Mountains that underrate their terrain difficulty

NELSAPNELSAP advanced
in NELSAP Forum Posts: 184
I'll post a trip report from Attitash later (where I skied yesterday), but as I was skiing there, I was thinking that they underrate their terrain a bit. A lot of their blues ski steeply, have some quick drops, double fall lines. Most are well groomed,but they are tougher in difficulty than blues at other mountains. Illusion at Bear Peak for instance feels much like a black. I can imagine on a busy day that once some of them get skied off, they would be even more challenging. Even the greens off the double-doubles ski more like low-mid blues. I really enjoyed their steep cruising terrain yesterday, but was glad it was uncrowded.

Do you agree? What other mountains underrate their terrain?

Comments

  • MrMagicMrMagic advanced
    Posts: 119
    I'd suggest Jay peak as they don't have any double diamonds so you get quite a mix of true doubles and singles all represented by the single diamond sign.
  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 476

    Sorry Jeremy, I suggest that's it is the
    opposite with Attitash. I was there Superbowl Sunday. Generally, Bear Peak has
    less pitch. The lower mountain glades are quite open and modest pitch. They’re
    not worthy of single diamond rating. Those off Illusion and Wandering Skis
    weren’t open so I don’t know about them. Attitash Peak has more pitch but I
    think single diamond for what I saw/skied seems appropriate.

    The king of underrating (of what I’ve skied) is
    Jay as Mr.Magic says. Also, Wildcat doesn’t use double diamond. A couple of
    their glades could be such.

  • Posts: 2,012
    TomWhite said:

    Sorry Jeremy, I suggest that's it is the
    opposite with Attitash. I was there Superbowl Sunday. Generally, Bear Peak has
    less pitch. The lower mountain glades are quite open and modest pitch. They’re
    not worthy of single diamond rating. Those off Illusion and Wandering Skis
    weren’t open so I don’t know about them. Attitash Peak has more pitch but I
    think single diamond for what I saw/skied seems appropriate.

    The king of underrating (of what I’ve skied) is
    Jay as Mr.Magic says. Also, Wildcat doesn’t use double diamond. A couple of
    their glades could be such.


    Some places just recognize a single diamond as the most difficult rating of trail. That doesn't mean the trails are underrated. Trails like Face Chutes at Jay are rated the highest possible rating at Jay Peak, therefore they are not underrated.
    - Sam
  • newmannewman advanced
    Posts: 204
    Cannon for blues that should be black. Barron's and Rocket come to mind. On the other side of the coin, Waterville has some blacks that would be blue at other places. (I'm referring to the lower mountain ones, not Sunnyside.
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 750
    Mad River Glen
  • ciscokidciscokid expert
    Posts: 1,486
    Of course not NE but back in my "heyday " Jackson Hole's single blacks would have been doubles most anywhere else in my opinion.

    They did have if half my memory is correct single and double blue ratings.

    I was scared just to look up at Corbets and some of the double blacks
  • ciscokidciscokid expert
    Posts: 1,486
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  • riverc0ilriverc0il advanced
    Posts: 256
    newman said:

    Cannon for blues that should be black. Barron's and Rocket come to mind. On the other side of the coin, Waterville has some blacks that would be blue at other places. (I'm referring to the lower mountain ones, not Sunnyside.

    A lot of areas that only use a three rating system could really use a four rating scale. Cannon came to mind instantly. Most of Cannon's glades were cut by bark eating locals and those trees can be damn tight, plus with the increased traffic since going on the map, they get scraped down to the bone right quick. Additionally, Cannon has tons of mis-rated trails relative to other trails at Cannon. For example, Candyland at Mittersill is rated a blue square even though it is a ten foot wide glade. Vista and Taft could also use diamond ratings, IMO. I think most of Cannon management are either not skiers or haven't skied most of the trails they put on the map, particularly the trees recently added to the map.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,806
    The rating system is a relative system.  If you have 3 trails in a pod, one is by definition easier, one is more difficult and one is most difficult.  The problem is, many skiers have interpreted these as Novice, Intermediate, Expert. Remembering the old Glades area at Killington (now the North Ridge), there were three runs: East Glade (Reason) that was Green Circle, Rime that was Blue Square and West Glade (Upper Ridge Run) that was black diamond.  In truth, they are all very similar in width and steepness, although by not making snow or grooming the West Glade, it skis as a black diamond.

    Only a few places, such as MRG, maintain the concept that double-diamonds can't exist because there is nothing "more difficult" than "most difficult".  I can't think of another area that would rate Quackie as a blue square!

    So I suggest that the issue is more about the ski area's interpretation of the rating system, rather than "underrating their terrain."
  • newpylongnewpylong expert
    Posts: 565
    East Glade at K has never been a green.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,806
    newpylong said:

    East Glade at K has never been a green.

