Tag Archives | spring skiing

Why We Love Spring Skiing.

So it’s officially spring: the delicious dessert to the ski season entree. Many skiers think spring skiing is the best, and there are loads of reasons why:

1) The sun:  If you’re having trouble identifying that bright thing in the sky, it’s only because you haven’t seen it for a while. Spring means the sun is higher, the days are longer, and the temps are warmer. And though it’s great to ski on a bluebird day, it’s important to remember that the sun’s rays are stronger this time of year, especially when they reflect off the snow. So don’t forget the sunscreen!

Skiing in the sun.  Photo from StratosphereNetworking.com

Skiing in the sun.
Photo from StratosphereNetworking.com


2) Softer snow: Warm temps produce hero snow, the soft snow that makes everyone carve like a champ. If the temps are freezing overnight, you might want to wait a bit til it softens up. Trust me, though, it’s worth it.

Skiing in soft snow. Photo from Okemo Mountain Resort

Skiing in soft snow.
Photo from Okemo Mountain Resort


3) Softer bumps: I love bump skiing, but I hate it when the bumps are the rock hard ice bombs we usually have in the east. Now’s when the bumps get nice and soft, so they’re much easier to ski. If you feel the same, then spring is for you.

Soft, spring bumps are the best!

Soft, spring bumps are the best!


4) Lighter, less restrictive clothing: I get cold easily, so I tend to pack on the clothing during the winter.  Yeah, it keeps me warm, but sometimes I feel like an overstuffed sausage. In the spring, I can get away with a shell and a light layer. It’s a lot more comfortable and it makes moving much, much easier.


photo from Ski Utah


5) Smaller crowds: Strange but true: people tend to give up on skiing once the snow disappears from their own backyards. So take advantage of all the people who are staying home and enjoy emptier slopes and no lift lines.


6) Great deals: You know those skis you lusted after all winter? And the jacket you thought was just too expensive? Now’s the time to buy. Ski shops and retailers typically drop their prices in the spring to offload this year’s stuff before next year’s comes in. Season pass deals are usually cheaper in the spring, too, so get yours now.



7) It’s time to par-tay! Spring means tailgating in the parking lot, picnics on the ridge line, and pond skimming at the base. There are loads of spring festivals at ski areas everywhere, so don’t miss out!

Photo from ExploreSteamboat.com

Photo from ExploreSteamboat.com


Partying at A-Basin! Photo from FriscoLodge.com

Partying at A-Basin!
Photo from FriscoLodge.com

What do you love most about spring skiing?




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Surviving Spring Skiing.

I always welcome spring with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I love the warmer weather, the longer days, and the soft, carvable snow. On the other, spring signals the winding down of ski season. And to me, that’s a big deal. Skiing is more than just a sport to me. It’s a passion. And watching it disappear for 6-plus months is a pretty bitter pill to swallow.

Really, I have nothing to complain about. It’s been a great season. We’ve had a ton of snow here in New England, and as of today, I’ve had 87 ski days — a new personal record. What’s more, I’ve skied at 13 different mountains (four of them for the first time), attended two women’s clinics, and even took a snowboarding lesson. And even though my ski days are dwindling down, it’s important to remember that ski season will come again. Of that I have no doubt.

But in the meantime, let’s live in the moment and enjoy what we have left. Yesterday I skied in sixty degree temps under a bluebird sky. The snow was soft and easy to carve, and the bumps were positively delicious. Really, a glorious day.

Me at Okemo, April 13, 2015

Skiing at Okemo, April 13, 2015

Spring skiing is a completely different animal from skiing in say, early season or mid-winter conditions. And though I’m not an expert,  there are a few things I’ve learned over time about skiing this time of year (yes, I know — I posted this last year. But good advice bears repeating):

1) Wear sunscreen: The sun is higher in the sky than it’s been all winter. So even if you haven’t dipped into the tube of SPF 30 yet, now’s a good time. After all, researchers have discovered that even a little tan isn’t healthy. More than 2.5 million cancers in 3 million people are diagnosed  annually. If you want the look of a goggle tan, try some make-up, instead.

2) Wax your skis: You know that grabby snow that can bring your skis to a stop, while your body continues to travel? Not good. A coat of warm weather wax will fix that right up. Carry some rub-on in your pocket, too, for touch-ups on the mountain.

3) Dress accordingly: Layers are a good idea. It may start out pretty cold and warm up quite a bit, so you may want to peel as the day goes on. Also, no matter how warm it gets, do not wear short sleeves or shorts. Why? If you fall, you’re gonna pay big time. Falling on snow is like falling on sand. The ice crystals will scrape your skin raw, plus you’ll get very, very wet. So protect your skin, stay dry, and wear a shell.

4) Timing is everything: If the temps are still dropping below freezing at night, you might want to start your ski day a little bit later than usual. This is practically sacrilege coming from me; I’m always out when the lifts start running. But if you want to avoid rock hard ice, stay in and have another cup of coffee. Then follow the sun around the mountain. Ski the south and east-facing slopes in the morning and the north and west-facing slopes in the afternoon, so you can catch the snow as it softens up. Conversely, if you don’t get an overnight freeze, get out there as early as you can so you can ski before the snow turns  into a gloppy, sticky mess.

5) Softer and wider is better: Set aside your narrow waisted carving skis and go for something wider. Powder skis have a bigger surface area that lets them to surf over the heavy stuff  without getting bogged down.  They also have a softer flex, which allows them to bend more, so you don’t have to steer as much.

6) Ski it like you mean it: Keep a balanced, even weight on each foot. Also, steer lightly by tipping the skis on edge ever so slightly to turn. To put it simply, slow moves, long turns. Let the tails follow the tips, and don’t twist your feet too much. Commit to the fall line and don’t spend too much time shopping for good stuff.

7) Enjoy! A lot of people end their ski season when they no longer see snow in their own backyard. This is good for those of us who stick it out.  The mountain is a lot less crowded. Quieter. Just the way I like it.

So what’s your spring skiing tip?






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You can’t always get what you want.

You know that old song by the Rolling Stones? Well, that’s what was playing this morning when we entered the base lodge at Killington.

Yep, even though you can’t always get the conditions you might like, you can still ski. Which is what we did today, April 24, 2011. Hey, I’d never skied on Easter before. And even though I was sure I ended my season two weeks ago,I figured why not. We’d had a few inches of snow yesterday (albeit wet, heavy stuff). And I had some vouchers I’d neglected to use.

So with the temperature hovering around 50° this morning at 7 AM, we hauled out the rock skis and drove to mountain, determined to get in  a few runs.

It didn’t look too promising outside the lodge:

But looking up at the hill was a bit more encouraging:

Unless, of course, you looked over here (yes, this was open):

Still, it was fun. The views from the top were still beautiful. After all, it is Vermont:

And I was plenty happy. It was Day #81 for me. We only skied eight runs. The temperature reached 60°, and it got pretty gloopy real fast. All the same, a great way to end my season!

Yep, those are Day Lilies coming up at my house. Spring is here!

Happy Easter, all!


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