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"Intermediate", "advanced", "expert" - any definitions anywhere?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

I note these terms used a lot here, but I'm not sure if there's any general agreement on what they mean. Is there? For example, an expert skier is someone who can...xxx.

post #2 of 26

 xxx ski any terrain in any condition comfortably.

 

An advanced skier can handle most in-bounds terrain and conditions such as  Bumps, Steeps, Crud, Hardpack, Pow, trees, etc., but may be challenged by the most difficult of those.

 

An intermediate can ski comfortably on most groomed terrain.

post #3 of 26

You won't find any agreed upon definition, as far as I'm concerned, though you will find some general opinions and guidelines like those above. There was another thread about this recently as it pertained to "expert" and contained no real agreement, but a bunch of different opinions and definitions.

 

I don't really follow the "ski anywhere, anytime, no matter what the terrain or conditions: transition seamlessly from a 60-degree sheet of ice to a four-foot pow drift and back again without ever stumbling at all" mentality. There are a lot of pros that can't necessarily ski comfortably on every type of terrain a mountain or resort throws at them, but they're still experts in their respective niche.

 

I think it's more useful to consider how you stack up at a relevant resort/mountain as opposed to whether you should be labeled a generic term like "expert" or "intermediate."

post #4 of 26

There is no general agreement internationally. Any thread that attempts to classify them introduces totally arbitrary measurements; in the end, we may as well be talking about the number of angels that fit on a pin head. 

 

I do think a lot of people like to self-rank against that 1-9 level scale. Those numbers have been mapped by various people to different divisions of beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert. However, self-assessments are usually flawed. Also, I think that these discussions neglect to include a category for people who have been skiing for quite some time, but aren't skiing at an intermediate level (ie novices). Basically, once you've skied for a couple of weeks, you're no longer "beginning" - you've already begun; you're just not very competent yet.  But a lot of people would say this is semantics. 

 

So no, you won't get agreement. I personally like the CSIA's new model of discovery, adventure, and performance, with each level broken down to three distinct classes (bronze, silver and gold). Each level describes specific proficiencies required to meet the next step. This model also redistributes the weightings for each skill level a bit more effectively, I think. (ie the spread at the upper levels is spread out wider; some of the lower levels have been amalgamated) YMMV.

post #5 of 26

Someone quantified it along these lines..some, most and all

 

Intermediate: Can ski some of trails some of the time in some of the conditions

 

Advanced: Can ski most of the trails, most of the time in most of the conditions

 

Expert: Can ski all of the trails, all of the time in all of the conditions. 

 

Please correct my paraphrasing. 

post #6 of 26

Where this has come into play for me is when renting/demo'ing skis, and they need to figure out a DIN setting. I found myself calling myself an "Expert" skier long before I would have realistically considered myself one. Why? It was because I was pushing myself harder, challenging myself with harder/steeper terrain (in classes of course), and the lower din settings were quite troublesome with varying terrain. I needed a higher din so that I could run moguls, small drop-off's, hit up powder stashes, etc. without my skis popping off unexpectedly. I'm sure my injury risk factor went way up by doing that, BUT at the same time, there have been many instances where thank God my skis stayed on and I could keep going.

 

Anyhow, I'm not suggesting people go the route I did, but I'm just saying that's where a classification has mattered much at all. That, and perhaps trying to figure out what lessons to be placed in.

post #7 of 26

For many Epic posters an expert is someone who skis as well as they do, or better.

post #8 of 26

 

Doug Coombs is an expert skier.  Everyone else is just advanced. 

 

RIP Doug beercheer.gif

 

post #9 of 26

Quote:

Originally Posted by AustinFromSA View Post

the lower din settings were quite troublesome with varying terrain. I needed a higher din so that I could run moguls, small drop-off's, hit up powder stashes, etc. without my skis popping off unexpectedly. I'm sure my injury risk factor went way up by doing that, BUT at the same time, there have been many instances where thank God my skis stayed on and I could keep going.


