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What really defines Double Diamond Terrain? - Page 5

post #121 of 186

I've never seen a triple diamond, but I have seen where some of the double diamonds will have and EX inside them, presumably for Extreme.

 

A double diamond that you can even think about grooming? Absurd. I get that trail ratings are relative, but the tesxt designations I've seen are Easiest, More Difficult, Most Difficult, and Expert Only. So the double diamond designation is a departure from the relative difficulty at that particular hill scale and designates that advanced skills are required to make it down safely. I think Anachronism above gives an excellent description of what element should be present to warrant a double diamond designation. I think further subdividing int triple diamond or EX is superfluous and silly.

post #122 of 186

I didn't find any difference between a double diamond and EX when I was out West.  Not sure how a resort decides which trails get which designation.

post #123 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by St Bear View Post
 

I didn't find any difference between a double diamond and EX when I was out West.  Not sure how a resort decides which trails get which designation.


agreed, I think an EX run just means there is a cliff somewhere on or near the run.  The run could be pretty mellow really and most people may never even see the cliff.  Ski areas seem to rate runs EX even if they don't meet the legal definition just to help market the resort.

post #124 of 186

Quote:

Originally Posted by St Bear View Post
 

I didn't find any difference between a double diamond and EX when I was out West.  Not sure how a resort decides which trails get which designation.

 

Now we're gonna need a "What really defines EX Terrain" thread!

 

:duel:

post #125 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by CluelessGaper59 View Post
 

I've never seen a triple diamond, but I have seen where some of the double diamonds will have and EX inside them, presumably for Extreme.

 

A double diamond that you can even think about grooming? Absurd. I get that trail ratings are relative, but the tesxt designations I've seen are Easiest, More Difficult, Most Difficult, and Expert Only. So the double diamond designation is a departure from the relative difficulty at that particular hill scale and designates that advanced skills are required to make it down safely. I think Anachronism above gives an excellent description of what element should be present to warrant a double diamond designation. I think further subdividing int triple diamond or EX is superfluous and silly.

 

There is a triple diamond rated trail at Smugglers Notch in Vermont.  I've never skied there, so I have no idea how legitimate it is.

 

As for groom-able double-diamond rated trails.  They're fairly common here in New England.  There's very little in New England that you couldn't get a groomer up if you really wanted to.  Stowe's interactive trail map at one point said for Starr (a double-black top-to-bottom bump run):  "We've never groomed it and we never will", although you could easily get a groomer in there, although you'd probably have to winch it.

post #126 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
 

 

There is a triple diamond rated trail at Smugglers Notch in Vermont.  I've never skied there, so I have no idea how legitimate it is.

 

As for groom-able double-diamond rated trails.  They're fairly common here in New England.  There's very little in New England that you couldn't get a groomer up if you really wanted to.  Stowe's interactive trail map at one point said for Starr (a double-black top-to-bottom bump run):  "We've never groomed it and we never will", although you could easily get a groomer in there, although you'd probably have to winch it.

Beaver Creek has a double-diamond that they groom once a week. It's their Birds of Prey World Cup downhill course (I think it's called "Golden Eagle" on the trail map, or something like that). 

post #127 of 186


To me, double diamond implies danger, not just difficulty.  Steep with safe runout deserves single diamond.  Steep with dangerous runout (cliff, rocks, etc.) deserves double diamond.  Of course it still depends on conditions.

 

In real estate it's "Location, Location, Location"
In skiing it's "Condition, Condition, Condition"

The same run with midwinter coverage and fresh snow may be easy, with thin early season snow and some freeze-thaw may be glare ice and deadly rocks. 

 

We were at Mammoth several weeks ago- they had received snow the week before, but low elevations had some warm then cold days.  My first run was on "Manzanita" which is a short intermediate (blue). There was a warning rope and black diamond sign at the top, which I assumed was because of thin cover.  Wrong.  Glare ice with frozen death cookies and some grabby styrofoam.  It deserved the diamond.  Four hours later the flying wedges were enjoying the slushfest with no problems.

