|Ah yes, that was Vail on Sunday after 13" fell.|
I'm supposed to be done thinking skiing for a while. That's what I told myself Sunday as we packed our gear into the car after a week up in the Colorado mountains.
Sunday was Vail's final day of the season. I earned my Last Call pin. I dodged the crowd at the summit (or tried: the Chair 4 at 4 party, or whatever it's unofficially called, only got bigger as the day wore on). I lucked into a stash of freebies at the Mountain Plaza base (yes, I'll play plinko and collect raffle tickets until I win). I got on the mountain earlier to ski the fresh pow that likes to drop before closing day (same thing happened in 2011 and 2012). I skied most of the runs I'd want to hit before closing out the year.
But the ski season's not over yet. Sure, I knew I could still ski other Colorado spots like Arapahoe Basin and Winter Park, except usually by mid-April you're looking at slushy conditions, terrain closings, and more tanning than skiing. I already have one crazy looking goggle tan, and I already skied on dry slopes last April when it didn't decide to snow at Vail until April 15.
Thanks to April's crazy weather pattern that saw sunny and snowy days and cold and unseasonably warm ones, there's plenty of skiing left to be had. And some spots are even reopening because they're getting SO MUCH snow after they already officially closed on Sunday. Copper has received more than 65 inches. Breckenridge has recorded more than five feet. Vail has measured roughly two feet in two days--and that's not counting the 30 inches that fell during the last seven days of the season. And on the east coast, Mt. Snow and Sugarbush will still be skiing this weekend. Let's just say that I've been dancing at my desk in the last 24 hours knowing there's fresh, skiable powder out there.
The question is finding it...especially when your go-to resort has already closed for the season. Here are some resorts that were planning longer ski seasons, beyond the 14th, all along (snow totals are based on what was reported at onthesnow.com on April 16):
- Loveland--received 15 inches overnight, expected to close May 5
- Winter Park--received 12 inches overnight, expected to close April 21
- Arapahoe Basin--received 10 inches overnight, expected to close June 2
- Aspen Highlands--received 9 inches overnight. The Highlands will close daily operations after Sunday, April 21--and it's end-of-season party will go on as scheduled, but it will reopen for one final weekend, April 27-28.
- Alta--received 13 inches in the last 48 hours. Alta is closed Monday through Thursday but reopens for skiing April 19-21 and April 26-28.
- Snowbird--received 15 inches in the last 48 hours. The resort announced a small change to its spring line-up: It will open the Gadzoom lift and Creekside Grill this weekend. Daily operations will run through May 12, and will reopen for weekend operations if conditions will allow.
- Squaw Valley USA--received 4 inches in the last 48 hours. Starting Wednesday (and running the rest of the week), the resort will add Gold Coast, the terrain park and Granite Chief to its operating schedule. The resort is expected to close April 21.
- Kirkwood--received 20 inches in the last 48 hours, expected to close April 21
- Brighton--received 20 inches in the last 48 hours, expected to close April 21
- Crystal Mountain--received 13 inches in the last 48 hours. The Washington resort is expected to close daily operations April 21 but will remain open on weekends until June 16.
So much for running...I know where I'm going this weekend. Who else is taking some final turns of the ski season?