We should call this "Ode to Spring Skiing" because that is how much we love it! It's not about the snow or the skiing, it's more about ambiance and your state of mind. The sky is vivid blue - we like to call these Colorado bluebird days (see below). Temps are warm and balmy. You pull out the lightweight hat, lightweight gloves, lightweight jacket, lightweight base layers, lightweight everything and ditch the gaiter for good. Cruise through soft corn snow, find a deck on the mountain to hang with your friends and do runs at your leisure. Call it an early afternoon to find a sunny deck back in town and enjoy apres (Garfinkels, Vail Chophouse, Los Amigos, Vendettas). This some of the best deck weather you will ever experience. We are not kidding.
Some parts about spring skiing are not so great - like the hardpacked snow in the mornings (soft snow freezes again overnight in the spring) - so we've put these handy tips to help you better navigate this wonderful time of year:
- Sleep in and hit the mountain anytime between 10 & 11am - give the snow a chance to soften up in the sunshine
- Wear lightweight layers that can be easily stripped - it's gonna get warm
- Have a short-sleeved shirt ready for decktime
- Layer on the sunscreen and reapply every few hours - snow & altitude make the sun's rays much stronger here
- Ski the back bowls mid-day to afternoon for really good soft snow
- Pack a picnic for lunch at a deck on-mountain or take advantage of the outdoor grill at Blue Sky (bring your own grillables)
- If it starts getting too slushy or "grabby" (you'll know) at the bottom of the mountain, ski the higher areas and download on the gondola at the end of the day
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate while on the mountain. You can dehydrate later on a deck at apres!
One more tip: It can get cooler and winter snow storms are still a possibility, so watch the forecast and adjust accordingly.
Now that you've been enlightened, get out there and enjoy springtime in the mountains. You'll be glad you did!