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Where You’ll Find the Lifts to Late-Season Snow

Where You’ll Find the Lifts to Late-Season Snow

Well, here we are, the first of April, and, I kid you not, winter is stilled firmly entrenched in a good chunk of North America. So much so that nearly 40 of the 600-some-odd resorts in the United States and Canada are flirting with May — and beyond — as their closing dates for the 2018-19 ski and snowboard season. Most resorts across the continent — even in the obscenely snow-laden Sierra Nevada — will stop spinning their lifts by mid-April — or no later than Easter, which falls on April 21. But those that stay on, however, will reap the spring harvest of sweet corn and mashed potatoes left in the wake of a cold and snowy winter. So break out the SPF 50 sunblock and warm-snow wax and celebrate the last days of the season at these resorts, many of which will be open on a weekends-only basis after mid-April. East Seven resorts in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are expected to be spinning lifts into the first week of May. Sunday River will be the first to call it a season on May 1, followed by Wildcat (May 4) and Whiteface, Jay Peak, Sugarloaf and Sugarbush, all May 5. Killington will be the last holdout, with a scheduled closing on May 26. Midwest Four resorts in Minnesota and Michigan will continue to operate past Easter with Mt. Brule and Boyne Mountain shutting down on April 29 and Lutsen and Mt. Bohemia hanging on until May 5. Rockies As one would expect, winter lingers longer in the high mountains, and 10 ski hills from Idaho to Arizona will...
Copper to Open New Expert Chairlift Next Season

Copper to Open New Expert Chairlift Next Season

Copper Mountain is going gold. If you have ever taken the lift to the top of Copper Mountain and drooled over the terrain that seemed just out of reach, you know how big this news is. That place is Tucker Mountain, an area reserved for the mountain’s snow cat operation that runs only on the weekends and depends on the snow conditions. But things are about to change. Starting this summer Copper is constructing a three-person fixed grip chair to usher skiers and riders to the top of 12,200ft Tucker Mountain, opening 273 acres of expert terrain seven days a week. No longer do you have to stare longingly at the terrain just out of reach. Next season you can catch a ride on the new lift from the bottom of existing Blackjack lift in Copper’s back bowls to the top of The Taco–a north-facing and wide-open chute that can hold its snow and give you one helluva ride. But if The Taco isn’t your speed or the snow’s not great that day you can head off the lift in either direction to find steep chutes and glades to work your way down that will fit your fancy. Though the improvements on Tucker steal the show, these aren’t the only improvements going on at Copper.   Widespread improvements Copper has been making widespread improvements as a part of POWDR Corp’s (Copper’s parent company) $100M project that included an update to the mountain’s darling lifts American Flyer and American Eagle, new restaurants and bars for après or during the day, a terrain park designed with an Olympic snowboarder, and a...
How to Make a Big Splash in Pond Skimming

How to Make a Big Splash in Pond Skimming

Pond skimming. Is it a rite of spring or a rite of passage? You decide. But whatever it is, skiers and snowboarders, there is a right way to do it. And to help us figure that out we turn to JD Hoss, “Fearless Leader” of  Truckee Tahoe Radio (101.5 FM) and veteran competitor and judge of many a pond skim, including the notorious Cushing Crossing at Squaw Valley. “Some people may say that maybe I take pond skimming too seriously,” Hoss says. “But it’s the only competition I know of where a common man can beat an Olympian. And I’ve done it. “It’s a whole lot of fun. It’s what spring skiing’s all about.” Tricks of the Trade … “The No. 1 thing to remember is speed is your friend,” he says. “If you don’t go fast enough (on the in-run) you’re not gonna make it across the water. It’s all about inertia and friction. “The second thing you need is the right right gear … and have confidence in your equipment. Some people go way wide (on skis) but those don’t allow you to have enough control on the in-run and you lose speed. I have a pair of skis in the garage that are 108mm underfoot with twin tips and reverse camber that I strictly use for pond skimming. “Another important aspect is the costume, which for some people has everything to do with it (pond skimming). Make sure it is aerodynamic and make sure you can see (out) at all times. And you need to wear a helmet and a life vest.” A life vest? “I’ve done...
How to Ski Spring Conditions Like a Pro

