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Are you an expert skier?

Cheese

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I've called it an overused term but frankly I don't even know what it means anymore. Skiing has such a wide variety of specialty requirements I wonder just how many are included in the qualification of "expert".

Racing - Obviously at a minimum there's slalom, giant slalom and the downhill. Do we have to be within some number of second(s) margin of Olympians to be considered an expert?

Powder - Is it floating on or through snow of any depth on any marked trail or glade? Do we also need to perform in the woods and be able to land a cliff drop from some 10s of feet? Can we just straight the cliff or do we have to also flip while hucking? Is a simple cornice drop enough to be an expert?

Bumps - Is it making it down a black diamond mogul run in control? Do we need to hammer the zip line at a certain pace to qualify? Does it have to be a timed and judged competition course where pulling inverted aerials off of both kickers is a requirement?

Park - If you can hit every feature and every jump are you an expert? Do you have to spin on each rail or box, throw corked maneuvers off the jumps, take off and land switch to be more than an intermediate?

These are just 4 specialties I came up with quickly which might be considered in an all inclusive expert skier. Are we just intermediates if we can't do at least these 4 without embarrassment or serious injury? Are there experts which only perform a few or none of these? For those striving for continual improvement, just where is the "expert" bar set? If it's set low, are there more levels above or below "extreme" to achieve?
 
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Cannonball

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Are we just intermediates if we can't do at least these 4 without embarrassment or serious injury? Are there experts which only perform a few or none of these? For those striving for continual improvement, just where is the "expert" bar set? If it's set low, are there more levels above or below "extreme" to achieve?

"advanced" is a category between intermediate and expert. I'd call most of the very good skiers you see on the hill "advanced" with the term "expert" reserved for people at a competitive level.
 

Cornhead

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Fanatic? Yes! Expert? No! I was impressed with you and others at the AZ Summit last year, great skiers and humble to boot! Hope to make some turns with you again. I hope to take part in the Taos Snowsports Week this February, hey couldn't hurt. I think it'd be great since I'd be going solo and you ski with the same group all week. You do the class in the morning, then ski what you want in the afternoon. Hope to make some new friends and improve my skiing at the same time.
 

Cheese

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"pro" Is for people at a competitive level

Does "pro" make a downhill racer an expert skier even if they can't pull a 720 over 10' out of the half pipe?

Some might just answer, "Who cares!" but for those that are striving to improve I think it's nice to have an understanding of certain levels to attain so that goals can be set. I'm not sure those levels are really understood or defined.
 

skiNEwhere

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I can ski pretty much any terrain, but I wouldn't say that I can ski any terrain while keeping good form and technique though, so I don't what that makes me. If people ask what level I am I tell them I can "hold my own"
 

bdfreetuna

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I have yet to come across terrain that I could not ski, as long as it was at least mostly covered in some form of snow. I prefer to ski terrain that most skiers on the mountain will not ski, ie bumped up double blacks, steep woods.

But like I mentioned in the other thread "How to get better if you're already pretty good?" .. I don't always ski the most gracefully. I'm not one of those skiers who makes it look easy. Sometimes I do when I'm really hitting my stride on a good day, but mostly on expert terrain I'm just enjoying the challenge of getting down it and trying to look OK doing it.

So I am somewhere in the range of advanced skier. There are times I ski expertly, and other times I ski sort of intermediately.

My thoughts on the points in the original question is that if you are an expert at any particular discipline in skiing, that's what you're an expert at. Most skiers who ski one type of terrain like a true expert are also pretty competent at most other types of skiing (unless it's really specialized like park skiing).

On the occasion people inquire about my skiing skills / preferences (which is rare, nobody cares lol).. I tell them I like to ski steeps and woods and I've been skiing for 25 years. Simple way to avoid dropping the E-word ;)
 

from_the_NEK

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IMHO Park and Pipe disiplines are in a different catagory than the rest of skiing. An expert skier/rider should not be required to have to do complicated tricks to qualify as an expert skier. An expert skier could go in and do some basic airs of the jumps and land fairly gracefully. They should need to be able to ride a rail (mostly because they aren't good for your skis making practice difficult).
I would consider Lance Armstrong an expert bike rider but I'm pretty sure he would flair around on a bike in a pipe or street trick course. The same as Bode isn't going to be doing a 360 to kink rail slide anytime in the near future.
A lot of the younger crowd of park riders can't ski the rest of the mountain very gracefully at all but they look great in the park. Maybe once this crowd ages and leaves the park and learns to ski the rest of the mountain you will see "super experts" that can cross disipline emerging?
 

jrmagic

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I don't really use the term expert to describe a skier good and very good are more appropriate. IMO park/pipe and racing are separate diciples but I'd lump powder, steeps, moguls, trees, hardpack, boilerplate, etc. into an all mountain category. Someone who can do all of these things while keeping form and looking graceful I would consider a very good skier.
 

uphillklimber

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Advanced here, Certainly better than intermediate, but still yearning for expert. Like Trailboss says, any terrain, any condition is expert in my mind. I don't do icy bumps, well, not intentionally anyways. I don't do so good in trees yet. But I love both the bumps and trees. Last year, there just wasn't much of that to go around, the snow was so thin.





Oh yeah, did I mention that in deep powder, I am a complete beginner? I ski so much crud that I just don't know what to do with real snow. Again, something I couldn't work on last year, and the only day with it this year, I had grandkids in tow for their first day of boarding.
 

Smellytele

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Here is how one ski sale site explains it but leaves way too much to interpretation:
Skill Level Explanations:
Pro:Excels on any terrain, on any snow condition. Enjoys high speeds.
Expert:Comfortable on any terrain and most snow conditions.
Intermediate:Comfortable on Blue trails, exploring Black trails.
Entry Level:Learning to ski Green and Blue trails.
 
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