Top Spring Skiing Spots Slideshow
Top Spring Skiing Spots Slideshow
Where: Mt. Hood, Oregon
Average Snowfall: 577"
2011 Closing Date: May 15 (April 28 projected this year)
Spring Deals: Spring Pass$99 for unlimited skiing through season's end
Hood has been blasted with snow in recent years. It gets pounded by wet Pacific storms that lay down a deep base layer on its 2,150 acres of varied terrain, including bowls, plenty of glades and, for that end-of-the-day long run, three-mile-long cruisers. In spring, this mostly locals resort hosts races, like the Mazotfest Charity Fun Race (Apr. 20) and Rams Head Randonee (Apr. 21), then wraps the season with the Sno-Kona Pond Skim (Apr. 27), a rite of spring where costumed skiers and riders try to glide across a 90-foot pond without sinking in.
Where: Girdwood, Alaska
Average Snowfall: 530"
2011 Closing Date: May 31 (April 28 projected this year)
Just outside of Anchorage above the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet, Alyeska offers the best Alaska skiing that doesnt involve a helicopter. With big mountain skiing at near-sea level elevations, this family-friendly resort makes it easy to keep shredding all day long, especially now that it gets more sunlight than the rest of the country (sun's up until after 9pm, though, sadly, lifts shut down at 6pm). Spring Carnival (Apr. 20) is the biggest thing in April, and features live music, a tug-of-war, Dummy Downhill and, of course, the Slush Cup.
Where: Banff, Alberta
Average Snowfall: 360"
2011 Closing Date: May 24 (May 20 projected this year)
Spring Deals: Spring Pass$399 for unlimited skiing through season's end
Sunshine Villages Slush Cup (May 18-20) is one of North America's top spring parties, with live music, beer gardens andthe headline eventthe Slush Cup, where skiers and snowboarders try to glide across the surface of a slushy pond at the base of a short, steep run to win prizes (to give you a idea of the ridiculousness, prizes are awarded for best belly flop and "excellent enema"). If you manage to escape the party, 3,358 skiable acres promise your final fix of skiing. Everyone's encouraged to "dress to impress," so bring your best wigs and/or 80s gear.
Where: Crystal Mountain, Washington
Average Snowfall: 527"
2011 Closing Date: July 16 (a record)
The snow is deep and heavy here, which is why Crystal has become legendary for its spring season, with most years lasting into mid-June. This place oozes a laidback vibe thats common among Pacific Northwest resorts, which makes it lots of fun when the weather warms up. Summit House serves up live aprs music on Saturdays from 1pm to 3pm, and the Snorting Elk is still your top nighttime entertainment stop, with promotions like this week's Annual Local's Luau (Apr. 17).
Where: Little Cottonwood Canyon near Salt Lake City, Utah
Average Snowfall: 467"
2011 Closing Date: July 4 (May 30 projected this year)
Spring Deals: Spring Pass$329 for unlimited ski through end of season
Abundant north-facing steeps help retain powder well into the spring at this, one of the Wasatch's premiere resorts. After a long day on the slopes, enjoy live music every Friday through Sunday in April.
Where: Dillon, Colorado
Average Snowfall: 316"
2011 Closing Date: July 4
The Basin is perfect for spring skiing, thanks to a unique Continental Divide weather pattern that makes March and April top snowfall months here. That, along with good exposures for snow preservation, means that the season keeps going here, sometimes lasting into July, something no other Colorado ski resort can advertise. This is an excellent stop for any dedicated shredder who also likes to kick back now and then. The Shakin' at the Basin May concert series features live bands every Saturday from 1pm to 4pm.
Where: Mammoth Lakes, California
Average Snowfall: 453"
2011 Closing Date: July 4 (May 27 projected this year)
With its deep Eastern Sierra snowpack and SoCal-worthy sunshine, spring skiing and riding here is epic on the high-altitude bowls, bumps and salted groomers. Weekends through the end of May are the realm of Mammoth Springfest, a celebration of spring that feature live slopeside music, pond skims and skiing and riding contests.
Where: South face of Mt. Hood, Oregon
Average Snowfall: 400"
2011 Closing Date: N/A
Spring Deals: Spring Pass$109 for unlimited skiing through season's end
What this resort doesn't have in acreage (1,415 skiable acres) and runs (41), it makes up for in sheer staying power. In fact, it's the only lodge in North America that boasts year-round lift-accessed skiing, save for two weeks in September when it closes for annual maintenance. When the lower mountain starts to thaw towards the end of May, the action just moves above the treeline to the Palmer Snowfield, which tops out around 8,500 feet. And just because it doesn't shut down doesn't mean Timberline skips the typical spring shenanigansthe May 25 end-of-season party is described as the best thing to happen to Mt Hood since snow. Sounds like a party we don't want to miss.
Where: Bend, Oregon
Average Snowfall: 532"
2011 Closing Date: May 29 (May 26 projected this year)
Spring Deals: Spring Pass$169 for unlimited ski through May 26
According to our friend Tony Crocker at bestsnow.net, Bachelor has the best spring skiing on the continent (and this from a man who knows his snow) in April and May, with 1,700 vertical feet of corn on the summit, and 1,300 of salted cruisers below. Details on Bachelors Finale Weekend havent been released yet, but there's guaranteed to be local beers, live music and, if youre lucky, you might be able to squeeze in some turns between all the fun. There are plenty of other parties happening before then, including Springtacular Celebration (Apr. 20-21), 10 Barrel Brewing's Bonk and Small Air Competition (Apr. 27) and the annual Gerry Lopez Big Wave Challenge (May 11).
Where: Whistler, British Columbia
Average Snowfall: 494"
2011 Closing Date: June 1 (May 27 projected this year)
The largest ski resort in North America, which sprawls 8,000-plus acres over two mountains with more than 5,000 feet of vertical (second only to BCs Revelstoke), turns up the partying in springtime. From now through Apr. 21, it's hosting the World Ski & Snowboard Fest, which boasts the motto "Party in April. Sleep in May," and features Canada's largest free outdoor concert series. Whistler has better spring conditions into June, thanks to its north-facing bowls and upper mountain terrain, but Blackcomb takes over in summer, when it operates 700 vertical feet of glacier on T-bars. Awesome!