 

Just curious - did you find yourself being unintentionally ejected from your bindings before making these changes? 

post #10 of 26

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by J2R View Post

I note these terms used a lot here, but I'm not sure if there's any general agreement on what they mean. Is there? For example, an expert skier is someone who can...xxx.

 

No, there is no general agreement.  But if you search, you'll see that people here love to argue about it.

post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Someone quantified it along these lines..some, most and all

 

Intermediate: Can ski some of trails some of the time in some of the conditions

 

Advanced: Can ski most of the trails, most of the time in most of the conditions

 

Expert: Can ski all of the trails, all of the time in all of the conditions. 

 

Please correct my paraphrasing. 

 

Dec 23, 2010

 

Above definitions are, "of the skier, by the skier, for the skier, shall not be embellished in any form" ......smile.gif

 

Think snow,

 

CP


Edited by CharlieP - 12/23/10 at 8:24pm
post #12 of 26

For most of us who start skiing while in school you are a beginner for a day or two but quickly move to Intermediate for another day or two - may be a week because you're skiing blue slopes. At that point you try a few black runs, you don't fall to much and you tell your friends you are an Expert. You remain an Expert while your skiing continues to improve. You will remain an Expert until you acquire enough knowledge to understand that you are really only a good Intermediate. At that point you really start working on your skiing and can probably become a Low level Expert. For some this journey takes a few years and others never quite "get it".

post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

Quote:

Originally Posted by AustinFromSA View Post

the lower din settings were quite troublesome with varying terrain. I needed a higher din so that I could run moguls, small drop-off's, hit up powder stashes, etc. without my skis popping off unexpectedly. I'm sure my injury risk factor went way up by doing that, BUT at the same time, there have been many instances where thank God my skis stayed on and I could keep going.


 

Just curious - did you find yourself being unintentionally ejected from your bindings before making these changes? 


On occasion. Happened a couple of times when going over sudden bumps that I could have totally handled, had the settings been higher. Maybe it was completely wrong binding settings along with crappy rentals, but it was enough to scare me into wanting better gear, higher din settings. That's when I started exaggerating my skill level a bit when the rental shops would ask what level I was. Haven't had a yard sale since. That was many eons ago, when I was but a young gaper.

post #14 of 26

I like Steve Turner's explanation. Rings true. 

post #15 of 26

+1 for Steve Turner.  It sure describes a bunch of guys I know.

post #16 of 26



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Someone quantified it along these lines..some, most and all

 

Intermediate: Can ski some of trails some of the time in some of the conditions

 

Advanced: Can ski most of the trails, most of the time in most of the conditions

 

Expert: Can ski all of the trails, all of the time in all of the conditions. 

 

Please correct my paraphrasing. 



 

 I'll endorse that as pretty close to my definitiions.

 

Beginner has got lots places on the mountain he or she just cant (or at least shouldn't) go

 

Intermediate can ski pretty much everything on the mountain that's groomed,.

 

Advanced can ski pretty much everything on the mountain if conditions are just right, even a black diamond or sometimes (if everything is perfect) double black. Brags the next 30 years about the time they conquered Widowmaker, moguls and all. Would do it again if they still had 25 year old knees.

 

Expert is anybody who skis better than me.

post #17 of 26


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goblue View Post



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Someone quantified it along these lines..some, most and all

 

Intermediate: Can ski some of trails some of the time in some of the conditions

 

Advanced: Can ski most of the trails, most of the time in most of the conditions

 

Expert: Can ski all of the trails, all of the time in all of the conditions. 

 

Please correct my paraphrasing. 



 

 I'll endorse that as pretty close to my definitiions.

 

Beginner has got lots places on the mountain he or she just cant (or at least shouldn't) go

 

Intermediate can ski pretty much everything on the mountain that's groomed,.

 

Advanced can ski pretty much everything on the mountain if conditions are just right, even a black diamond or sometimes (if everything is perfect) double black. Brags the next 30 years about the time they conquered Widowmaker, moguls and all. Would do it again if they still had 25 year old knees.

