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How do pistes in US/Canada/EU compare?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
"In my view, the best thing is to ski both sides of the Atlantic as often as you can possibly manage"

Without a doubt the best advice on this thread! Very Happy Very Happy
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
under a new name wrote:
@VolklAttivaS5, just the regular trail map. Or no map at all.

Quote:

extensive off piste


@sbooker, In my relatively limited experience of the west coast and BC (Whistler,, Revvy, KH, Jackson, UT) and recollection (limited), off piste but in bounds runs are gated. So there ought to be a clear sense of what sort of terrain you'll be looking at.


Definitional problem? Backcountry access usually seems to be gated or at least posted. Inbounds off-piste isn't generally gated as it would require gates alongside all groomers. Some particular inbounds terrain e.g. Prima Cornice at Vail, Mott & Killebrew at Heavenly is gated as it may be shut at particular times for safety or because exit lifts are closing. Often inbounds terrain may be roped when there is still control work to do and/or hazard high. You have to be wilfully poaching to wander into a bomb zone - nigh on impossible to do it "accidentally". Doesn't stop some pricks doing it though and delaying control work and opening for everyone else.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, could be a definition issue. Probably the wrong goggle lenses.
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stuarth wrote:
What I did just notice when studying the kicking horse trail map (not been before, but son has a competition coming up there soon) , that might be a bit different, is there is a marked grizzly bear refuge! Shocked


Tell him not to worry - Boo will be quite safe, probably still hibernating unless its warm, and then he'll be in his pen. ( You can see it from the gondola ). Don't think he goes out of the pen until after the snow has melted - plus he's getting old now Toofy Grin

Good luck to lad in the comp. Madeye-Smiley
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@stuarth, Yes there is a grizzly bear called Boo. lives in a fenced off patch of mountain. The refuge area is large enough he can gather up 80% of his own food and then this is supplement by the park rangers dropping in road kill. Any deer or sheep that are killed on local roads are dropped in from a chair lift.
He has been known to wander off he dug his way out on a couple of occasions when he sniffed a female passing by! then after a couple of weeks found his way back to the gate of his area and waited to be let back in. (big electric fence).
He has dug a "swimming" pool next to a spring has a few toys, he "plays" with some logs of various sizes he puts them in the pool.
We went in summer a few years ago we were lucky he came up to the fence had a sniff at the visitors and went for a bath. We watched him throwing around a telegraph size pole. My niece who was about 7 at the time was absolutely stunned by this, she still talks about it 6yrs on.
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My first thought was it was somewhere to take refuge from grizzly bears! wink
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under a new name wrote:
Quote:

extensive off piste


@sbooker, In my relatively limited experience of the west coast and BC (Whistler,, Revvy, KH, Jackson, UT) and recollection (limited), off piste but in bounds runs are gated. So there ought to be a clear sense of what sort of terrain you'll be looking at.

Sorry, your recollection is rather faulty.

In bound off piste are typically NOT gated.

(In fact, most western Canada/America mountain do NOT groom their black pistes. In another words, majority of black pistes are "off-piste")

Gates are usually for exiting the resort boundary into the back country. However, a few resorts have special section of their mountain that requires special consideration, such as Dirilium Dive where avi gear required.

I can't help but noticed the OP had long gone. And the original question regarding the difficulty of piste rating it no longer the subject of current discussion. Still, the level of misinformation in this thread is rather astonishing.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@abc, terminology. Maybe I’m wrong. Hey ho.
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stuarth wrote:
My first thought was it was somewhere to take refuge from grizzly bears! wink

That would be my first reaction too. Smile But I was corrected by the locals (I went there 2 years ago)
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under a new name wrote:
@abc, terminology. Maybe I’m wrong. Hey ho.

Yes, terminology.

That's why I didn't post anything on this thread initially. The definition of "piste" are different in the two continents. So it's really hard to compare. Black "piste" in north America are no more difficult than those in Europe. However, majority of black "runs" in north America are not groomed. So many a mountain have limited "black piste" to compare with Europe. Mostly unremarkable.

A North America mountain may list they have 30% green, 40% blue and 30% black. But if you take out off-piste by European standard, you may find the mountain actually has 30% green, 25% blue, 5% black "piste" and 40% off-piste! Shocked
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At my ski area in N. Idaho there are days where outside of some greens nothing will be groomed, especially midweek. I've seen riders from other places standing in 6-8 of Powder struggling and wondering where the groomers are.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Actually, @abc, "piste" just means a recognised, marked and controlled run. It doesn't imply "pisted" (or shouldn't). It's a translation from French meaning "track" or "trail" in English.

So exactly the same word as used in N.A.
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@under a new name, Yebbut try taking your "casual" Brit skiing mates on a mogul filled black because they said they were "fine on any piste" and you'll soon learn the more widely understood Brtish definition is "something that has been pisted by a piste basher".
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Dave of the Marmottes, that post-modern skiing nonsense.

