Spring Skiing, Snow, and Sun
Our annual spring skiing reportby Josh Rhea
As much as I love it, winter makes me uptight. Your body shivers to stay warm; you hunch against biting winds; your entire being braces against the harshness of the season. I noticed it this week, because after months of darkness and cold, my body relaxed. The sun warmed my skin, and blue skies embraced my soul. The mountains did the same, letting out a sigh marked by trickling melt water and the tumble of ice-freed rock.
With this change comes the best season of the year to be a skier—deep snowpacks,
mild temperatures, and sunny skies are in abundance. As such, it’s hard to go
wrong choosing a spring ski and snowboard destination. There are a few spots
in the country, however, that take the words ‘spring break’ to another level.
Whether you’re on the hunt for corn snow, raging keggers, powder, or simply
goggle tan lines to take back to school, our intrepid gear hounds have the beta
on your ultimate spring destination.
The Canyons, Utah
Pond Skimming shenanigans.
March is Utah’s snowiest month. With almost every resort in the Wasatch reporting over a 100” base, it’s an epic year to visit. The Canyons has some major things going for it this spring: free skiing (with lodging), and some of the best backcountry access in the nation. But there's more going on that just skiing. Their spring concert lineup includes big names like The String Cheese Incident, and craziness like the 8th Annual Pond Skimming Contest and Reggae Festival. It’s a no-brainer: tour in the morning and ride sheltered backcountry powder, rip a few corn runs around noon, then relax for an afternoon of music and parties. For free!
The Canyons Spring Value Package
Mammoth Mountain, California
Nestled in a remote corner of the central Sierra, Mammoth is home to the best corn skiing on the planet. Its enormous acreage is surpassed only by the quality of its skiing; arcing huge, controllable corn turns down the sustained steeps of the ‘Noids, Phillipes, and the Avie Chutes is an experience not to be missed. It’s also home to one of the best terrain parks on the planet—evidenced by the high number of pro skiers and snowboarders who call Mammoth home. And there is no better season to ride the park than spring—time for cotton hoodies, music pumping from the park’s sound system, and soft, slushy landings. April 10-23 offers prices as low as $86 per person for lift and lodging, dipping down as low as $71 April 24- May 8. Combine this with demo days, a concert series, and other insanity, and you've got a wild time on your hands.
Whistler/Blackcomb TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival
The World Skiing Invitational venue and Whistler village.
In the most famous ski party town on the continent, the TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival is the biggest, longest, and most outrageous party of the year. Now in its 9th year, the WSSF showcases a mind-boggling array of music, art, and sports. On-snow highlights include the World Skiing Invitational, World Snowboarding Invitational, the Urban Rail Session, and the demo park. Off the snow, there's The Filmmaker Showdown: a 72 hour mad dash made by 50 teams to shoot and edit the best short film possible. Don't miss Masterpiece in Motion, a snowboard topsheet design contest. There's also a pro photographer showdown, the DKNY Jeans Outdoor Concert Series, and don't forget, the 8th Annual Whistler Dogfest: a canine bonanza featuring a parade, exhibitions, and competitions. But if you forget your dog, don't sweat it. The TELUS World Ski & Snow Festival is still the place to be.
TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival
April 8-17, 2005
Arapahoe Basin, Colorado
Arapahoe Basin's famed East Wall.
A-Basin, as locals know it, is the very embodiment of spring skiing. ‘The Beach’ is world famous; whether you know its name or not, you’re sure to have seen the antics that go on each March and April on countless Warren Miller ski films and sports blooper highlight reels. Each spring, droves of RV’s, grills, boomboxes, couches, and kegs appear on the strip of parking lot fronting the base of the area’s ski runs—from Pallavicini to Exhibition. Some of Colorado’s steepest runs are found here, and the nonstop party at the base area is only interrupted by the season’s generous Colorado snowstorms.
Closing date: July