What level of skier are you?

What level of skier are you?

I made these levels up to work in with the kind of groups that come along on solo skiing holidays…

Total beginner – never been on snow. (or perhaps once or twice on dry/indoor)

Novice – 2nd day onwards, usually in lessons, learning to snow plough. Can get down flat greens, falling lots. Can venture off on their own outside of lessons, cautious, slow, still falls over when conditions or surface changes. Still sticking to greens and very easy blues, mix of snow ploughing and parrell turns.

Advanced Novice – Confident on any green, exploring easy cruisey, very wide blues. Will explore with the group but wants to know what is coming up and will bail if gets too hard for some hot chocolate! Getting more confident and starting to enjoy it. Usually fine with chairlifts, (buttons and drags still a mystery) Can parrell turn and parrell stop with some confidence but not quite nailed those yet. Perhaps 2nd or 3rd week.

Lower Intermediate – Comes out with the group in all conditions, happy to try most blues and wide, easy reds with caution. Wants to push themselves but will still hang back or bail if the group is going faster/harder. Knows their limitations.

Intermediate/Sloppy – Happy on all blues and reds and confident to try tougher runs like groomed or shorter blacks if cajoled but proceeds with caution. Conditions still pose a confidence dipper, particularly ice, slush and powder. Many people who ski once a year remain at this level for many seasons but often desire to push past this. Others are happy to enjoy this kind of skiing for the long term. Lessons are often useful for pushing past this plateau.

Upper Intermediate – Skis Reds for fun and Blacks for the challenge. Occasional sorties off the marked runs to explore the fresh powder off the side of the piste. Can cope with almost anything under-ski, possibly still a little fazed on slush and extra thick powder. Can be persuaded into some serious off-pisting/back-country with the right group and guide but a little nervous in those circumstances.

Advanced – Someone improving on their “technical ability”; i.e. really using and understanding the ski. Has skied a variety of resorts over many years (10+), perhaps skis several times a year. Can handle an unmarked trail, an itinerary (eg Swiss Wall) with some ease. Skis or rides with confidence and flair, with offensive tactics and techniques on most terrain. Can carve arc-to-arc turns on easier groomed runs, and handles moderate mogul runs with consistent speed and rhythm.

Expert – Skis anything in any conditions, on or off-piste, with a high level of technical ability. Can nail the Swiss Wall and has done so on several occasions. You are becoming a true virtuoso, enticingly close to earning the title “expert.” Probably an instructor, ski guide or regular seasonaire.

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