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Old 12-05-2008, 06:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default East vs. West Trail Difficulty/Markings.

How do trail markings and difficulty compare? Are east coast blacks like west coast blues?
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Old 12-06-2008, 03:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I can't speak for east coast but here in the west I imagine that the standard difficulty gradient has to cover more types and difficulties of terrain. Because we have everything from the mellowest bunny slopes to the most extreme cliff runs and we use the same difficulty system as the east coast each category will cover more types and difficulties of terrain. For example east coast blue runs might be blue runs here but so would mellower east coast black diamond runs. Again I have never been to the east coast so this is just my humble hypothesis
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Old 12-06-2008, 04:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The colour system is unique to the terrain at each specific resort.

For example, a black at Grousucks might be a blue at Kicking Horse.

There is no standardized slope grade system.

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Old 12-06-2008, 04:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Heard that there is some ski resort association that does survey mtns and does some comparative analysis of runs. But in general cascades are steeper, rockies are bigger with higher alt, the midwest are golf courses and garbage heaps and the east are rollin hills. So that being said I couldn't imagine an east coast black being anything much more than say a baker blue and a midwest heap being baker's bunny hill. Also when baker fills in with the usual 180 inch base the run difficulty certianly decreases and locals find entertainment beyond the ropes.
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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East coast ratings tend to take the average conditions into consideration. White Heat isn't that steep of a run for instance, but it's ALWAYS icy,and steeps provide a different type of challenge when you simply can't turn on large portions of them. I'd say it more or less boils down to:West coast you're battling the terrain, on the East you're battling the conditions. Different challenges requiring different skills.
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Old 12-06-2008, 04:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ahh, so slopes grades are a bit different but the type of snow is what makes the biggest difference.

Here on the east coast there is usually 3-5 inches of powder/grandual followed by hardpack/ice. I am handling blacks here pretty easily. Just not to sure if I can handle west coast blacks, but I will slowly move into them when I get out there this winter.

The thing I hate the most on the east coast are the hard mounds, not quite moguls, that develop on the slopes either from skiers or just terrain. I hate when it tosses the board around enough till I bust my ass.
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