Alpine Exam Assessment Activities

Level II Assessment Activities

Wedge Turn:  Slow speed turns on novice pitched terrain. Feet are hip to shoulder width apart with ski tips closer together than tails of skis. Skis are on opposing edges the entire time skier is connecting turns on novice terrain. Wedge Turn Video

Application of Fundamentals:

  • Skis stay in a wedge through all turn phases.
  • The edge of the downhill ski is released before turn entry, while skis stay in a wedge.
  • Wedge remains relatively the same size during the entire run and feet should be roughly hip to shoulder width.
  • Skis are guided through round turns with steering from the feet and legs.
  • Joint use allows skier to accurately direct pressure along length of skis.
  • Pressure is directed towards the outside ski.

Wedge Christie: Performed on green or easy blue terrain at novice zone speeds. At turn entry, both skis are released, but edge change occurs at different rates. As the skis begin to turn down the hill, this differing rate of edge change leaves the skis on opposing edges.  As the turn develops, the inside ski will flatten, returning the skis to corresponding edges, allowing the skis to become parallel. The timing of the inside ski edge change will determine the location at which the skis become parallel and may occur at different locations throughout the turn, depending on terrain, speed, and student confidence level. Wedge Christy Video Advanced Wedge Christie Video

Application of Fundamentals:

  • Convergence of the skis occurs as the new outside ski is able to be steered faster than the new inside ski. The skis should not be pushed or stemmed into a wedge.
  • A skidded arc is accomplished with the turning of the legs, separate from the upper body.
  • At turn initiation, the COM moves towards the apex of the new turn, not to the outside of the turn.
  • Turning or rotation of skis is progressive, and originates from the feet and legs.
  • The pivot point of the skis is under the foot.
  • Feet should remain hip width or slightly wider and equidistant apart throughout the entire turn to help maintain COM over base of support

Basic Parallel:  On intermediate or easy black terrain, skis are guided through a skidded arc, with the feet staying the same distance apart. The skier will use a functional pole touch, and an appropriate speed with blending of fundamentals for an intermediate level skier. Basic Parallel Video

Application of Fundamentals:

  • Skis remain parallel and the legs remain a consistent distance apart through all phases of the turn.
  • Both skis’ edges are released at the same rate and remain on corresponding edges through all turn phases. The skis turn at similar rate to maintain parallel ski relationship.
  • Steering of the skis and turning comes from the leg rotation separate from the upper body.
  • Pressure is directed towards the outside ski and the relationship of COM to the base of support should be maintained to direct pressure towards the center of the skis.
  • Pole swing and touch should be directed roughly towards the apex of the new turn which helps to assist in the releasing of the skis’ edges.

Short Radius Turns: These are speed-controlling, short turns that are performed within a corridor of about one groomer width on intermediate or easier advanced terrain.

Application of Fundamentals:

  • Skis are parallel with similar edge angles and initiating with movements that originate in the feet and ankles.
  • Skis are guided through an arc with leg rotation separate from the upper body to maintain consistent shape and speed that does not increase or decrease as the terrain pitch changes.
  • Skis edges are engaged at or slightly above the fall line.
  • Pressure is directed toward the new outside ski in the transition between turns

Medium Radius Turns: Parallel Turns that are on groomed intermediate terrain about 2 ½ groomer widths wide. Speed should be moderate to fast.

Application of Fundamentals

  • Progressive tipping movements with high edge angles in the fall-line and little to no skidding.
  • Turn shape is consistent and is done primarily from skis being tipped and bent.
  • Path of the tail follows the tip of the skis which leave two well defined arcs in the snow.
  • Directing pressure towards the outside ski happens early in the turn phase.
  • Tipping of the skis originates from the legs with some inclination at the start of the turn and decreases towards the end of the turn.

