Spring Skiing 2015: Who's Still Open Out West?

Mammoth Mountain - ©Mammoth Mountain Ski Area

Sun, snow, and spring riding at Mammoth Mountain in California.

Copyright: Mammoth Mountain Ski Area

Despite a mild winter across the West shutting down some ski resorts prematurely, the spring ski and ride season is afoot. The spring ski season brings on the beach parties, pond skimming and corn snow.

One of the most fickle winters has shut down almost half of the ski resorts in western North America by the end of March. But the spring ski season is far from over. The biggest spring party is still on schedule, and some resorts are planning to run into May.

The big air venue at the World Ski and Snowboard Festival at Whistler Blackcomb. - ©WSSF/Dave Humphreys

The big air venue at the World Ski and Snowboard Festival at Whistler Blackcomb.

Copyright: WSSF/Dave Humphreys

Whistler Blackcomb is gearing up for this year’s World Ski and Snowboard Festival to hit its 20th anniversary milestone. The 10-day run of parties, concerts, art, comedy shows, music, photography, dogfest and on-snow competitions is slated for April 10-19, 2015.

A few new parties add to the lineup as well as new music, and some changes reshape faves. Teams competing in Intersection have a broadened canvas with worldwide footage this winter permitted. For the Olympus Pro Photographer Showdown, Whistler handpicked five entrants this year to showcase skiing, snowboarding, surfing, mountain biking and skateboarding. The striking visuals make both events sellouts. 

Outdoor concerts are a hallmark of the World Ski and Snowboard Festival at Whistler. - ©WSSF/Dave Humphreys

Outdoor concerts are a hallmark of the World Ski and Snowboard Festival at Whistler.

Copyright: WSSF/Dave Humphreys

This spring, pipe skiing returns to the AFP World Tour Finals, which will also be televised. The festival also introduced an app this year—WSSF Live—to follow the schedule and get tickets. The end of the festival coincides with the closure of Whistler Mountain for the season, while skiing and riding continue on Blackcomb Mountain.

Boarder cross start at the World Ski and Snowboard Festival at Whistler Blackcomb. - ©WSSF/Dave Humphreys

Boarder cross start at the World Ski and Snowboard Festival at Whistler Blackcomb.

Copyright: WSSF/Dave Humphreys

As spring ski parties and pond skimming usher in April, so do deals on lodging, low cost ski and stay packages, and gear sales. Even though this winter delivered a below average snowpack across the West, 54 percent of the ski resorts in the West are still running lifts into April. 

At least 83 ski resorts in western North America plan to operate into April, including at least one ski resort in each western state or province. Colorado, British Columbia and Utah have the most resorts continuing operations into spring. 

For skiers and riders who want to extend winter as long as possible, several ski resorts across the western U.S. and Canada plan to stay open into May 2015. So where can you nab the late spring turns? While spring operations may be subject to conditions, here’s the resorts in the West where you can ski or ride in May.

1. British Columbia

At Whistler, Blackcomb Mountain will operate daily until May 18. Horstman Glacier will also have skiing this summer.

2. Oregon

Timberline Lodge plans to operate daily for spring skiing until May 25. Palmer Snowfield will also have skiing this summer.

In mid-April, Mt. Bachelor shifts to their spring ski schedule with shorter hours. The resort plans to operate until Memorial Day weekend.

3. California

Mammoth Mountain aims to run lifts through May with several spring camps on the schedule, including camps for women or speed training and an airbag jump weekend.

4. Alberta

Skiers and riders in Banff have two resorts that run into May. Lake Louise plans to operate lifts daily through May 10 with bonus skiing on the front side lifts until 4:30 pm on Saturday afternoons. Sunshine Village runs a week longer until May 17, finishing up with their annual Slush Cup on May 18.

Further north in Jasper, Marmot Basin expects to operate through May 3.

5. Colorado

Loveland is scheduled to operate until May 3, and Arapahoe Basin plans to run through May and perhaps into June if conditions permit.

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