 

A mountain or run that typically has thin cover and hard ice could legitimately rate the same steepness more difficult than a mountain with typically soft, deep snow and frequent grooming.

post #128 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarvolon View Post

Beaver Creek has a double-diamond that they groom once a week. It's their Birds of Prey World Cup downhill course (I think it's called "Golden Eagle" on the trail map, or something like that). 

 



Yeah btu that thing is a literal sheet(water injection) of ice the entire season. I was also going to point out that snowbasin at one point groomed the start of the grizzly downhill and that thing is steep. Even steeper than the brink on the birds of prey course. According to patrol the skiers were doing something like 0-85 in about 4 seconds.
post #129 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
 

 

There is a triple diamond rated trail at Smugglers Notch in Vermont.  I've never skied there, so I have no idea how legitimate it is.

 

As for groom-able double-diamond rated trails.  They're fairly common here in New England.  There's very little in New England that you couldn't get a groomer up if you really wanted to.  Stowe's interactive trail map at one point said for Starr (a double-black top-to-bottom bump run):  "We've never groomed it and we never will", although you could easily get a groomer in there, although you'd probably have to winch it.

 

It was closed the only time I've been to Smuggs, but it's just a very narrow glade, with a lot of blind turns and I think mandatory air.

 

Although, anything is skiable if you slip/slide enough.

post #130 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarvolon View Post
 

Beaver Creek has a double-diamond that they groom once a week. It's their Birds of Prey World Cup downhill course (I think it's called "Golden Eagle" on the trail map, or something like that). 

 



Yeah btu that thing is a literal sheet(water injection) of ice the entire season. I was also going to point out that snowbasin at one point groomed the start of the grizzly downhill and that thing is steep. Even steeper than the brink on the birds of prey course. According to patrol the skiers were doing something like 0-85 in about 4 seconds.

 

Ah, did not realize that. I was there for a week last year, and my instructor told me to stick to single-blacks except the day they groomed Golden Eagle, and then I could get a taste of a double in reasonable conditions. But I got a flu bug and didn't quite feel like being adventurous that day. 

post #131 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarvolon View Post

 

Ah, did not realize that. I was there for a week last year, and my instructor told me to stick to single-blacks except the day they groomed Golden Eagle, and then I could get a taste of a double in reasonable conditions. But I got a flu bug and didn't quite feel like being adventurous that day. 

 



This year they may have gotten enough snow to bury the wate injected part but usually it all gets scrapped off cuz of skier traffic. The day it's groomed is probably not too bad though. With the exception of the brink and one or two of the jump pitches it's really not any steeper than there single blacks. The Brink is a pretty cool feature though certainly intimidating for people progressing.
post #132 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarvolon View Post
 

 

 the day they groomed Golden Eagle, and then I could get a taste of a double in reasonable conditions. But I got a flu bug and didn't quite feel like being adventurous that day.

 

I've always felt that true advanced runs should not see grooming, except for early-season snow retention or to otherwise extend the skiable life of the snow surface. When something is on the groom list every 2 days, that is strong evidence to me that the trail is misclassified. Most black runs are too steep for traditional grooming or have other features that prevent it. Even with winch cats, it is very difficult to groom anything over a 35* pitch, which is right in the heart of advanced terrain.

 

The idea of having a "Double Black" regularly on the groom list is laughably ridiculous.. I realize the water injected nature of the course is a special consideration, but come on already.

post #133 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 

 

The EX thing, at least in Colorado, is a joke. I have skied many a double black "EX" run and have yet to encounter mandatory air.  It means "somewhere in this vast expanse of snow, you may find a rock with a steep drop off."  So far it's been so easy to avoid these spots that I don't even notice them 95% of the time. That's at Breck, Copper, and Monarch. Oh, wait, there are massive rock outcroppings at Copper, but there's a pretty obvious way around them.

 

 

Agree. Although Staircase at Monarch is surprisingly technical. You have to pick your way through a few cliff bands, and ten have a 10 foot wide 40-45* pitch with the Staircase rock outcropping to your right. First time I dropped in there, I was kicking myself for not hitting it sooner. It is totally unlike the rest of the mountain.

post #134 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post
 

 

I've always felt that true advanced runs should not see grooming, except for early-season snow retention or to otherwise extend the skiable life of the snow surface. When something is on the groom list every 2 days, that is strong evidence to me that the trail is misclassified. Most black runs are too steep for traditional grooming or have other features that prevent it. Even with winch cats, it is very difficult to groom anything over a 35* pitch, which is right in the heart of advanced terrain.

