Backcountry Skiing Rating System


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | October 17, 2005      

The D System proposed by Andrew McLean and I has been flogged for months now. As a result it received numerous changes based on feedback from a wide variety of sources. Thanks everyone!

Andrew and I still like the D System and feel it gets past problems that other ski rating systems have, but whether it catches on or not is of course unknown. We gave it our best shot.

The biggest gripe people seem to have about the D System is that it doesn’t have categories. That’s by design. As a sport progresses any system with categories based on difficulty would end up with routes shifting from one category to another — unless the categories really mean nothing, in which case it’s just a linear scale like the D System. (Categories could be based on slope angle, but doing so makes the system effectively unworkable as a pure linear rating of difficulty, since some routes are harder even though their angle is not as steep.)

Another gripe I’ve heard more than once is that the D System has too many divisions. Baloney. Just look at the D System page rating examples and you’ll see that routes are easily spread over the span of ratings. The whole idea of the D System is to rate routes on a divided linear scale, with enough divisions to easily express which routes are harder or easier. More, the idea is to prevent lumping a bunch of obviously different routes in the same rating, which is what happens if you don’t have enough divisions.

And the final gripe is that the Toponeige system already exists in Europe, and using the D System would get in the way of standardizing ski ratings around the world. All I can say to that is if we’re going to pick a standardized system, it should be better than Topneige. It should be more cross-language friendly, not attempt to define categories, and be logical and linear so routes will NEVER have to be re-rated as the sport progresses. In my opinion the D System provides all this. More, is standardizing ratings all that important? It never happened with rock and climbers seem to do fine. We’ll see what happens with skiers.



IF YOU'RE HAVING TROUBLE VIEWING SITE, TRY WHITELISTING IN YOUR ADBLOCKER, OTHERWISE PLEASE CONTACT US USING MENU ABOVE, OR FACEBOOK.

Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


Comments

  Your Comments


  Recent Posts




Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed



 



  • Blogroll & Links


  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to WildSnow.com and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version