Leapers:  Medium radius, parallel turns on intermediate terrain with moderate speed. The skier leaps through the transition from one turn to the next turn. The skis should take off from, and land in a medium radius turn path. Dynamic Medium Radius Leapers Video

Application of Fundamentals:

  • The leap is performed from extension movements with both skis coming off the snow at the same time and landing back on the snow at the same time.
  • The direction of the leap should be towards the start of the next turn.
  • Take off occurs on the uphill edges and landing on the downhill edges.
  • Edge change occurs while in the air.
  • Skis should be guided through the arc to maintain speed control.
  • Joints flex to absorb energy when landing and allow skier to control relationship of the center of mass in relationship to the base of support.

Lane Changes: On intermediate terrain, using the width of approximately two groomers. Starting with a pre-assigned number of short turns (in a one groomer width corridor), with the last turn entering a medium radius turn. This medium turn should bring the skier across the hill to the next groomer width corridor, where short turns are again started. This is frequently performed with 5 short turns – one medium lane change – back to 5 short turns.  L2 Lane Change Video

Application of Fundamentals:

  • Short turns have consistent shape and radius.
  • Lane changes are performed with medium radius turns that are distinct and of obvious difference in radius to the short turns.
  • Lane changes (medium radius turns) must have shape and not be a traverse.
  • Going from medium back to short turns should have grip and shape above the fall line.
  • The timing and intensity of movements should be adjusted appropriately for the different turn shapes.
  • The DIRT (Duration, Intensity, Rate, Timing) of leg rotation in the short turns and medium turns should be adjusted appropriately and as needed to transition from different turn shapes in the lane changes.

Skate Down the Fall Line:  Skating is performed down a consistent fall line on gentle, novice terrain, for approximately 20-50 yards. Each skating movement should provide propulsion. Skating in Fall Line Video

Application of Fundamentals:

  • Skier should be able to roll ski to inside edge to engage ski from lower body movements.
  • Skier moves foot to foot off an engaged ski.
  • Body should move forward towards the direction of the new gliding ski
  • The gliding ski should be kept close to the fall line to help maintain COM over BOS
  • Skis should remain with tips farther apart than tails.
  • Upper body should remain facing down the fall line.
  • The skier should propel forward from glide ski to glide ski to maintain the relationship of the COM with the base of support.

Basic Parallel turns – No Poles:  Basic Parallel turns are performed with no pole swing or touch. Poles are usually held halfway between ski pole handle and ski pole basket, so poles cannot be dragged on snow. Performed on intermediate to easy advanced terrain. Basic Parallel No Poles Video

Application of Fundamentals:

  • It is evident that turn shape comes from the legs turning under a stable upper body. Refer to assessment criteria in Parallel Turns disregarding the pole use criteria.
  • Balance should be maintained without the aid of the poles.

Bumps: Intermediate terrain bumps with linked rhythmical turns. L2 Bumps (First half of video only)

Application of Fundamentals:

  • Speed is controlled and maintained by adjusting turn shape and tactical choices
  • Shape of turn is made with skis turning more than upper body.
  • Upper body remains stable with little effect from lower body movements.
  • Ski/Snow contact is maintained through progressive flexion and extension of ankles, knees, hips and spine.

Railroad Tracks:  Performed on novice terrain, using a narrow corridor approximately the width of one groomer. Skier uses the sidecut of skis to perform pure carving, with no skidding, while moving from one set of edges to the other. Railroad Track Video

Application of Fundamentals:

  • Tipping movements start in the boots with small movements that originate from the feet. As speed and turn shape increase, more joints progressively become involved in edging, including knees, legs and hips.
  • Skis are tipped simultaneously and sidecut engages as skis travel forward along their length.
  • Turning comes from sidecut of the ski and develops a natural arc with the tail following the exact path as the tip leaving two clean arcs in the snow.
  • Pressure is directed from outside ski to outside ski.

Stem Turn: At turn initiation uphill ski is moved uphill (stem) as the skier directs pressure towards it, placing the skis in a converging relationship. As turn develops the inside ski is stepped or slid back into a parallel relationship with outside ski to finish turn in parallel relationship. This task is done to show the skier’s versatility and agility to cut off the top of turn to negotiate difficult terrain like a skinny narrow line, or to help students negotiate terrain when a pure round turn could be difficult. Stem Turn Video

Application of Fundamentals:

  • Skier is able to stem the ski with movements of the lower body and direct pressure to the outside ski. This is accomplished with new outside foot and leg moving, not from moving the COM uphill to step or brush the ski.
  • Old outside ski is released as it is in a wedge turn, with the COM moving toward new turn.
  • Skier is able to brush or step the inside ski into parallel relationship at end of turn.

