Around this time of the year we start to think about what we like more–spring skiing or powder? Powder, understandably, gets a lot of the glory. Floating on deep fresh snow is a freedom and sensation that’s difficult to compare to much else. It’s about as close as we, earth-bound beings, can get to flying without the use of some other contraption. Yes, there is a sort of contraption beneath your feet, but at its core skis are nothing but two planks of wood. Strap some wood to your feet and fly? Sounds too good to be true. It’s powder, which sometimes feels surreal because turning becomes a slight shift in balance and each run feels like you’re moving in sync with the mountain. Then when you reach the bottom, it’s a mad race to the lift for more and more until your legs are screaming in pain.
Then comes Spring. Suddenly your day is no long dictated by the scarcity time, but rather the abundance of sunshine, friends, and hopefully, plenty of cold beer. Here’s a couple tips on how to rock a perfect bluebird spring day.
Forget the Schedule
All season we’ve been waking up before the sun to get first tracks and beat traffic. Time to take a break and get used to that carefree warm-weather schedule fast approaching. Wake up a little later, make breakfast, make some sandwiches…you’ll get there when you get there. In fact, you’ll be rewarded by not arriving early. Spring snow needs a chance to warm up and soften under the sun before it’s ready to be shredded. Once it does…bon appetit.
Load the Cooler
This time instead of your jacket pockets, load your cooler full of that nectar of the Gods. In Colorado’s front range, we’re pretty quick to grab a load of Boulder-based Avery Brewery’s White Rascal, a crisp Belgian brewed with coriander and orange peel, or that classic hoppy Avery IPA, both of which pair perfectly with the bit of sweat and tan lines you’re starting to accumulate.
Don’t Give Up on the Snow
Spring snow like corn, mashed potatoes, or whatever you’re hungry for, is flat out fun. Mashed potatoes, the precursor to corn, are heavy wet globs of snow churned up by other skiers and riders carving the wetter melting snow. While this snow is a little slower, don’t let it slow you down. It’s still delicious, fun, and carvy. Then there’s the fabled corn. Corn snow is the result of warm day temperatures followed freezing night temperatures for several days in a row. Eventually you end up with granular formations on the surface of the snow similar in size to kernels of corn. Remember that forget the schedule part? Corn snow is like a lot of things in the world–it just needs a chance to warm up. Once the first layer of corn has been softened by the sun, you’ll be surprised to find just how well you can turn, as if the mountain and your skis have become magnetized. Carving truly becomes carving, you’ll stick deep into every turn, and HAUL A**! down the slope.
Give a Little Gratitude
In all the fun of skiing in t-shirts and maybe shorts if you’ll super cool, it’s important to remember who
you’re with. The greatest joy of skiing is skiing with those who really mean something to you. Maybe
you’ve spent the season skiing with some new folks and now as the season comes to a close, take a moment to thank them. On top of that, share some gratitude for the mountains that surround you. No matter where you are, from New England to Tahoe, West Virginia to the Cascades, you’re somewhere truly magnificent. That’s the beauty of skiing–it gives us the opportunity to be outside in the most beautiful places in the world.
Share some love!
Drink a beer, soak up some rays, and have a helluva time. Skiing is coming to an end, but it ain’t over yet. Now we just get to look forward to getting outside with a little less clothing.