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Effect of the Extreme Terrain designation

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
The "Where to ski in Colorado" thread brought up a point that I've felt somewhat strongly about since I moved to the state, that is, what qualifies as extreme terrain and if it the label really performs it's intened purpose, which is to tell skiers that this terrain is legitimately dangerous and they should be confident in their abilities before attempting.

The language reads:

Any place within the ski area boundary that contains cliffs with a minimum 20-foot rise over a 15-foot run, and slopes with a minimum 50 degree average pitch over a 100 foot run.”

Every double black at A-Basin is extreme terrain with no ordinary double blacks. It's extremely misleading and IMHO gives a skier a false sense of confidence when the terrain is not infact extreme. For example, "Land of the Giants" is rated Extreme terrain, yet if you stick to your skiers right (not talking about the traverse, but the actual trail), you won't hit any cliffs, and it's no harder than a blue. Technically this qualifies as ET though since there are cliffs on this "trail"

I think some skiers go on it just to say they've skied extreme terrain, so the label acts as a magnet instead of a deterrent. I think having signs on normal double black that say "danger - cliff area" would be much more effective in discouraging skiers unsure of their actual ability. Instead skiers want to rack up gnar points and brag about being "extreme"

I don't want to start a pissing contest between Colorado and Tahoe but when I skied Squaw Valley, I learned pretty damn quick to respect the "cliffs" discs that were above the Silverado bowl. Even though every trail map says its ratings are relative to only that particular resort, I can see how a skier that went on "extreme terrain" could get themselves into trouble as a ski resort that has 40+ foot cliffs everywhere like Squaw.

All in all, I think "Danger-cliffs" speak louder and more directly, and is more universal that extreme terrain.
post #2 of 6

Ohh man... another trail rating thread. Gotta find my helmet. Cuz you know, helmets make one safer. :duck:

post #3 of 6

always wear ur helmet...especially in the park

post #4 of 6

Ultimately every skier has to decide for themselves if they can safely ski a run in the conditions of the day. For me that means visual inspection if I don't know the area, or skiing with someone who knows the run and my ability. 

Funny you should mention Squaw--a couple of years ago they did away with double black, at the same time putting stuff that previously was only found in Squallywood on the regular resort map--most notably Mainline Pocket, which is pretty serious stuff for a single black. But Squaw is pretty good with gates, expert only signs at the top of runs, and caution and cliff signs and arrows directing people away from the nastier stuff.

Yeah there have been a million trail rating threads. There have been a million of  most threads on this forum. Probably a lot of these threads would die more quickly if it weren't for the people who post in them only to complain about their existence. Or we could continue old threads on the same subject rather than starting new ones but then people complain about that. Nobody is making anybody read threads they're not interested in.

post #5 of 6

Extreme = you fall you may die (or wish you had).  Anything short of that is double black diamond.

post #6 of 6

I actually love those signs... because I can take a selfie with the "Extreme Terrain" sign in the background as proof that I've skied it. Gives me some respect and "Ski Cred" in the apres ski bar. That's all that's really important.

Who has to know that I was too chicken to ski it and had actually slinked off to a lesser, less life threatening route?

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