 

The idea of having a "Double Black" regularly on the groom list is laughably ridiculous.. I realize the water injected nature of the course is a special consideration, but come on already.

To be fair to Beaver Creek, "when they groomed" was once a week. Now that's still regular, and I definitely take your point about double-diamonds not being regularly groomed, but it's not like it's every other day or anything. I'm willing to grant them an exception for the water-injection and say that in almost all cases, double-blacks should be groomed rarely or never. 

post #135 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarvolon View Post
 

double-blacks should be groomed rarely or never.

 

In the East, take Sugarbush's approach to Castle Rock.  Only right before a really big storm.  Fill in the troughs and create a bigger and longer lasting base.

post #136 of 186

If a slope is *ever* groomed it's not expert terrain.  Period.

post #137 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post
 

If a slope is *ever* groomed it's not expert terrain.  Period.


Define "groomed".  Patrols boot back things that are pretty gnarly, avy control, etc...

post #138 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 


Define "groomed".  Patrols boot back things that are pretty gnarly, avy control, etc...

 

Groomed by a groomer of course.  I've never once heard boot packing a slope or doing control work referred to as grooming.

post #139 of 186

Just coming off a decently long ski/road trip I can definitely say the ratings vary drastically between resorts, any rating at jackson hole is easily a notch above most other resorts out west, a green at JH is a blue, a blue would be a black anywhere else. I skied jackson one day and snowmass the next and the "extreme terrain" doubles at snowmass were much less steep than the blues at jackson. And as for a black equaling a green at another mountain, after the trip out west I skied whitetail mountain in Pennsylvania and the blacks there were easily less steep, same width, and shorter than the greens at jackson hole

post #140 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
 

 

There is a triple diamond rated trail at Smugglers Notch in Vermont.  I've never skied there, so I have no idea how legitimate it is.

 

As for groom-able double-diamond rated trails.  They're fairly common here in New England.  There's very little in New England that you couldn't get a groomer up if you really wanted to.  Stowe's interactive trail map at one point said for Starr (a double-black top-to-bottom bump run):  "We've never groomed it and we never will", although you could easily get a groomer in there, although you'd probably have to winch it.cannon tram line.

Except for all the glades at Cannon, Jay, Stowe and elsewhere.  I'd pay to watch them try to groom the Cannon tram line.

post #141 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by kletter1mann View Post
 

Except for all the glades at Cannon, Jay, Stowe and elsewhere.  I'd pay to watch them try to groom the Cannon tram line.

 

Same with Jay's Face Chutes, the Madonna Liftline at Smuggs, and of course the Slides at Whiteface.

 

It may come as a shock to some, but there are in fact in-bounds cliffs in the East.

post #142 of 186

Oh, yeah. I forgot about Golden Eagle. Honestly I think that is only rated double black because of the World Cup surface prep. Effectively they don't groom it so much as scrape the loose snow off of the rock-hard sheet of ice. It is darn steep in sections, but fairly wide and generally lacking in cliffs, trees and huge boulders (for obvious reasons). I think if the snow were normal, it would rate a single diamond. Perhaps this explains the groomable double diamonds on the east coast, where icy conditions are more common.

post #143 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post
 

Holy crap, talk about obsessive.  If you want to have more fun, ditch the topos and just do what my son and I do:  ride a chair and if we see a run that looks entertaining, we go find it and ski it.  Or we look at the trail map and if we see what looks like glade skiing, we head there immediately.  Talk to someone on patrol or a mountain host and ask them what are the easiest blacks.  Exploring the mountain is a huge part of the fun in skiing.  Of course your definition of "fun" seems a bit perverse.

I'm not suggesting that you should spend hours researching maps.  I was responding to others suggesting that if I wanted to know how difficult a trail might be, based on things like how wide it is and how steep it is, I could figure it out in advance on a topo map.  

post #144 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kletter1mann View Post
 


Baloney.  You're insisting on making the simple into something impossibly complex.  What you seem to be asking for is a real-time rating system that changes according to conditions and is uniform from mountain to mountain.  There's nothing 'black' about that at all except some unpacked snow that your typical blue, carving, groomer-zoomer would probably hate. 

