Analysing terrain data
Riva Ridge has several different pitches and actually has different colours to represent the difficulty differences.
It starts from the top of Chair 4 and goes past many other trail choices on both sides.
It then rolls over to a wide and steep black, which is usually groomed (but not always).
The first pitch has a consistent fall line to it and is quite exhilarating as it drops off, but beware, there are usually a lot of people around to watch out for.
Next, as Trans Montane comes across, you will need to watch out for beginners coming across.
The pitch then gets easier and this is the blue part.
Then you need to make a decision; go straight, which they call Tourist Trap for good reasons, or take a right and wimp out on to Skid Road.
You can go around Tourist Trap by taking Skid Road and coming back to the easier bottom pitch of Riva Ridge by taking a left off Skid Road on to Compromise.
The final pitch of Riva Ridge is blue and, although hard for a blue, it is easier than the rest of the trail as there is still some steepness to it.
Then you have the choice of the easier Lionshead Catwalk or Riva Catwalk depending on where you want to go village-wise.
All three Riva named runs are named after the ridge in the Italian Apennines where the Vail founder veterans of the 10th Mountain Division won a decisive battle in World War II.
Vail skier Penny Tweedy named one of her horses after this run and it won the Kentucky Derby in 1972.