Skiers ability levels range from basic intermediate skiers wishing to get off the typical intermediate plateau to skiers taking their instructors exams and performance training for competition (alpine racing, freeride or freestyle). On the first day of the course we have a ski-off where we split the whole group into smaller individual groups based on their ski ability and confidence. To easily identify the levels of skiers, and roughly assess which level you currently are, you can use the following system.
Level 1 (Basic Intermediate)
This group consists of skiers who are trying to make basic parallel turns but use a small snowplough wedge in between the turns to help turn initiation. Skiers of this ability can generally get down blue runs but struggle on Reds. They have usually never skied moguls, steeps or freeride terrain.
Level 2 (Intermediate)
This group consists of skiers who can make basic parallel turns but lack the strength and confidence in the turn to make it consistent. These skiers can usually get down blue and red runs. On red runs however their technique suffers and the body weight moves over the back of the skis making the steering more difficult. These skiers have usually attempted moguls, steeps and a bit of off-piste skiing but with no success.
Level 3 (Advanced Intermediate)
This group consists of skiers who can make parallel turns with confidence on blues and reds. When they attempt black runs or steeper gradients they lose their technique and the body weight drops back. Those skiers can generally get down moguls, steeps and freeride terrain but with a weak and/or confidence lacking technique.
Level 4 (Advanced)
This group consists of skiers who can ski with confidence on Blues, Reds and Black runs. They can carve effectively from turn to turn on nicely groomed snow but are not so consistent when the snow is icy or un-groomed. Skiers of this ability can get down steeps, moguls and freeride terrain with confidence and a semi consistent technique but loose control approximately 30% of the time. Skiers at this level want to develop performance towards skiing 40 degrees slopes with good technique and direct (zip) line moguls.
Level 5 (Expert / Instructor)
This group consists of skiers who can ski all terrains comfortably but want to be able to ski higher speeds through greater dynamics, ski steeper fall line moguls with a greater range of absorption and extension, make higher speed GS freeride turns in powder and variable snow conditions and generally master a solid technique. Skiers of this ability would be beginning to develop the basics of race training, steep couloirs, instructor exam technical requirements, freeride performance and higher speeds.
Level 6 (Athlete / Performer)
This group consists of skiers wishing to compete or who already compete in freeskiing competitions, Alpine Racing competition or freestyle skiing disciplines such as moguls, half pipe, big air, slope style or rails. Amongst this ability level you will also find skiers who are training for their BASI 4 technical exam and Euro Speed Test.