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What is my ski standard

To help find the best holidays, choose your on piste and off piste skiing standards

Each holiday is designed to suit people with a particular level of experience so that you will ski with others of a similar ability. That way no one is left behind and no one is held back. Please establish your level of skiing before you choose when and where you wish to join us. This way you are sure to select the perfect holiday.

On Piste Select standard Off Piste Select standard

Early intermediate on pisteEarly intermediate on piste

  • Confident to ski blue pistes in all conditions. Skis reds in good conditions
  • About 4 weeks or more experience but likes to stick to blue pistes mainly
  • Able to maintain consistent pace and turns on blue pistes. Enjoys being on holiday and may occasionally like a break between runs
  • Prefers to ski pistes in good conditions, avoids icy or bumpy terrain

What skier must demonstrate to move up a level

  • Confidently skis groomed red pistes and also easy black pistes in good conditions
  • Able to ski parallel on groomed red pistes with consistent pace and turns, top to bottom with limited stops

See early intermediate on piste holidays

Note: We will provide transceivers on all off piste holidays, however please come equipped with a back pack, shovel and probe.

Intermediate on pisteIntermediate on piste

  • Enjoys skiing groomed red pistes and easy black pistes in good conditions
  • Around 8 weeks or so experience and likes to stick mainly to red pistes though will have experience of a variety of conditions including hard packed piste and some bumps
  • Able to confidently parallel ski groomed red pistes with consistent pace and turns, top to bottom with limited stops
  • Enjoys groomed pistes and prefers to avoid bumps or icy slopes

What skier must demonstrate to move up a level

  • Controlled and confident skiing on any red piste in varying conditions
  • Able to vary turn radius to cope with more challenging terrain. Happy to ski the mountain all day with limited stops

View intermediate on piste holidays

Aspirer off pisteAspirer off piste

  • Minimum Advanced Intermediate on piste
  • Willing to venture off piste on easy slopes (lesser steepness than a blue)
  • Limited experience, from no off piste to a few days or weeks. Relatively fit with the attitude and aptitude to progress
  • Working on linking turns
  • Able to ski off piste in easy conditions

What skier must demonstrate to move up a level

  • Confident to ski moderate slopes off piste (blue - red)
  • Able to link several turns in light powder (just above boot height) snow on a uniform base

See aspirer off piste holidays

Advanced intermediate on pisteAdvanced intermediate on piste

  • Skis confidently and in control on any red piste in varying conditions and on moderate or easier blacks
  • May have many years of experience and enjoys skiing the whole mountain on piste. Understands safety on the slopes and adheres to the FIS code of conduct
  • Able to vary turns to cope with more challenging terrain. Happy to ski the mountain all day with limited stops
  • Able to ski icier pistes or easy bumps, though prefers to avoid larger bumps. May need to stop to rest more frequently in trickier conditions

Typical behaviours

  • Turns will be confident and rhythmical but sometimes appear quite basic
  • When conditions become less predictable the skier stance over their skis may appear somewhat unbalanced
  • There may be a tendency to sit back and lose control through a turn when conditions are slightly tricky
  • When skiing more difficult pistes, particularly blacks, they are likely to struggle to control speed
  • Long pistes may require stops as legs tire and the effort required to turn continuously will use up a good deal of energy
  • They could be quite timid or show a 'have-a-go' attitude
  • This skier will generally go out of their way to avoid bumpy and irregular terrain
  • This standard of skier is unlikely to be able to carve turns on blue pistes

What skier must demonstrate to move up a level

  • Able to ski the whole mountain including steep blacks, varying turn radius to cope with conditions
  • Skis top to bottom on all pistes except the toughest blacks regardless of changes in terrain and conditions. Enjoys taking the fall line, skis at a good pace all day

View advanced intermediate on piste holidays

Intermediate off pisteIntermediate off piste

  • Confident and comfortable skiing moderate slopes off piste (blue - red)
  • Has at least a few weeks (limited) experience of skiing off piste, possibly with guides/instructors
  • Able to link several turns in light powder snow (just above boot height) on a uniform base. Will struggle to link turns in poor lighting
  • Able to manage easy untracked terrain and chalky snow, though prefers conditions without obstacles

