Growing up out east, spring skiing is what I always envisioned actual skiing to be like: blue skies, birds chirping, music playing, hot dogs grilling, skiing in my base layers and a cold beer at the end of every other run.
I’m not going to lie, but I do get ski burnout (wait, wait, don’t throw things at me). After months and months of skiing really deep powder, torching my quads and working endlessly to stay above the wave of snow, I need a break (#humblebrag). However, spring skiing is the perfect remedy. Less snow, more sun and the best part? Costumes. Who doesn’t love costumes while skiing? (The answer? No one I want to be friends with, that’s who.)
Residents of Montana’s Yellowstone Country take spring skiing seriously. I suspect many of them (like myself) enjoy the mellowing out of the season, when the snow starts falling a little less heavily and the weather starts warming up bit. Runs are taken more leisurely. It doesn’t feel like as much of a rush to get in those first turns in the morning. And making epic GS turns on sunny groomers while wearing a superhero cape and rewarding yourself with a Salmon Fly Honey Rye at the end of the day is simply luxurious.
Sometimes, I don’t even make it out of the lodge after lunch. I’ll get a few turns in, head down to the lodge for lunch, snag a seat outside and post myself there for the rest of the day to work on my goggle tan. And watching little kids wipe out on the lower mountain and laughing alongside their parents once they realize they’re okay is just glorious.
During spring skiing, the mountain feels like a playground. Mountainside events (like Big Sky’s Dummy Jump or Pond Skim) are attended in skipants, t-shirts and gloves. Everyone is a bit more relaxed, knowing that they got a healthy season in, and now, these last warm days of skiing are some welcome icing on the cake.
So if you’re finishing up the season by doing a little warm weather skiing here in Yellowstone Country, don’t be put off by the lack of snow dumps (though they have been known to happen later in the season) or the people in outrageous costumes. Join in … you knew you’d need that 1970s ski onesie at some point—now is the perfect time to break it out.
Which do you like better, spring skiing or deep winter skiing? As you can tell, March and April are my favorite months. Also, Bridger Bowl just extended their season to end April 14. One more week of spring glory! Get after it!