Ski Levels Colors: A Guide to Understand Ski Slopes

ski levels colors

While many people like skiing and spend plenty of time on various ski slopes, very few skiers can define their ski level. Most people consider themselves experts, intermediate, or beginners. Yet, there is so much more than this. Ski levels colors refer to the gradient of the slope and the steepness that you need to endure.

Since some skiers hardly understand what each color means and they often focus on their skill level, we must look at the different colors. This article will aim to give you some insight and help you better understand these colors. In essence, it should help you determine which slopes you can take on.

A Basic Understanding of Ski Levels Colors

No matter where you go in the world, you will find that ski slopes have different colors and each of these colors has a different meaning. The main purpose of this section is to look at these different colors and help you understand what they mean. It could help you determine whether you are ready for a specific ski slope.


One of the first slopes that you will come across is the green slope. These are beginner slopes, and they are often marked for learning as well. They don’t have such a steep gradient, and they can often be seen as flat for the most part as well. These slopes are often found along the foundation of a ski slope or area.


The blue ski level color is often the first place you will start, and these ski slopes feature gradients that do not surpass 25%. They are often found in the shallow sections, and should they have a steeper gradient, the slope will be very wide to ensure you have plenty of room. Blue squares can also be used to indicate them at certain resorts.


Red or the red rectangle is often the color that is used to indicate slopes of greater difficulty. These slopes don’t exceed a gradient of 40%. However, they are a little narrower than your blue slopes as well. You might find they often exceed the recommended gradient. However, they will have a wide angle.


The most daunting slopes that you will ever come across are the black slopes. These slopes are marked with a black diamond all over the world, and they are often groomed. They are advanced slopes that are often reserved for expert skiers, and they can be very narrow. They also allow the skier to build up plenty of speed on the slopes.

Black slopes are some of the most dangerous slopes that any skier might come across. Even though they might be groomed, these slopes can often be on the cusp of avalanches. It is hardly ever recommended that beginners try to deal with them, and if you have the right gear, you should consider the black ski slopes.

Orange/ Yellow

The orange and yellow slopes are some of the newer slopes that you could find at ski resorts. They are significantly more dangerous than your black ski slopes. One of the reasons for the danger is that these slopes are often not groomed. It means that you will be riding the slope without having any assistance from the resort.

The yellow boards are often used to indicate that a slope is a free slope and that you can ride it, but it is not guarded. These slopes are for the adrenaline seekers and those that want to take on the unknown. If you don’t have enough experience with skiing, these are the slopes that you should try to avoid as a beginner.

areal view of a ski resort

Understanding Ski Levels of Skiers

As mentioned, many people consider themselves beginners, experts, or intermediates. However, this is not the ideal way to measure your ski ability. We have looked into some of the different levels, and you can use these to determine your ski level. It might even help you decide which ski slopes you should have the skills to ride.

1. Level 1

Level 1 is the most basic level, and this level is often for skiers who are just starting. When you are at this level, you will spend plenty of time learning about your gear, and you will be mostly seen on the green slopes. Having a ski instructor when you are at level one is often a great way to speed up your progress.

2. Level 2

While some skiers might head out to the green slopes when they are at level one, the most common time you will find skiers on the green slope is once they are comfortable stopping. The level two skiers often have prior experience, and they can use a snowplow comfortably. The idea of this level is to enhance your turning abilities and allow you to dodge objects.

3. Level 3

Once you have reached level three, you might start feeling confident that you can take on different ski slopes. However, your instructor will keep you at the green slopes to help you chain the snowplows and make comfortable turns. You might also learn to do parallel position turns. It will help take some of the pressure off your legs when you are skiing.

4. Level 4

Skiers that make it to level 4 should have much more confidence in the skis, and they might be ready to move onto the red slopes. At level 4, skiers will be completely parallel with their skis for the most part, and this will enhance their ability to achieve their goals. However, the work remains to keep the skis parallel and master the red and standard green slopes.

5. Level 5

Once you have reached level 5, you might not need the snowplow for the green slopes anymore. Your skis should be parallel for the most part, and you should know how to stop and take turns. This level aims to teach you how to increase your edge grip. The edge grip will give you more confidence to ensure that you can take turns and stay parallel.

6. Level 6

Once you get to level 6, you might think of yourself as a bit of an expert. At this level, you should be comfortable on red and black terrains. You might want to consider off-piste ski slopes or areas that are not groomed. At this level, the instructor will aim to teach you some of the more advanced techniques that include stopping and turning.

person skiing on a difficult slope level

7. Level 7

Level 7 is where the real fun starts, and this is when you will be doing runs on the black slopes of the terrains parks. You should be comfortable with groomed slopes by now, but you will also be doing slopes that have not been groomed. You should learn how to avoid different obstacles to ensure you make it work.

The great thing about being at this level is that your instructor will teach you how to plan your routes when doing ungroomed slopes. You will be looking at where the obstacles are, and they will help you determine how to navigate some of the trickier slopes. You should also be comfortable staying parallel on all slopes.

8. Level 8

Once you have reached level 8, it does not matter what you need to learn anymore, and you should understand all the different slopes and how to turn sharply. You should be comfortable on any ski slope and this is also the level that many of the competitive skiers achieve before they begin to compete professionally.

At this level, you will probably be a trainer, but you will also have a trainer to assist you. At this level, your goals will determine what you need to focus on. For instance, if you are a competition skier, you should be focusing on your competition runs and how to make them better.

Why Ski Level Colors Matter

Many people who don’t ski a lot might think that they can comfortably take on any terrain. However, the level colors of slopes are there for a reason. The more confident you are with your abilities, the more you will move to different levels. However, it can be dangerous to take on a black slope if you are just a beginner with minimal training.

One of the first things that we recommend to all beginners is to find a trainer, and you will find that your trainer will make life much easier. The trainer will teach you all the skills you need to understand the slopes and how to become better at them.


Skiing can be a fun activity, but it is vital that you understand your skill level and only take on the slopes that will be comfortable. Looking at someone like the great Michael Schumacher, we can easily see how dangerous ski slopes can be. These ski levels colors are a great indicator to show you what you can and cannot attempt.

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