6 Reasons spring skiing is “high season” for beginners

Newsroom How To 6 Reasons spring skiing is “high season” for beginners

When the season’s calendar turns to spring about early March it arrives with the perfect opportunity for beginners, especially kids, to get out on the slopes. Why? Here are some of our reasons.

During the spring things tend to mellow out, skiers and riders on the mountain are much more relaxed and patient. Also, it’s much easier to ski without having to avoid a collision on every run! So if crowds and rushing stress you out, the spring could provide a better learning environment.

1. No cold fingers and toes

Whoever invented toe warmers deserves a Nobel prize, but even those small pouches of life-giving goodness have their limits. In the beginning, it’s all about having fun, and it’s hard to have fun if you can’t feel your fingers or toes. With warmer temps come happier extremities, and that’s no small thing, especially for kids.

Warmer weather means all of us can focus on learning skills, not figuring how to get to the base lodge quicker for hot chocolate.

2. Shorter lift lines, more groomer lines

No one’s ever learned how to ski standing in a lift line. Getting multiple reps in succession is the best way to progress. In the middle of winter, when lift lines are at their longest, it can be hard to get into a flow as people are trying to get inside and warm up as quickly as possible.

Fewer crowds in general means fewer hassles. Learning to ski can be daunting enough without navigating lines to get lift tickets, rent gear, etc.

Groomer lines
That wonderful corduroy lines make for sweet spring cruising. ©Big Bear Mountain Resort

3. Discounts

You’ll find deals on everything from tickets and lodging to rentals and lessons in the spring when reduced demand typically equates to reduced rates. And in some cases, it’s even free. Many mountains offer those who purchase a new season pass for the following winter the ability to use it right away.

With some ski resorts like Mammoth staying open into the late spring and summer, that can equate to as much as three free months of skiing and riding when you commit to purchasing a pass for next winter. You also can find some good deals on gear and apparel this time of year, as retailers slash prices on remaining inventory.

Spring deals
Spring is a great time to shop for equipment, often with huge markdowns. ©Big Bear Mountain Resort

4. The vibe is different

You may have heard the saying there’s “no friends on a powder day.” We think whoever coined that phrase needs new friends, but regardless, the opposite is true in the spring.

An experience that can feel intimidating in the winter—lift lines packed full of powder hounds frothing at the mouth to get their fix—is much more approachable in the springtime. As the temps climb, it’s all about having fun, being outside in the sunshine with friends and enjoying the last couple months of the season. For new skiers and snowboarders, that translates to a much more enjoyable learning experience.

It’s easy to remind yourself this is supposed to be fun and not to take it too seriously when everyone else is doing the same.

Spring is fun

Lunches are laid back in the spring. ©Big Bear Mountain Resort

5. The snow is softer

The painful truth is that in the beginning, new skiers and snowboarders are going to fall. It’s not a bad thing. It’s the only way to improve, but it also may mean a few bumps and bruises along the way.

In the springtime, the snow tends to soften up a bit, reducing the size of those bumps and bruises, even if slightly. When it comes to one’s tailbone, “slightly” isn’t trivial.

Snow is softer
Sometimes it’s just fun to fall in the softer spring snow. ©Big Bear Mountain Resort

6. Après-ski at its best

Spring skiing or boarding lets you experience the epitome of après-ski (for you more mature beginners!): sunglasses, deck chairs, sunny patios, your beverage of choice and possibly a hot tub or pool. It’s hard not to fall instantly in love with this sport when you’re hanging out in a tank top or swimsuit toasting with new friends and working on your tan. (Don’t forget the sunscreen.) Besides, heading home with “raccoon eyes” will make you the envy of all your friends.

So, where should you ski?

Here’s a thought you might not have considered when choosing a resort for beginners in the spring: Often, the great mountains for intermediates through experts are perfect for beginners in the spring because they often feature huge swaths of easily-accessed surprisingly mellow terrain.

Be sure to head to an area where the ski school has lots of instructors for beginners. Consider Beaver CreekSteamboat, Keystone and Aspen Snowmass in Colorado; Palisades Tahoe and Big Bear Mountain Resort in California; Park City Mountain Resort in Utah; Smugglers’ Notch in Vermont, and Sunday River in Maine.

Historically the following resorts have extended ski and riding spring conditions. The 2023 extensions span across the country including Stevens Pass in Washington State, Mammoth Mountain in California, Heavenly and Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe, Vail Mountain in Colorado, and Killington and Mount Snow in Vermont. Additionally, Breckenridge in Colorado and Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia will remain open through late May, conditions permitting.

Mammoth spring
Mammoth often stays open until the Fourth of July. ©Mammoth Mountain Ski Area

 

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