Spring Skiing Is Here--Snowbird is Still Open
Soft mash potato bumps that make you look like a hero--it's spring skiing time again, get out the bota bagby Ben Tiffany
A Reverence For Spring Skiing
At the first crack of spring, the world seems to bolt upright, as if waking from a dream. Gym rats emerge from their indoor climbing walls, poking their heads into the great outdoors. And hissing at the bright, natural light, they wonder when they'll first scurry up to a West-facing crag. Fair-weather cyclists don tights and neckwarmers to finally join the sick SOBs who’ve been bikingall winter long. Fly-fishers dust off their vises. Runners come out in droves. And mountain bikers begin their pilgrimage to the Mecca we call Moab.
Yes, many folks will tell you that, spring is the finest skiing season of the year. In fact, some backcountry skiers won’t come out in earnest until March or April when weak buried layers of snow that have been worrisome all winter, finally begin to build strength. All the layers that make up the snowpack transform into one terrifically strong slab. And until the weather turns too warm, the corn skiing is not only great fun, but it is relatively safe.
They say that April showers bring May flowers. But the truth is, while it showers in the valley, it is almost certainly snowing in the mountains. And those tedious weeks of non-stop rain are actually turning out some of the most consistent snow of the year.
What's more, when spring truly kicks in, when multiple weeks of sunshine are finally upon us, ski resorts begin to take on an almost carnival-like atmosphere. Burley bibs are traded in for stylish ski pants. Ball caps, colored wigs and even Hawaiian leis appear on the hill. Camelbaks no longer carry water--they mostly carry beer. Some brave folks ski in short-shorts. And the bra tree fills in nicely.
As the late season carries on, a sense of lawlessness begins to grow, as if every day is the last day of school before summer vacation. It was once the teachers we ignored. But now it's our supervisors. As if high school graduation is just around the corner, the ski hill becomes one great big party, where anything but maniacal, self-serving, gluttonous behavior just seems inappropriate. It somehow seems wrong.
Before you know it, it'll be hotter than hell and you won't be able to ski whether you want to or not. So milk this ski season. You’ll avoid "October burn-out" by shortening your biking season. And you’ll give the ski resorts a sorely needed shot in the arm. It's the last hurrah before summer heat dictates when and where you do everything. So take advantage of free choice, people. And take advantage of our deep snowpack. Take advantage of the snow.
Ben Tiffany is a freelance writer and an editor for The Skier’s Journal. He and his dog live in the valley below Utah’s magnificent Wasatch Range. You can also see Ben’s “work” at MTBJournal.com.