Typical behaviours

  • They may not be capable of linking continuous turns without needing to stop to recover
  • In more varied snow conditions their turns become less rounded and they may well sit back, drop their hands to their sides and accelerate out of the turn and lose control and confidence
  • They will often ski with feet very wide apart using an independent leg action
  • The skier may fall regularly. This gives rise to accelerated fatigue and can be quite uncomfortable for the skier
  • The skier will be particularly apprehensive about skiing crusty or varied snow
  • The skier may have high energy levels and display great enthusiasm for continuing despite several falls or they might be very timid and wish to bale out from off piste skiing if it becomes too difficult
  • At this level tiredness and fatigue can give rise to serious injury

What skier must demonstrate to move up a level

  • Confidently enjoys skiing off piste on steeper slopes (red+)
  • Skis confidently and enjoys powder, able to ski with consistent speed and turn shape in all but the most challenging conditions

View intermediate off piste holidays

Advanced on pisteAdvanced on piste

  • Confident to ski the whole mountain including steep blacks, varying turns to cope with conditions and showing good speed control on steeper or trickier pistes
  • Several years' experience in a number of ski areas and resorts. Able to ski most piste conditions though may choose the easier line if conditions are challenging
  • Skis top to bottom on all pistes except the toughest blacks regardless of changes in terrain and conditions. Enjoys taking the fall line, skis at a good pace all day
  • Able to handle a variety of conditions including icy pistes and larger bumps

Typical behaviours

  • Able to ski for a good distance on red pistes without needing a break
  • They will have skills to be able to carve on blue pistes in good conditions and will appear well balanced over their skis through each turn
  • The skier will happily take on bumpy or irregular terrain but may fail to maintain a continuous rhythm over distance
  • On more difficult pistes, steeper and icier in particular, the skier may lose some control in the turn and have difficulty correcting the error
  • Steering the skis may involve noticeable physical effort but still be effective
  • Skiers in this category may use physicality to make turns or could be equally effective with less energy expenditure

What skier must demonstrate to move up a level

  • Enjoys skiing the steepest and most challenging terrain, taking the fall line at every opportunity
  • Able to manage speed control and comfortably vary speed and turns. Skis fall line descents of all runs including bumps, fluently and at a fast pace regardless of changes in terrain and snow quality

View advanced on piste holidays

Advanced off pisteAdvanced off piste

  • Confidently enjoys skiing off piste on steeper slopes (red+)
  • Will have several years off piste skiing experience and some knowledge of mountain craft. Well used to spending the whole day off piste and experienced in a wide variety of snow conditions. Possibly skied with mountain guides and may have ski toured
  • Skis confidently and enjoys powder, able to ski with consistent speed and turn shape in all but the most challenging conditions
  • Able to handle a variety of conditions including lightly crusted and wind affected snow

Typical behaviours

  • They will be capable of skiing all but the most difficult snow or slopes with good technique, maintaining a good balanced shape throughout the turn but unexpected gremlins in the snow may cause them difficulties
  • In consistent and predictable snow conditions they will be capable of linking a good number of turns together, though may not always demonstrate a rhythmical, consistent turn shape
  • In varying snow conditions where it is difficult to establish a regular turn pattern the skier may need to stop frequently to regain composure
  • The skier may be a strong 'have a go' confident skier prepared to fall over several times if it helps develop skills or they may be a precise less physical skier more likely to stop before falling over
  • The skier's profile may appear wide open with feet wide apart for stability and using a good deal of body strength to facilitate the turn

What skier must demonstrate to move up a level

  • Skis all skiable off piste terrain in a controlled line confidently, even with obstacles on steep terrain
  • Skis with fluidity and confidence in almost any condition. Actively seeks challenging terrain and snow. Flat light may not pose too much of a problem for this skier

