Skiing abilities.

This is guidance to the level of ability I have assumed in recommending appropriate runs. Its an extension of DIN 7890, Publication:1996-11, Wintersports equipment - Skis for alpine skiing -Description of target groups for skiers, but in accord with current normal European practice it extends the range of abilities to include an extra level above advanced.


Complete beginner, skiers who mainly use snowplough turns, skiers who usually make a conscious, deliberate stem during the turn. Will ski green and blue runs, will find some blue runs difficult. On a 6 day ski holiday should expect to go to ski-school on most of those days.


Skiers who consciously try to ski most turns parallel (though who may still have a small unconscious stem or who use a stem when in difficulty). Skiers becoming aware of different styles. Skiers learning to ski bumps and off-piste. Will ski all blue runs with confidence and will not hesitate to ski reds. Occasionally in good conditions (normally accompanied by more experienced skiers) will attempt easy blacks. On a six day ski holiday should still be taking formal lessons. Either group lessons for a significant proportion of the six days or regular private lessons. Intermediate skiers practicing off-piste skiing should not stray far from the pistes unless accompanied by a guide, an instructor or an expert friend.


Skiers who normally ski parallel on piste, off-piste and in bumps. Will consciously adapt to different terrains by changing styles. Can ski most bumps over the top, round the sides or in the valleys using appropriate techniques. Skiers learning to ski more varied off-piste conditions. Will ski all red runs with confidence and will not hesitate to ski most blacks. In good conditions will attempt seriously difficult blacks. Are starting to ski appropriate itineraries and off-piste routes with which they are familiar without an instructor or guide. Advanced skiers should still be taking occasional lessons: off-piste clinics, race training, bumps specials etc. or private tutorials to spot developing bad habits. They will be extending their experience of difficult off-piste routes by attending specialist ski clinics, hiring guides, or accompanying expert skiers.


Includes most professionals and a small proportion of recreational skiers (usually estimated in Europe at around 2%). Most will not need my advice but some visiting a resort for the first time may still find it useful.

Copyright©Dennis Summerbell, 2003, (Link to full copyright notice)

Updated 25th Jan 2003