Skill Level Descriptions

Skiing Skill Levels

A “skiing ability level” is a short way of classifying skiers based on where they ski, their skiing ability, and how well they ski beginner, intermediate or advanced trails. Knowing what skiing ability level you are is often necessary when purchasing a lesson.
Knowing your skiing ability level will also make sure that you get the most out of your ski lesson - your instructor needs a summary of what you can ski before they can begin to teach you. Here is a guide to the skiing ability levels.

Beginners

Starting Point: Where you are

  • Beginners are first time skiers who have never skied before.li>
  • Beginners should learn the technique to "snow plow" (wedge) turn both ways and are able to stop. Linking these turns smoothly should be the next goal.
  • You should become confident at stopping and making round snow plow turns on easy beginner trails.

Things to Learn: What to learn

  • Learn to turn with your wedge both ways.
  • You next goal should should be to link these turns smoothly.
  • You should become confident at stopping and making round snow plow turns on easy beginner trails.
  • Learn to use your wedge to control your speed and stop.

To the Next Level: How to move up

  • Work on linking your turns together going from left to right in sequence at slow to moderate speed.
  • Work on reducing the width of the wedge of your skis.
  • Practice paralleling at the end of the turn on green and eventually easy blue trails.

Events/Activities: What you should do

  • Lessons-Lessons-Lessons (Did we say lessons?) Yes, this is the best way to advance.
  • Spend the time on the slopes. The more days the better you will become.
  • Watch better skiers and try what you see.

More about the Beginner Level:
Many skiers are happy with knowing just how to ski Green runs and have no desire to advance. They enjoy just getting out and enjoying the outdoors and beauty of the terrain. Some of the most beautiful views can be seen from ski runs at Ski Resorts around the world.

For others this it is the beginning of a journey to obtain the ability to take yourself anywhere anywhere on the mountain. It may take some effort and more days on the slopes but the rewards are well worth the effort.

Beginner/Intermediate

These skiers can link turns at slow to moderate speed. They have started to reduce the width of their wedge and their skis may begin to parallel at the end of the turn on green or easy blue trails. This is the transition level in which skiers will begin to ski more blue intermediate runs.

Intermediate

Intermediate skiers are confident on blue runs and have lost the need to wedge making parallel turns but may at times use a modified wedge to begin a turn or to stop. These skiers may be cautious on steep or icy trails. Intermediate skiers should be confident at making parallel turns on all blue runs. At this stage you should be using your poles to time your turns. This is also the time when you may begin challenging yourself with more advanced “black” trails and terrains.

Starting Point: Where you are

  • It’s time to begin skiing more advanced blue intermediate runs.
  • You are beginning to parallel with your skis running straight instead of wedging.
  • You are getting more comfortable with more varied snow conditions.
  • You're not quite ready for a steep mogul run but can negotiate a few variations in the run.
  • If you haven’t already it’s time to invest in your own equipment.

Things to Learn: What to learn

  • You should be confident on blue runs and have lost the need to wedge making parallel turns but may at times use a modified wedge to begin a turn or to stop.
  • Work on getting comfortable “with caution” on steeper terrain and icy trails.
  • Become confident at making parallel turns on all blue runs.
  • You should be using your poles to time your turns.

To the Next Level: How to move up

  • Work on adjusting the size and length of your turns.
  • Learn to ski on a variety of different types of snow.
  • Practice skiing on all types of terrain.

Events/Activities: What you should do

  • You can still get a great return by taking lessons. Nowis the time to get lessons on specific skills and techniques.
  • Push yourself to try new resorts and terrains.

More about the Intermediate Level:
At this time you know that you love the sport and enjoy pushing yourself to advance your skiing skills. You can link your turns at moderate to faster speed. The width of your skis is narrow to moderate and the wedge is rarely used. This is the transition level in which skiers will begin to ski more advanced blue intermediate runs and possibly try a few advanced black runs.

Expert

Expert skiers ski controlled with sequential rhythmic parallel turns. They should be comfortable on all marked trail mountain terrain. You are now skiing the moguls and steep terrain with confident and rhythmic turns. You may not be ready for all “Back Country” off trail terrain just yet.

Starting Point: Where you are

  • At this point you should ski controlled with sequential rhythmic parallel turns.
  • You should be comfortable on almost all-terrains.
  • You can control their speed and rhythm on Black Diamond trails.

Things to Learn: What to learn

  • Practice skiing on more challenging trails with better style.
  • Technique will be more important than ever. Work on fine tuning your turns at all speeds.
  • Now you're trying steeper terrain. Jump turns should be added to your abilities.
  • Use those poles. Timing and pole placement will become important as you advance your terrain.

Events/Activities: What you should do

  • Don’t get stuck skiing the same runs or terrain. Try new resorts and vary your runs and terrain.
  • If you're having any difficulties with technique. Get a lesson from an advanced instructor.

Advanced Expert

You’re now not only comfortable an all terrain but in all snow conditions. This is where years of practice and many days on the slopes have groomed you in to the advanced expert skier. At this point we don’t need to tell you what to expect or what class of skier you are. You know who you are and exactly what you can do at this point.