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Trail Ratings

Los

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Which northern New England ski areas do you think "over rate" their trails, which do you think "under rate", and which do you think get it about right? I realize that ratings are relative to each individual ski area's terrain, but still, it's probably fair to compare at least some areas with each other...


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rocks860

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I think for them most part sugarbush gets it about right. The double blacks are pretty legit and some of the blues could pretty easily be blacks


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joshua segal

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Which northern New England ski areas do you think "over rate" their trails, which do you think "under rate", and which do you think get it about right? I realize that ratings are relative to each individual ski area's terrain, but still, it's probably fair to compare at least some areas with each other...
Not relevant: The rating system is relative to the specific area. It is not Expert, Intermediate, Beginner: It is Most Difficult, More Difficult and Easier. So even the easier areas have trails that are more difficult and most difficult.
 

benski

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Which northern New England ski areas do you think "over rate" their trails, which do you think "under rate", and which do you think get it about right? I realize that ratings are relative to each individual ski area's terrain, but still, it's probably fair to compare at least some areas with each other...


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I would say most ski areas that don't use double blacks are underrating there trails meanwhile, Okemo overstates its trails a lot. I know someone who was an Okemo regular and thought he could handle all east cost double blacks then realized he was wrong at Sugarbush on Paradise, half way to the point where it turns to go down the headwall. That section could be rated a blue at Sugarbush if it were not for the headwall.
I think most people fail to realize all these rating systems have in common is the ratings system.
 

chuckstah

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No double blacks at MRG or Cannon. I guess most any high intermediate can ski everything there? But I could ski those double blacks at Okemo! :D
 

rocks860

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I would say most ski areas that don't use double blacks are underrating there trails meanwhile, Okemo overstates its trails a lot. I know someone who was an Okemo regular and thought he could handle all east cost double blacks then realized he was wrong at Sugarbush on Paradise, half way to the point where it turns to go down the headwall. That section could be rated a blue at Sugarbush if it were not for the headwall.
I think most people fail to realize all these rating systems have in common is the ratings system.

Not an awesome mistake to make. That trail gives some interesting surprised if you're not prepared


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benski

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Places like MRG and Cannon understand grammar: You can't get more difficult than "most difficult"!

Sugarbush had Beginner, Intermediate, more difficult and most difficult. I think it should be beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert.
 

Los

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Not relevant: The rating system is relative to the specific area. It is not Expert, Intermediate, Beginner: It is Most Difficult, More Difficult and Easier. So even the easier areas have trails that are more difficult and most difficult.

Lol


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cdskier

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Sugarbush had Beginner, Intermediate, more difficult and most difficult. I think it should be beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert.

Currently on the printed trail map Sugarbush lists it as "Easier, Difficult, More Difficult, Most Difficult". And then on the Trail Report on their website they list it as "Easier, More Difficult, Most Difficult, Extremely Difficult".

In terms of Sugarbush's own ratings...I think for the most part they get it right. Perhaps a couple trails could be re-rated (Ripcord down to single-black and The Mall up to double-black maybe).
 

benski

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Currently on the printed trail map Sugarbush lists it as "Easier, Difficult, More Difficult, Most Difficult". And then on the Trail Report on their website they list it as "Easier, More Difficult, Most Difficult, Extremely Difficult".

In terms of Sugarbush's own ratings...I think for the most part they get it right. Perhaps a couple trails could be re-rated (Ripcord down to single-black and The Mall up to double-black maybe).

I would put lower rim run as a green and downspout as a black but otherwise keep it the same.


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ss20

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A minute from the Alta exit off the I-15!
Not relevant: The rating system is relative to the specific area. It is not Expert, Intermediate, Beginner: It is Most Difficult, More Difficult and Easier. So even the easier areas have trails that are more difficult and most difficult.

100% agree. Discussions like these are so trivial and repeated it's a waste of space on this website's server.
 

cdskier

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I would put lower rim run as a green and downspout as a black but otherwise keep it the same.