Straight Run to Hockey Stop: Straight run 5-8 ski lengths to a pivot of skis into a vertical sideslip 3-4 ski lengths down the fall line to an edge set which has a corresponding pole plant. The skier should then hold this stopped position, without movement, for a count of 3.
*Need to be able to do this task by pivoting both to the right and the left. Straight Run to Hockey stop Video

Application of Fundamentals:

  • Skis should remain parallel from start to finish.
  • Joints are flexed to manage pressure from foot to foot and to control pressure along length of skis.
  • Leg rotation, separate from the upper body, is used to rotate skis to transition from straight run to side slip from the center of the feet.
  • Feet should remain in a corridor roughly determined by the length of their skis.
  • Edge set should be crisp, balanced, and timed with a pole touch and have little drifting back or forward both before and after the stop.
  • The pole touch should occur as they flex to absorb the pressure from stopping. The pole touch should not be reached for with the arms.

 

 

Level III Assessment Activities

Short Radius Turns: These are speed-controlling, short turns that are performed in a corridor about ½ a groomer width on advanced terrain.

Application of Fundamentals

  • Skis are parallel with similar edge angles, releasing and engaging simultaneously.
  • Skis are guided through an arc with leg rotation to maintain consistent shape at a high speed.
  • Upper body is stable and not involved in directing the skis.
  • Rhythmical round turns are performed for the entire run where speed is consistent and maintained OR able to be changed as directed.
  • Skis edges are engaged at or slightly above the fall line. Progressive flexion of the joints helps to regulate the magnitude of pressure created through ski/snow interaction

Medium Radius Turns: Linked high performance turns that are on groomed intermediate terrain about 3 groomer widths wide. Predominantly carved turns where the speed should be moderate to high.

Application of Fundamentals

  • Progressive tipping movements with high edge angles in the fall-line and little to no skidding.
  • Turn shape is consistent and is done primarily from skis being tipped and bent.
  • Path of the tail follows the tip of the skis which leave two well defined arcs in the snow.
  • Directing pressure towards the outside ski happens early in the turn phase.
  • Tipping of the skis originates from the legs with some inclination at the start of the turn and decreases towards the end of the turn.

Performance Short Radius Turns: – 1.5 groomer width corridor on groomed intermediate or easy advanced terrain. The skier performs round, short turns utilizing ski design. Ski design and speed should provide energy that allow the skier to reach the edges of the corridor. Performance Short Turns Video

Application of Fundamentals:

  • Ski performance is as carved as possible in shaping phase, given terrain, conditions, and ski design.
  • These are not fall line oriented, speed controlling short radius turns.
  • The skis are tipped and engaged before they are turned.
  • The skis are parallel with similar edge angles.
  • Both skis are engaged and bent in shaping phase of the turn. Speed is controlled through turn shape.
  • Fore/aft pressure control is managed through proportional flexion and extension of all joints.
  • The torso remains stable and disciplined.
  • The skis are steered back under the body through edge change.

Pivot-slips: On groomed, advanced terrain, the skis are turned from right to left and left to right with legs rotating primarily from the hip socket – Skier performs these pivots as the skis slip down the fall line. Pivot Slip Video

Application of Fundamentals:

  • The skier changes and releases the edges of both skis, simultaneously.
  • Stance width allows for the inside ski to be steered and remains relatively constant throughout the performance.
  • The skier uses leg rotation to turn the skis smoothly, and continuously, versus abruptly, and/or with whole body rotation.
  • The legs turn before the hips start to turn. The rotation of the hips occurs at the limits of leg rotation.
  • The path of the feet is down the fall line, even though the skis may turn 180 degrees left or right.
  • Skis should remain parallel at all times.
  • The skier is able to maintain a roughly, 1 ski-length corridor.
  • A change in direction of the skis should NOT begin with a hop, up-unweighting, stem, blocking pole touch or other influence other than a clean release and leg turning.

