The Differences between Intermediate & Advanced Skiing

If you’re a skier, you’ve probably heard the terms intermediate and advanced skiing before. But what do they really mean? How do you know which level you belong to? And what are the skills and techniques you need to master to progress from one level to the next? Below, the Mammoth ski rental pros at ASO Mammoth answer these questions and more so you can have a better understanding of your own skiing abilities and goals.

Intermediate Skiing

Intermediate skiing is the level most skiers reach after learning the basics of the sport. Intermediate skiers can confidently ski on groomed slopes of moderate difficulty, such as blue runs. They can control their speed and direction by making parallel turns, and they can adapt to different snow conditions and terrain features. Intermediate skiers can also ski on some ungroomed slopes, such as moguls or powder, but they may struggle with balance and technique.

Specific skills intermediate skiers should focus on improving include:

  • Carving – This is when you make turns by tilting your skis on their edges and letting them follow a curved path. Carving allows you to ski faster and more smoothly with less skidding and more grip on the snow.
  • Short turns – These are quick, agile turns that help you navigate tight spaces and steep slopes. Short turns require good balance, coordination, and edge control.
  • Pole planting – This is when you use your poles to initiate and synchronize your turns. Pole planting helps you maintain rhythm, timing, and stability while you ski.
  • Skiing switch – This is when you ski backward or in the opposite direction of your dominant foot. Skiing switch improves your versatility and awareness on the slopes.

Advanced Skiing

Advanced skiing is the level some skiers aspire to reach after mastering intermediate skiing. Advanced skiers can ski on almost any slope, regardless of difficulty, snow condition, or terrain. They can ski fast and gracefully with precise control and technique. They can also ski off-piste, in backcountry, or in a park, where they can perform jumps, tricks, and freestyle maneuvers.

Some of the skills advanced skiers should work on include:

  • Dynamic skiing – This is when you use your whole body to generate power and speed while skiing. Dynamic skiing involves flexing and extending your legs, angulating your hips and knees, and rotating your upper body to create momentum and maintain balance.
  • Mogul skiing – This is when you ski on bumps or mounds of snow that form on ungroomed slopes. Mogul skiing requires quick reflexes, strong legs, and the ability to make smooth transitions between turns.
  • Powder skiing – This is when you ski on fresh or deep snow that covers the surface of the slope. Powder skiing requires different techniques than skiing on groomed snow, such as leaning back slightly, keeping your skis close together, and making wider turns.
  • Freestyle skiing – This is when you ski in a park or on slopes where you can perform jumps, spins, flips, rails, boxes, and other tricks. Freestyle skiing requires creativity, courage, and aerial awareness.

How to Progress from Intermediate to Advanced Skiing

If you’re an intermediate skier who wants to become an advanced skier, here are some tips to help you improve your skills and confidence:

  • Take lessons – The best way to learn new skills and correct bad habits is to take lessons from a qualified instructor who can give you feedback and guidance.
  • Practice – The more you ski, the better you’ll get. Practice makes perfect, so try to ski as often as possible, and challenge yourself with different slopes and conditions.
  • Watch others – You can learn a lot from watching other skiers who are better than you. Observe how they move their bodies, how they use their edges, and how they handle different situations. Try to emulate their style and technique.
  • Have fun – Skiing is supposed to be fun, so don’t take it too seriously or get frustrated if you make mistakes. Enjoy the process of learning and improving, and celebrate your achievements.

Skiers of every skill level can have a blast on the slopes when they make sure to start off with the right gear. Whether they need to get boots fitted or rent skis, Mammoth visitors can rely on ASO Mammoth for high-quality service and great advice from snow sports experts. Drop by our shop or give us a call at 760-965-3444.