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Misgraded pistes...

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We all know that marketing teams like to ensure that village runs are graded not to deter new visitors, and that the steepest few runs in any resort will be graded black regardless of whether they are challenging or not.

But where are the real howlers? NW facing “Red” runs that are only skiable by intermediates during sunny afternoons in April, “Blue” runs with one steep pitch that takes out every beginner who has the temerity to start exploring away from the nursery slopes, “Black” runs that the locals never ski because they slide a couple of times a season...

Egregious examples only please!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Any black run in Italy or anywhere else that a black run is pisted flat.
On piste maps throughout Europe, black runs are quoted as "Very difficult", it is the definition of a black run. Once a "black" run has been pisted flat, it ceases to be very difficult for all but beginners and the very cautious and can't be rated as black.
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Quite a lot of runs in Ellmau for me. Great place, but I spent most of my time on my backside there.
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Can't say I found the Sarenne black in Alpe d'Huez to be especially black - but on the flip side having done the left hand Villard blue one afternoon I took my week 2 friend that way the following afternoon but tried a different route through Les Vallons du Petit Prince...to find that one had a short, steep section that looked red-ish to me...and painful to fall on the way my friend fell and slid down it. Embarassed

The home runs in Ischgl are also interesting on their grading. I'd say they are technically correct - mainly flatish tracks that go very wide when a bit steeper all graded red with a few steeper, black rated alternatives that cut out red loops. Of course that's just based on the mountain. By the end of the day the red's usually either mogaled up a bit in the wide drops or rather icy. Add to that tired blue skiers splayed all over the snow and the reds are quite hard to ski. Put on your big pants and try one of the black drops...and you'll find yourself still skiing a flat piste with patches of corduroy.
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Kitzbühel springs to mind. There's a black 63 Bärenbadkogel which doesn't feel a lot different to the blue 64 alongside it. Conversely there's a red 75 Zweitausender which is a real stinker.

Other reds which are on the very dark red spectrum are 21 Tannwald in Zell am See and Gabühel in Dienten.
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It's not misgraded per se, but I'd include the Steissbachtal in St. Anton as a smoke screen. It dupes the unwary beginner into believing that they will have an easy option down to the village. Then reality bites and they find out it's almost always closed and they have to take extra care not to end up in the mogul carnage that is the Kandahar. The Steissbachtal should not be a marked piste at all.
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Any of the long snaking blue runs that seem to circumnavigate the piste map all the way back to the village centre.
You think that it will be a glide all the way along... and then find that half way along it is UPHILL!!!!! If a "blue" run is gentle downhill, and "green" run is almost flat, then these pistes need to be marked as Yellow... to indicate a negative downhill
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@SkiingDad, it's not called Happy Valley for nothing!
Seriously though, there is nothing to stop you downloading from Galzig, and in fact the main bottleneck/carnage in the mogul field at Zammermoos can be mostly avoided if you just ski a couple of meters off to the side of the piste (left side facing down the hill)
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Going back a few years, piste H in Tignes was hideous - allegedly blue. Went there last year and something significant seems to have changed.

Red 66 in Mayrhofen is awful (or at least was a couple of weeks ago) - too many people (lots on their backside), mogulled (didn't see any pistes that had been bashed all weekend!).

The new red 16 in Mayrhofen should be black - much steeper than expected (also suffering from lack of piste-bashing!).
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Any popular blue that has become a bumps field in the afternoon after fresh snow, and is subsequently littered with people on their backsides or doing the snow plough of fear (me included), should be re-graded black immediately. NehNeh It's all down to conditions, I've read that on here somewhere (everywhere!)

I guess it's down to preference as well - I'd rather do something steep-ish, smooth and empty than flat (as in, you have to go in a straight line) and busy. So my misgraded piste would be the short section of Ki-West in Westendorf that is marked black - it's not really steeper than the rest of the red, and has an 'easy out' which is narrow, rutted and horrible. The easy out is twice as difficult than the scary black (for me).
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Tourmaline, the piste down to Flaine from the rest of the area. It's a blue, but steep in places, very busy, often strewn with struggling beginners, can be icy, cut up etc... I remember friends who regularly ski blacks having very bad runs on it at the end of the day. I didn't dare.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Two 'blue' runs in St Anton which are likely to catch out the unwary beginnner are 100 Valfagehr that is used to connect to the Flexenbahn and 50 Zammermoos-St Anton via Mooserwirt (other apres ski venues are available !). Neither are especially steep but after the first hour of the morning they are usually full of moguls and many other skiers to avoid.

