DAVE ROSSI - Enjoy Vacations Blogger : 'Ski the Greens'
Overlooked and often under appreciated by many of us advanced skiers I’m now in a search for the prime Greens. Having the whole mountain as a playground, mining for powder and skiing the steeps I can often overlook some of the beautiful green runs.
The ski resorts identify run difficulty by a grading system that includes Greens- easiest, Blues- more difficult, Black- most difficult and Double Black- Most, most, most difficult. The designations can change between mountains however and a Double back at one resort does not always translate into a slope of the same difficulty at another neighboring resort- but you can always count on the Greens to be the easiest and beginner friendly runs at the resort.
These prime greens are usually moderate in slope, long in length, impeccably groomed and are often the signature run of many resorts. There are greens and then there are prime greens. You can tell prime Greens because they are awesome and when you ride them they make you feel like a ski guru!
Built early on in a ski areas life they can wind down around the mountain taking in vistas and providing the riders with flowing perfection. Often built for all mountain access and logging these runs can provide entry into many of the other slopes as well. Many times the other runs intersect these moderate slopes providing skiing right to the lifts.
But when the snow conditions, family demands or a tired body intervene the greens can offer a welcome dose of fantastic skiing. Always groomed daily these beautiful runs can be the highlight of any family ski trip. You see there is something for everyone and the greens can also be perfect for tuning up technique. You see you can make a hard run easy or an easy run hard.
So while the family is enjoying the long open runs I will often practice a variety of radius turns and edging on the smooth and gentle terrain. Whether working on technique or playing with the kids on the snow- the Greens can be where it’s at!
There are also other overlooked benefits of Greens. Often the powder can still there on the sides. On a powder day we usually head off for the bowls or steeps in search of fresh snow leaving the edge of the greens untouched. And for the little (or bigger) chargers with us there are always trails snaking through the trees- perfect to play follow the leader in and out of the dips and bumps on the edge of the runs. It is one of the rare places on this planet where the whole family, regardless of age or ability can come together and connect- everyone free to express their own interpretation of the art.
There is something magical about skiing an old growth forest! This is prime BC skiing. Often European or Eastern skiing does not have the size or variety of trees that BC resorts possess. And the trees painted with fresh powder makes a person feel like they are living in a picture perfect.
After a long day skiing the mountain I find myself, at last run, searching for the longest Green on the hill. At days end or last run the greens are often devoid of the learner skiers and green cruisers leaving the slopes wide open and un-crowded. Take your time. Stop and rest and enjoy the views. You can often have the whole hill to yourself – it’s like owning your own private ski resort!
So instead of just using the Green runs as highways, through fares or runs that don’t challenge your ability look at them through new Green coloured lens. Search for the perfection of the easy – re-imagine flow, put on some tunes, take your time, watch your family and celebrate perfection.
Author David Rossi has worked and skied at ski resorts world wide, holds several professional designations and mentors people to find their effectiveness.
You can contact him through www.commonsensecenter.com