Skate – to shape – to short turns: On groomed, intermediate terrain, forward oriented skating blends over distance to skating that provides turn shape and then to performance short turns.

Application of Fundamentals:

  • The skier shows propulsive skating, blending to shaping, and then to performance short turns using about one third of the allotted space for each, identifiable segment of the task.
  • The lifted ski should be level with the surface, or slightly tip down, and remain closely directed towards the fall line.
  • The skis should move primarily forward, leaving a clean slice at the end of the skating step.
  • The skier should be in a balanced state and in control when moving from foot to foot through the entire task.
  • Skier controls the DIRT of pressure to the outside ski to move from skating to shaping.

Lane Changes: On intermediate or advanced terrain, using the width of approximately three groomers. Starting with a pre-assigned number of performance short turns in a one-groomer-width corridor, the last turn enters is a medium radius turn. This medium turn should bring the skier across the center groomer width to the next corridor where short turns are again started. This is frequently performed with 5 short turns – one medium lane change – back to 5 short turns. L3 Lane Change

Application of Fundamentals:

  • Short radius turns should have consistent shape and radius.
  • Lane change is distinct, and of obvious difference in radius to the short turns.
  • Medium turn going across hill must have shape and not be a traverse.
  • The medium turn should carry energy across the fall line.
  • All turns should have grip and shape above the fall line.
  • The timing and intensity of movements should be adjusted appropriately for the different turn shapes.
  • The first turn in each lane should be short, not medium.

1000 Steps:  Diverging, forward oriented, stepping off an edged and holding outside ski during dynamic medium radius turns. 1000 Steps

Application of Fundamentals:

  • The skier maintains proper alignment of body segments without tipping in, or over rotating.
  • The skis move primarily forward rather than sideways.
  • Each step should move the skier inside of the existing arc. – This is not simply marching through a medium turn.
  • The skier maintains speed control by using continuous, diverging steps to get to, through, and out of the fall line.

Simultaneous, parallel hop turns:  Roughly one ski width corridor on advanced, groomed terrain.  The skier hops in the air and the skis are pivoted in alternating directions while skis are off the ground. The skier leaps and pivots the skis in one direction while airborne and lands in a way that allows another leap and pivot. This process is continued for 10 – 15 hop turns. Hop turns Video

Application of Fundamentals:

  • Both skis leave, and land on, the snow at the same time using primarily leg extension rather than retraction.
  • The pivot point is under the feet with the legs turning under a stable upper body with equal turning of the tips and tails vs. the tails moving farther or quicker.
  • With the COM over the BOS, the skis are generally level with the snow surface – not tip or tail high.
  • The skis are pivoted across the fall line enough to maintain speed control.
  • Each hop immediately follows the landing, with no time taken to regain balance or prepare to leap.

Railroad Tracks:  Performed on intermediate terrain using a corridor approximately the width of one to two groomers. Skier uses the sidecut of skis and appropriate movements to perform pure carved turns, with no skidding. The skis should be managed to provide a radius inside that provided by their equipment. Railroad Track Turns

Application of Fundamentals:

  • Tipping movements start in the boots with small movements that originate from the feet. As speed and turning forces increase, the skier’s body moves to the inside of the turn. As these forces are released, the body moves out of the turn and into the next.
  • Balance and correct alignment of the body segments is maintained to allow the skier to direct pressure to the outside ski.
  • Skis are tipped simultaneously and sidecut engages as skis travel forward along their length.
  • Turning comes from sidecut and bending of the ski leaving two clean arcs in the snow.

Pain in the S: Short radius turns are made on a long radius turn path on advanced, groomed terrain. Work to keep the same level of ski design involvement no matter where the turns are in relation to the fall line. Pain in the S Video

Application of Fundamentals:

  • All turns along the path are round, not pushed, regardless of relationship to the fall line.
  • The bottom of the turns should not be edge sets or jammed.
  • It should take several turns to get to, through, and out of the fall line portion of the long radius turn path.
  • Appropriate blend of fundamentals should be used to maintain ski performance throughout all short turns.

