Summit County Spring Skiing Tips: Follow or Beware
Posted by: admin March 4th, 2015
Springtime in the Rockies can be just as frustrating as it is rewarding to those visiting the high country this time of year. Why? While spring is a great time to be on the hill with the longer days, warmer temperatures, more sunshine, and fewer crowds, the weather and on-mountain conditions can be quite variable to say the least. So, with that in mind here are some tips for making the most of your time while visiting the ski resorts adjacent to our Frisco bed and breakfast in Summit County.
Be Prepared For All Conditions
Not only can the conditions change throughout the course of the day, but they also can be quite different from the top of the mountain to the base. As temperatures rise into the 40s during the day you may find a shallow swimming pool at the base and some really nice carvers at the top. To prepare for these variable conditions, make sure you have a fresh coat of wax on those skis and boards unless you plan on hiking down the mountain. The spring snow can, and will, slow you down so be prepared.
Timing is Everything
Your timing is everything. Spring can offer some of the best skiing of the year, but if you don’t time it right, it could potentially be some of the worst. It is a good idea to check the weather forecast before hitting the hill and wait for the temps to rise slightly before heading out. I know you might get antsy, but this “waiting time” could be a great opportunity to grab a nutritional breakfast while you are preparing to hit that midday sweet spot. The middle ground between first chair and the late day slush will typically offer the best experience.
Sunscreen, Sunscreen, and More Sunscreen
There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it … you must wear sunscreen during spring skiing. I know it is popular to have proof of your spring ski vacation with a nice “raccoon-eyes” goggle/sunglass tan to show off to all of your friends back home, but even with sunscreen you will get that tan you are looking for at this high altitude. Make sure that any and all uncovered parts of your face (and skin for those that like to bare it all) are covered with sunscreen. You don’t want to ruin the rest of your vacation with a nasty and painful sunburn, trust me.
Just like any other time of the year at altitude, hydration is a must to avoid getting altitude sickness and headaches while in the Colorado high country. In the springtime, however, it is that much more important as the temperatures rise and sweat (and loss of water) is more prominent. Stay hydrated to avoid an après ski meltdown.
Wear Eye Protection
Besides just generally looking cool, eye protection is crucial to protect your eyes from the sun. Remember, you are at anywhere between 9,000 to 12,000 feet in elevation, meaning that you are that much closer to the sun. You can do some considerable damage to your eyes if you are not careful. Goggles and/or athletic sunglasses will suffice, but either way just make sure you can see well to avoid any unfortunate accidents.
Wear the Right Gear
As previously mentioned, spring skiing in the Rockies can offer up some bitter cold mornings that open up to relatively warm days. If you decide to hit first chair, you will most likely be wearing some of your heavier clothes. But, you don’t want to overheat in the afternoon sun so make sure to pack a lighter jacket or fleece to adjust to the changing weather conditions.
Plan For Après, Then Plan for Skiing
The days are longer and the snow conditions are unpredictable, but the one constant is finding that choice après spot for a beer or bite to eat after your day on the hill. Once the lifts close for the day, there is still plenty of sunshine to soak up on any number of outdoor patios available throughout the Summit County ski resorts. But, some those in your group might want to call it day earlier than others, so make sure you clearly communicate a plan of where you are going to meet your buddies before you hit the hill.
Following these tips and tricks will ultimately help you get the most out of your spring skiing vacation in Summit County. I know it is tempting to just wing it and go with the flow, but a little preparation will save you from suffering in the long run.