next year - in april

aaron12345

New member
I was with some freinds skiing in va this weekend, and although we've all been skiing for 5+ years, we've never been out west. We decided we would go next spring break. I just checked our schools website, and our break is April 8-16 (were planning 5 days skiing, 2 days getting there and back, and 2 days for homework at home). Winter break is not a possiblity because of the price. Considering the season we'd be going, where will we find the best conditions. I know someone mentioned mamoth in another thread in this forum. We were planning on renting the cheapest house/condo we can find that's ski-in ski-out and sleeps 6-8 people. Also, it would be nice to find somewhere that has inexpensive multi-day or week passes so we can save a few bucks. Finally, we all have east coast skis. Will they be usable in (hopefully) powder, or should we just bring our boots and rent the skis out west. Thanks!
 

Killclimbz

New member
As far as bringing your skis goes I would go ahead an bring them. If you manage to hit it on a powder cycle rent some fatties then. California areas are a good bet for late season snowpack. Colorado can be excellent, but I would watch what the season brings. It can be very regional here. Wolf Creek can be a great place late season. It just dumps down there. The Northern Mountain (front range) areas can be great too. It just depends on the season. I would recomend waiting to see who is getting the goods. Late season deals abound by then anyway, as the resorts are starting to get starved for business around then.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Staying in SLC and skiing the Cottonwood Canyons is the best option from a quality of skiing and value for dollar perspective in mid-April. Do not be tempted by Park City; it will be very sloppy that late.

Mammoth is probably second choice. Only a few condos are slope accessible and they are expensive. But you'll have a rental car anyway and it's just a 5-10 minute drive to the hill from the cheaper condos in town. Tahoe areas will have much more springlike conditions, with the possible exception of Kirkwood.

Whistler is usually good (though not this year). The bottom is slop, but 3/4 of terrain is up high and preserves well. Most lodging is walking distance to lifts, and that week might be the World Ski and Snowboard Festival.

Mt. Bachelor is also worthy of consideration. It's the prime time for amazing corn snow off nearly all of its Summit exposures. All lodging is 20 minutes away in Bend or Sunriver. Both are low enough that some summer activities will already be available.

The more remote Colorado areas, including Wolf Creek, will be closed by April 8. Only the Front Range areas near Denver will be open. There's a lot of terrain, but they are not my favorites. If Vail is still open, it might be worth considering.
 

aaron12345

New member
I was planning to go on frequent flyer miles (I have them up to wazzoooo... on usairways, maybe they'll still be good next year). Do you think its safe to make plane reservations within a few months - with frequent flyer miles you need to make them really early, and then just wait and see for late season deals?
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Cottonwood Canyons, Mammoth, Whistler, Bachelor .... all pretty safe for mid-April. All will have good coverage 95% of seasons (this year is the exception for Whistler, but there hasn't been another one in the past 30 years of records).

Surface conditions will vary some based on recent weather, but you won't know that a week in advance any more than a year in advance.
 

JC

New member
First piece of advice is to book late after seeing who has the best snow. You shouldn't have any problems finding accomodations this late in the year.

As for skiing quality, I skied Snowbird in the third week of April and had 50 degree temps at the base for a couple of days followed by 3 1/2 feet of snow and waist deep powder. It was incredible skiing. Even during the warm spell the Cirque area was skiing very well. The Bird is a great choice for April.

If you've got miles up the wazoo, you might want to consider Europe. I lived there for a few years and we always booked a trip in April for my kids' Easter break. You'll want to make sure that you pick an area with high altitude such as Tignes, Val D'Isere, etc. One of my favorite ski trips of all time was Tignes during the second week of April. Bluebird skies, lots of untracked powder off-piste and temperatures just above freezing. We always had good snow and nice temps at that time of year. You can ski in some of these locations year-round on the glaciers. If you plan your trip well, costs shouldn't be a problem either.

In my opinion, April is one of skiing's best kept secrets if you choose the right area. The snowpack is usually deep. the areas are uncrowded, the weather is sunny and warm, and you can get some huge dumps. It's the best time of year for skiing with kids as well, since the weather is a big factor in their enjoyment of the sport. And don't forget your shades and sunscreen....you'll need them in April!
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
I agree with JC's comments. It's always easy to get lodging deals in April, so of course it makes sense to do late booking based on who has the most snow. Thus Utah and Mammoth this year for example.

But I've experienced the FF mile problem myself, using them for non-ski vacations, so I answered the questions with that premise in mind.

The Europe advice is pretty good too. Take a two week trip with a week of high altitude skiing and an uncrowded tourism week in France or Italy with likely ideal weather.
 

aaron12345

New member
Thanks for all the advice. Europe might be hard because of the whole I'm 17 thing, and I don't think my parents would let me go to europe with a bunch of freinds, but thats a neet idea. I'll definatly look into all of your suggestions.
 
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