The issue of self ranking is one which has got my goat for as long as I have been skiing (only 2 years, so not a HUGE problem yet
) I have NEVER been in a lesson where I have not been the best student (barring once when drunk), and that is not a comment on how I ski. More it is a comment on how people rank themselves.
I had a lesson at Mt Hutt this season, and I took a level 5 (which is the second from top there). The description of that level is "You make strong turns on all steep blue runs with confidence, speed control and use a pole plant.
Goal: Make dynamic and carving turns. Long and short dynamic turns with pole plant, in easy bumps, groomed black runs."
I've skied a bit over the last 2 seasons (30+ days?) and I felt that, as I had skiied two level 4 lessons over the last fortnight and been considerable underwhelmed by both, this was the place I should be.
So, it is me, my instructor and 2 others in the group. We chat on the way up, and the woman is talking to the instructor about how she skis. On the way up, she points down a pretty standard blue and says "I came down that today, I didn't fall, and I was pretty happy". I knew where this lesson was going, and I supressed a groan.
it was NOTHING compared to the other guy in the group. Somehow on the way up I ascertained that this was his 3rd day on skis. He seemed so amazingly confident it crossed my mind to think that I must be an incredibly slow learner. Not so. As we neared the top of the chair, he confided that he hated this bit. He snowploughed off ungainly, and I thought desperately about regaining my lost money...
The initial goal was to go down a green to get to a t-bar which would take us to some serious terrain. However, this was not possible. The woman made her way down in a series of unconfident Christies, and the guy... well.. the guy crashed a number of times. Most memorably into a "slow down" sign.
I skied down backwards, for god's sake. The guy was quickly placed into a level 2, but the woman, who was a 3b at best, stayed with me. The hardest stuff we went into on what was a massive powder day was a semi-steep blue bowl, which I waited 10 minutes at the bottom of.
This is the worst experience, but there have been others like it - WHY are people so stupid?