 

Expert is anybody who skis better than me.


I don't know that is the best definition of Advanced. I can ski black and double black trails in most conditions--far worse than perfect conditions--but I would hardly consider myself an expert skier.

post #18 of 26

If you can ski anything you are an expert.

If you can ski anything but (          ), you are advanced.

If you can ski anything but (          ) and (          ), you are intermediate.

If you can only ski (         ) and (         ), you are a beginner.

 

Some will get it...

 

 

 

post #19 of 26

 

Quote:
 xxx ski any terrain in any condition comfortably 

 I'm not sure that this rings true.  There's a video on youtube someone posted a while back of an olympic racer (I believe it was Svindal) skiing down an untouched, super-steep chute at the top of a mountain.  Even though he is an olympic racer (expert right....), he struggled down the mountain and was clearly uncomfortable (I think he might have been skiing on race skis of all things lol).  My point is, there really isn't a skier who can ski everything, anytime, any conditions, etc.  He is a racer, so he would blow us all away on a groomed, preferably icy slope.  But once he got out of his particular arena of skiing, he struggled and wasn't comfortable.  So does this mean he's not an expert?  I think not.  IMO everybody has their arena of skiing, whether it be pow, groomers, trees, bumps, etc.  I think we should either start labeling skiers within their arenas (i.e. So-and-so is an expert in bumps and trees, but may only be advanced on icy groomers), or not be so tough with our assessments.  The truly good skiers can ski pretty much everything, anywhere, anytime, but those still have their exceptions and are few and far between.  I like to think of ability level in terms of how a person skis, instead of when and where.  I tend to look at whether a person is skiing with good form and using good technique, as if they're doing that, they can handle quite a bit of terrain.  Another example is say a guy is an expert on bumps, trees, powder, and groomers, but has no experience with the terrain park, or vice versa to any of those.  Are you saying that even this man is just advanced.  The accepted and overused definition makes sense at first thought, but not as you think about it in depth.     

post #20 of 26

Not sure if I've responded to this before or not, but I've sampled some of the beer I got for Christmas, so here goes:

 

The meaning of the terms, particularly the term expert, are very dependent on context.

In a ski store, when deciding what skis to buy, you are an expert skier, unless you want to have some low-end limp noodles that have been sitting around the shop foisted on you.

 

On Epicski.com, there is no such thing as an expert skier; the highest rank is "advanced".

 

On the slopes:

Beginner has spent anywhere from zero hours to a few days on skis.  A beginner can do snowplow turns right and left and do a hockey stop,he is still learning how to ski parallel.

Intermediates can ski parallel in my definition, but many include those still learning to ski parallel in this category.

Advanced skiers ski parallel and can carve their turns arc-2-arc.  Their main means of controlling turn shape is tipping the skis (by my definition), though they are quite capable of adjusting steering angle to change turn shape when they want to.

 

DIN Setting:  Nothing to do with ability level, just a risk acceptance level, although, if you are skiing at high speeds, you will likely want the higher risk acceptance level set on your skis.

 

Comfort level:  Comfort depends on Individual preference.  Some beginners love straight lining at high speeds on blacks between stem-Christies or snow plow turns; some don't.  However an intermediate skier will not likely find any greens scary, and will usually have enough skill to be comfortable with most blue runs.   It is unlikely that an advanced skier will be intimidated by any blue or black run, and it is unlikely that an expert skier will find any run marked on any trail map intimidating.  By intimidating, I mean scary; they may very well still find it a pain in the adz and avoid it because they don't like it, but it's not as if they couldn't ski it without falling if they had to get somewhere.  There are of course, exceptions that prove the rule.

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

 

post #21 of 26

 

Quote:
 

Someone quantified it along these lines..some, most and all

 

Intermediate: Can ski some of trails some of the time in some of the conditions

 

Advanced: Can ski most of the trails, most of the time in most of the conditions

 

Expert: Can ski all of the trails, all of the time in all of the conditions. 