 

Anyway, you're refusing to connect the dots.  Allow me to help.  You don't need to check topos, that's silly too unless you're OCD about things.  God gave you a brain (if not judgement), right?  You have a trail map, right?  You know what kind of skier you are and how your group/family skis, right?  You already know that if it just dumped 2 feet, and you struggle in fresh snow, that everything ungroomed will be harder, right?  You have a daily ski report that tells you what has been groomed and what hasn't, right?  The resort has an info desk that will happily answer your questions about conditions.  You talked to them and they filled in the blanks, right? 

 

That's all you need to decide what to do.  If it's simply too much trouble and you need to be spoon-fed all that very same information by some as yet unknown mechanism then consider another activity that can satisfy your need for perfectly calibrated advance information.

If keeping track of the maximum pitch and the average width of a trail is "impossibly complex", there is something wrong.  

 

I keep hearing that all a person needs to do is ask, but we are talking about a mountain with a lot of trails.  The little mountains here in NY average around 50 trails.  Do you really expect people to go to the info desk and get a description of all the trails they might want to try, and be able to remember that for the rest of their time on the mountain?  

 

Yeah, that's a much better idea than posting two pieces of information about each trail.

post #145 of 186

Okay, take a group lesson and be introduced to all the terrain appropriate for your level.

post #146 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 

Okay, take a group lesson and be introduced to all the terrain appropriate for your level.

Good suggestion. Enough lessons and he'll have the confidence of knowing he can handle whatever he runs into. When I go to a new mountain, I don't worry about trail ratings or even spend much time looking at a map. I just get on the nearest lift and start looking around for whatever looks interesting.

post #147 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeFiter View Post
 

If keeping track of the maximum pitch and the average width of a trail is "impossibly complex", there is something wrong.  

 

I keep hearing that all a person needs to do is ask, but we are talking about a mountain with a lot of trails.  The little mountains here in NY average around 50 trails.  Do you really expect people to go to the info desk and get a description of all the trails they might want to try, and be able to remember that for the rest of their time on the mountain?  

 

Yeah, that's a much better idea than posting two pieces of information about each trail.

Hopeless. totally hopeless.  Something is indeed very wrong, bud, and it is you.  It's clear that the complexities, uncertainties and effort required for skiing don't suit your temperament.  You definitely need to find a new sport.  Do you ever actually ski?  Troll.

post #148 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by CluelessGaper59 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 

Okay, take a group lesson and be introduced to all the terrain appropriate for your level.

Good suggestion. Enough lessons and he'll have the confidence of knowing he can handle whatever he runs into. When I go to a new mountain, I don't worry about trail ratings or even spend much time looking at a map. I just get on the nearest lift and start looking around for whatever looks interesting.

 

Sure, but a lot of people don't get to that point in their skiing, and still manage to have fun.  I think a major reason I like Breck so much is because I've taken so many lessons and learned the cool places to go, the neat cut-throughs, etc.  I've been thinking I should take lessons at Copper, WP, etc to get the same info. I wish every place had a lesson pass.

post #149 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kletter1mann View Post
 

Hopeless. totally hopeless.  Something is indeed very wrong, bud, and it is you.  It's clear that the complexities, uncertainties and effort required for skiing don't suit your temperament.  You definitely need to find a new sport.  Do you ever actually ski?  Troll.

No need for name calling.  I brought up a topic, engaged in a discussion, and had an opinion.  I'm not sure how that makes me a troll.  

post #150 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 

Okay, take a group lesson and be introduced to all the terrain appropriate for your level.

Not a bad idea, but that can get a little pricey.  Here in NY, at least at the mountains I usually ski, an hour lesson is about $30.  You might not be able to cover too much of a mountain in that time.  I would imagine you would cover even less at a bigger mountain.  A lesson could certainly help a skier if they are unsure, but to me it just makes sense to give them the information to figure it out on their own.  Isn't that the point of having a rating system in the first place.  I'm only suggesting a rating system that actually has some sort of meaning attached to it as opposed to the current system that really doesn't tell us anything.

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