    Depends how far back you look on a trail map!
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 750
    All maps on NE Ski History site show intermediate...back to 1962?
  • newmannewman advanced
    Posts: 204
    Upper East Glade to Lower West Glade was the green run of Glades Triple. This was before Canyon Quad went in. Before the CQ, all KMart lifts had a full novice route from the top of each chair to the bottom of it. The full routes were also all covered with snowmaking. This was an advertising ploy at the time of Killington- Americas Six Mountain Ski Resort. This was the Ski Ltd days. The big map they used in the late 80s will show this.
  • newpylongnewpylong expert
    Posts: 565
    East Glade and all subsequent names have been an intermediate since it was cut and the trail maps going back to 1960 show it. Perhaps you all are thinking of present day Great Northern (ex Goat Path) and High Traverse that used to be green forever which came off K Peak and top Glades and cut through the middle.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    edited April 2 Posts: 1,806
    Newman's recollection seems to line up with mine.

    Another example: West T-Bar Pod of Temple Mtn.
    Broadway - Green
    Spruce - Blue
    Birch - Black

    All were the same pitch.  The blue and the black were a bit narrower.

  • riverc0ilriverc0il advanced
    Posts: 256
    So I suggest that the issue is more about the ski area's interpretation of the rating system, rather than "underrating their terrain."
    I don't think any one is misinterpreting the rating system, I think everyone is on the same page about that in this thread. I think that some areas have inadequate rating systems that don't convey the full depth of challenge difference between various trails. 

    Most folks I think would understand that two different trails with the same rating could ski radically different. However, I think at some areas cited above, the difference between the easiest and hardest black diamond trails are a more substantial difference than between a the easiest green circle and the hardest blue square. That is a problem especially when you cannot see or evaluate terrain before committing yourself to the run.

    You mentioned Quacky at MRG. The argument is not that Quacky could be considered overrated because MOST blue squares at MRG have bumps. So that is relative to that area. But compare a groomed black square at Cannon like Avalanche vs. some of the super tight local cuts that are on the map like Amazon and those two trails are not approximately the same rating. "Most Difficult" is fine, but it becomes a problem when everything is most difficult when in fact something like Avalanche is a step up compared to Rocket but definitely not Most Difficult compared to something like Tramline, Kinsman, or any of the other tight local cuts on the map.

    I am going to double down on Candyland and say that it is the trail in New England with the most inappropriate rating. No matter what ski area and trails relative to each other within that area... no area should have a narrow 10 foot wide tree shot marked as a blue square. Ironically, most folks looking for it would probably miss the two foot wide luge run needed to access CL and would end up on a parrallel 10 foot wide shoot that is a black diamond, same pitch, same challenge level.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,806
    Where is "Candyland"?
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 750
    Mittersill
  • TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
    Posts: 476

    Where is "Candyland"?

    Jay Peak. I believe it is a black diamond. Since they only use single diamond, it's on the lower end of their difficulty, but still worth of such.
  • Posts: 2,012
    TomWhite said:

    Where is "Candyland"?

    Jay Peak. I believe it is a black diamond. Since they only use single diamond, it's on the lower end of their difficulty, but still worth of such.

    I believe the one being discussed is on Mittersill.
    - Sam
  • skipro77skipro77 intermediate
    Posts: 57
    I've always followed the rule that the trails are rated relative to the other trails AT THAT RESORT.   So a trail that get a black diamond is the most difficult trail at that ski area, and so forth.  A trail that is rated at blue at one place might be rated as a black at another resort and visa versa.  They can't really be compared.
  • NELSAPNELSAP advanced
    Posts: 184
    Rivercoil, I was also noticing that that Candyland is only accessible via a black - given that, I also agree they should have just made it a black.

    Barons is a steep run - I'm surprised that is a blue too now on the map.

    JD
  • LiftGuyLiftGuy advanced
    Posts: 133
    skipro77 said:

    I've always followed the rule that the trails are rated relative to the other trails AT THAT RESORT.   So a trail that get a black diamond is the most difficult trail at that ski area, and so forth.  A trail that is rated at blue at one place might be rated as a black at another resort and visa versa.  They can't really be compared.

    +1
  • AzSkiAzSki intermediate
    Posts: 34
    I also follow the skipro rule and have for 60 years.

  • Bkroon9175Bkroon9175 intermediate
    Posts: 56
    I agree with Skipro. Everything is related to the mountain you are skiing at. Additionally situational grooming changes should affect trail ratings I.e. A blue trail which is historically groomed but due to a change is now left to become a mogul trail certainly has a different level of difficulty.
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