The calendar may indicate that we are in spring and that May is right around the corner but with snow storms still hitting areas and lots of snow still around from a cold winter, there’s definitely a lot of time left to hit the slopes.
In the Midwest, ski resorts are still open and in the west, you’ll find resorts from Big Bear in California to Park City in Utah welcoming the spring skiers.
Here are some of the benefits to locking into your skis or board and hitting the mountains in the spring time:
But skiing/snowboarding are cold sports, right? Sure. But nothing is quite as nice as riding on a warm 35-40 degree day. You can wear fewer layers, trade your goggles in for sunglasses and have an overall more comfortable experience.
Just remember that if you fall, the snow is still cold, and with the refreeze you may encounter some sharp ice so wear less but still stay covered.
Take a Lesson
Spring is great for the newbies. Again, the warm weather will help them enjoy the experience more but also the snow gets heavier and wetter making you move a bit slower. That’s ideal for the guy or gal a little frightened about flying wildly down the mountain. The spring is perfect for honing your skills and really falling in love with the sport.
Are you the kind of person who wants to be on the first chair in the morning? Well, in the spring you can sleep in a little later and head out around mid-morning. Why would you want to do this? Spring brings warmer temps which melts the snow which then refreezes over night. That person on the first chair up in the morning is going to encounter icy conditions. Wait for the sun to warm up the mountain and melt it a bit so you can have a more enjoyable time coming down. But be careful about getting out too late, with a lot of sun and heat the snow can turn slushy and be more difficult to ski on.
Cheaper Lift Tickets
This may be a little harder to track down but our snowboard buyer here says you can definitely get cheaper spring tickets.
So, spring skiing is awesome, right? Of course it is. But here are a couple things you should know about when heading to the mountain.
Less layers mean exposed skin and a greater angle of the sun combined with the thin mountain air can equal a nasty sunburn. So, make sure to stay covered up and definitely put on the sunscreen…your nose will thank you for it.
Rocks and Grass
Most resorts have an excellent base this year and in most years the rocks and grassy areas will be marked, but always be aware of where you’re skiing. As the snow melts and the base thins, rocks can wreak havoc on the base and edges of your skis. If you have a second, older pair of skis, take those.
For more tips and to hear the benefits of spring skiing discussed by the skis.com Ski Buyer and the snowboards.com Snowboard Buyer, check out the Warm Weather Podcast on skis.com.
Ski Resorts By Location
Living through the long, endless winter may have been a pain but now you get to reap the rewards. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most popular ski resorts by region that are still open for business.
Killington Resort – Vermont (Projected Closing – May 26)
With well over a foot of snow on the base and 30 inches at the peak, there’s still plenty of snow on the mountain to get in your skiing in before Memorial Day.
Jay Peak – Vermont (Projected Closing – May 12)
Boasting 100% of its terrain open, Jay Peak is happy to report that seven fresh feet of snow has fallen in the last month.
Sugarbush – Vermont (Projected Closing – April 28)
With temperatures in the low 30s, you can expect lots of fun times on the mountain. When you shed your jacket though, don’t forget the sun tan lotion.
Sugarloaf – Maine (Projected Closing – May 5)
Enough of Vermont skiing, go to Maine where you can get incredible lift ticket deals for the spring skiing. Toss on a pair of shorts and enjoy the 40 inches of base under sunny 44 degree temps.
Mount Bohemia – Michigan (Projected Closing – May)
Considered one of top ten undiscovered ski resorts according to msn.com, the 335 inches of snow this winter (that’s about 28 feet) has given the diehard Midwest skiers the chance to carve all the way into May. Mount Bohemia offers over 94 runs at this No-Beginners Allowed ski area as well as a 900 foot vertical drop in one of the best of the Midwest ski resorts.
Ski Brule – Michigan (Projected Closing – May 15)
Experience the Visitor’s Choice Best Overall Resort in the Midwest for the last 6 years while you still can. With its 56 inches of base at the peak, this mountain is perfect whether you play in the park, carve anywhere and everywhere or want to have a great time with the family.
Arapahoe Basin – (Projected Closing – June 2)
No errors there. With 80 inches of base, it’s looking like you can ski beyond Memorial Day and into June at Arapahoe Basin. With concerts and skiing in the 40 degrees, Arapahoe Basin is the ultimate spring (even summer) skiing destination.
Loveland Ski Area – (Projected Closing – May 5)
You can thank the 431 inches of snow and counting for the late season that Loveland Ski Area is experiencing. Just an hour outside of Denver, you can enjoy skiing in the 40s and some fresh snow in the morning. You can even ski with a forest ranger and learn about the geology, ecology and the history of the mountain.
Breckenridge – (Projected Closing – April 27)
Just a few more weeks remain for you to ski Breckenridge, Colorado, but with a 93 inch base, you can expect awesome conditions for your last minute ski trip.
Mt. Bachelor – Oregon (Projected Closing – May 26)
Having received over 360 inches of snow, Mt. Bachelor is planning to stay open all through May. Their current base is still over 100 inches so lots of great snow awaits your arrival.
Snowbird – Utah (Projected Closing – May 26)
78 of the 98 trails are still open at Snowbird. Another resort expecting to stay open until Memorial Day, you’ll find excellent conditions with lots of entertainment waiting for you at Après ski.
Mammoth Mountain – California (Projected Closing – May 25)
This California ski resort knows how to party. Whether they’re hosting riding sessions with pro-riders or just having a Spyder-sponsored party, Mammoth is the place to be in California. Oh yeah, there’s also a 30-60 inch base and plans to keep the lifts running until the end of May.
Crystal Mountain Resort – Washington (Projected Closing – May 18)
The biggest and highest resort in Washington will keep its lifts operational until the middle of May. They’ll have a variety of themes to entice their skiers which include neon, denim and beach-themes.
Whistler/Blackcomb – British Columbia (Projected Closing – May 26)
Extending their ski season until the end of May, head out to beautiful Blackcomb for some awesome late-season skiing. They’re still receiving snow and have a 96 inch base for you to play on.
Sunshine Village – Alberta (Projected Closing – May 20)
Sunshine has some incredible deals so it’s worth getting in some more ski days this year. With 3,300 acres of skiable terrain and highs still in the upper-20s to low-30s and snow still falling, you’ll be hard-pressed to find opportunities to get in such great skiing anywhere else. No wonder they’re known for having Canada’s Best Snow!
Mont Saint-Sauveur – Quebec (Projected Closing – May 19)
An amazing park, famous Apres Ski scene and a decent base makes Mont Saint-Sauveur an excellent choice. They have plenty of spring skiing deals going on which includes 2-for-1 specials and kids under 12 being able to ski for free.
All these resorts are subject to changing their closing dates so make sure to double check when the lifts are open. There are a lot of resorts that may only have weekend skiing available.
With the record breaking cold and snow from the winter, you can get in some late-season skiing, so head out to the resorts and enjoy carving down the mountain one last time this year.