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The North American Slope Rating System

Jeffery Fraser

Jeffery Scott Fraser recently invested in Job Pose, a company that provides new ways for employers to meet potential hires. Outside of his professional life, Jeffery S. Fraser likes to snowboard.

If you are a snowboarding novice or a seasoned expert, paying attention to the rating system for grading the difficulty of slopes is vital. While rating systems differ around the world, all North American resorts have the same system, which uses colors and shapes to label slopes.
A green circle denotes the easiest slopes. These slopes, suited for beginners, feature shallow gradients ranging from 6 to 25 percent.
A blue square means the slopes are for intermediate skiers and snowboarders. Blue-square slopes offer a greater challenge and steeper gradients, typically ranging from 25 to 40 percent. The difficulty ideal for most people, blue-square slopes are often the most crowded.
A black diamond always denotes a difficult slope, but unlike the previous ratings, the black diamond comes in three variants. One black diamond marks an advanced slope, often ungroomed, with gradients surpassing 40 percent. Two black diamonds mean the slopes have steep gradients and hazardous obstacles. Three black diamonds denote slopes only for those with extreme expertise.

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