View advanced off piste holidays

Expert on pisteExpert on piste

  • Enjoys skiing the steepest and most challenging terrain, taking the fall line at every opportunity
  • Will have considerable experience in many ski areas and resorts over several years and would be expected to ski more than two weeks each season. They will be confident in challenging conditions such as white outs and be able to quickly judge conditions and adapt behaviour accordingly
  • Able to manage speed control and comfortably vary speed and turns. Skis fall line descents of all runs including bumps, fluently and at a fast pace regardless of changes in terrain and snow quality
  • Can safely and confidently negotiate any conditions they may encounter including ice and large bumps

Typical behaviours

  • Some skiers in this category may have been skiing for decades and use techniques in which the feet appear to be closely clamped together. This is perfectly acceptable at this level as long as all criteria below are observed
  • The skier will appear well balanced over the skis and maintain control at all speeds on all grades of pistes and in a wide variety of snow conditions on the piste
  • They will vary turn shape and adapt to changes in snow texture with comfort and seemingly with ease and will be able to control speed when appropriate
  • They will willingly enter bumpy or uneven terrain and maintain good control using appropriate technique for a considerable distance
  • They will be capable of skiing a well-formed bump runs maintaining good shape, rhythm and control over a considerable number of linked turns
  • If a mistake or miscalculation occurs during a turn they will make quick and effective corrections
  • They will carve really well on blue pistes and perfectly groomed reds, maintaining excellent balance over the skis through each and every turn
  • The skier will be comfortable skiing fast and at a high tempo throughout the whole day and will need very few stops to recover or rest

View expert on piste holidays

Expert off pisteExpert off piste

  • Confidently skis all skiable off piste terrain in a controlled line, in the widest variety of snow conditions, from deep powder, to difficult and varied snow, even with obstacles on steep terrain
  • Considerably experienced in skiing off piste in many ski areas and resorts over several years and throughout the ski season and in all types of snow. Excellent knowledge of mountain craft and how to ski safely in mountain terrain. Will probably have some experience of touring
  • Skis with fluidity and confidence in almost any condition. Actively seeks challenging terrain and snow. Flat light may not pose too much of a problem for this skier
  • Can safely and confidently negotiate any conditions they may encounter including breakable crust and deep snow

Typical behaviours

  • In good off-piste conditions this skier will always maintain good position and balance over their skis, use seemingly little effort to make turns and is able to adjust instantaneously to changes in the snow underfoot
  • The skier will rarely fall
  • This level of skier will not shy away from challenging snow conditions
  • On steep terrain, even with obstacles, they will ski a controlled line confidently, with appropriate and effective turns in consideration of the terrain they are in
  • They will not baulk at skiing hard all day and will often be up for greater challenges
  • Skiers with decades of experience skiing at this level may appear to ski in an older style where the feet are kept close together. Provided all other criteria are fulfilled this is an acceptable skier profile

View expert off piste holidays

Show all Ski Club Fresthracks holidays matching my ski standard

What is my ski standard?

If you have been on a Ski Club Freshtracks holiday over the past five seasons we will have a record of your skiing standard, as assessed by the holiday leader, instructor or mountain guide. If this is your first Ski Club Freshtracks holiday we can help you assess yourself. There are a number of factors that contribute towards your skiing standard such as technique, speed and fitness. As you can imagine, some people over-estimate their abilities and others under-estimate. If you are in any doubt which holiday would be best, please call us as, if you do mis-grade yourself, you may be asked by your leader/instructor/mountain guide to make alternative skiing arrangements at your own expense.

Use the information above as a guide to your standard. For touring holidays, make sure you also read the additional information on ski touring.

Fitness

Skiing is a demanding sport and so it is essential to take into consideration fitness levels when making decisions about your ski standard. Fitness is a key part of skiing ability and so it is important when choosing a holiday to ask yourself how far you can, and are prepared to push yourself. Whether you are comfortable cruising the reds all day with a long lunch stop or are looking for more of a physical challenge with turn after turn in deep powder, a good level of physical fitness is required in order to make sure you get the maximum out of your holiday and avoid unnecessary injuries. It is recommended that you participate in at least 40 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week for a minimum of three months in the run up to a skiing holiday. Please be aware that leaders are entitled to lower members ski standard, and in exceptional circumstances they can ask members to leave the ski group if they feel their fitness hinders performance and delays other members of the party.