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Intermediate trails that are now labeled as beginner trails...

ss20

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With new trail maps this coming out for this season I've noticed a new, disturbing trend- Intermediate trails becoming beginner trails.

Instance One- Catamount re-labeling Ridge Run as a green. This has been an intermediate trail forever, and unless serious re-grading has been done, it's still a blue run in my book, imo. It's a very fun trail- narrow, lot's of rollers, even some really cool double fall-lines (if such could be said for Massachusetts skiing), and a narrow, tightly turning pitch at the end. Not at all beginner friendly...but now it's a green, and for the first time, there is "easier" skiing from the summit of Catamount. Looks nice on a trail map, but not even close in difficulty to the other greens at Catamount which are all very very mellow.

Instance Two- Mount Snow re-labeling Snowdance (off of the Canyon Quad) to a green (with a wrap-around on One More Time to avoid the first pitch of Snowdance). I've actually thought about how Snowdance would be a great easy run...when the snow is nice. But last year my opinion changed, as only 2/3 width of the trail can be reached by the fan guns. I also wasn't aware how steep some of the pitches are on that trail. Needs a lot of snow to fill-in. Very dangerous in flatlight conditions (the trail is so wide you're going down without any reference point). In fact last year I stayed with a lady who had fallen on one of the pitches until ski patrol arrived. She went right over, didn't know what hit her. As much as I wanted to stay by her side I knew I had to climb up the hill and block the pitch so no one would go over and hit her.

In both cases...these are trails that have been rated as intermediate trails forever. The lift that services them have never provided access to beginner trails. So now there's one easier way down from one lift at both places (both 4-seater chairs).

Huge marketing ploy? Yep. Huge safety hazard? Yep.

I'll be getting multiple days at both Mount Snow and Catamount this year so I'll have a front-row seat to see how this plays out.

When Killington did the opposite and re-rated their trail network to make Great Northern and Great Eastern intermediate trails a few years back, I wasn't really a fan of the change. But now I'm starting to change my stance. Better to underrate trails than overrate them, especially in seasons like last where conditions aren't ideal.


Still not at all a fan of the standardizing in trail ratings, as discussed in the other thread. It's all relative to the mountain...let's keep it that way. But neither of the trails I've mentioned are relevant to any other easier trail at their respective mountains.
 

deadheadskier

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I would be interested to hear Catamount's and Snow's rationalization. I would agree that it seems like marketing
 

bdfreetuna

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I think it's more disturbing when greens go blue. The wussification of America bleeding into the sport of skiing.

Also snow is usually a pretty safe surface to fall on.
 

cdskier

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I think it's more disturbing when greens go blue. The wussification of America bleeding into the sport of skiing.

Also snow is usually a pretty safe surface to fall on.

It entirely depends on the trail...I'm ok with changing a green to a blue if it should have been blue to begin with. And I completely disagree that snow is a pretty safe surface to fall on. Any fall on any terrain can cause an injury if you fall the wrong way. Snow in the east is often firm as well which doesn't help.

Back to the original topic, I'd again say it depends on the trails and the rationalization for changing them. From the description provided by ss, it sure sounds like they are doing it for marketing purposes which I don't agree with and that sounds like a dangerous trend.
 

canobie#1

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The worst I've watched unfold was at Attitash. The Illusion trail originally started as a double black then changed to black. Now it's a blue.....
It's a fantastic trail but not for the intermediate. A standard black was the right rating for it.
 

Jully

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That was also marketing more or less. They wanted more people to ski Bear. It worked too for the most part.
 

Tin

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I think it's more disturbing when greens go blue. .

I agree with Killington making Great Northern an intermediate trail. So much traffic you need to be able to stop on a dime and avoid others or going off the trail due to the actions of others. Hasn't it also been the deadliest trail in New England in the past few years? Seems like one death a year on it.


As for Catamount, I agree. There is nothing off the top there for a true beginner.
 

bdfreetuna

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Great Northern I agree the section under the gondi should be blue to deter first timers from trying to go to the top.

