Spring is arguably the best time of the year to hit the slopes in the Rocky Mountains. The weather is starting to warm up with temps in the 50 to 60 degree ranges, making for soft snow to ski on. The sun is more prevalent, making securing your end of ski season goggle tan easier than the typically overcast months of winter. Most resorts are 100% open by the time spring arrives, meaning some of the biggest and most difficult ski lines on the mountain are open and skiable, like the East Wall at Arapahoe Basin and the Six Senses and Lake Chutes areas of Breckenridge. And best of all, the overall vibe of spring skiing is laid back and fun loving. So we say break out the shorts and sun screen and hit the slopes for some spring skiing!
Unfortunately, the perfect mixture of warm temperatures, sunny days, and enough snow to ski only lasts for a few short weeks. The beginning of April typically marks the beginning of the spring skiing season and it is all but over by early to mid-June. If you time it right, you’ll score some of the best skiing of the year. So don’t delay and head up to the mountains now before the snow is all gone and the ski resorts are all closed. Summit Mountain Rentals has compiled a list of the planned closing dates for all of our local resorts for 2021 so you can plan your trip accordingly. It’s important to remember that many of these resorts will extend or shorten their season according to how much snow they receive late in the season, especially Arapahoe Basin that will sometimes stay open well into June!
- Breckenridge Ski Resort: Planned Closing Date is May 31, 2021.
- Keystone: Planned Closing Date is April 11, 2021.
- Copper Mountain: Planned Closing Date is April 25, 2021.
- Arapahoe Basin: Planned Closing Date is Beginning of June.
While planning your spring skiing trip, it’s important to keep a few things in mind to stay safe. One of the most important things to remember is that sunny days in the snow amplifies the sun exposure you get. Make sure you wear a high SPF sunscreen to help block the sun’s rays that are not only coming from the sun but are also bouncing off the reflective surface of the snow. It’s easy to get excited about the warm and sunny weather and to want to ski in a tank top after a long winter, but remember you have not established a tan yet so you’re more susceptible to sunburn. Also, don’t forget some quality eye protection. Snow blindness, or Photokeratitis, is caused when insufficient eye protection fails to block the sun’s tightened UV rays when recreating in the snow for a long period of time. This is akin to a sunburn of the cornea and is extremely painful. Make sure you wear dark and preferably polarized goggles or sunglasses that provide complete eye coverage.
Another important thing to remember is to ski within your ability level and to not to push the limits during a time when snow conditions can be unpredictable. It’s easy to be skiing slush in the sunlight one-second and end up on a big ice patch that has been shaded all day. It’s very easy to injure yourself during spring skiing when snow conditions are fast and your confidence is high after a long ski season of building your strength. You don’t want to end up with an injury right as summer is starting and all of the fun things you couldn’t do during the winter start. Don’t be the guy stuck at home in a cast while your friends go hiking or mountain biking!
While the vibe at the ski area changes to a more laid back and fun loving atmosphere, don’t get ahead of yourself and partake in too many alcoholic beverages before you hit the slopes. While Summit Mountain Rentals does not condone skiing under the influence anytime, we know it’s a normal activity to enjoy a beer before taking another run. Stay sober so you don’t end up with an end of the season injury!
But the most important thing to remember when you come up to get your spring skiing in is to have fun! There is a reason spring is our favorite time of the year to ski, it’s a blast! If you’re lucky enough to get a beach spot at A-Basin, you’re lucky enough!