Not sure I agree with changing lower rim run. It still has decent pitch and people tend to go a bit fast there. I'd reserve green for flatter areas or trails within a beginner pod where you're not likely to have people going too fast. In some ways it is perhaps better from a "safety" perspective to over-rate your trails rather than under-rate them. If I'm not mistaken, someone unfortunately died on Lower Rim Run a couple years ago.

For Downspout, the problem is that it is the primary trail back to HG and if you made it a black, then there's no major way for Intermediates to get to the HG chair to access Jester. I don't think the trail itself is worthy of being black. Conditions just happen to deteriorate rapidly on it due to the volume of traffic it receives. Tough call on that one...
 

deadheadskier

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My only thoughts on trail ratings (not glades) are that if a trail is capable of being groomed (and typically is periodically throughout the season), it should not be rated a double black. Double Black should be reserved for trails that can't be groomed due to either being very narrow and steep or it contains ledge areas.

For glades, pitch and how tight the trees are should determine the rating.
 

BenedictGomez

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Not New England, but Whiteface has the most difficult trail rating system I've seen in the east.

There are intermediates at Whiteface, for instance, that could be black diamonds at other places. And there are definitely black diamonds, that would be double black diamonds almost anywhere else.
 

doublediamond

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Not relevant: The rating system is relative to the specific area. It is not Expert, Intermediate, Beginner: It is Most Difficult, More Difficult and Easier. So even the easier areas have trails that are more difficult and most difficult.

The thing is, it really should be relevant. The rating system should not be unique to each area. It's a marketing ploy to have a black at a place like Blue Hills or Nashoba or Bradford or Powder Ridge. Or for Smuggs to have a triple black diamond. All it does it does is get people onto trails they shouldn't be on when they get to a place that ranks trails at an easier grade than they are accustomed to.

Do National Parks get their rock climbing routes or rapids classed willy-nilly? No. There are standards so the users understand what they are getting themselves into. Do golf courses come up with their own slopes and ratings? No, certified people come through and assign difficulty values to everything from the height of the rough to the bunkers and water and speeds of the greens.

There needs to be a standard cutoff. As much as the trail map may read "Ratings are unique to this area", no one bothers to read that. It puts stress on the Ski Patrol to rescue an injured person on a trail they shouldn't have been on in the first place. It clogs up trails as beginners snowplow all the way across the fall line on a trail too hard for them.
 
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Tin

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No double blacks at MRG or Cannon. I guess most any high intermediate can ski everything there? But I could ski those double blacks at Okemo! :D

Someone has actually had the custom MRG signs made with double diamond trail ratings with the area's name to label some off map stuff. It is pretty cool to be going through the woods, thinking "Where the hell am I going?" and find a trail sign for the "unmarked" area.
 

Smellytele

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While Polecat at Wildcat is not a really tough trail having beginners on because it is a green circle can be an issue. Should probably be a blue but then they couldn't market it as the longest green trail in the Northeast.
 

Jully

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The thing is, it really should be relevant. The rating system should not be unique to each area. It's a marketing ploy to have a black at a place like Blue Hills or Nashoba or Bradford or Powder Ridge. Or for Smuggs to have a triple black diamond. All it does it does is get people onto trails they shouldn't be on when they get to a place that ranks trails at an easier grade than they are accustomed to.

Do National Parks get their rock climbing routes or rapids classed willy-nilly? No. There are standards so the users understand what they are getting themselves into. Do golf courses come up with their own slopes and ratings? No, certified people come through and assign difficulty values to everything from the height of the rough to the bunkers and water and speeds of the greens.

There needs to be a standard cutoff. As much as the trail map may read "Ratings are unique to this area", no one bothers to read that. It puts stress on the Ski Patrol to rescue an injured person on a trail they shouldn't have been on in the first place. It clogs up trails as beginners snowplow all the way across the fall line on a trail too hard for them.

Absolutely agree. the problem is implementing a standardized system like this won't be possible. Maybe if a millionaire has a kid get into a terrible accident on a trail that was too hard for them
 
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