Stay Till The Final Melt, Or Had Enough Already?

Some are done, some have more to come. Credit: Loveland

We know skiers who save up their skiing days until springtime. Fair weather skier, they are.  March is when they go out in earnest, conditions permitting. And there are others who decide to bag the season after President’s Day. Or St. Patrick’s Day. Still others make the weekend trek to the mountains every weekend until their favorite resort closes down.

Several years ago, we read an article in SKIING magazine about a couple of resorts in the West which extended their seasons because the snow conditions were extraordinary. So, they went through the expense of keeping staff on board, grooming, maintaining, and all that as well as advertising their later closing date. Result: Turnout was lower than expected. Skiers had moved on. When you think that the hard-core who show up are probably season pass holders, the net increase in revenue probably wasn’t close to being worth the effort?

So, how about you? Are you putting away your snow stuff? Taking the cover off the boat? Playing “Winter Rules” golf in early spring? Oiling up the bike chain? Booking tennis dates?

Question: When do you quit for the season? What’s your marker/ decider? How was this year different?

Please comment in Leave A Reply below.

42 Comments

  1. Avatar Kathy Hanley says:

    When the snow becomes too icy in the morning and too slushy in the afternoon. When it starts getting dangerous.

    • Avatar Rick Payer says:

      When I get a good day, good season final runs to feel good about. Because sooner or later I have to hang it up for the season, so might as well on a high note!

  2. Avatar Ralph Nodine says:

    Depends on the conditions. May miss the first few days of the season and may miss the last few. Lets say sometime the last week of April.

  3. 2 goals at least ski 1 day over your age or 100 days whichever is lower.

  4. When trout Season opens.

  5. Always there for opening day and then closing day. Funny enough usually the same slopes are open for both although snow conditions are quite different!

  6. I usually wait for spring since I live in a nonski area I have to drive 3-4 hours for a decent ski area or fly out west. Of course, these past two seasons have been different. Last year didn’t get to go at all and this year we drove twice just to get out there-it was great! Waiting on second shot so I can fly out west this spring!

  7. Once the snow turns into heavy mashed potatoes I hang my skis up until the next season. To easy to get hurt if you make a mistake. 75 year old knees take along time to heal.

  8. Avatar Douglas Haddad says:

    Wow is me
    Wow is me
    Why? Because I cannot ski
    Spring has come
    So I am done
    Wow is me!

  9. Avatar Jack Murray says:

    We put the skis away on Tuesday. When it’s to soft to groom is a signal to my old knees that it’s time to start working on our boat.

  10. I live for spring skiing! Last year was a disappointment because Covid shut down our area late March. This year we have good snowpack and I expect to be skiing right up to closing, May 30.

  11. Avatar MARK C MISCHENKO says:

    Here in Massachusetts, St. Patrick’s Day at the latest … With replacement parts (both knees & a hip), there’s no desire nor need for additional ‘days on snow’ !

  12. As the schedule stands April 11th. That is the date my regular hill shuts down. They need to start getting ready for doing the lay out of the new quad chair!
    I can be talked into a trip to another hill if their lifts are still turning.

  13. Avatar Hollace Widdowfield says:

    Our neighborhood ski area usually closes the middle of April. I am superstitious about skiing on the last day so I just man the tailgating spot until everyone else tires out. Can usually get a few days after that at our 2nd closest ski area who can be open into May.

  14. I’m already well past skiing my age for this year. I fear this season’s end may be dictated by my aging knees.

  15. Avatar Cathy Meyer says:

    My Indiana resort closed two weeks ago and I am not traveling, so it’s over. Now I have clean up gear for storage.

  16. Start in December, end in May. While most people rush out to ski the early and limited (scratchy and thin) November terrain, then move on to golf or other springtime pursuits in April, my preference is to delay and extend. Far better to hit the core of the season, and then enjoy the sun and corn of late season. My home resort of Loveland shuts things down in early May, and that’s when I do, too. At 69, with luck, there are still many more of those wonderful spring days to come.

