Originally Posted by crank
I said a bit challenging for a less than level 7 skier. For a good skier not at all challenging.
This brings in the always interesting element of skier perspective, and how do we take that into account. If there are elements on the mountain that are challenging for a level 7 skier, but nothing on the mountain challenging for an 8+ skier, then I'd rank that mountain fairly low on the challenge scale, at least when you put it up against other mountains where a significant portion of the mountain is challenging to 8+ skilled skiers. And if you scale that back, every mountain is challenging to a level 1 skier. Heck, the challenge for a level 1 skier starts in the rental shop, putting on ski boots.
If i'm going to go granular and try to parse out a challenge index, I'm going to look at each average skill level, and figure out if that mountain has any challenge for that level. Every hill with snow and a lift on it is going to stay in the conversation for the first few rounds. Then as we get into level 4,5 and up, some smaller hills (McIntyre in Manchester NH for example) are going to start dropping off the list. As we get further up the list, more and more mountains will get pared away. Then you can discuss how much of the mountain is challenging to the average level X skier. Then at the top of the scale, you also introduce how challenging is it to the average level 9 and beyond skier. Does it require the expert to casually employ all of their skills, or does it require serious thought? Or does it require putting in a mouthguard and strapping on a diaper to ski it?
Originally Posted by Maineac
NESkiBum you need to come wander about Wildcat on a powder day. Good challenge to be had top to bottom if rocks don't scare you. Then adding in all the special trails, well it skis a lot bigger with new snow
Every mountain changes with conditions. Even the bunny slope is an challenge with an inch of untouched glare ice. The idea is when you correct for the variables like conditions and traffic, what does the terrain itself offer?
Originally Posted by crank
Mt. Snow's North Face is a bit challenging, but not for a good (level 7 or 8) skier. The really steep part of that 1 run can be intimidating, but it is so short that you can't really count it for anything. Magic has much more difficult terrain for a good percentage of it's vertical and is definitely more challenging than anything in the OP's "medium" mountain category.
A very steep, very short pitch doesn't really count for much. I used to work at Blue Mountain in PA, and there is one trail there, called the Falls Trail. It's a solid 35deg plus slope, but it's only about 100 yards long max that leads to a long, smooth, shallow runout back to the lift. Just about every trip down that trail I made was either straightlined, or I spent the first 2/3 of it in the air. Didn't amount to any real challenge, despite its pitch.