Bring a change of clothes to leave on the bus for the ride back.
Beginner: You've never skied or skied only a few times. You haven't got rhythm and balance down yet, but you're interested and capable of learning the sport. Sliding while standing up doesn't terrify you, especially if the snow is soft. Goals: Learn to ski and practise the sport for fitness and fun. Find out why your skiing neighbour smiles at the first snowfall.
Novice: You've skied several times and are starting to get a feel for it. The rhythm feels natural about half the time, but you want both feet on the snow when you're moving. You're learning to turn, but tend to bail out when you feel you're going too fast. Goals: Learn to ski faster and turn away from rapidly approaching objects. You may let your neighbour talk you into entering the Canadian Ski Marathon, but "just for fun".
Intermediate: You've skied for several years, or at least frequently for a year or two. You've got some strength specific to skiing and the rhythm works for you. You still need to work on balance, especially if one foot gets up in the air. On really steep downhills, you may apply the bum brake, especially if there's a corner at the bottom, but otherwise you can stay in control. Goals: Learn to be graceful at speed. Earn a touring medal in the Canadian Ski Marathon.
Advanced:You've got a lot of skiing experience. You can glide on either foot equally well. You almost always know what's going to happen before it does, but are occasionally tripped up by snow snakes when you least expect it. Steep downhills with corners are becoming fun, but they can still inspire a bit of trepidation. Goal: Get your gold touring medal in the Canadian Ski Marathon.
Expert: You've skied for years and can make 40-foot skate marks with either ski. Steep downhills with corners and bumps are your bread and butter, and if you fall, you don't even bother brushing the snow off before you keep going. You're a secure skier. Goals: Get a Coureur de bois medal in the Canadian Ski Marathon. You hope to sell last year's skis to your neighbour and buy a new pair for yourself.