What does piste markers mean on the ski slopes?
Skiing is a real pleasure. Between moments of relaxation, clean air and beautiful landscapes, the mountain is the ideal destination to recharge your batteries.
But for your stay to be a success, it is important to know the different piste markers that are on the slopes.
Here are some explanations about the signing on the ski slopes.
The colors indicating the level of difficulty
In the French ski resorts, the ski slopes are classified into 4 categories.
One finds the green pistes, which inform that the descent is easy. They are perfect for children and beginners.
If you are looking for a little more difficulty to improve your level, the blue pistes are for you! A little sloping, these slopes remain accessible to the greatest number.
Are you already an intermediate to confirmed skier? You can then go to the red pistes. Of a higher level of difficulty, these tracks are accessible with training.
Finally, the black pistes are the most difficult. Often non-groomed, these descents generally have steep slopes and humps dug by the skiers’ passages. They are therefore intended for pros of the sliding, having a good mastery and a good technique.
The criteria for the classification of ski slopes
The ski slopes are marked with piste markers on the edges of the pistes.
In addition to defining the edges of the slopes, they also inform on the level of difficulty of the descent. The ski resorts consider different criteria to decide the color of the Slopes:
- The steepness of the piste
- The width of the piste,
- The external environment under normal snow conditions.
There are no French "standards" to indicate the colors of the ski slopes. The evaluation of the difficulty is left to the sole responsibility of the resort. That is why, from one ski area to another, the notion of difficulty can vary. You may find for example the red slopes difficult in a station and rather easy in another.
Localize yourself on the mountain
The piste markers also give you an exact location of where you are on the mountain. Each marker has a number relative to your positioning, the numbers descend until you reach 1 at the bottom of that particular piste.
The piste markers will also state the name of the piste you are on, enabling you to localize yourself on a piste map.
Understanding the piste markers is very important.
Avoid leading yourself and your fellow skiers down a piste that is too difficult for the abilities of your group. Should you have an accident you may also, easily inform the piste monitors and emergency services your location with the information on the piste marker.