How to Ski Spring Conditions Like a Pro

Spring conditions rock. Like seriously. Maybe it hasn’t snowed in a couple weeks. No big deal. Maybe you’re a little tired because someone blew it on the AirBnB logistics and instead of sleeping slope-side you spent the night in your car parking lot-side. Whatever. Either way, you’re stoked because you’re getting ready to ski, but before you do here’s a few pro tips. 1. Don’t Rush It In the spring, daytime temperatures can exceed 40°F warmer and the sunshine is abundant, which works quickly to melt a little snow during the day. At night, however, temps plummet and that soft partially-melted layer of snow turns to ice. Unless you’ve got a screw loose or love skiing fast and out of control, skiing on ice is no bueno. So how do you get around it? It’s simple. Just wait a few hours. No need to get the first chair in the spring and if you’re on vacation from sea level, there’s no conceivable chance you’ll make it a full day anyway. Wait until about 11am and then give it a go–this will also give you a chance to prep for the day with a couple plates of breakfast and three cups of coffee. You will be invincible. 2. Follow the Sun Throughout the day pay attention to where the sun has been hitting the mountain the most. If you’re directionally inclined, the mountain’s south-facing slopes here are going to be your best friend as they will be getting the most solar blasting throughout the day. By noon you should be enjoying buttery spring snow conditions. If, however, you forget where the sun is you can...
Time for On-Mountain Festivals — It’s a Spring Thing

Time for On-Mountain Festivals — It’s a Spring Thing

The vernal equinox is upon us,  and you know what that means, skiers and snowboarders. It’s party time. The loooong, cold, snowy winter is, one fervently hopes, behind us and up ahead only blue sky, corn snow and slush bumps. So what better way to greet the spring season than by putting on your dancing shoes and checking out one of these multi-day, on-mountain festivals? WinterWonderGrass Squaw Valley is the site for the 5th edition of WinterWonderGrass Tahoe, an annual brews-and-tunes get-together that takes place March 29-31. With the musical emphasis on bluegrass and acoustic roots music, some of the biggest names in the genre will grace Squaw’s main stage, including Greensky Bluegrass, Trampled By Turtles and Leftover Salmon. Also on tap, if you’ll pardon the expression, will be tastings of some of Northern California and Nevada’s finest brew masters, including Sierra Nevada, Alibi, 805, Fifty Fifty, Knee Deep, Lagunitas, Sudwerk and Great Basin. Meanwhile, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, which kicks off the Squaw event with a free concert on Thursday, March 28, is among the headliners at Sugar and Strings, a mini-WinterWonderGrass production that will be held at Stratton Mountain Resort  in Vermont on April 13-14. This free, two-day concert series also includes the likes of Kitchen Dweller and Twisted Pine. Details on both the Squaw Valley and Stratton festivals can be found at winterwondergrass.com. Taste of Vail Wines from Napa Valley, Santa Barbara, Corsica, France and Greece are among the featured attractions of the Tase of Vail, an annual foodie and oenophile fest at the Colorado resort that will be held April 3-6. Labeled as “a platform...
The Best Spring Party in The World is At Mt. Bachelor

The Best Spring Party in The World is At Mt. Bachelor

Things are heating up at Bachelor. What if you could spend your days under the sun sipping beer, watching skiers and rider launch hella big air, dancing to good music, and making some turns all at the same time? Well, in Oregon, you can. Enter–Mt. Bachelor’s Sunchaser Spring. Starting in just a couple weeks, the list of events that make up the best spring party in skiing is getting underway. For the skiing, Bachelor has a specific Sunchaser Spring Pass that allows for unlimited skiing and riding from March 30th-May 26th. Nobody does it quite like Bachelor. Saturday March 30th : 10 Barrel Hella Big Air To kick things off the Bend, Oregon-based brewery, 10 Barrel Brewing, sponsors the Hella Big Air event–an epic high-flying (and high-paying) competition to see which rider or skier can send it to the absolute moon. If you’re lucky the sun will be out and, since it’s sponsored by a brewery, you know the beer will be flowing. Saturday April 6th : VertFest 2019 A week later the Central Oregon Avalanche Center, Outdoor Research, Black Diamond, and HydroFlask all come together to put on the country’s ultimate celebration of backcountry skiing and riding. The day includes riding, demos, clinics, food, and a party (obviously), to increase avalanche awareness & training and to get people excited about the back country. Friday April 12 – Sunday April 14th : Gerry Lopez Big Wave Challenge In mid-April it’s time to wax up the board. Though they might not be slashing waves on Oahu, in honor of surfer and Mount Bachelor legend, Gerry Lopez, you can watch snowboarders...