When I were a lad...
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
under a new name wrote:
Actually, @abc, "piste" just means a recognised, marked and controlled run. It doesn't imply "pisted" (or shouldn't). It's a translation from French meaning "track" or "trail" in English.

So exactly the same word as used in N.A.

If you want to put it that way. I'd say North American "black piste" are far more difficult than the average European "black piste"!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Yes, but do you need an IDP?
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@Orange200, BTW Bobcat is now typically marked black. Still blue on main signs amd maps etc, but when you get there there is another sign saying black due to conditions.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@stuarth, Just don't fall off the chair. Boo will get you. Not kidding a few years ago we were there in march and a couple of lower elevation runs were shut due to bear activity...…………….
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@gryphea,
There was a bear sitting in the middle of a run down to red chair at Whistler some time back, didn't seem remotely bothered by people skiing past!
That was a black bear though, much more cuddly than a grizzly! Madeye-Smiley wink

Funny to see them (from the chair at least!) in the bike park - again bears don't seem bothered by the bikes; bikers on the other hand... amazing how well bike brakes work! Madeye-Smiley


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Sat 16-03-19 14:10; edited 1 time in total
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In Great Britain we don’t use the term piste or trail. We call them ‘runs’. snowHead
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A couple of years ago I was at Lake Louise in the spring when they shut the back side and evacuated all skiers to the front because the ‘Boss Bear’ had been spotted wandering around.

The Boss Bear is a grizzly, weighs 220kg, has fathered a number of the cubs in Banff and has been known to eat black bears on occasions.

I reckon I’d prefer to chance a double black than him any day!
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FWIW, I have really enjoyed this thread- arguments, willy-waving, bears and all!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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Never seen a bear while skiing in N America but have surprised stoats, porcupines, squizzels and many chipmunks
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@Dave of the Porcupines, are you angling for a name change?
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Some of the Marmottes around the alps are pretty fierce, I'm not sure that tales of skiers being savaged by packs of hungry marmottes in spring are entirely apocryphal .
I've seen them trying to whistle up their mates and moved off quickly.
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Peter S wrote:
In Great Britain we don’t use the term piste or trail. We call them ‘runs’. snowHead


that’s how we get down them as there’s rarely snow to ski on Smile
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Orange200 wrote:
Peter S wrote:
In Great Britain we don’t use the term piste or trail. We call them ‘runs’. snowHead


that’s how we get down them as there’s rarely snow to ski on Smile


Laughing Laughing
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Not heard of bear attacking skiers but there's been a few videos of mooses chasing people this season. Also stories of a few coyotes chasing people too.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Isn't the plural of moose , meese . Smile
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Never seen a bear while skiing in N America but have surprised stoats, porcupines, squizzels and many chipmunks

Had a scarily close encounter with a cougar once in Canada. He was less than 10 yards away, just uphill from from the cat track I was pootling along. Absolutely massive beast. I definitely didn't hang round to see if it wanted a run behind the ears.
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Jonny Jones wrote:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Never seen a bear while skiing in N America but have surprised stoats, porcupines, squizzels and many chipmunks

Had a scarily close encounter with a cougar once in Canada. He was less than 10 yards away, just uphill from from the cat track I was pootling along. Absolutely massive beast. I definitely didn't hang round to see if it wanted a rub behind the ears.
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@Jonny Jones, You won't be the only Canadian visitor who has been close to a cougar. I saw a bunch of young English lads huddled togther for protection in Buffalo Bill's in Whistler once.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Jonny Jones, OMG. That's rare to actually see one. Their MO is silent stalking then go for the back of the neck. You have a good chance of fighting one off, if it doesn't get your neck first.
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prometheus wrote:
Isn't the plural of moose , meese . Smile

Nope, it's actually Mooseseses. Madeye-Smiley
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gryphea wrote:
@Jonny Jones, OMG. That's rare to actually see one. Their MO is silent stalking then go for the back of the neck. You have a good chance of fighting one off, if it doesn't get your neck first.

gryphea, it was an amazing, if scary, piece of luck. I got a really good look at the creature's face and, being no expert on Canadian wildlife, I asked the resort staff what I'd seen. They asked me loads of identification questions and concluded it was defintely a cougar. The size alone should have been enough to identify it, but it was snowing hard at the time so it would have been easy for me to misjudge that.

I was in Panorama and the resort didn't fall inside the territory of any cougar at the time, so it was an exceptionally rare sight. Several other people had given a positive identification of a cougar in the same part of the mountain that day, though, and resort staff found a large number of paw-prints in the area that were positively identified as belonging to a cougar so there was no doubt what I saw.

It was a once in a lifetime privilege, really.
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Friends at Steamboat posted pictures of a Moose on the run last week... instead of bolting like they did, they sat and gawked. Not a good idea.
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