  17. The way the weather is looking the last day may be yesterday. It’s been over 50 and up to 60 more than a few times in the past couple of weeks. Raining today, with thunderstorms! And heavy rain due on Sunday. Usually I would wait until when my lease ends. Not this year. With Covid there is very little to do as a distraction. So I will head south. Very sad about this!

  18. Just got our Covid shots early March so now taking
    advantage of the late snows up in Flag at the Snowbowl! Last Tuesday 15” of powder was great.
    Today 1-6”. Going again on Monday then on Easter.
    Ski from opening till around two or so if too slushy.

  19. Avatar Tom Barrett says:

    An old friend, a hard-core skier, passed on this bit of wisdom: “It’s time to quit when the black flies get in your mouth”. That’s the way it was for him before his knees gave out.

  20. Getting ready for the last weekend at Moose Mountain in Fairbanks. 7″ of new snow, temps in the teens and twenties. Basically as good as it gets. But “the Moose” is largely south west facing and the long hours of April sunshine quickly sublimate and melt the runs down to tundra. It is unusual to have cool dry snow this late, in fact. There is also a north facing area to the north of the city, which usually makes it a few weeks longer. But interest in skiing … and (winter) wane in the sunshine, and there are other things going on…just like everywhere. Have a great summer everyone.

  21. Avatar Kelli Majiros says:

    I ski opening day to closing day. The season is too short in NE PA not too. Fortunately I have great friends that also do too, so that makes it fun no matter what the conditions. We just ski more carefully when the conditions warrant being more careful.

  22. Avatar MPaul Hansen says:

    Even after the lifts closed, in Alaska, BC and PNW summer skiing can still be great, see the site: turns-all-the-year [ or something like that ] . . .

  23. Avatar Jim carver says:

    Not until the fat lady sings. Sliding in all conditions is the only way to improve your skills since Mother Nature requires you to adapt everyday your out anyway. So enjoy what you can in a responsible manner make less runs or start later in the day to avoid the icy conditions. Sliding is a life style for me.

  24. Loveland, Arapahoe, and Breckenridge will still be open in May. I’ll be there a few days before hanging it up for the year.

  25. Avatar John Farley says:

    It depends on how late nearby ski areas stay open and what else is going on in my life. Almost always at least into April, sometimes later – have skied as late as July 4 at A-Basin and a couple times in June when I had the chance there and Mammoth. This year, at least into the week of April 4, and longer of there are nearby areas open. No reason to quit now; yesterday at Wolf Creek was my best powder day of the season.

  26. Avatar Dan Anderson says:

    I’ll ski to the end (April 11). I may ski less runs a day but will chase the sun around the mountain until the snow is mush. Sometimes the local area (Bogus Basin) has bonus weekends after the official closing date which are always welcome. After everything is closed down, I’ve been known to hit the backcountry for some corn. Then it’s on to mountain biking.

  27. Avatar Caleb Standafer says:

    Ski in May at Mammoth. Two years ago it snowed for two days in May at Mammoth. Quit after that.

  28. I always ski till the end of May.

    Some of the best skiing happens in the Spring. At Timberline ski area on Mt. Hood, Oregon, the season lasts until Labor Day in September, but I usually quit skiing at the end of May, mainly because my season pass expires at that time and Summer skiing gets much more expensive, the available terrain shrinks dramatically, and it’s mainly a time for race training camps.

    I love to ski in the side-country, just slightly out of bounds. In the Spring, something magical happens — the ungroomed snow gets easier to ski than the groomed. The groomed trails get too mushy, like skiing through mounds of sand. But the ungroomed snow settles down and firms up after multiple freeze and thaw cycles, until it becomes really smooth, just like a groomed slope. It can be a bit icy hard early in the morning, but at about 10 or 11 am, it softens up and forms a perfect surface for skiing. Even better, at times you find great corn snow!

