Springtime in the Rockies! If you like warm, sunny weather, soft snow and blue bird skies, this is one of the best times to come skiing in Colorado. Temperatures are balmy in comparison to mid-winter and it feels even warmer under the high altitude sun. Gone are the big puffy jackets in favor of lighter layers. It’s not a struggle to keep those fingers or toes warm, and you can even strip down to a t-shirt to work on your tan during après ski. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Everything about spring skiing is indulgent. Snow is naturally harder on spring mornings after freezing overnight, so it’s best to sleep in and let the sun work its magic. Once the snow has softened up, it is glorious. Like skiing through butter! Lunch is best eaten on a sunny deck, and there are plenty of these to choose from both on the mountain or off. If you are feeling especially adventurous, bring your own meat and grill out in Blue Sky Basin. Grills, picnic tables and stunning scenery are provided! Après ski is also best done on a patio, and you’ll find three of the best decks right here in Lionshead – Garfinkel’s, Vail Chophouse and Tavern on the Square. With days staying lighter longer, you can ski or ride to your heart’s content and you’ll still have plenty of time to après. Vail Mountain lifts are even staying open longer this spring, from March 28 – April 11, to take advantage of the lengthier daylight hours.
Skiing and snowboarding are not the only draws to Vail this time of year. There is also a plethora of spring festivals and events. The first of these is the 12th Annual Vail Film Festival which takes place from March 26-29, 2015. There will be 74 films this year spanning all film genres from drama to documentary, along with festival music, film stars, awards ceremonies, parties and more. Fortunately, the biggest films and parties will be in the evenings as we know you would hate to miss a sunny day on the mountain. We certainly would.
The 25th Annual Taste of Vail takes place a few weeks later from April 8-11, 2015. This is – hands down – our favorite festival of the winter season. Who doesn’t love mountain top picnics or après ski in Vail Village with the Gore Range in the background? The Taste of Vail showcases the Vail Valley’s renowned chefs and restaurateurs alongside owners and winemakers from nearly 50 of the countries’ top wineries. Taste of Vail’s signature events have reached legendary status over the years and include the Debut of Rose (2014 releases this year), American Lamb Cook-off & Après Ski Tasting, Mountain Top Picnic and The Annual Grand Tasting and Auction. Seminars and special wine dinners are also sprinkled throughout the weekend, including a new James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour dinner at Larkspur on Friday, April 10. Trust me when I tell you this 4-day festival is fabulous. If you only do one event, the Mountain Top Picnic is the one you won’t want to miss. Picture an enormous snow fort near the top of the Eagle Bahn gondola lined with tents serving up delicious bites and world-class wines and beers. Bring your sunglasses and your appetite!
Finally, the last hoorah of the season is Spring Back to Vail 2015, always held on the last weekend of the season. This year Vail’s closing day is April 15. Spring Back to Vail is known for its free concerts and the hilariously entertaining World Pond Skimming Championships. This year, the free concert takes place on March 31, and pond skimming on April 15. All will take place at Solaris Plaza in Vail Village and past artists have included Portugal. The Man, Trampled by Turtles and Greyboy Allstars. The infamous World Pond Skimming Championships on closing day includes skiers and riders – very often costumed – launching themselves off of an on-snow jump in an attempt to successfully cross “Lake Golden Peak”. Competitors are judged on distance, style, creativity and “water resistance”. In other words, don’t sink. What could possibly go wrong?! That is why it is so much fun to watch!
If you happen to be in town for Spring Back to Vail, you also have the chance to enjoy another great end of season tradition on Vail Closing Day 2018 known as “4 at 4”. Skiers and riders, mostly local, convene at the top of Chair 4 at 4pm (when lifts shut down for the season) and celebrate the passing of another great winter. You can enjoy this tradition and still make it down in time for the free concert that afternoon. Lots of options for fun on Vail’s Closing Weekend!
To see all signature Vail events, click here.
Vail Condo Rentals
Lodge at Lionshead has condo availability for both Taste of Vail and Spring Back to Vail. Come on out for some sunshine and spring skiing! You can check out rates and availability right here on our website.
*photo courtesy of Taste of Vail