Also many, many years ago the Kandahar (52) used to be Red 2 which was also very misleading. Now at least it's rated black but people of all abilities still try to ski it, especially when happy valley is closed. often causing carnage later in the day.
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schnitzel_skier wrote:
Red 66 in Mayrhofen is awful (or at least was a couple of weeks ago) - too many people (lots on their backside), mogulled (didn't see any pistes that had been bashed all weekend!).

The new red 16 in Mayrhofen should be black - much steeper than expected (also suffering from lack of piste-bashing!).



I second the red 16: I went there during Christmas week to try the new "Ski Movie Run" and ended up hoping that the camera wasn't working. It was icy and steep. A local ski school also had it marked down as "should be black". Route 66 is notorious for the afternoon rush hour traffic - much better earlier on before the crowds return from the Rastkogel - some of whom would be better off getting the Tux 150 lift back down.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I agree that I'd rather ski a smooth black than a bumpy blue

As an example the Nordabfahrt in Zell am See. Recently re-numbered to further confuse. Was graded black since forever due to a couple of steep schusses that see very little sunshine until March. A few years ago it suddenly became a blue as the 'main' run was channelled onto blue cut arounds that actually form the vehicular access road in summer. The black schusses are still black but are now the 'default' option even though they are actually in the line of the main 'original' run.

The blue cut arounds are not particularly steep but as they are completely shaded in fir trees they are often icy and bumpy and mainly aren't wide enough to take a full size piste basher. So, any relative beginner that takes off down after the blue markers will eventually be faced by a black schuss likely to make them faint or a narrow icy track that is too steep to snowplough.

Why? Marketing. Zell am See didn't have a blue 'village run'. So the marketing people created one that doesn't actually exist. rolling eyes Twisted Evil
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Santons in Val D. Far too hard for the people that are on it trying to get down to the town. My kids and Mrs S (nervous skier these days) prefer to take their time on La Face than go through the soup of humanity in the gully bit. I am sure the black to the right of it might be okay too but they weren't having that... Skullie
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 Poster: A snowHead
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there is a lovely red run in Zermatt which comes down under the Matterhorn, rather mischievously called "69".

Its a lovely cruisey red that goes on for ages until it hits a frozen waterfall about 3/4 of the way down. That waterfall is steep and south facing, and becomes mogully from about 11am, and the first three times I tried it I managed to successfully faceplough at least part of the way down it. The rest of the piste is fine, its just that waterfall section that is steep.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
A fair chunk of the L2A piste map is marked one colour easier than it would be in any other resort.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Tue 12-02-19 15:33; edited 1 time in total
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davkt wrote:
A fair chunk of the L2A piste map is one colour easier than it would be in any other resort.


Having skied it quite a bit I am interested in which bits you mean? Not for the purposes of kicking off some beef...
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Spin Doctor wrote:
Santons in Val D. Far too hard for the people that are on it trying to get down to the town. My kids and Mrs S (nervous skier these days) prefer to take their time on La Face than go through the soup of humanity in the gully bit. I am sure the black to the right of it might be okay too but they weren't having that... Skullie
+1 definitely a marketing ploy to make people think that they can easily ski back to town.
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Santons is now red. Get it at the right time and it’s great.
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@Steilhang, true, there are options, but downloading from Galzig requires a bit of planning. And it's quite obvious that the Kandahar is usually full of people who should've taken their last chance at Tanzböden, but didn't.

Come to think of it... Perhaps the Kandahar should be the only pisted marked black in St. Anton.
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endoman wrote:
Santons is now red. Get it at the right time and it’s great.


I don't doubt it!
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@Spin Doctor, the black to the right of Santons is Épaule du Charvet IIRC. It's not the lesser of two evils!
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queenie pretty please wrote:
@Spin Doctor, the black to the right of Santons is Épaule du Charvet IIRC. It's not the lesser of two evils!


I thought probably not. Mrs S thought definitely not... Smile
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Spin Doctor wrote:
davkt wrote:
A fair chunk of the L2A piste map is one colour easier than it would be in any other resort.


Having skied it quite a bit I am interested in which bits you mean? Not for the purposes of kicking off some beef...


+1 for which runs? Was there last year and all seemed correct to me. If anything, the new blue run down to the town under the Jandri is more a red when icy and busy.
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Yep the new town run, Gours, Bellecombe, Grand Nord, Grand Nord Bis, Combe du Thuit seem rather reddish blues when in all but the most benign of conditions and certainly harder than pretty much every Scottish red I've skied and most of the reds in Trysyl
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Laughable "green runs" down to Val D'Isere (La Daille). So steep that they have moguls on them when it's busy! Very Happy Very Happy
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davkt wrote:
Yep the new town run, Gours, Bellecombe, Grand Nord, Grand Nord Bis, Combe du Thuit seem rather reddish blues when in all but the most benign of conditions and certainly harder than pretty much every Scottish red I've skied and most of the reds in Trysyl


Ahh sorry. I've misunderstood you original post. Your saying that most of the piste are more difficult than what they have been graded on the map, yes?

