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US Ski Team’s 5 Essential Ski Training Exercises

So many signs!

If you’re brand new to skiing/ boarding and have no idea what all the little symbols at the bottom of the map are for, then you’ve come to the right place!

There are many different symbols you’ll need to learn throughout your skiing experience.

The first symbol you should know is the green circle. greenThis means you’re on the easiest runs on the mountain. At this level you’ll be learning the basics of skiing/boarding, such as stopping, turning, and gaining your balance. Most green runs are groomed and soft. Some resorts rate their runs with either one or two green circles. It all depends on the elevation and slope of the runs. For example, Sunrise Park resort rates their runs with one green circle, while Telluride rates theirs with one or two.

The second symbol you’ll need to know is the blue square, which means you’re on the higher level beginner/intermediate runs.


On these runs you should be able turn, control your speed, and stop comfortably. Some blue runs are groomed, some are harder packed and bumpy. You shouldn’t move to this level unless you’re completely comfortable on your skis/board. Sunrise Park Resort marks all of their intermediate trails with one blue square.

The third symbols you need to know about are the black diamond and double black diamond.

black diamond2 black diamonds

It’s helpful to know these symbols right off the bat. You really don’t want to end up going down a black by accident when you’re still working on greens or blues. If you’re skiing black runs you’re able to adjust to any type of terrain and maintain control. You’ll want to start out on the easier runs if you’re visiting a new resort, even if you’re a great skier.

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