Spring Skiing 101
While some ski areas around the country are still collecting snow (ahem, Tahoe), Ullr has been somewhat neglectful these past few weeks for many of us, and with closing days starting to creep up on the season’s calendar, it can only mean one thing — spring skiing is here. Sure, springtime is still a great time to ski — and plenty of spring skiers descend on resorts around the country to push it on their spring breaks — but for some, spring is the time to kick back, fire up the grill, and work on a mean goggle tan. Even if you’re trying to get the most out of your time on the hill, a few of these takeaways might be helpful.
Find Yourself a Deck
Deck life is essential for warm slushy days on the hill, although finding a spot is hard to come by. The key is strength in numbers; be sure to have enough people that a friend or two is willing to hold down the fort while everyone takes a few laps. Many resorts even have DIY grills that on-mountain employees fire up for the better part of the afternoon to add to the fun — just be sure to clean up your mess afterwards so that ski patrol doesn’t have to.
Bring a Backpack
This might already be a habitual piece of gear for many, but a backpack takes on new meaning and holds all kinds of fun for spring skiing. The mornings are still pretty chilly, but by mid day you might want to lose that coat you started out with … or ditch the goggles in favor of sunglasses … or reapply more sunscreen … or bust out that burger pack for the grill … you get the picture; the day is your oyster, and you should be prepared for whatever happens.
Ridiculous Outfits are Encouraged
While I can’t really say that costumes are my thing on the mountain — although I do have a pretty sweet vintage one piece — spring skiing is the time to bust out your most ridiculous — and least functional, I might add — outfits for the hill. It’s not uncommon to see packs of penguins, bikini-clad skier girls, Hawaiian shirts, and lots of one pieces cruising around the hill. While it’s still perfectly acceptable to wear your normal ski get-up, don’t be surprised if you stick out like a sore thumb in the lift line.
Spring skiing is an exciting time. Many visitors are on spring break, and skiing in a new part of the country with friends and families. Locals are often starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel after long work hours all season long. But it’s important to remember to behave appropriately on the mountain. It might seem like a good idea to straight line the beginners area so you can hit that one roller with your group of onesie-wearing friends, but it’s actually pretty dangerous, and it puts more pressure on mountain employees, who often are dealing with, well, everything else that they’re paid to take care of on the mountain. Have fun, but make good decisions … and wear lots of sunscreen!