Sierra Club Expert (Second Class) Ski Test

Originally adopted by the Sierra Club Winter Sports Committee, 1932
Current revision adopted by the Ski Mountaineers Central Committee, 1998

Purpose: To demonstrate mastery of touring technique and ability to cope with all conditions of snow and terrain, including steep slopes and open woods, that are not unjustifiably hazardous. The speed expected is approximately double that for the Advanced Test, but not necessarily more than half of racing speed. No kick-turns are permitted in any part of this test. Few falls are allowed.

  1. Four linked wedge christie or wedge telemark turns in soft snow on a 25- to 30-degree slope, turns separated by traverses with skis parallel, either parallel traverses with upper ski leading or telemark traverses.
  2. Four linked parallel or telemark turns on a 25-degree slope, turns accurately placed as designated by the judges, in soft as well as hard snow.
  3. Four jump-turns, linking traverses, preferably on breakable crust, on a slope of at least 20 degrees. The turns may be made with one or both poles. A momentary stop is permitted after each turn.
    Alternative: Four linked telemark turns in soft snow, on a slope of approximately 25 degrees.
  4. Skating stride, poling for quick acceleration.
  5. Descent of a continuous slalom course, requiring not less than 15 turns on a slope some of which approximates 25 degrees and none of which is less than 10 degrees, with a vertical descent of 300 feet. The time allowed shall not be more than 30 percent greater than the better of two runs by a good slalom runner.
  6. Descent of a standard course of at least 1000 vertical feet in a fixed time limit, with but two falls allowed. The course must include slopes generally steeper than the Advanced run and some pitches of 30 degrees. The course must be run under conditions of soft as well as hard snow.
Alternative: A cross-country run of approximately six miles in one hour This is to show all-around proficiency in climbing and downhill, over country of varied features and broken terrain.
About The Sierra Club Ski Tests
Qualifying (4th Class) Test
Advanced (3rd Class) Test
Ski Mountaineering Test
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