We had two beginners with us, one of which was very nervous, and they struggled on all of the blues. Was in a white out coming down red Fee 3/4 and that was some challenging skiing!
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 You know it makes sense.
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@schnitzel_skier, hahaha I was writing about 66 and 16 myself. I cannot believe 16 is red!
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Spin Doctor wrote:
I am sure the black to the right of it might be okay too but they weren't having that... Skullie


No, it really isn't. Epaule du Charvet is steeper than Face and often has giant moguls with it. Not for the timid. I was on the very edge of my comfort zone skiing it!!


Surprised no-one's mentioned the Verte in La Daille yet!

I think Mangard in Val has a steep section which would be red anywhere else, and the steep section of Plan M (or whatever it's called now) would be black in many resorts.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Malgovert in Les Arcs. Difficult to understand how that has been graded as a red.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Take a look at the many blue pistes in the Zweisimmen, Saanersloch area. A reference to Saanersloch "blue" means hell this is a steep pitch and narrow!
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Bennyboy1 wrote:
@schnitzel_skier, hahaha I was writing about 66 and 16 myself. I cannot believe 16 is red!


Yes - it was certainly "interesting"
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Bennyboy1 wrote:
@schnitzel_skier, hahaha I was writing about 66 and 16 myself. I cannot believe 16 is red!


I'm so pleased I gave them both a miss Smile

Why do the slopes at Mayrhofen get so mogully so quickly? Nowhere else I've been seems to cut up so badly!
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jamescollings wrote:
Any of the long snaking blue runs that seem to circumnavigate the piste map all the way back to the village centre.
You think that it will be a glide all the way along... and then find that half way along it is UPHILL!!!!! If a "blue" run is gentle downhill, and "green" run is almost flat, then these pistes need to be marked as Yellow... to indicate a negative downhill


I agree with you 100% on this... that way we all know we need to go "full tap from the top" to avoid as much polling as possible Laughing
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I have to agree with L2A. As a fairly good intermediate who manages blacks in Italy, I nearly poop myself on a couple of the reds in L2A. Very Happy
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Roscoe wrote:
davkt wrote:
Yep the new town run, Gours, Bellecombe, Grand Nord, Grand Nord Bis, Combe du Thuit seem rather reddish blues when in all but the most benign of conditions and certainly harder than pretty much every Scottish red I've skied and most of the reds in Trysyl


Ahh sorry. I've misunderstood you original post. Your saying that most of the piste are more difficult than what they have been graded on the map, yes?

We had two beginners with us, one of which was very nervous, and they struggled on all of the blues. Was in a white out coming down red Fee 3/4 and that was some challenging skiing!


Red Fee.....def a challenge at times. Nice when you arrive at the cafe though.
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@Scamper, I think they piste in the evening but if there is a new snow overnight it is then left for us all to
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Roscoe wrote:
davkt wrote:
Yep the new town run, Gours, Bellecombe, Grand Nord, Grand Nord Bis, Combe du Thuit seem rather reddish blues when in all but the most benign of conditions and certainly harder than pretty much every Scottish red I've skied and most of the reds in Trysyl


Ahh sorry. I've misunderstood you original post. Your saying that most of the piste are more difficult than what they have been graded on the map, yes?

We had two beginners with us, one of which was very nervous, and they struggled on all of the blues. Was in a white out coming down red Fee 3/4 and that was some challenging skiing!


Yep, well quite a few either L2A has graded them easier than they are or the rest of the world likes to flatter their punters saying things are harder than they are. Put it like this, my 14 year old made some Scottish skiers very grumpy 3 or 4 years ago in the queue for Warrens T at Nevis Range bar by complaining to me very loudly I had told her Warrens we had just done was a black when it was tons easier than the Bellecombe blue in L2A. Though at least when there is an overnight powder dump L2A has the good sense to give the piste basher drivers the night off!
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Michelle63 wrote:
Roscoe wrote:
davkt wrote:
Yep the new town run, Gours, Bellecombe, Grand Nord, Grand Nord Bis, Combe du Thuit seem rather reddish blues when in all but the most benign of conditions and certainly harder than pretty much every Scottish red I've skied and most of the reds in Trysyl


Ahh sorry. I've misunderstood you original post. Your saying that most of the piste are more difficult than what they have been graded on the map, yes?

We had two beginners with us, one of which was very nervous, and they struggled on all of the blues. Was in a white out coming down red Fee 3/4 and that was some challenging skiing!


Red Fee.....def a challenge at times. Nice when you arrive at the cafe though.


A few are like that aren't they?
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