Different levels of difficulty of the slopes in the Alps!

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The meaning of the 3 colours of the levels of difficulty

The colored marking of the ski slopes represents the levels of difficulty and the average steepness of the slope. Some people with an affinity for skiing will think, how can that be unknown, but there are also people who don’t know snow and learn and see something new.

In this blog, we will explain the different slope markings and difficulty levels of the slopes in the Alps and provide information about other things, which are important to know for the right behavior on the slopes in ski areas.

levels of difficulty slopes

1. Blue slopes: Easy and beginner-friendly

The blue ski slopes are easy, quite wide and have a very gentle gradient. Ski beginners who are already able to brake in the snowplough and make slight turns can slowly try to ski on a blue ski slope. If the ski area owns a short practice lift (like a pommel lift), then this is the best place for the first descent on a blue slope.

There are three practice lifts (pommel lifts) in the ski area Hochzeiger, where our skischool is located.

2. Red slopes: For intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders

Red ski slopes are a bit more difficult. Only experienced and advanced winter sports enthusiasts should venture onto these moderately steep slopes. The maximum gradient (length and width) of a red-marked ski slope can be up to 40%. Due to this steepness, you need a certain level of skiing technique and experience to ski safely on these slopes.

The width of red-marked slopes varies between very wide, but also quite narrow sections. Diverse terrain is often offered on these slopes (e.g. hills).

3. Black slopes: Demanding and only for professionals

The black slopes in the Alps are demanding, and can also have a gradient of more than 40%. These steepness requires much experience, a very good skiing technique and a good physical condition to ski in a safe way on these slopes.

Even professionals can sometimes reach their limits at these slopes.

These three levels of difficulty (blue, red and black) for the slopes are standardized in the Alps. These ski slopes are groomed, controlled and protected from alpine dangers.

Some ski areas offer “green-marked” areas or ski slopes especially for beginners. In the ski area Hochzeiger, there is a green-marked “Easyline”. This way represents the simplest and easiest ski descent from the mountain station to the middle station of the ski area.

Our ski school has its own practice areas for both skiers and snowboarders, all of them are equipped with „magic carpets“. The use of this area is reserved for participants of our ski and snowboard courses.

Difference between ski slope, ski route and back country

Ski slopes are marked, groomed and controlled slopes in a ski area. The level of difficulty of these ski slopes in the Alps is marked with blue, red and black.

• A ski route is practically the intermediate stage between a ski slope and back country. Ski routes are marked and secured descents in a ski area, but they are not groomed. So you really need good skiing skills to be able to ski in this terrain with changing surfaces (deep snow, mogul slopes, hills, …).

• The back country is neither prepared nor marked nor controlled. In order to be able to move around in this terrain, you not only need the appropriate, excellent skiing technique, but also the necessary knowledge of alpine dangers (e.g. avalanche situations).

It should be emphasized that back country should never be underestimated!

skiing back country


Our family-friendly ski area Hochzeiger in Jerzens in Pitztal offers a wide range of ski slopes with different levels of difficulty (red, blue, black and also ski routes) for all winter sports enthusiasts. Due to the height of the ski area (90 % of the slopes are over 2,000 m above sea level), we can offer snow security until Easter.

So, pack your suitcases and visit us and the ski area Hochzeiger in Pitztal!

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