Spring Skiing

By Collin Murray

As we get into March, many skiers and snowboarders alike start thinking about packing up their gear and calling it quits for the rest of the season, seeing as temperatures are rising and snowfall is slowing down (usually). What most don’t understand, however, is that Spring is the optimal time to do some shredding. Little-to-no crowds, great weather, cheap passes, and most importantly, good snow, make spring skiing an obvious choice that many don’t take advantage of.

Although many think of December-February as prime ski season, the season truly gets underway after the spring equinox. At this point in the season, the snowpack, or the amount of snow on the ground, is at its deepest for the year. In addition, warm daytime temperatures with lots of sun, combined with below-freezing nighttime temperatures, virtually guarantee soft snow.

Not only do all the above conditions make spring skiing great every year, but also, this year’s record snowfall ensures that snow will last well into the summer in select places. With base depths in Tahoe ranging from 55-220”, and Mammoth mountain in the Sierra Nevadas currently boasting 224” of snow, it’s looking like Punxsutawney Phil came a little short with his estimation of only five extra weeks of winter. On an average season, Mammoth is open long enough to hold a 4th of July pond skim event, but this season looks like they’re going to have a Labor Day session instead.

Once the snow inevitably starts to dwindle, mountains begin holding pond skims. A pond skim is exactly what it sounds like, riders will take their skis or board down the mountain and attempt to “skim” across an ice-cold pool of water, or pond. Riders will often adorn funky costumes, and compete to have the most impressive skim. This is just one of the many festivities held to cap off a great season, and all the more reason you should reap the benefits of spring skiing.