7 Reasons to Hit the Slopes this Spring
With record snowfall across North America, the season is far from over!
It's not too late for a Spring Break Ski Trip. Better yet, Spring is generally our favorite time of the year in the mountains. Temperatures are warmer, bluebird days abound and you're likely to get a better tan than your friends headed to the beach. In the good snow seasons (like this one) there is plenty of snow base to keep much of the terrain well covered. If you’re after fresh powder – try to go in March or early April. Either way, spring skiing is a no brainer this season. Here are seven reasons to consider a ski trip for your next break.
1. The days are longer
Take advantage of daylight savings time. No more worries about the 3pm flat light characteristic of the deep winter. Get a leisurely start to the day (especially because it can take time to soften up, particularly when it cools off at night and freezes). There is likely to be soft snow mid-day and beautiful conditions in the late afternoon.
2. Experience the best of après ski
Après ski always a highlight and spring is the best time for it. This is peak season for sundecks. It’s the best of both worlds, an active day on the mountain and a sun soaked late afternoon - rivals any spring break beach party. Many resorts also have special events featuring live music or competitions at this time of the year.
3. Bonus Days! New Pass Holders Ski For Free
If you need one more reason to buy your season pass before the April deadline - this is a big perk! New Ikon and Peak Pass holders have access to selected resorts effectively immediately with the purchase of a 2019-2020 pass. See our season pass guide here.
New pass holders get Spring access to 9 resorts for the remainder of the season
Access to 3 resorts effective March 5
- Big Bear, CA
- Blue Mountain, Ontario
- Snowshoe, WV
Access to 6 more resorts, effective April 8
- Winter Park, CO
- Squaw Valley / Alpine Meadows, Lake Tahoe
- Mammoth, CA
- Crystal Mountain, WA
- Solitude, UT
- Tremblant, Québec
*Special payment plan: $199 down and pay the rest in four installments June - September with no interest
New pass holders have Spring access to any of the 13 resorts for the remainder of the season
Resorts (by State)
NEW HAMPSHIRE VERMONT
- Attitash - Mount Snow
- Crotched NEW YORK
- Wildcat - Hunter
- Jack Frost Big Boulder - Alpine Valley
- Liberty - Boston Mills
- Roundtop - Brandywine
- Whitetail - Mad River
*Special payment plan: $99 down and pay the rest in four installments starting in May
4. Smaller crowds AND better values
Many people don't realize how long the season extends and are focused on other spring activities. Crowds are generally smaller which comes with several perks - lift lines are shorter, on mountain dining is easer, snow stays fresher longer. There is more opportunity to find good deals. More luxurious hotels that tend to fully book and have high prices during peak season are far more available and affordable for spring break.
5. Optimal conditions for learning and little people
Spring skiers are the ones that develop a lasting love. Spring is ideal for families and those learning to ski. The softer snow is more forgiving. Kids especially benefit from Spring skiing as lesson groups tend to be smaller and who doesn't like being warm?
6. Opportunity to catch one last storm
You just never know when that next storm is coming. Sometimes you can get lucky and when you do, the mountains are not super crowded so there is ample opportunity for fresh tracks. You may just get lucky, last year, April was the best month at Vail!
7. A record number of destination resorts are extending their seasons to May and some as long as July
Given the record snowfall across North America, many resorts are extending their seasons well into April, with some through Memorial Day and into the summer. We are not just talking a handful of runs. Several places received more than 3 feet of snow in the second week of March - boding very well for the late Spring season. Skiing late into the season works is not limited to the West. Spring is far and away our favorite season in Vermont where it is much warmer and the days are particularly long. Here are some highlights on where to find the most snow this spring:
Open until Memorial Day. In mid-January, Breck evaluated its snowfall and VP & COO, John Buhler, announced, “With Breck’s notably high elevation and annual snowfall we are well-positioned to provide our passholders and other guests great spring skiing and snowboarding well into May.” Click for full announcement.
Squaw Valley / Alpine Meadows, Lake Tahoe, CA
Squaw / Alpine may set the record for the longest season – extending until July 7, 2019. By early March, the resort had received 596 inches of snow (~50 feet) notably ahead of its annual average of 450 inches (AND only halfway through the season!). Click for full announcement.
Mammoth, Southern California
Mammoth has a track record of staying open through Memorial Day and this season is no exception. In mid-February, Mammoth tweeted that it “broke a more than 30-year record for monthly snowfall, with almost 15 ft of snow at Main Lodge (175”) and 22+ ft at the summit this month, we've officially passed 1987 as the snowiest Feb.”
“Spring at Killington is known for soft snow, abundant sunshine and weekends packed full of events and live music,” according to Mike Solimano, President & GM of Killington. For the past 5 years, Killington has been open through late May / early June. This year is right on trend with a full line up of "Nor'Beaster" events in April culminating with the May Day Slalom. Consider a Nor'Beaster Pass for unlimited access this spring for $229.
Locals say April is their favorite month of all in Sugarbush - "days are long and bumps are soft." Sugarbush has festive events all spring. Don't miss Stein's Challenge on Saturday, April 13, competitors have 4 hours to complete as many laps as they can on Stein's Run. Spectators can enjoy beverages from the Pint Pavilion at the Base of Stein’s. Click for more detail.
Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
Whistler will be open through Memorial Day Weekend, Blackcomb will remain open through late April. The crowds are usually smaller, but the days are long with better light and there is plenty of terrain to explore. The base village is in full swing. For the die hards, consider glacier skiing here in June and July.