We would like to be able to communicate the nature and difficulty of the trails that we’ll be riding when we post rides so you are better able to determine if you’re interested in attending the ride. There are a few rating systems out there but the province appears to prefer the system used in Bear Creek and other off-road recreation areas like Duffy Greenstone OHV Trails so we are going to start using this rating system to describe our rides and trails.
For those who ski or snowboard you’ll be familiar with the Green, Blue, Black system. For those who don’t the image above shows the progression of difficulty. This system like any other is subjective, an easy trail in Vernon may be a more difficult trail in another town, or vice versa, but as a general guide it’s a useful tool to communicate difficulty.
- Green (Circle) – safe for beginner riders, these trails/rides will typically be on forest service roads and trails that are fairly flat and don’t have off-camber slopes, bumps, ditches or obstacles. A beginner rider should be in their comfort zone on all green trails. To use the ski hill analogy these types of trails would range from the bunny hill up to gentle cruiser runs like Far Out at Silver Star Mountain.
- Blue (Square) – safe for intermediate level experience riders, trails/rides may have greater slopes, ditches and obstacles. A beginner rider will be challenged moderately by sections of blue trails, intermediate riders will be comfortable. In the ski industry the greatest number of runs are typically blue, think of runs like Whiskey Jack and Christmas Bowl at Silver Star, they are the sweet spot in the middle of the spectrum with the opportunity for a bit more fun and challenge.
- Black (Diamond) – meant for experienced riders, these trails/rides will have sections that have steep slopes, larger ditches or obstacles to traverse. Intermediate riders will be challenged by sections of black trails, experienced riders comfortable with most. At Silver Star runs like The Face and the Chute are examples of black diamond runs that are more difficult and have more obstacles, moguls in this case.
- Double Black (Diamond) – only safe for very experienced riders, these trails will have steep slopes, ditches and obstacles that may require winching or help from riding buddies to clear some sections. At Silver Star the backside of the mountain has a host of double black diamonds, my favourites include Head Wall and Freefall, steep and deep!