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.
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.
As one would expect, winter lingers longer in the high mountains, and 10 ski hills from Idaho to Arizona will be in operation from late April on. Silver Mountain, Alta, Aspen Highlands and Arizona Snowbowl will call it a season on April 28, followed by Loveland (May 5), Sundance (May 7) and Snowbird and Winter Park (May 12). Neighboring Colorado resorts Breckenridge and Arapahoe Basin will last the longest, closing on May 27 and June 6, respectively.
One would expect the resorts of the Sierra, where they measured storm snow totals in feet rather than inches this winter, would may hay while the sun shines, so to speak, but no, only four hills will remain open after Easter, which is one fewer than in the Cascade Range to the north. White Pass, Snoqualmie and Mt. Rose are calling it quits on April 28, followed closely by Mt. Hood Meadows on May 5. Heavenly and Mt. Bachelor will last until Memorial Day weekend, while Mammoth Mountain and Squaw Valley are hoping for a final fling on the July 4 weekend. Timberline, with its convenient glacier, expects to keep spinning lifts into August.
The Great White North is no stranger to long, cold, snowy winters and seven resorts are expecting to extend the season past Easter: Nakiska will shut down on April 28, followed by Grouse Mountain, Lake Louise, Marmot Basin and Mont Sutton (all May 5), Sunshine Village (May 13) and Whistler Blackcomb (May 27).