Discover in our article everything you need to know about the color signs on the ski slopes: meaning, safety ...


Going skiing is a real pleasure. Between moments of relaxation, fresh air, and beautiful landscapes, the mountains are the ideal destination for rejuvenation.

But for your trip to be a success, it's important to know the various signs found on the slopes.

Here are some explanations about signage on ski slopes.

Colors indicating the level of difficulty

In French ski resorts, ski slopes are categorized into four levels.

There are green slopes, which indicate that the descent is easy. They are perfect for children and beginners.

If you're looking for a bit more challenge to improve your skills, blue slopes are for you! Slightly steeper, these slopes remain accessible to a wide range of skiers.

Are you already an intermediate to advanced skier? Then you can head to the red slopes. With a higher level of difficulty, these slopes are accessible with some training.

Finally, black slopes are the most difficult. Steep and often ungroomed, these descents usually feature steep slopes and bumps created by numerous skiers. They are intended for professional skiers with good mastery and technique.

Criteria for classifying ski slopes

Ski slopes are marked with signs and markers (slope-side posts) of various colors, located along the edges of the slope. As we have just seen, in addition to marking the slopes, they also provide information about the level of difficulty of the descent.

Ski resorts take into account various criteria to determine the color of the slopes:

  • The steepness
  • The width of the slope
  • The external environment in normal snow conditions

There are no French "standards" for indicating the colors of ski slopes. The assessment of difficulty is entirely up to the responsibility of the resort. Therefore, from one ski area to another, the notion of difficulty can vary.

You may find difficult red slopes in one resort and relatively easy ones in another.

Navigating the ski area

Color signs and markers also allow you to navigate the ski area. These beacons are numbered in decreasing order from upstream to downstream (from top to bottom). The closer you get to marker 1, the closer you are to the end of the slope.

These numbered signs also indicate the name of the slope you are on. This way, you can know your position on the ski area map.

Understanding the color signs on ski slopes is important to avoid ending up on a slope that is too challenging to descend for you or the people with you. They also make it easy to navigate.

Lastly, it's a matter of safety. If you have an accident, knowing the signs will allow you to easily inform ski instructors or the emergency service about your location.