Here’s a quick rundown of the terms we use for fitness level and skier ability. They’re based on the kind of snow and terrain we usually ski and the sorts of days we typically do, so they might not align with what you’ve seen elsewhere.
Can ski/board anything in any conditions. >45 degrees? Hard snow? Deep powder? Jumping off stuff? All fine. You’ve probably skied/boarded a bunch of seasons at rad mountains.
Happy skiing/boarding most terrain (within reason - nothing too crazy) in just about any conditions. Can push into steeper stuff or might jump off something if conditions are good. Can ride under control and navigate tricky sections (funky snow, tight steep trees, etc.) if required but probably wouldn’t seek that out.
Confident on slopes up to and around 35 degrees (a black diamond at a ski area) on groomed snow and nice, consistent powder. Can ride under control and safely get through more challenging terrain in good snow (a black diamond slope with trees or other obstacles) or similar terrain in more difficult snow but might need to slow down. Probably not going to enjoy a combination of challenging terrain and challenging snow.
Comfortable on slopes up to 25-30 degrees (a blue/red run) on groomed snow and nice, consistent powder. Not confident on steeper terrain in powder and/or not a lot of experience in challenging snow.
Comfortable on groomed slopes only, or not comfortable on black diamond terrain in any type of snow. Still learning about ungroomed snow and powder skiing.
Able to walk uphill for six hours or more for a day for a day or two. Able to walk uphill for four hours a day comfortably for many consecutive days (without breaking trail). Comfortable wearing a standard backcountry pack and potentially carrying extra gear (crevasse rescue equipment, etc.). Able to bootpack longer sections (200m vert or more) with the track already kicked in.
Able to walk uphill with skins or a splitboard for four hours a day and back that effort up for several days (without breaking trail). Comfortable wearing a standard backcountry backpack (with avalanche tools, spare clothes, food, and water) all day. Able to bootpack short sections (less than 100m vert) with the track already kicked in.
Able to walk uphill with skins of a splitboard for two hours a day. Able to ski/board downhill all day for a few days in a row. Maybe a little unfamiliar with riding with a backcountry backpack (with avalanche tools, spare clothes, food, and water).