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Steepness of New Englan d Trails

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
I know this has come up before but I don't think it was ever directed specifically at Northeast mountains.

I was wondering if anyone knows the pitch of the following:
Killington - Outer Limits
Stowe - Front Four
Sunday River - White Heat
Cannon - Front Trails facing 93 such as Avalanche and Tramline
Sugarloaf - Gondi Line and White Nitro
Sugarbush - OrganGrinder, Ripcord, and anything on Castlerock

I have skied some of these trails and was wondering what the slope is measured at.

I skied Gondi Line and White Nitro on Friday and it was awesome. I stayed centered the whole way down and made nice clean arcs without too much skiiding. It was a fun feeling and I was wondering how steep they really were. They fealt steeper then stuff at Cannon and Sunday River but definately much, much shorter.
post #2 of 52
This topic came up on the Wachusett RSN forum as someone speculated that the steepest trail at Wa was in the 30s, yeah right.

This site lists the pitch for some trails at Stowe--
It says Starre is 37degrees at the top. I think that the very top of Starrs is considered steepest spot at Stowe even though some other trails may be steeper on average.

Mt. Tremblant (which I know ain't yer fave) advertises pitches up to 43 degrees. The steepest thing I skied there was the drop on Dynamite. I did find it a scary compared to White Heat, front four, Outer Limits which I don't find scary.
post #3 of 52
Thread Starter 
Is Dynamite on the backside?

There were some nice pitches up top but very short.
post #4 of 52
Yeah, Dynamite is off of Expo which is the low lift on the North side. There's one drop in the middle that's maybe 80' vertical that is scary steep (by eastcoast standars). Every year I've been there except one, that part was closed because it was just a rock face. I think last season, they must of blasted the crap out of it with a snowgun because it was covered with a huyge amout of snow. I think that's what made the ledge even steeper. I'd venture to say the day I was on it, it was over 45deg for a few turns. I made a few very skidded turns down it.

The reason I found it scary was there were only two ways down. I came up to it with my skis pointed the wrong way. I didn't want to risk doing a step turn to get pointed the other way as a trip would have sent me tumbling 80' down. It was slushy spring snow and way easy to catch an edge.

Speaking of backside. The Backside of sugarloaf it pretty steep and great when it's open. So is the powerkeg chute one past white nitro.
post #5 of 52
Thread Starter 
The snowfields were nasty except for White Nitro Extension which obviously had mandmade on it.

It wasn't worth the trip to the Tiberline Quad to ski 50 feet of vert on crappy conditions.
post #6 of 52
I skied at Snowshoe West Virginia in late January. One trail (Shay's Revenge) has a steep section they claim is 60% grade (=31 degrees). It was pretty freakin steep (and a sheet of ice when I was there) but not as steep as some of the trails up on Castle Rock at Sugarbush. So, I'd say some of the trails at Castle Rock are definitely steeper than 31 degrees. Upper Organgrinder is probably on the order of 30 degrees, but it's been a few years since I skied there.

post #7 of 52
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the steepest terrain in the East the "Slides" at Whiteface?
post #8 of 52
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by PA Ridge Racer:
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the steepest terrain in the East the "Slides" at Whiteface?
I don't know but I have never skied there?

What is the pitch?
post #9 of 52
Roberto's at Bousquet is the steepest in the world (other than Milton Keynes, of course)
post #10 of 52
ovation at killington is steeper than outer limits
post #11 of 52
Originally posted by Scalce:
Is Dynamite on the backside?

There were some nice pitches up top but very short.
Yes Dynamite is on the North Side. I have never tried that run since it does have lots of rocks in the middle and it would scare the crap out of me. There are better "double blacks" on the North side, such as Cossak and Expo. These are quite reasonable runs for good skiers.

On the South Side you have 2 double blacks: Vertige and Zig-Zag, which are very short, but both have scary entries. Seems like a 45-50 degree entry to me. The few times I convinced myself to go on these runs I had to slide the entry (for about 10-12 feet)) and look for a flatter section to start my turns. After the steep entry the pitch is more like 35-37 degrees
post #12 of 52
Try this for fun:


Use it when standing on top of the trail. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #13 of 52
Thread Starter 
My Suunto watch has one built in to measure slope but I think people waiting to drop in would get pissed at me sitting there messing with my watch.

Plus I just wanna rip down it.
post #14 of 52
Hey Scalce,
Question about your Suunto watch.
I would think that in order for it to measure slope, you would need to ski straight down the fall line - is this correct?

Otherwise, as you ski, you are extending the "run" while having the same "rise" (really the drop).

I have seen the gps rental units at some of the ski areas that show you all your vert, trails, paths and velocities for the day. They also show average slope which takes into account the path you ski over the drop of the trail - this number winds up a very unimpressive number
post #15 of 52
wath about the face chutes and green beret @ jay?
post #16 of 52
Thread Starter 
Guy the Suunto measures the slope angle by holding the watch at an angle to the slope not by descent rate.

I don't care what mountain has the steepest runs.

I want to know the pitch of some of these runs so I can get a feel for what is steep from a pitch standpoint.
post #17 of 52
The only trail I have stats on I think is White Heat at 28 degrees at the top. Spruce Cliffs I would estimate at about 40, but it's only for 50 feet.

