Ability Standards for Ski & Snowboard Courses: How Good Do I Have to Be?

Paul Beard

At ALLTRACKS, we want to welcome as many people as possible onto our ski & snowboard courses. However, there is a minimum ability required to join each particular course. The intention of this is not to exclude, but to recognise that ski and snowboard training is most effective and enjoyable when in a group with others of a similar standard.

Thankfully, the continuing popularity of our courses means we maintain a number of training groups so you should ski or board with people of a similar ability. We offer the best trainee-to-coach ratio in the industry, limiting coaching to six guests per instructor.

You Don’t Have To Be An Expert

Whilst our camps are not suitable for beginners, this doesn’t mean you have to be an expert. Many of our courses are suitable for intermediates looking to develop confidence and finesse, and we welcome the chance to help you ski or snowboard with style across the whole mountain.

That said, if you are a strong skier or snowboarder please understand that our coaching can take you to an even higher level. In almost a decade, we’ve never had a guest who was too good to benefit from what we offer. Our coaching team is arguably the strongest in Canada and will develop your technique to an extremely high standard if you’re ready for it.

A major motivation for a relatively large number of our guests is to get to grips with powder. Some people arrive skiing well on piste, but have little or no experience in deep powder. Most of our options take this into account – you’ll be surprised by how quickly you improve in these conditions and really begin to enjoy off-piste skiing or snowboarding.

The ALLTRACKS Ability Guide

Every course we offer has an appropriate ability level requirement, based on our ability level guidelines explained below.

Be aware that these standards are just a guide. If you’d like to discuss the requirements of any course in more detail, contact us today and we’ll answer your questions with pleasure.

ALLTRACKS Level 1

ON-PISTE

– As a skier, you can link parallel turns on European red / Canadian blue runs at a consistent pace.

– As a snowboarder, you can link toe and heel turns down European red / Canadian blue runs at a consistent pace.

– You struggle with confidence and technique in adverse conditions like ice, moguls and mixed snow.

– You would like to explore more terrain.

– You’re fit enough to ride European red / Canadian blue runs with limited stops throughout the day.

OFF-PISTE

– No experience is necessary in off-piste conditions.

ALLTRACKS Level 2

ON-PISTE

– As a skier, you can link parallel turns on European red / Canadian blue runs at a reasonable, consistent pace with confidence.

– As a snowboarder, you can link toe and heel turns on European red / Canadian blue runs at a reasonable, consistent pace with confidence.

– You’re confident enough to tackle black runs in good conditions.

– You have experience in a range of snow conditions, but may still struggle with confidence and technique in adverse conditions.

– You tend to traverse across the slope before turning in moguls and challenging terrain.

– You’re fit enough to ride European red / Canadian blue runs from top to bottom with limited stops throughout the day.

OFF-PISTE

– You’re keen to try going off groomed runs, but linking turns in deep or varied snow may still be beyond you.

– You’re fit enough to attempt skiing or snowboarding off-piste.

ALLTRACKS Level 3

ON-PISTE

– As a skier, you can link parallel turns confidently on moderate black runs.

– As a snowboarder, you can link toe and heel turns confidently on moderate black slopes but may not enjoy moguls (what snowboarder does?).

– You’re able to vary turn radius according to terrain.

– You’re happy and confident enough to tackle most resort runs with the exception of the most severe double black diamond runs, but may still lose confidence and technique in challenging conditions.

– You’re fit enough to ride the majority of pistes in a major resort top to bottom throughout the day with limited stops.

OFF-PISTE

– You can safely link about ten continuous turns in deep powder snow on moderate off-piste runs.

– You may still require technique improvement to control speed and accuracy in off-piste conditions.

– You want to ride more and more off-piste and are motivated to improve.

– You’re fit enough to ski or snowboard in mixed conditions and to hike up the occasional climb for around 15 minutes to reach new terrain.

SKI TOURING

– No ski touring experience is necessary (and only relevant if your course includes ski touring or split boarding).

– You have a good level of cardiovascular fitness. For example, you should be able to run at least 10km on road without any difficulty and probably exercise regularly each week.

ALLTRACKS Level 4

ON-PISTE

– As a skier, you can link parallel turns confidently on all black runs including double black diamonds.

– As a snowboarder, you can link toe and heel turns confidently on all black runs including double black diamonds.

– You can ride the fall line of all runs including moguls at a good pace in all conditions, and can handle ice on steep slopes.

– You’re able to vary turn radius according to the terrain.

OFF-PISTE

– You can ride at a good pace regardless of snow conditions.

– You can control speed, direction and turn shape in deep snow.

– You’re very fit, able to go fast all day and enjoy hiking to find new terrain.

SKI TOURING

– You’re familiar with ski touring or split boarding techniques and able to do kick turns on steeper gradients (only relevant if your course includes ski touring or split boarding).

– You’re fit enough to enjoy a day in the mountains with up to four hours of uphill ski touring or split boarding.

We hate spam too, so we promise not to send rubbish to your inbox and you can unsubscribe at any time.