When winter welcomed spring on March 19, hopefully it was with the message to continue with the storms and snow. It’s always good to have a boisterous spring. More snow and rain is always appreciated.
With spring officially with us it’s time to make sure that you’re paying attention to how many days you want to be out on the snow. This winter was certainly decent. There is snow in the high country, especially above 8,000 feet. Below that the snowpack decreases rapidly, especially on any area that has a good southern exposure.
Backcountry skiers and snowshoers are going to find that they have to head a bit higher in the next couple of weeks to get into a good amount of snow. It’s not that there has to be really deep snow to have a good xc ski. Some of the best days you can have will be on a foot or so of snow. This is especially true in Hope Valley. The condition of the snow is just as important as the depth. What you want is snow that has a really good glide factor going for it. You don’t know till you get there if you’ll hit those conditions, or if you’ll be working pretty hard to mover over the snow.
The xc folks who are on telemark or randonee skis will have to pay extra attention to the avalanche conditions. Melting snow, wind, any new snow on the old, always presents conditions that need to be respected out there. Sierra Avalanche Center has daily updates on avalanche conditions.
If you are a downhill enthusiast, this is the time of year when the resorts tend to have a bucket full of fun things going on. The extended season for the alpine crowd will be good due to the snowpack. You’ll be able to find out what your favorite resort is doing by going to their website. That’s where the most up to date information is.
Up at Squaw Valley you’ll be able to engage in a hilarious round of snow golf, which they have hosted for the last 33 years.. The calendar is full throughout the rest of the season.
WinterWonderGrass, Fire on the Mountain, concerts and contests of all kinds are on tap. The 26th Annual Cushing Crossing, a real hoot, takes place on April 26.
At Sierra-at-Tahoe their Spring Equinox Festival is in full swing. It spans a few weekends and includes music, food, and contests. Buckle Up Big Air, which is an effort to get everyone to use their seatbelts, Boarding for Breast Cancer, Sierra Fam Rail Jam, Jorts Jam 2016, and a stunning April 10 Sierra-at-Tahoe 8th Annual Salsa Showdown are some of the events the resort is hosting.
All along there will be music, deals, lessons, and great spring skiing and boarding. Sierra goes all out to make spring in the mountains a very memorable experience.
All of the resorts have something going on. One of the things they have in common right now are the best prices for a 2016-2017 season pass. The season pass deals don’t get any better than what is offered now. Each of the resorts has several levels of season passes. Considering the cost of skiing these days, a season pass generally pays for itself after a few days on the slopes.
Keep in mind the changing weather in spring. It can be just about anything. Gear up and get out on the snow while you still have the chance. While the downhill ski and board season looks like it’s going to go on for a bit longer, warm weather can alter those hopes and dreams very quickly.