EVERYONE starts in "A"! Many of you have had very good instruction elsewhere prior to coming to MASS, and those who obviously know what they're doing are moved up immediately. Others have had some instruction from elsewhere that has not been so good, and the course is structured to fill in any gaps and correct any bad habits that may have been learned.
In level "A" you will learn how to (or demonstrate that you can) handle the equipment, put skis on and take them off, how to get up after falling, and even how to fall safely. This is done on flat ground, away from other people, with no pressure to hurry. At first, just standing up can be difficult, but the feel of having skis on, and the inability to just "step" anywhere are soon learned, and you can begin skiing down "Turtle". Most students progress quickly right on to "B", often the same day.
In "B" level, you'll be using the easiest slope at Badger Pass, "Turtle". It has a very gentle slope, so speed is kept in check while you learn to turn, stop, and start watching out for other skiers. You'll also learn to use the "handle-tow", a rope with handles attached that pulls skiers up to the top of the slope.
All this is in preparation for moving on to an even steeper slope. You will have to pass a test to show the examiner that you can consistantly turn in both directions, control your speed, and be aware of and avoid other skiers. These sklls are ABSOULTELY NECESSARY before moving on to steeper terrain. It's not a contest, it's so you can ski in control and keep youreself and others safe.
"C" level is further broken down into "Low", "Middle " and "Hi" levels, since there is so muich to learn and lots of practice is necessary. You will always be with other skiers of the same ability, so you won't feel like you're struggling to keep up, and as you get better, you won't be held back.
Often a student will start in "A", go to "B" the next week, "C" the week after that, and then stay in "C" for several seasons! There is a LOT to learn and practice! Proper stance, stem turns, unweighting, rotation, weight shift, timing! It takes practice and patience but it's GREAT when you finally get it! And there are a lot of those moments as you catch on to each new technique and your skiing improves. Congratulations! You learned to ski!