Spring Skiing – 8 Tips to Reach Up and Break Free of Our Surly Bounds...

Posted in On the Mountain
by JD on March 25, 2013


It sure been a cold, cold winter 
My feet been draggin' 'cross the ground 
And the fields has all been brown and fallow 
And the springtime take a long way around…

Mick Jagger/Keith Richards ‘Winter’ 

Even the most hardcore winter enthusiasts can empathize with Mick Jagger’s plaintive plea for Winter to end.  I might make an exception when it comes to the tail end of winter when the seemingly contradictory elements of Spring and Winter collide in the most magnificent of circumstances – Spring Skiing.

Incarnate beauty must surely include a sky composed of the purest azure as the Sun rises over the Eastern horizon casting its purple and orange hues on these citadels of stone.  It’s late Winter/early Spring - and the cold temperatures of the night slowly yield to the hopeful tinge of southerly-based winds. Rewards for all of your efforts now come in the form of days where resorts shoot promotional films with beautiful people frolicking down impossibly perfect sun-drenched slopes. Spring Skiing – welcome back!

Spring skiing is worthy of its own sub-genre in the ski world. Thoughts of Florida or Mexico occupy a lot of people's minds. Not me! I think about what we are about to leave behind and the criminal neglect that would ensue if we don’t take the power of sun and snow together and put it to good use before the snow fades away.

First of all, the whole skiing modus operandi changes when it comes to spring skiing.  There is a casualness in getting to the mountain. There is no expediency to make first tracks; instead let the sun radiate its warmth on your face, take a slow double chair up to the first run, and tell yourself that this day is yours.


Spring Skiing and All that it Brings

Here are 8 tips to consider when Spring Skiing:

  • Layering – Weather in the mountains is often ever-changing. The key, of course, to any ski day is being comfortable for the elements.  Spring skiing requires nothing less – effective layering of clothing is a key to taking advantage of the sun and the snow but also being mindful that conditions can change pretty quickly.
  • Goggles/Sunglasses – are a must.  Protecting your eyes becomes paramount on those bluebird sky days and the reflective nature of snow and sun as the days get longer only intensify.
  • Sunblock – If you are zealous in any pursuit make it in your use of sunblock as nothing puts a damper on a vacation more unnecessarily than sunburn.
  • Tune and wax your skis – The snow conditions will run the gamut from ice to mash potatoes during the course of a typical spring skiing day and everything in between; maintain a hard edge with your skis and keep your skis spring grooving with you all the time.
  • Exercising Good Judgment – Often I am of those “first-chair-up-last-guy-down” types of skiers but even I know that discretion is the better part of valor.  When the snow conditions devolve into that mash potato stage, the chance for injury increases.  Do not ruin a heretofore perfect ski day by tweaking a knee.
  • Hydration - As always any time on the ski mountain, but particularly on vintage spring skiing days – hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
  • Lunch on the Mountain - Pack or purchase a lunch and grab an outdoor table on the mountain and eat outside –having a ski lunch (or even libations as long as they are handled responsibly) and taking in the alpine is a material part of the experience.
  • Taking It All In - Take time to bask in what has been given to you on this beautiful day – I cannot imagine anything more satisfying than communing with the mountain on this most perfect of days with friends and family.

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The views expressed on Snowmamas are those of the individual authors, who are independent contractors of Park City Mountain Resort, Copper Mountain Resort and Killiington Resort and may not be factually accurate. These views are not intended to reflect the opinions of Park City Mountain Resort, Copper Mountain Resort, Killington Resort, its owners, its management or its employees. Snowmamas' will receive compensation for their participation as an author.