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The Blues

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I am heading out west for the first time with my kids and was wondering if the "Blues" out west (Snowmass) were similar to the Blues in the East (Vermont). I'm assuming the difficulty level is similar but the length of the runs are longer. Can anyone give me some idea what to expect? Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 9
Hmmm..... Muddy Waters. Great Blues for a trip out west.

Ok seriously now. "West" is kind of a big place. One resort can have blues that could be a black at other places in the west. A place as big as Snowmass probably has blues of varying degrees of difficulty.
post #3 of 9

If you can ski blues in vermont you'll be fine on the blues out west. Generally speaking, the blues out west will probably be longer and a little bit steeper.

post #4 of 9

At Snowmass, you'll have nothing to worry about. Their blues seem easier, since they are wider and MUCH less crowded.



post #5 of 9

It varies somewhat from area to area.  Snowbird, for instance, has a somewhat different idea of 'intermediate' than Aspen or Deer Valley.


In general I would say that groomed 'intermediate' trails at a large Western resort are a little bit steeper and a lot longer than 'intermediate' trails at an Eastern resort.  As pointed out above, in many cases the modest increase in steepness is pretty much cancelled out by the trails being enormously wide and having nobody on them.


Depending on where you go, you may also encounter 'intermediate' trails that are ungroomed, while many Eastern resorts rate anything ungroomed as 'expert' even if the pitch is no harder than an 'intermediate' trail.  So keep that in mind.


The short version is that Snowmass is awesome and you'll have a great time and have nothing to worry about.  smile.gif

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. My kids are what i would call advanced beginners. They are comfortable on the blues in Vermont and can do Blacks in the Poconos (PA) so I think we'll be fine on the Blues at Snowmass. We'll probably do a few Green runs first just to warm up.
post #7 of 9

They may be steeper, they definitely will be longer, and the increased vert will likely make them feel tougher even if everthing else is the same.


When talking about groomed runs, in most cases the softer snow found out West will go a long, long, way to cancel out the above. Maybe not this year.


I really wouldn't worry too much about it. I get very nervous when somebody talks about skiing "advanced" runs at a tiny 200 vert hill in the Midwest, Mid Atlantic, etc. and then starts asking questions about backcountry stuff on their first visit out West or some of the trophy runs.  If somebody learned to ski at Paoli Peaks, IN (just as an example, no disrespect intended), and are taking their first trip out West, its kind of  scary to hear them get on a forum and start asking about, I don't know, conditions on Possible at Snowmass.


It is a lot harder to get in over your head starting out on groomed cruiser blue runs- You almost certainly won't get stuck, and if its harder than you wish, there's a ton of easier terrain. If you want something more robust, there is that too.

post #8 of 9

Most of Snowmass's blues are pretty easy.   Maybe start on the Elk Camp Gondola and ski a run on the Meadows learning area.  If your ok, take Funnel or Adams Ave. Then go up the Elk Camp chair and try Bear Bottom or Gunners View.  You'll be skiing the blacks off of Sam's Knob before you know it.

Your going to have a great time!

post #9 of 9

I can't foresee any issues for you.

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