Although the storm trackers say winter isn’t quite over for the mountains of the West, the calendar says it’s spring.
And that means it’s time to ditch the puffies, don the SPF 50 and party on — and off — the piste.
Few places can put on a spring-time party vibe better than Western ski resorts, and here are several examples that burnish and bolster that reputation:
For the 34th year, this Lake Tahoe-area resort will be hosting its snow-golf tournament on Saturday, April 22. The 9-hole course wanders from the top of the Summit Chair to the bottom of the Alpine Bowl Chair, and skiers and riders attempt shots while still attached to their boards. If channeling your inner Caddyshack isn’t your thing, check out Alpine’s weekly Spring Music Series, when (mostly) local musicians take center stage on the main lodge deck every Saturday and Sunday afternoon in April.
Lapping the Pallavicini (Pali) Chair at this Colorado resort has been a rite of spring for years, and on Wednesday, April 12, it’s an official event with the annual Enduro. From 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. two-person teams attempt to make as many runs on the lift as possible. If skiing or riding for 10 straight hours isn’t all that appealing, check out the Enduro Light, a non-competitive version that takes in more of the mountain. After that, there’s the Enduro Apres Party at the A-Frame.
The month-long Spring Fever jamboree at this Colorado resort gets into full party mode on Saturday, April 8, with its annual Beer Festival, featuring more than 40 breweries, both local and national, as well as food and live music. Other noteworthy Spring Fever events are the Friday afternoon rail jams (April 7, 14 and 21) at the Freeway and Park Lane terrain parks and the Closing Day Celebration on April 23 a the Ski Hill Grill patio.
Big hair, onesies and bright neon will be the fashion statement when this eastern Sierra resort presents Bumps & Ballet: A Tribute to the ’80s on the weekend of April 7-9. On Friday, Glen Plake will help you perfect your mogul and ballet ski skills; on Saturday, pond skimming and snow volleyball will be followed by a Prom Night Gala, and on Sunday, old pros and current members of the U.S. Ski Team will teach kids the art of old-school freestyle skiing at the Trumoo Family Fun Cup.
The annual Spring Gruv, 16 days of fun activities for kids and cool free music concerts for adults, comes to a splashdown at this Utah resort on Saturday, April 8, with the 21st annual Pond Skimming Contest. Participants must be dressed in costume before attempting to cross a 100-foot pond on skis or snowboards. At nearby Red Pine Lodge, DJ Velvet will be dropping the beats for contestants and spectators.
Billed as the event that originated a spring ritual — the pond skim — the 27th annual Cushing Crossing takes place on April 22 at the site of the 1960 Winter Olympic Games. With celebrity judges and notable participants, the event has taken on something of a cult status as it challenges participants to cross Cushing Pond at the base of KT22 on skis, snowboards or a combination of the two. Much hilarity is expected.
Springalicious, this Colorado resort’s annual vernal bash, comes to a close on the weekend of April 15-16. On Saturday, the 37th reprisal of the Cardboard Classic takes place, with contestants attempting to get their home-made contraptions — constructed solely from cardboard, glue, string, duct tape and/or masking tape — safely down Stampede Run. On Sunday, the Splashdown Pond Skimming Championships will be followed by a free concert featuring legendary reggae outfit the Wailers, who helped former band leader Bob Marley gain international fame.
123GO! Project, a sidelight for guitarists Stefan Lessard (Dave Mathews Band) and Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), will be taking the stage at this Colorado’s resort’s Ford Park on Saturday, April 15. The free concert is the centerpiece to the week-long Spring Back to Vail event, which also includes the Tiki and Tunes Luau on Saturday, the two-day Bags Tournament (April 15-16) and the World Pond Skimming Championships on Sunday.
The World Ski and Snowboard Festival sets up camp at this British Columbia resort on Friday, April 7, and pulls up stakes and Sunday, April 16. Along the way, festival goers can check out the Canadian Junior Freestyle Championships on April 9, the Monster Energy Boarderstyle Tour finals on April 14-16, daily outdoor concerts, film and photo showdowns, a three-day Dogfest, and, of course, skiing and riding the North American continent’s largest snowsports playground.
This Colorado’s resort’s annual Spring Splash, which at 49 years old is one of the longest-running events of its kind, takes on April 23. Not only is it a pond skim, it includes contestants — both skiers and boarders — trying to negotiate an obstacle course on the Larry Sale Trail before they attempt to cross the water.