Warming Up to the Joys of Spring Skiing in the East
Easter is this Sunday and you know what that means — the death knell for the ski and snowboard season is about to sound.
But so what? You can still have a blast as the 2017-18 season comes to a slushy end in a spasm of pond skims, music and beer fests and costumed extravaganzas, all infused with the beachy aroma of SPF 30 sunblock.
Even if you live in the East.
Though not highly regarded as spring fling locales, many Eastern mountain resorts nevertheless can put on a helluva party as the calendar counts down the days of April. The following are 10 excellent options to help you put a fork into the skiing and snowboard season.
The New York City metro area’s default party hill culminates the season-long antics with its annual Spring Pond Skim and Beach Bash on April 7. Along with costumed skiers and snowboarders trying to surf across a slushy pit, there will be a cardboard box derby and dummy race. Also live music and apres goodies on the deck.
This far northern Vermont resort has a month-long series of spring events, including the Split the Peak splitboard demo day with guided tours on March 31; the sandals-shorts-and-sounds themed Beach Party at the Pumphouse indoor water park on April 7; a pond skim on April 21, and the annual tailgate party and cook-off at the Stateside parking lot on April 28.
Vermont’s Beast of the East has two opening acts — an all-comers amateur bump contest on April 7 and a pond skim on April 14 — before its featured spring event on April 21: Dazed and Defrosted, which features soft bumps, cold brews and hot sounds from live bands.
It’s a full spring schedule at this New Hampshire resort, opening with the Red Bull All Snow amateur snowboard competition that includes hand-dug half-pipes and all features made of ice and snow on March 31; an ’80s day throwback party with costume contest and big-hair music on April 7; the Slushpool Party pond skim on April 14, and the EveryLastDay jam session with unique features on April 15.
This southern Vermont resort on April 6-7 will host the Green Mountain Getdown, a bluegrass music festival featuring the Jeff Austin Band, The Travelin’ McCourys, The North and South Dakotas, Eastbound Jesus and Pappy and the Pards.
The northern portion of this two-base Vermont resort is get a proper sendoff with the Mt. Ellen Ender on March 31-April 1 that features a gelandesprung contest and a jam session. Further spring flings include a pond skim on April 7 and the April 21 Stein Challenge in which skiers and snowboards will test their skills and endurance on lap after lap on Sugarbush’s toughest trail.
Perhaps the highlight of every spring since the late 1980s at this Maine resort has been the Bud Light Reggae Festival, and this year’s 30th edition, which takes place April 12-15, features The Movement, Through the Roots, The Late One’s, Gorilla Finger Dub among others. Another cool spring event at Sugarloaf is the Winter 2018 Broke and Stoked, which will debut 10 Maine-centric outdoor shorts on April 7.
It might take place in New Hampshire, but Waterville is going full tropical isle with its Last Run Luau pond skim and beach party on April 7. Say aloha to the season with beer specials from Corona and Pacifico.
New York’s two-time Winter Olympic Games site will host a competition of a decidedly different sort with its International Pond Skimming Contest on April 7. Rounding out the festivities will be live music and food and beverage specials.
Perhaps the epicenter of the New England spring skiing and snowboarding scene, but you have to hike there because Tuckerman’s is located along the flanks of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, some 2.5 miles from the parking area. Because the cirque that includes Tuckerman generally has the deepest snowpack in the region, skiing and snowboarding in the Ravine can go on until July, and it’s not unusual to witness thousands of springtime weekend warriors frolicking on the steep chutes and faces.
I want to do all these things!