But they should just blue that one section and green most of the rest of the trail. There's a reason for "Upper" "Middle" "Lower" etc.
 

drjeff

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Mount Snow's is an interesting one to me.... Means that they're committed to dragging hoses through the trees to to top roughly 150 to 200 yards of One More Time to get the beginner access around the top pitch of Snowdance - it's listed that way on this year's new trail map, and as of a few weeks ago when I last hiked in that area there wasn't any new snowmaking pipe on that part of One More Time. And if you've ever hiked the top of One More Time you know how much rock, and more often than not grooved, rough rock makes up that trail...

They already have a few trailer mounted SMI Polecat Kid small fan guns that they often use for the narrow run into Snowdance that parallels that part of One More Time, and since they haven't to my knowledge used the old air line on Snowdance since the fan guns went in 8 or 9 yrs ago, my hunch is they'll hook those Polecat kid's up to a blade of a cat and move them from Snowdance to One More Time at drag hoses and electrical cable through the woods from the entrance to Snowdance
 

Newpylong

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They also got 2 more trails out of it "Snowdance Pitch" and "NE Time".

The air lines are still active on trails with fans but using the Kids over there makes more sense. 3 phase is a lot easier to haul through woods than hose and they'll only need a couple for that stretch.
 

machski

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Great Northern I agree the section under the gondi should be blue to deter first timers from trying to go to the top.

But they should just blue that one section and green most of the rest of the trail. There's a reason for "Upper" "Middle" "Lower" etc.

I'll just say this: if there is no way to get to a trail that would be green with green terrain or straight off a lift, no sense in calling it a green.
 

steamboat1

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Great Northern I agree the section under the gondi should be blue to deter first timers from trying to go to the top.

But they should just blue that one section and green most of the rest of the trail. There's a reason for "Upper" "Middle" "Lower" etc.
Yeah but how do they get from upper to middle? Lower is already rated green.

Spillway from the bottom of the Canyon chair is rated black even though it's only a run out. How do you get to Spillway? Take your choice, Cascade, Down Draft, Double Dipper, Big Dipper, East Fall, Royal Flush, The Thrown. Spillway should be rated green since it's only a runout.
 
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Big Game

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Trails should be rated from the viewpoint of the beginners to avoid the misery Index. A green can terrify a beginner due to high traffic and scraped off snow. I've been stuck helping down many beginners when greens to to blue/black in difficulty because of lousy conditions.

When I'm by myself though, I find even the triple-black upside-down diamond trails littered with ice waterfalls and the sun-bleached bones of those not as awesome as me to be moderately challenging, assuming I am on a monoski. If I'm on my old school Kneissels 210s, everything is so stupidly easy. It's the time I use to scrapbook.
 

chuckstah

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Great Northern I agree the section under the gondi should be blue to deter first timers from trying to go to the top.

But they should just blue that one section and green most of the rest of the trail. There's a reason for "Upper" "Middle" "Lower" etc.

Agree. I think Boomerang (the turn from the gondy) to Bear Trax to whatever they call the traverse from the old S. Ridge chair back to Great Northern these days is plenty flat enough to be green. And then some other trails could be rated appropriately. (Juggernaut, Sassafrass and others)
 

Jully

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I believe Ragged changed Easy Winder from green to blue a few years ago. Really didn't understand that one. I find blueberry patch, the other main green off the 6 significantly more interesting!
 

dlague

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I believe Ragged changed Easy Winder from green to blue a few years ago. Really didn't understand that one. I find blueberry patch, the other main green off the 6 significantly more interesting!

Oddly enough, the beginning of Blueberry Patch from the Ski Patrol shack up to the turn before the flat gives beginners a lo of trouble. Often too much traffic at varying skill levels and it gets chopped up. I rarely go that way because I do not like the flat part of that trail.
 

Newpylong

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I believe Ragged changed Easy Winder from green to blue a few years ago. Really didn't understand that one. I find blueberry patch, the other main green off the 6 significantly more interesting!

Just the upper section, because that first section is not really beginner friendly. Wish the rest was like that, lol.
 
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