The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and the temperature is rising. This can only mean all one thing, spring is in the air. And before April showers bring May flowers, we all need to get out and enjoy some spring skiing! Spring is maybe my favorite time of the entire year to get out and hit the slopes.
Don’t get me wrong, the freshies you get in December through February are something I look forward to all year, but give me a sunny day where I can wear one layer under my shell and my pants, or even better not wearing any outerwear at all, and I am in absolute heaven. That’s right people, I’m talking t-shirt weather, so bikini top skiing for the bold. So, let’s go through the list of reasons why we all need to get out there, work on our goggle tan and enjoy the snow before it’s gone.
1. The Après Scene
Après skiing is one of the best parts of skiing any time of the year. I’m pretty sure we all know that and nobody is going to argue it. For those of you who don’t know what I‘m talking about when I say après skiing I mean the hanging out at the bottom of the mountain having a drink or two with your friends and unwinding after a day on the hill. Or sometimes after a half a day. Maybe even a few runs, no judgement here. So why is après so great in the spring? The atmosphere is different in the spring, it’s warm so you can sit outside and enjoy yourself without freezing your butt off. It’s stays light out longer, which means you get to hang out longer. Not to mention all the parties at the hill, but we will get to that.
2. The Temps
As I said before, skiing in the spring is amazing because you aren’t wearing a dozen layers in order to stay warm. This is especially true for those of us that struggle with temperature regulation (me). There are days in January where it doesn’t matter how many layers I’m wearing, I can never get warm. Well, in the spring that is just not something to worry about. Spring skiing means putting on your base layer and a shell, or maybe even just a hoodie. It means no balaclava or neck warmer, no doubling up on socks, and that sunscreen has now become an essential for getting ready for the day. Most importantly, it means being warm, fewer breaks to shake off the chill, and more turns for you.
3. The Snow
The snow in the spring offers both a lot of challenges and a lot of freedom. Many call it hero snow, that’s because it’s softer. Not softer like powder, but softer like mashed potatoes. This soft snow can give you that little bit of extra confidence to push the envelope. It’s easy for beginners to more advanced skiers to take more chances and have some fun throwing the snow at the friends and family by ripping off an extra tight turn or by throwing your tails out from under you. In the spring, you can up your steez level by trying something new or maybe going a little bigger than normal because you’re going to land in the soft stuff instead of on the hard pack.
4. The Prices
Although snow, drinking, and being warm are important, this might actually trump them all. As the temperatures rise, the price of lift tickets drops. That means that you are in store for some (finally) reasonably priced skiing. We are past the days of holiday rates and blackout periods; the resort is trying to push the season as long as they can and they are going to give you a deal to get you out there to enjoy that spring weather.
5. The Crowds
We’ve all been there after a long cold winter, the second you see sun and get to take your jacket off, you’re done with snow. Your brain just starts to switch over, or at least many people’s do. They move on to activities like working on their golf swing, planting their garden, spring cleaning, and getting ready to put their boat in the water. That means NO LIFT LINES! Cheap tickets, great conditions, good vibes… I’ll tell you what, I’m going to let all those people wax their boats I’m going to be on hill making some epic turns and squeezing every last bit of life out of the ski season that I possibly can.
6. The Atmosphere
Everything that I’ve mentioned previously has led up to this point, the atmosphere of spring skiing cannot be beat. People that are skiing in the spring are there for the love of it, whether it’s because they are a nut case like me craving the endless winter, or maybe they are out trying a new sport for the first time. I have touched on this previously, but the weather is unmatched; how can you not be happy when you are at elevation and the sun is beating down while you’re are skiing? Then there’s the parties and events, retro days, gaper days, Chinese downhills, slush cups, Mardi Gras parties, and more. Everyone is there to have a good time. The saying is “there are no friends on powder days”, well on spring skiing days everyone is your friend.
Not that you need a reason to get out and go skiing, but spring skiing is about pure joy. It’s about getting your friends together for one last epic day. And about putting on a chicken suit, or trying to ski across a pool and coming out the other side. It’s about avoiding the lift lines and not paying full price, and about experiencing hero snow and feeling like you’re that much better of a skier. It’s all about fun, so get out there and rip some turns. Go buy your new ski buddy a beer and hang out on the deck and work on your goggle tan. More importantly, go have fun and let the good times roll.