[Editor’s Note: This Topic of the Week came about as Sam, Luke Koppa, and Jonathan Ellsworth were eating burritos after skiing today. Long and short: Blister editor, Sam Shaheen, thinks that spring skiing is the absolute best type of skiing. So here, Sam lays out his argument. And we encourage you to tell him in the comments why you think he’s wrong, or what reasons you think he left out.]
In Praise of Spring Skiing
I wish every month was April. Or May. Really, they are both pretty great. Because April and May are the two best months of skiing in the year. Hands down, no contest.
Sure, powder skiing is fun — when there’s not huge lift lines, or when you’re not freezing cold, or when the pow doesn’t quickly turn into jelly-leg-inducing chop in the afternoon, or when you’re not breaking trail, or when there isn’t tons of traffic. Then it can be fun.
But spring skiing is better. And here are my 5 (indisputable) reasons why:
1) It’s Warm
I feel like this one pretty much explains itself. No one likes being cold. When it’s warm out, you can do fun things like ski in a swimsuit while drinking a cold, refreshing adult beverage. You can also ski corn, which is the best. And you don’t get frostbite. Being warm is just better.
2) Peak Snowpack
The snowpack here in the American west typically peaks in the second week of April. That means fewer rocks and snowier peaks. Not only are snowier peaks fun to look at, they are way more fun to ski. Ski Mountaineering (ie, walking up mountains and skiing down them) comes into full swing with a stable and thick snowpack. Steep, technical lines that have been bare all season get filled in. Pure heaven.
3) The Better Half of the Time Change
Everyone hates the time change. And if you don’t, you should. Not only do we get on the right side of the satanic time shift come spring, we also start to get longer days. Longer days mean more skiing. All of those evening tours cut short by frigid darkness in December are a thing of the past. Come spring, you can ski until 8 pm, or perhaps you’re already a few beers into your apres by then? I’m not here to judge.
4) There’s No Traffic
Because everyone else is golfing, or mowing their lawn, or going to baseball games — suckers. In the spring, there’s no traffic on the roads or slopes.
5) It’s Just More Fun
Whether it’s the warm weather, other people’s goofy outfits, the widespread social acceptability of drinking at any time of the day, or the soft, slushy snow, everyone seems to be in a better mood, and that’s contagious. Try not to smile when you see a grown man wearing a unicorn onesie rip down a slushy mogul run and nail a perfect spread eagle right under the chairlift. The only thing that’s harder than trying not to smile while watching that? Trying to convince yourself not to do the same exact thing.
Spring skiing is the best.