Skier/Boarding Ability Assessment

Thanks so much for checking this page out – by doing so you are already much smarter (and probably a better skier/boarder), than anyone who has not. The info below is intended to enhance your Coldsmoke experience by ensuring that you enter yourself in the correct clinic. Please note this ability chart has parameters for on area clinics and backcountry so keep reading!!

Please make sure you read the clinic descriptions carefully to ensure you know what to expect in terms of pace and terrain.

It is no problem to answer a few questions so don’t be shy about contacting us -


  • I have some downhill experience
  • I can make turns on green circle (beginner) runs at ski areas.
  • I have a hard time linking turns on blue square (intermediate) runs.


  • I can link many turns on blue square (intermediate) groomed runs in good conditions.
  • I can link several turns on low to moderate angled terrain in off-piste – most of the time
  • Blue terrain in most conditions does not scare me
  • I’m ready to play with my skiing/boarding a bit – either pushing terrain or experimenting with different movements


  • I can link turns on groomed moderate (blue) slopes in all conditions
  • I can link turns on groomed black diamond (advanced) runs in most conditions
  • My warm up run is a black run – either groomed or off-piste

♦(+) Expert

  • I have some tools to negotiate difficult terrain (sidestepping while skiing for example)
  • I can ski confidently in blue through black ungroomed terrain in most snow conditions
  • I can link a few turns in steep terrain
  • What warm up ??  Bring it on.

Backcountry Ability Considerations:

Whitewater is a stunning and accessible place to tour and skiers/snowboarders do not have to be experts to enjoy a beautiful guided day in the backcountry!

You should be an intermediate level (rated above) skier/boarder to register in a backcountry clinic.

/ Backcountry Clinics are suitable for:

Intermediate to advanced skiers/boarders who have never backcountry skied/boarded

People with a little experience who would like a refresher

People with moderate experience who have never had formal training in avalanche safety

/ Backcountry Clinics are suitable for:

I have backcountry skied/boarded but only on low to moderately angled terrain

I like to be guided in the backcountry and am an intermediate skier

I am an intermediate skier and would like an active backcountry tour

I have some experience in the backcountry so don’t need to attend a beginner or basics clinic but would like a good review of fundamentals and an active day touring on moderate backcountry terrain.

/ Backcountry Clinics are suitable for:

I am a strong skier and have backcountry skied a in a variety of terrain and conditions.

I am experienced in the backcountry and have some avalanche training.

I probably have my own backcountry equipment.

Moderate fitness means…

I can climb and ski/board at a moderate pace for the whole day. I can manage multiple transitions (vertical ascent around 3000 feet).  When hiking at a moderate pace, I only need to stop hiking to change clothing or snack.