Ski / Snowboard Exam
The PSPA candidate will be required to perform the following:
1) Free Run
2) Snowplow Course
3) Side Slip Course
4) Bump Run
5) Crud / Tree / Steep Run
6) Work Run / Morning Sweep / Equipment Carry
All courses will be long enough to challenge the candidates in both skill and endurance.
The free run is intended to give the candidates the opportunity to warm up. This event will take place on varying terrain (steep, moderate, groomed or ungroomed) and may be held in the moguls. Candidates will be scored on how well they adapt to changing terrain, their stability during the run and their ability to demonstrate multiple styles (small radius turns through large radius turns). This is event is meant to simulate a “day off” run.
The snowplow course will be set up in a control course using bamboo. The snowplow course will be set through moguls on steep terrain. The course will consist of several right and left turns using the available terrain to challenge the candidate.
Skiers: The skier is expected to maintain a snowplow and navigate through the course around the bamboo. Ski poles should be held in a manner that prevents them from touching the ground. The skier will be scored on their ability to control their descent, maintain consistent speed and use the snow and/or terrain to their advantage; not necessarily how technically perfect they perform the snowplow.
Snowboarders: The snowboarder is expected to make a transition “heel to toe” or “toe to heel” at each gate and maintain that orientation until the next gate. The candidate will be scored on their ability to control their descent, maintain consistent speed and how well they use the snow and/or terrain to their advantage.
There will be a transition corridor set somewhere in the course. The objective of this corridor will be for the candidate to perform as many "quality" transitions as possible for both skiers and snowboarders. Again there will be a focus on maintaining a consistent speed.
SIDE SLIP COURSE
The sideslip course will be set up in a control course using bamboo. The sideslip course will be set through moguls on steep terrain. Gates may be set in or across the fall line and be wide or narrow. Candidates will be scored on how well they maneuver through the course while demonstrating control. There will be at least two direction changes in the course requiring the candidate to perform kick turns. The stability of the candidate when performing the kick turn will be evaluated in scoring. The candidate will perform the kick turn between the designated gates. A snowboarder will be expected to reverse direction from a stopped position while maintaining control, without placing a hand on the snow and without moving up or downhill appreciably.
The bump run will be held on moguled terrain. Candidates will be evaluated on their ability to maneuver through the bumps, adapt to changing fall lines and the overall stability they demonstrate during their run.
CRUD / TREE / STEEP RUN
The candidate will be evaluated in varying conditions. The terrain may range from crud, trees or steeps depending on the terrain available for the exam. Candidates will be evaluated on their stability and control in the varying conditions/terrain.
WORK RUN / MORNING SWEEP / EQUIPMENT CARRY
This run will require the candidate to transport patrol equipment to a specific location on a trail. Each candidate will be scored on the stability of their run while carrying patrol equipment. Candidates will also be scored on trail safety including navigating crowded slopes and trail merges. The run will take place in bumps, on moderate terrain or a combination of both. The size and amount of equipment to be carried will be determined by the difficulty of the terrain.