 

Please correct my paraphrasing. 

 

 

 

Trails? we don't need no stinking trails duck.gif

post #22 of 26



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eastskier44 View Post

 

Quote:
 xxx ski any terrain in any condition comfortably 

 I'm not sure that this rings true.  There's a video on youtube someone posted a while back of an olympic racer (I believe it was Svindal) skiing down an untouched, super-steep chute at the top of a mountain.  Even though he is an olympic racer (expert right....), he struggled down the mountain and was clearly uncomfortable (I think he might have been skiing on race skis of all things lol).  My point is, there really isn't a skier who can ski everything, anytime, any conditions, etc.  He is a racer, so he would blow us all away on a groomed, preferably icy slope.  But once he got out of his particular arena of skiing, he struggled and wasn't comfortable.  So does this mean he's not an expert?  I think not.  IMO everybody has their arena of skiing, whether it be pow, groomers, trees, bumps, etc.  I think we should either start labeling skiers within their arenas (i.e. So-and-so is an expert in bumps and trees, but may only be advanced on icy groomers), or not be so tough with our assessments.  The truly good skiers can ski pretty much everything, anywhere, anytime, but those still have their exceptions and are few and far between.  I like to think of ability level in terms of how a person skis, instead of when and where.  I tend to look at whether a person is skiing with good form and using good technique, as if they're doing that, they can handle quite a bit of terrain.  Another example is say a guy is an expert on bumps, trees, powder, and groomers, but has no experience with the terrain park, or vice versa to any of those.  Are you saying that even this man is just advanced.  The accepted and overused definition makes sense at first thought, but not as you think about it in depth.     

 

Ski competition disciplines like, racing, ski jumping, free style, etc really need to to be separated from generic skiing when trying to classify general skiing skills. While it is temping to call a top level ski racer an expert, and in the course he/she certainly is compared to the general public armature racer, it is not uncommon for someone who practices a niche in skiing, to become the best in that niche, to be deficient in other areas.

 

post #23 of 26


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Someone quantified it along these lines..some, most and all

 

Intermediate: Can ski some of trails some of the time in some of the conditions

 

Advanced: Can ski most of the trails, most of the time in most of the conditions

 

Expert: Can ski all of the trails, all of the time in all of the conditions. 

 

Please correct my paraphrasing. 


and when calling yourself an expert: you can fool some of the people all of the time. you can fool all of the people some of the time. but you can't fool all of the people all of the time. I think abe lincoln said that. You can be in my dream (of skiing) if I can be in yours, I think bob dylan said that.

post #24 of 26


 

Quote:

Ski competition disciplines like, racing, ski jumping, free style, etc really need to to be separated from generic skiing when trying to classify general skiing skills. While it is temping to call a top level ski racer an expert, and in the course he/she certainly is compared to the general public armature racer, it is not uncommon for someone who practices a niche in skiing, to become the best in that niche, to be deficient in other areas.

 


this is coming up all over the place recently. I don't agree^^^^.  Some niche's, like racing and freestyle, coach a fundamental method that works perfectly, absolutely everywhere, (park excepted).

post #25 of 26



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post


 

Quote:

Ski competition disciplines like, racing, ski jumping, free style, etc really need to to be separated from generic skiing when trying to classify general skiing skills. While it is temping to call a top level ski racer an expert, and in the course he/she certainly is compared to the general public armature racer, it is not uncommon for someone who practices a niche in skiing, to become the best in that niche, to be deficient in other areas.

 


this is coming up all over the place recently. I don't agree^^^^.  Some niche's, like racing and freestyle, coach a fundamental method that works perfectly, absolutely everywhere, (park excepted).


Ok, then explain why "some" top racers struggle to perform as "experts" in areas out of their comfort zone?
 

post #26 of 26

I ski, therefore I am.

 

Call me midlevel. I do OK, not great, but my fun level is on the advanced side

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