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  • Writer's pictureKimberley Bp

The meaning of the signs on the ski slopes

Going to the ski resort is a real pleasure. Between the dream landscapes, the pure air, the wild animals, the mountain is the ideal destination to recharge your batteries. But in order not to get lost or find yourself in difficulty on a slope that is too complicated for you or for the people accompanying you. Here are some explanations about the signs on the ski slopes.

FOR EACH COLOR A DIFFICULTY: In French ski resorts, the ski slopes are classified into 4 categories.

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

-The blue slopes, which are a little more difficult but these slopes are still accessible to most people.

-The red runs, which have a higher level of difficulty. You need to be an experienced skier with more practice.

-The black runs, which are much more difficult. Very steep and often ungroomed, these runs are for expert skiers who have excellent control of their speed and technique.

There are no French "norms" to indicate the colors of the ski runs. The appreciation of the difficulty is left to the entire responsibility of the resort. This is why, from one ski area to another, the notion of difficulty can vary. You can ski on difficult red runs in one resort and easy ones in another.


The ski runs are marked with colored signs and stakes (green, blue, red and black) located on the edge of the run. This will allow you to see the limits of the trail and not to find yourself in an off-piste without knowing it.

During bad weather, to orient yourself properly. You will see a fluorescent part at the top of these markers, which means the "right side" of the trail. (Be careful, always looking in the direction of the descent) 


The colored signs and markers also allow you to find your way around the ski area or in the event of an accident in order to easily inform the ski instructors or the emergency service of your exact location.

Indeed, these markers are numbered in a decreasing manner from top to bottom. The closer you get to marker 1, the closer you get to the end of the trail.

These numbered signs also indicate the name of the trail you are on. You will be able to know your position on the map of the domain.


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