Somewhere in that white room, Ryan Hudson is having a good time. Snowbird/Matt Crawley photo.
Some seasons you're just not over it. April and May approach, and you feeling like you are just getting started. In the interests of perpetuating your endless winter delusion, we're feeding you a top-five list of the places you should ride this spring.
Ryan Hudson throws a backside slash in untouched pow. Snowbird/Matt Crawley photo.
The Bird offers two very economical spring passes, $499 (March 1 to close) and $329 (April 1 to close). In a good year, you can make turns until May and potentially June. This year, it can go either way. The Bird’s mid-mountain snowfall total passed 350 inches in mid-March after a dry, warm February. April brings at least one huge, Pineapple Express storm of 30 to 40 inches just every year. This spring, the powers-that-be are closing the tram and therefore all of Baldy on April 18. Get your pass now, and hit it while you can.
#2: Mt. Hood Meadows
Mt. Hood is getting absolutely hammered with snow (finally) this year. While most people hit Timberline come summertime, they might consider heading to Oregon a little early this year. Meadows is offering a $149 spring pass. For “adults” under 25, it’s only $99. If the cost of this pass isn’t effective enough for you, the free five days you get Mt Baker Ski Area might be.
#3: Big Sky
If you had a full spring to take off from life, a snowboard trip to Montana might be a good way to fill your time. Big Sky hasn’t had the greatest season, but it has had a great spring. It stays cold late in the season, cold enough for the resort to keep 80 to 90 inches covering 5700-plus acres until mid-April. Big, late-season powder refills are common.
For how far north Big Sky is, it closes kind of early (April 17). So does Bridger Bowl (April 3) and Whitefish (April 10). Try hitting these in closing day succession, then occupying yourself in the backcountry until May at someplace like Bell Lake Yurt. Beartooth Basin, on the Wyoming-Montana border, opens May 28 and runs until July 4.
Silverton offers two, consecutive weekends of spring, unguided snowboarding, April 1 to 3 and April 8 to 10. It’s $49 a day. You can lap the ski area’s barless two-seater all day, or hike out to something truly gnarly. Depending on availability, you may be able to add a heli drop for $179.
Spring in the San Juans can show you a glimpse of all four seasons. It can dump one day, then heat up to 50 degrees the next. Temperature and weather variability aside, snowpack does tend to stabilize. In other words, you’ll get lift access to avy-controlled, extreme terrain above 13,000 feet. That alone is worth the trek over Red Mountain Pass.
#5: Mt. Bachelor
Bachelor’s spring pass doesn’t start until the end of March. In some seasons, it’s a gamble. This year, it won’t be. Mid-mountain totals are well above the 400-inch mark, meaning you could be lapping the Summit Chair well into April and possibly May. Bachelor keeps its terrain parks relatively maintained, and hosts the Gerry Lopez Big Wave Challenge from Friday, April 22 to Sunday, April 24.