I think I did hear 37 for Starr.

I didn't think Green Beret at Jay was very steep; I thought Staircase was steeper. Face Chutes are definitely steep though. A few lines off the ridge are definitely around 40 I'd estimate.

I'd estimate White Nitro in the low 30's.

Just as reference; I was told by my guide that the blowhole entrance I took (which pretty much felt straight down) was 50 degrees.
post #18 of 52
Good for you Bonni, Raperto's is toe curling steep and for fun only about 10 yards wide.

However, there are other small areas with claims of steep trail. Catamount, just over the NY/MA boarder claims that Catapult is the steapest trail in the NE. It is pretty steep, but not having skied at all the area's I can't say if it's the steepest. I know that Magic has a couple of real steep trails, Talisman comes to mind. The lift line at Ascutney is also toe curling and long. Another local area, Jiminy, has 4-5 steep ones, Jericho, Whitetail, and Cutters. The upper Comp of Berkshire East is steep, but it's wide so it minimizes the fear factor. Give me another 10 years and I will have hit all the areas in the NE and really be able to provide insightful input.

BTW, Scalce, I thought Ripcord was a trail at Mt. Snow. And if I remember it correctly, I think it's steeper than anything on Castlerock.
post #19 of 52
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Bryan:

BTW, Scalce, I thought Ripcord was a trail at Mt. Snow. And if I remember it correctly, I think it's steeper than anything on Castlerock.
Ripcord is a wide bump run on Lincoln Peak at Sugarbush but I'm sure there are many runs named Ripcord all over the place. I haven't skied at Mt. Snow so I can't comment on their Ripcord run. I do know that I would rate a double black at Sugarbush as harder then one at Mt Snow from talking to people and seeing the trails in the summer.

I am not saying the trails I listed are the steepest but I have skied them so I know what the look like.
post #20 of 52
Ya want steep--try Tuckerman Ravine , Hour Glass
run or anything else up there---the hour glass shape is created by rock formations---yajustdon`t fall---Larry C
post #21 of 52
I was told the Blow Hole was 58 degrees. I didn't stop to measure when I was comiing down it.
A standard rule is, stand up with your arm out to the side. From the tip of your fingures to the bottom of your feet is 60 degrees.

But that's not in NE.
post #22 of 52
Thread Starter 
Where is Blow Hole?
post #23 of 52
Originally posted by Bonni:
(other than Milton Keynes, of course)
You got that right, Queen B! The narrow runout round the MEWP Cliff (man-elevating work platform) is the real killer though [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #24 of 52
There is a rip cord at both Mt'Slow and "da Bush".

The face of Mt' Snow's "cord" Is steep. I think, but can not confirm that it is steeper than that of SB. What the real number is I don't know either.

The lower face of Ovation at Killington is steeper than Outer limits easily.

Sugar Bush has some of the finest steep terrain in the East. Long continuous pitch. I wish it were my home mountain.

'Just comments and no answers to the question asked. Oh Well!


post #25 of 52
Originally posted by Max Capacity:
I was told the Blow Hole was 58 degrees.
For the top 15 feet, depending on what the entrance is like at that particular time. Average pitch before the bottom flat is probably less than 40.
post #26 of 52
Scalce, the Blow hole is at Blackcomb. After you hike up when getting off the T bar and go out to the Glacier. It's the first thing you come too. The wind blow's up next to the rocks and scope's out this big cone shape. You can see the Glacial ice from the bottom looking up. It was fun to ski. Kind of scary until I got in it and said "hey, all I have to do is make short turns, I can do that" when I got to the bottom I said "AGAIN" it was awesome.
post #27 of 52
If I remember the marketing info from way back the grade of White Nitro is 55. It's not the steepness alone that makes nitro a treat it's the combination of steepness and boilerplate.
post #28 of 52
obviously the steepest run in the NE was off my roof in Dover, MA onto the downhill-daylight basement side of the lot after the big dump in december. The roof is at a 12" over 12" pitch, wich equates to 45 degrees. As for Castle Rock, there are a couple of sections, albeit not on any of the runs, that approach this. Look skiers left about 1/3 of the way down Rumble or hike the exposed dirt cornice about about half way up the access road on the left side and across the gulley. Bring your rock skis, snow rarely sticks to it. cheers.
post #29 of 52
One thing that's important to point out is sometimes steepness is indicated in degrees of pitch and other times it's specified in % grade. Be sure you know which unit steepness is specific in.

Grade is the vertical distance devided by the horizontal distance. (Some people use the term rise over run but that is incorrect. Rise/Run would be Y/R and grade is Y/X). Mathematically grade is the tangent of the angle. To convert for grade to degrees, it's the inverse tangent.

A pitch of 45 degrees would be a grade of 100%.

If White Heat has a grade of 55% (.55), it's pitch is 28.8 degrees.

I was up at Tremblant last week and had a snack at the Trapper's Lodge on Soleil. They have some really cool old trail maps, one with very detailed notes on the original trails, like "easy here", "cliffs", "very steep". A section of the Kandahar trail (a black cruiser) was noted at 30-40% grade. That's about 17-21 degrees.
post #30 of 52
How does The Rumor and Lies at Gore compare?
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