Patch Ratings

In the Winter Walden instructional program ski and snowboard ability levels are celebrated using colorful patches that are awarded upon the demonstration of the objectives of each level. The patches represent the skills that each student has mastered, and are centered around themes. For our skiers, the theme is destination ski resorts. For our snowboarders, the theme is snowboard jargon: terms that one is likely to hear in, and around, the snowboard community. At Winter Walden we follow the guidelines of the American Teaching System and Snowboard Teaching System, and coordinate our levels with area ski schools. Our patch levels are as follows:

Patch Outcome
Basic Skills
Caberfae An introduction to skiing for first time skiers:

  • Introduction to Equipment
  • Introduction to basic Skills: Walking, climbing, gliding
  • Introduction to, and proper use of, tow rope
Sugarloaf A refinement of the basic skills introduced in our Caberfae lesson on Green terrain.

  • Beginner linked turns (wedge turns)
  • Athletic body position
Schuss Mt. Introduction of new ideas to enhance the movements of the skis. Remaining on Green terrain

  • Lateral movements (extension and flexion)
  • Beginner Wedge Christie (mathing skis at the end of the turn)
  • Advanced students may be introduced to the beginner chair lift
Intermediate Skills
Boyne Mt. Refinement of the skills introduced in our Schuss Mt lesson on Green and Blue Terrain.

  • Advanced Wedge Christie (matching skis before the fall line)
  • Proper use of the chair lift
  • Emphasis on balance movements, and proper stance
Pico Peak Introduction of parallel turns. Blue terrain.

  • Wide tracked, skidded parallel
  • Wider variety of terrain than previous levels
  • Varied turn shapes to control speed
  • Increased comfort with speed
Mt. Tremblant Introduction to the proper use of ski poles. Blue terrain, with some introduction to Black terrain.

  • Pole Touch (pole plant)
  • Coordinated pole swing with skidded turns
  • Ski poles for rhythm and timing
  • Additional uses for ski poles
Advanced Skills
Stowe Carved turns on Black terrain.

  • Increased movement in the ankles to promote edge control
  • Skill progression towards removing skidding from turns, starting on Blue terrain and working to Black terrain
  • Refinement of previously learned skills to enhance overall skiing ability
Vail Dynamic medium radius turns. Black terrain.

  • Increased angulation to develop ‘rebound’ in turns
  • Proper blending of skills to compliment the increased angulation
  • Ability to utilize the rebound energy to create a dynamic carved turn
Aspen Students who have achieved this level are able to ski any terrain, in a variety of conditions. This includes moguls, ice, ‘crud’ and powder.

  • Dynamic short radius turns
  • Continued refinement of body movements to enhance the complete skier
Alpine The Alpine Program is for students who have successfully completed the requirements for all of our patch ratings. These special students will be allowed to continue their education, while demonstrating the skills that they have learned, in three disciplines: racing, freestyle, and teaching.
Level Outcome
Basic Riding Skills
Free Rider Introduction to snowboarding for first time snowboarders:

  • Introduction to Equipment
  • Introduction to basic Skills; Walking, gliding, basic direction change, riding the rope tow
Halfpipe Refining Basic Skills

  • Improved Single Skidded Turn
  • Improved Speed Control
Fakie Multiple linked skidded turns exhibiting speed control on Easy terrain
Freestyle Introduction to Chair lifts

Improved turn shapes to demonstrate speed control and adaptability to new terrain.  Rider is able to perform skidded turns of various shapes and sizes in single run.

Shredder Introduction to Carved turns and Advanced Terrain; Riders will demonstrate the ability to perform medium and large radius turns with little to no skidding in turn on green and easy blue terrain

Rider will demonstrate the ability to make various skidded turns on advanced terrain.

Extreme Refined Carved Turns; Rider will demonstrate the ability to perform carved turn on moderate blue terrain utilizing advancing skills
Bump Rider Introduction to Expert Terrain and Moguls; Rider will learn to adapt various turn shapes to expert terrain including moguls.  Turns will be preformed demonstrating speed control and aspects of rhythm and timing
Airborne Refined turning on Expert Terrain; Rider will demonstrate a mastery of advanced riding skills and the ability to adapt various terrain and conditions including Steeps, Ice, and Bumps.  Riders who complete this level will have the ability to progress to competitive riding.
Advanced Riding Skills
Ollie Rider will be introduced to the basic trick of an ollie as well as other basic ground maneuvers such as flat spin 180’s and basic skills required for jumping.
Carver Rider will be introduced to the skills involved in racing.  In order to attain this level, rider will demonstrate a mastery of basic racing skills and improvement over time
Switch Rider Rider will demonstrate the ability to ride proficiently in a fakie stance.  In addition, the rider will show the ability to consistently change between regular and fakie throughout the run.  The transition will be conducted with a smooth transition movements
All Terrain Rider will demonstrate the ability to perform various tricks and maneuvers on available apparatus found in the terrain park.  This will include the rider’s ability to successfully utilize Rails, Boxes, Table Tops and Kickers.  Rider will also have to demonstrate knowledge of safety rules.
Ripper Rider will demonstrate proficiency in a half pipe.  Rider will demonstrate the ability to perform turns in the transition as well as the ability to perform basic maneuvers above the coping.
Competitive Instruction
USASA Riders in this level will continue to work towards mastery of all advanced skills while applying there abilities in a competitive environment.  Riders will be instructed in the development of competitive tactic plans.