A ski slope , in Austria ski slope , is a part of a mountain that is intended for skiing and snowboarding . A ski slope is usually created by the operator of a ski area , marked in color depending on the degree of difficulty and secured by safety nets and other measures . The rules of conduct set up by the International Ski Federation ( FIS ), the FIS rules, apply on ski slopes .
Ski slopes planned taking into account nature conservation and traffic control can make a significant contribution to preventing “wild” skiing, especially in the interests of biotope protection .
It can be legally stipulated that the construction of a ski slope may not lead to irreversible damage to the environment or only to a certain extent . Damage to the sward usually leads to soil erosion . Outside the ski season - depending on the legal situation - ski slope operators can be forced to remove damage that the ski operation has caused to the environment and, if necessary, to change the route. This is especially necessary if the regeneration of the vegetation of an area that is excessively and thus actually inadmissibly used requires more than the inter-season period.
In addition to the groomed ski slopes, there are also various special ski slopes:
- flat, rather narrow pulling paths on which you have to "let go" or push
- Obstacle-free, not too steep “highways” that offer ideal conditions for carving
- Ski routes that are not groomed, but are marked and secured against the risk of avalanches , on which safe deep snow skiing is possible
- uneven mogul slopes
- specially secured practice slopes for beginners, mostly accessible by a special cable car (a practice lift).
The slope marking (slope marking) has:
- Orientation function and
- Backup function
A ski slope is usually given a unique number and is marked by round signs with the number of the slope. In some ski areas, however, these numbers are missing and orientation is provided by departure names. There are signposts at every fork. The signs are colored according to the difficulty of the ski slope. Colloquially, the color of the marking is often transferred to the ski slope; a blue ski slope is then referred to as a “blue slope”. Often there is a demarcation between a marked runway and the unsecured area in the form of circular signs that are half red and half green. These signs may only be passed on the green side.
Marked ski slopes are checked regularly and are also protected against atypical dangers with slope markings. The preparation of ski slopes is not an essential part of protecting the slopes.
Atypical (i.e. non-slope-compliant) hazard areas are indicated by:
- Snow walls
- Barriers and / or
- Safety nets
indicated or they are secured by upholstery.
Difficulty levels in the Alps
How difficult a ski slope is to master for winter sports enthusiasts can be seen from the consideration of the slope ( gradient ). The level of difficulty increases due to poor visibility and snow conditions. The levels of difficulty are specified in the DIN 32912 and ÖNORM S 4610 f standards as follows:
In addition, very simple and flat ski slopes and practice slopes are marked in green in many ski areas.
In the FIS rules of conduct, the markings for the levels of difficulty are given in black, red, blue and green. Especially in France, slopes are also marked in green.
Difficulty levels in North America and New Zealand
The levels of difficulty are indicated by a system with color and shape symbols - here, blue applies to slopes of medium difficulty. The slope restrictions are strict in the USA - a blue slope will not contain any sections with a gradient greater than 40%.
Difficulty levels in Sweden and Norway
The difficulty arises from looking at the slope and is highlighted in color:
Ski slopes for downhill skiing are also increasingly being used for climbing, i.e. for ski touring . The ski area Hochkönig , Salzburg installed in mid-December 2019, a hub for ski touring with controller, where to pay 14 euros per day. In St. Johann in Tirol parking fees will be charged for the car in 2019/2020, which will be refunded when you buy a ski lift pass.
Rules for piste touring have been drawn up to allow people to interact with the downhill skiers, guidance signs are signposted in some places, and there are sometimes routes and tour evenings.
- M. Fauve, H. Rhyner, M. Schneebeli: Slope preparation and slope maintenance. The manual for the practitioner . SLF Davos 2002, ISBN 3-905621-01-0 .
- For example: deep holes, crevasses, obstacles that cannot be seen from a distance, sudden bottlenecks, steps in the terrain, broken rocks at the edge of the slopes, concrete bases, snow cannons, etc .. The atypical dangers do not include icy or crusty areas, typical bumps and hollows, small stones and so on snow-free (apere) places with little snow.
- FIS rules of conduct (PDF; 81 kB) International Ski Association, 2002.
- Blue, red, black: interesting facts about our ski slope colors. SPORTaktiv.com, December 13, 2017, accessed on January 29, 2019 .
- Lifestyle: Paid slopes for ski tourers orf.at, December 19, 2019, accessed December 19, 2019.