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October 23, 2015 / kevinbrandes

Handling Tree Hazards on a Golf Course

Kevin Brandes enjoys leading an active lifestyle. An expert skier, Kevin Brandes has taken on black diamond trails at Vail, Steamboat Springs, and a number of additional mountains.

The four most common ski trail ratings are green circles, blue squares, black diamonds, and double black diamonds. Trails marked with a green circle represent the least challenging courses on a mountain and are ideal for novice skiers who have only recently transitioned from the bunny slopes. Slope gradients on these trails range from 6 percent to 25 percent, or three to 12.5 degrees.

Blue square ski trails are slightly more intense than green circle trails. As slope gradients can extend to the 40 percent range, blue square runs are best suited to skiers of intermediate skill. Black diamonds, meanwhile, represent some of the most difficult courses on a mountain. Not only are black diamond trails steeper than green circles and blue squares, but their inaccessibility also means they are more likely to feature ice or undergrowth. The most challenging ski trails are labeled with double black diamond trail markers. Only the most advanced skiers should attempt these runs.


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