked with in RM are just outstanding. There is no better bargain in skiing than spending a couple of days with them on the slopes.

There is also a relatively new addition to the certification process which is a written exam...three hours, open book, to be taken on its own before the skiing and teaching exam days. There will be several scheduled exams around the CO area, and maybe one that your director at Keystone arranges. Take that as early as you can. If you go with the Alpine Manual and Bob's encylcopedia, you'll have no trouble. In fact, the best reason for instituting this exam is to get everybody to buy Bob's book! It's just that good.

On your teaching day, you'll watch video of a skier in the morning and write up a "movement analysis" to present to your examiner later on the slopes, most likely. It's never to early to start working on that. In my case, a buddy and I took my camcorder and interviewed and taped skiers on the mountain. We met with other instructors considering certification one evening a week for a while and critiqued each other's analysis (your ski school should have videos you can start with, too). At level 2, you'll likely be trying to move your skier into parallel turns from an advanced pre-parallel phase. Work on that, if most of the lessons you get to teach are beginners, and make sure you have suitable skiers to watch.

And that brings up another point...buddy up with fellow instructors as soon as you can, ski together during free time, work on each other's skiing. Not only will you be better prepared, but that's just what you'll be doing at exams. It's a team approach, to get everybody through. If you can help a guy you just met to pass, and he gives you pointers, you'll be ahead of the game. Examiners are looking for that, too.

And skiing! Work on your pivot slips when you have a little every free run. Keep your upper body quite and turn with your feet *only*. When you get to a run out at the bottom of a slope, practice your railroad tracks. Align yourself over the skis and try to leave two clean tracks everywhere (check them on the lift ride up!).

I hope this helps. Go for it, and good luck! I envy you being able to start already. And did I say you should read Bob Barnes' book? Make some turns for the rest of us,

Bill Ward<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by ww (edited August 23, 2001).]</FONT>
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
wow, thanks Bill. It's all grist to the mill. Yep, I'll be signing up for every training thing going, I really need more "tech talk" stuff, movement analysis, video, D and C, that kind of thing.
Those ski tasks you mentioned won't be a problem! But the black bumps are occupying my mind. Being a bit old and female, I can't rely on muscle any more.
I will DEFINITLY get Bob's book. Then I'll hunt him down and get him to autograph it!

post #11 of 17
Hey Ant
send bob an email bbrnz@cs.com. He would be happy to sign it before he sends it. He also gives discounts to the posters on epic ski..
post #12 of 17
Ant, one thing I've been doing to try to improve my low intermediate technique is to substitute balance and stability for muscle power.

If you have a strong, functional core, and your muscles are more or less in balance with each other, maybe the bumps will require slightly less muscular strength?
post #13 of 17
Ant, I sense a little bump-phobia. Not to worry (I guess I should say "no worries")! Firstly, femaleness should have nothing to do with it! In my book, lady bumpmaster=goddess! That may be sexist, but there is nothing like the grace a skilled woman can exhibit in a bump run. Second, anybody skiing a bump run that relied on muscles mostly would fail it by any examiner I know. Not many of us can take the "young knees" approach anymore. It's all about speed control. You don't have to ski the zipper line. What the examiners are after is enough tactics and precision in your turns that you can control your run without stopping, and without traversing. Learn to use a soft edge in the bumps....not skidding, but "slippy" carving (and not down in the troughs). Sometimes, you will even sideslip between turns to adjust to the line you want. Remember, the bump you want is always *downhill* of you. Do exercises where you start slow, even stopping on the top of each bump to begin with. Keep your hands in front, and stay in control.

Also, your bump test will be "easy black" or higher level blue. Enough slope to get good lines, but you won't be asked to navigate around the Volkwswagon sized ones. Finally, remember that your bump score is only part of sum. If you get a "5" in bumps and a "7" in ungrommed to offset it, you'll still pass if your other scores are sixes. So work on everything, but by all means go to the bumps regularly and get comfortable. Think of bringing up your scores on things where you can improve most in the next months.

