Ready to Ski Some Blue Runs?

Progressing from greens to blue runs: How to know when you're ready to take the next step and feel condfident skiing blue runs.

Family Skis Down Intermediate Terrain at Northstar

Making the move from green to blue runs is an exciting one.  It's a sign of progress and a step towards accessing some more challenging terrain. 

But how do you know when you're ready to ski the blues? What does it take to transition smoothly? This guide will walk you through the signs that you're ready to make the move and give you a few tips on how to ski blue runs confidently.


What to expect on a blue run 

Marked by their blue square sign, blue runs are a notch up from the beginner-friendly green circles, and only one step away from the black diamond runs.  These intermediate runs are often a bit steeper and narrower than green runs. 

They also offer more variety of terrain, like patches of trees or occasional ungroomed sections, making them more challenging and rewarding. But most of all, blue run skiing opens up new areas of the mountain, offering longer runs and whole new areas to explore.


Sounds great. But am I ready?

Only you know when you’re ready. Here are a couple quick questions you may want to check in with first:

  1. Are you comfortable in your gear? Comfort is crucial. Ensure your ski gear fits well and can perform as it was designed to perform. Properly-fitting boots, insulated socks, the right base layers, and toasty gloves are key to your comfort on the slopes. 
  2. Is your endurance asking for a workout? Blue run skiing demands more physical effort. If you find yourself less tired and in better control after skiing green runs, it's a good sign that your endurance is improving, and you’re ready to hit some blues.
    If your calves and quads are still burning after the greens, you might want to try adding some cross training to your off days.
  3. Feeling it on the green runs?  You’ll know when you’ve mastered the greens. If you're able to handle these runs with control, making smooth turns, staying balanced, and wanting to go faster—these are all signs that you're ready to progress from greens to blues.
  4. Do you have your own survival ski techniques? While blue runs vary on difficulty, and are usually pretty moderate—no moguls. They can still have their moments. So it’s good to know a few techniques to get out of a bind.

Make sure to practice the basics, like kick turns, the 'falling leaf,' and side slipping—these will help you handle unexpectedly steeper and trickier terrain. 


Making the Leap to Blue Runs

Once you’ve determined you’re good to go, then here are a few more ways to prepare: 

  1. Study the Terrain: Get to know the blue runs at your local ski area. Ask experienced skiers or ski patrollers for recommendations on the best blue runs for beginners. And always check on the grooming report, to find the freshly-groomed, mogul-free cruisers. 
  2. Start with easy blue runs. Not all blue runs are created equal. Start with less challenging ones, avoiding blue-black runs initially, which can be steeper and more complex.
  3. Practice Control and Technique. Stick to the basics to work on maintaining control and improving your skiing technique. Focus on smooth, controlled turns and maintaining a balanced stance.
  4. Get a little help from your friends: One surefire way to improve at anything is to surround yourself with more experienced people. Do that. 

Whether it’s friends, or a lesson, take note of their techniques, and let them show you new terrain to boost confidence and help push you out of your comfort zone. 

In addition to tips, support, and guidance on how to ski blue runs, it’s just always more fun to ski with others. 


And most important: Have fun! 

Stepping up from green to blue runs is exciting. Embracing the challenge and finding progression, at your own pace, will open up a new world of skiing.

Remember, taking a step back and asking for help, or even taking lessons, is perfectly okay. It's all part of the process. 

And no matter what you’re doing, never lost sight of the most important part of skiing: having a blast doing it.