    Timberline ski area also has the flexibility to move the skiing higher up on the mountain as the temperatures get warmer. The highest lift, Palmer, doesn’t even open until the middle of April, and they literally have to dig the chairlift towers out of the massive amounts of snow. Palmer snowfield offers great skiing in April and May. And June too, except that lift ticket prices are much more expensive then.

  29. Avatar Connie Grodensky says:

    Living near Mt. Bachelor in the PNW, we can usually count on skiing through the end of May. We will most likely try to ski through April, and, depending on conditions, hit up the mountain for a few days in May. Plenty of snow up there, and even with spring conditions hitting this week and next, we hope to be able to ski another couple of months, especially after the early end of last year’s season.

  30. Spring skiing is all about timing, aspect and elevation; here in Western Colorado I can enjoy skiing into June. I love the steep lines when the corn is just right. for me the backcountry is the ticket, skin up in the morning when the snow is hard(some times with crampons on the skis) and it usually takes @ one hour climbing per 1000 feet so time the transition to skiing down when the top layer of snow softens. I usually hit the east facing steep line first then go back for more and follow the sun. Goodness, we can park at 11,000+feet right next to the snow. 3-5000 feet of skiing is a big day. pay attention to a good freeze the night before and a Colorado bluebird day.Enjoy.Repeat. I do whatever it takes to get to the snow. even ride a mtn. bike or ebike with ski boots on wearing pack with skis attached. at 71 todays light weight gear makes it easier than ever to access steep skiing with no avalanche danger. Just wrap it all up by noon or so. it’s all a good hiking, biking, skiing workout

  31. Avatar Peter L Burkett says:

    I ski Stevens Pass ’til closing, then Mt Bachelor ’til the end of May, then at least one day at Mt Hood’s Timberline Lodge in June, then a few skin and ski trips to Artist Point above Mt Baker Ski Area, before putting my skis up for the season. July and August I’m busy in my blueberry field with picking and helping U pickers. September and October are my months for travel before the snows are deep enough in November to once again click into my skis.

  32. Avatar Michael Cahn says:

    We usually end our season when the grooming stops. These old replaced knees just do not do well in the heavy stuff, as good as it may be.

  33. Avatar James Stangl says:

    Another PNW skier here. Spring skiing up here can be wonderful, without the crowding that places like Crystal have experienced. Hope to enjoy a nice Spring Break with my family at White Pass and Mt. Bachelor, then consider whether to sneak in one or two more April half days at Crystal. Agree though that when things get slushy after lunch, it’s time to move on.

  34. Avatar Ed Schultz says:

    Living in central NY State the season here ends like now. We usually go to N. England for some later spring skiing but with COVID not this year. But even though a short season this year local skiing was great. And it actually cost me less. Sometimes I wish we lived closer to a big hill but maybe in another life.

  35. i never quit till the lifts are closed for season. the i look for places that are still open, including Portillo Chile where I have been several times. Never get enough skiing.

  36. When the corn turns to mashed potatoes and my legs turn to rubber.

  37. Avatar KENNETH D ROTH says:

    When the corn turns to mashed potatoes and my legs turn to rubber.

  38. I quit just before the school “Spring Breaks” start. After the kids have gone back to school, if the areas remain open, I hit the slopes until they close.

  39. Avatar Steve masse says:

    When rocks are over 40% of total snow area on trail.

  40. 3/29 was my last day. EXCEPT, I watch for Killington’s closing day and try to make it. They shoot for Memorial Day to close the venerable Superstar run/lift. Slushy bumps, but a festive atmosphere.

  41. Avatar douglas kilbourn says:

    we go to closing at lake louise as the back side stays shaded and soft until then and skiing is great to early May
    we also ski Mt Norquay to closing with the grand children as it is great for youngsters under 5. Most experienced skier there is 95 years young
    thanks for the great work

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