In other words, go for it! I hope that's enough encouragement.

post #14 of 17
Hey, hey, what's going on here?

I just pulled the book out from underneath my patio table (Tip: This is a really good use. I was using it to balance the table) and with new math, I was able to figure that I never got a discount.

In fact, I think I paid more! What's up with that?

I think this is discrimination.

post #15 of 17
Bob, thank you for that warm welcome. As far as your book, I'm the one who should be thanking you! I can't tell you how useful it was to me last year. It really helped transform my season. And the funny thing is, it wasn't what I was looking for at all. Who would have thought of an instructional manual masquerading as an encyclopedia? As I suggested in this thread, I would not have come across it yet were it not for the written exam and a group buy by our ski school for those going for certification. When you read most ski books, you get a nice, linear package that attempts to guide you through an improvement program. But when I think about it, that's not how most skiers learn, at least beyond their first weeks of skiing. But improving your skiing is a much more continuous (even random?) process.

What the Encylcopedia provided for me was the background and framework to analyze my observations of my own or my colleauges' or students' skiing. Even more importantly, it gave me clear terminonology to decipher what people tell me about my skiing (or their skiing) and to let me express myself more clearly to other skiers, especially ski professionals. That's something you can take with you every day you ski.

My first PSIA (TP 1) clincis were a blast, but they were confusing! There was so much variation between what I thought I was observing, what my home area trainer was telling me to fix, what my clinician's point of view was, and what other students were trying to say that it seemed hours of precious snow time were spent to resolve certain points. For example, I (and others)thought I had taken enough physics courses to know what "rotation" meant, but PSIA meant something different, more specific, by it. That was fine by me, but I really couldn't get a definition out of the clinic leader that I could understand at the time. Not his fault! But that's where we really needed a standard reference so that we could move on to describe skiing motions in a common vocabulary.

My Teacher Prep 2 clincs last spring were in complete contrast. After reading and pondering key sections of your book, everything said on the snow and on the lift those two days made sense. It was self-consistent and logical, and when I had questions, they were immediately understood just as I had intended them. I made great progress (oh how I wanted a 3rd day on the snow) and brought home lots to work on.

I confess that the night before my exam, I stayed up way too late *reading your book!* I find it useful just to skim through and re-read major sections (entries of a page or more) to tune up my brain, even though my skiing probably suffered from lack of sleep. It was almost like I was cramming for a college final. But I'll tell you, following our movement analysis, my teaching presentation to the examiner must have lasted all of 3 minutes. And the scores I got made me blush.

So yeah, Bob, I like your book! You've done a great service to the whole alpine community, but especially to instructors like me working our way up the ladder. And now we have this opportunity to chat with you (and other great educators...many of whom have read the book!) on forums like this, on the topics most dear to our hearts, and continue the process. What could be better?

I'm looking forward to many a posting to come.

post #16 of 17
Oh Barnes, you're so funny. How could I ever stay mad at you
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hopefully this book is sold where I'm going????
Gonna have to transfer my PSIA membership from E to rocky mtn division, too. I wonder how much bureacracy and money that'll require?!

Bumps...yeah I have been taught the various methods. Zipperline is for when i'm too lazy to do the other methods. Ridges and Bridges is definitely best for old knees, but I'm still having trouble putting technique together with reading the hill far enough ahead to keep it going.

i also am further over on my edges than many females, and that's a disadvantage in bumps, you need a flatter ski to dust off some speed (however the railing and carving stuff won't be a problem!).
I guess I'll be guided by the local trainers at K, they'll let me know if I'm ready or not.

You'd die at the different standards here in Oz. Just the hiring clinic was bad enough (yes, most of us had PSIA 1 or Canadian II)!
One footed skiing, short turns without poles, you name it.
To get your Oz level 3, you have to be tested in 2 disciplines, alpine and tele, or alpine and adaptive.

even to get Oz level 1, form is so important. At training, they were rearranging where differnt bits of our bodies where while doing the snowplough. It was so finicky.

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