Skiing on One Ski:  This task may be varied based upon terrain, conditions and other factors. The skier may be asked to keep one ski off the snow through a series of turns or may be asked to repeatedly lift a ski in the same portion of a turn. Skiing on One Ski Video

Application of Fundamentals:

  • The skier can lift one ski off the snow through a series of turns, or repeatedly lift a ski at the same place in a turn while maintaining fore / aft and lateral balance.
  • The lifted ski should be level or slightly tip down.
  • Shape of the turns should be round.  These are indicators of an accurate center of mass to base of support management (fore-aft and lateral balancing skills).
  • A light dragging of the pole is acceptable; however, the pole usage should not be used to significantly impact balance.
  • Turning should be accomplished by a turning of the legs, separate from the upper body.
  • The ski should not be pushed into a turn.
  • Tipping movements should begin in the feet and legs.

Hop to Short: Skier performs this activity on advanced terrain, in a one groomer width corridor, in a variety of potential conditions. This activity starts with a hop, landing with the skis in or near the fall line and ends with a shaping of a short radius turn. Hop to Short video

Application of Fundamentals:

  • Direct hop at start of turn, through leg extension, towards apex of new turn.
  • Skis are guided in the air towards the apex of the new turn.
  • Skis land on the snow close to the fall line.
  • Joints flex to absorb energy, allowing the skier to land in balance so they can immediately begin shaping the turn.
  • Skis continue to shape the turn and control speed through leg rotation.
  • Energy from shaping the bottom of the turn is used to initiate the next hop.

Leapers:  Medium radius, dynamic turns on groomed, advanced terrain with moderate speed. The skier leaps through the transition from one turn to the next turn. The skis should take off from and land in a medium to long radius turn path. Leapers video

Application of Fundamentals:

  • The leap is performed from extension movements with both skis coming off and landing back on the snow at the same time.
  • The turn shape helps create energy for the leap.
  • The direction of the leap should be towards the start of the next turn.
  • Edge change occurs while in the air.
  • Skis land on the downhill edges and carving starts above the fall-line.
  • Joints flex to absorb energy when landing and allow skier to control relationship of center of mass in relationship to the base of support to maximize ski performance through the shaping phase.
  • Lateral movements should be appropriate allowing the skier to direct pressure to the outside ski.

Outside Ski Turns: On intermediate or easy advanced terrain, the skier performs medium to long radius, dynamic turns, balancing against the outside ski from initiation through the shaping/control phase of the turn. The skier switches skis just prior to edge change, and glides on the uphill edge of the new outside ski for 1 ski length before changing edges. The turn shape is relatively round, and speed is consistent throughout the task. Outside Ski Turns video

Application of Fundamentals:

  • The inside ski is off the snow through the initiation and shaping/control phase of the turn.
  • During the completion phase of the turn, the skier transfers pressure to the uphill edge of the inside ski and is able to glide on this edge for approximately 1 ski length and through transition.
  • In the turn transition, the skier shows control of ski to ski pressure by gliding onto the uphill edge of the uphill ski and lifting the downhill ski off the snow.
  • The skier shows appropriate edging and pressure control movements as they flatten and change edges.
  • The ski is guided to maintain speed control. This is not a carved turn.

Tuck turns: In a corridor the width of one to two groomers, on intermediate terrain, Short to medium radius turns done from a medium or high tuck, reaching the skis to the edges of the pre-defined corridor.

Application of Fundamentals:

  • The legs should extend as they reach for the edges of the corridor and retract as they come back towards the middle. The skier can stretch and bend the legs in tuck turns without vertical movement of the torso.
  • The skier is able to maintain the relationship of the COM to the BOS to actively direct pressure along the length of the skis while in a tuck.
  • The skier is able to use tipping movements in the feet and legs to provide edge angle while in a tuck.
  • The skier is able to utilize turning of the legs, separate from the upper body while in a tuck.