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Swiss trail maps

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Can anyone help me decipher the swiss color code? I'm seeing red, black, blue, green, lavender and yellow.
What's the deal?
post #2 of 10
Are you looking at a map of the 4 Vallees/Verbier? It would help to be able to see the map you are looking at. But from my years of living and skiing in Switzerland it sounds like a description ot the Verbier map. There are several smaller areas that interconnect to form the overall 4 Vallees-MtFort region. On the trail map the area covered by each of the smaller areas is denoted by a different colored area. Or a global lift ticket can be bought that covers the entire 4 Vallees area.

I'm searching the web for one of the sites with ski area maps but coing up empty handed. Any pointers?
post #3 of 10
post #4 of 10
I'm not sure what the yellow & lavender are for, but if I remember correctly, the color coding (from easiest to hardest) is green, blue, red, and black. Another way to look at it is that the Swiss red is like the US black, and the Swiss black is like the US double-black.
post #5 of 10
Ski map markings are consistent throughout Europe, in order of severity: Green, Blue, Red and Black, with ski trails; off-piste routes that are recognised and marked, shown as dotted Black lines. That doesn't mean that all the marked runs in every resort are anywhere near consistent. Every ski resort is keen to demonstrate they have the widest possible choice so you'll get blues that should be red, reds that should black and vice-versa. Verbier is a huge resort with more than enough skiing at all levels, its a shame that the lift company is worse than useless, the queues have to be seen to be believed and the pass is one of the most expensive. Maybe its changed since Intrawest bought in but I gave up skiing there some years ago, shame because its a good resort.
post #6 of 10
Ok I am looking at a 4 Valleys Map.

Yellow on there is whats known as an Itinarie (spelling) run, basically its an off piste run that has been recognisied.

The other colours on the map mark out the skiing areas eg if you didn't get a four valleys ski pass and just got one for the smaler area..

post #7 of 10
In difficulty order, it ought to be:
Black, Red, Blue,Green

These should be all gromed runs.
No idea about lavender and yelow (probably intermediate difficulty level between Red and Blue?) but as said, to see
the map, or even a link to it could give us a better idea.
But, if the yellow is like the orange you see in this map
Madesimo ski area
Then those are off-piste trails(out-of-bounds, I remind you that virtually everything that lies outside of a groomed trail is off-piste here, and you'll notice many signs, in Italy, saying "Vietato il fuoripista"- "off-piste forbidden").
You'll notice a couple of runs that are black and oange, well, those used to be in-bound runs that have been re-classified as off-piste. That means that by the city mayor decree, the run can be declared closed for the day or the week, and no one is allowed to ski down it, not even at his own risk.
That's one of the reasons I don't go there to ski anymore,
I see no use to drive there (and by the time you're there it's too late to drive anywhere else), pay an expensive ticket and discover that the more interesting runs are closed.
I may give the place another try, in a while, after the sour taste of last time (February 1999) has definitely faded.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

This is the place, though the actual Flims website has a better image.
The ones that confuse me are down low, like the runs into town and such.
post #9 of 10
Xdog. The one at Flims/Laax website is clearer.

There, the yellow/orange areas are marked with double and triple black diamonds too.
My interpretation is that these areas are the Swiss version of the american Black-bowls. Ungroomed areas left wild as to allow
bumps to form (or powder run if it snows)
As for the yellow/orange trails, I maintain my original idea.
Should be off-piste (ungroomed )trails.
As for the lavender one, it looks like winterwanderweg (tracks to be walked)and/or cross country tracks
It's interesting to note that the leftmost red trail is a dead end and that the only mean to gain access to a lift from there is by means of one of those lavender tracks...
post #10 of 10
Originally posted by dultimo:
Ski map markings are consistent throughout Europe, in order of severity: Green, Blue, Red and Black.
There is also a Yellow which is quite rare but I believe easier than Green (which woud explain the rarity!).

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