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Instruction by the #s

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I've taken a few lessons in my time. Skier ability in most schools is usually rated from 1 - 9. I've been to an ESA camp and one other high profile camp.My ability puts me in the middle of the pack in these camps. When I take an "adult group lesson" the first thing they do is divide up the class by skill level and I'm usually put with those in the 8/9 groups. How can this be? If I'm an 8/9, what are the folks who are in the ESA class that are skiing the steeps and flying around like fighter jets while I'm motoring quietly down some typical black slopes, but not the truly most difficult stuff? Why would I be listed as an 8/9 skier in a group lesson and nowhere close to the top at an ESA camp? I know I'm not an 8/9. Why does the ski school keep labeling as one?
post #2 of 5
 In my ski school the 9s are the best group that shows up that day.  The numbering system is used to split the lessons and doesn't mean much more than that most of the time.  There is an "official" 1-9 description that I have seen, but again it's just a number.  Even by the definition of 9 that reads something like...  A level 9 skier can maintain an accurate and controlled balance and turn shape on a black diamond slope in all snow conditions"  Blah Blah...  doesn't truely cut it, because some guys are off the scale good.  I hope this helps.
post #3 of 5
Yeah, I'm with TPJ on this one.  I wouldn't pay too much attention to the numbers.  Just be glad if you get in a group with people of a similar skill level who want to ski on the same terrain as you.  If you go by the old description of the # system, there just aren't many level 8/9 skiers out there.  PSIA revised this a few years back into 3 zones;  Novice zone, Intermediate zone & Advanced zone.  In the old days it was A-F.  All of these ratings are merely a reference.  A good class grouping involves a lot more insight than just going by a number or letter classification.
post #4 of 5
Pretty much what they said.  There's also the issue that almost everyone overrates themselves to some extent.  If "9" is really supposed to be the very best skiers only, then almost nobody should be rated that high.  (ie, if you have to think about where you should be rated, or care about 'rating' at all, you're probably not in that category.)

For general ski lessons, splitting up beginner/intermediate/advanced works pretty well.  But at a ski camp or high-level clinic, almost everyone is "advanced".
post #5 of 5
The ratings you are designated might be related to your skill level in relation to PSIA milestones or capabilities to use the facility.

Here's what we do with these numbers ;

 1 is a never ever  or may have touched a ski or  looked at one once,.  3 will have the capability to go up the beginner lift. 5 can go up all the lifts. 6 Is basic parallel leading to 8 being dynamic parallel.
None of this relates to common understandings of skill levels but is used to split groups or define them to assign instructors.
This is how we manage splits for students and then sort it out to a finer grouping after you see them move. There is often  movement to get people in the correct groups or a split of similar groupings that are too large to keep together.
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