Activity Level Guide – Skiing/Snowboarding

Most of our Alpine group ski tours are oriented toward the solid intermediate skier or snowboarder. This doesn’t mean that novices or experts won’t enjoy the trip, but we may plan slightly different runs for them on certain days, or certain parts of certain days. On our group ski tours, some routes that we ski are more challenging than others due to length, steepness, or the amount of strudel you consumed at the mountain hut at lunch. In Europe it’s not as simple as grading the runs. Italy, France and Switzerland all use different colors than the U.S., and they can also vary from area to area. It’s very tricky, and is why we almost always use professional mountain guides for our small ski groups each day. In addition, a day of skiing in the Alps is often more of a journey, using the pistes and lifts to cover impressive distances and visit various towns and mountain huts. That being said, the following rating guide will help you decide if a tour is right for you. Remember, the ratings give you an idea of the activity level as an average for the whole tour, and the individual days may vary slightly. Usually the plan can be altered (especially if you don’t mind deviating from the group) for those who wish an easier, (or more challenging) day. Daily conditions can also alter the itinerary.

Keep in mind that all of these ratings are for people who are fit, and are average, accomplished skiers or snowboarders, not beginners and not experts. An average skier/snowboarder should be very comfortable on all green runs, blue runs, and easier groomed black runs. A Moderate rating means that a fit skier will enjoy the route but not be challenged by it.  If you are more of a novice skier, (mostly greens, rarely blues), then the Moderate day will be more like the Challenging day to you.  Like wise the Challenging route may be more than you can handle.  The mountain guide/tour leader will assess your ability level on the first day or two of the trip.  They will then be able to counsel you on what the best route or area for you may be on certain days, or when a particular piste may be more than you can handle.  For your safety and for the group safety, all decisions of the trip leader are final.

Easy We will ski/ride between 3-4 hours per day, with mostly easy groomed slopes and terrain. This may be considered a “green run” day (or week) in the U.S.

Moderate We will ski/ride between 4-6 hours per day, with some moderate to steep slopes and terrain, mostly groomed. This may be considered a “blue run” day (or week) in the U.S. Our Go Get Lost group trips are aimed at this level of adventure.

Challenging You should be prepared to ski/ride 5-7 hours per day over occasional to frequent steep slopes, often off-piste and ungroomed. This may be considered a “black diamond run” day (or week) in the U.S.