Springtime in ski resorts is a bit different from the middle of winter. The obvious difference is the fact that there is no fresh snow, and the snow that does exist is a fast-dwindling supply of post-winter remnants.
Once those remnants become a dirty, slush-filled pile of mud, it’s time to think of warmer activities to keep you occupied. But not without a good end-of-season party to send the season out with a bang (and usually a decent amount of alcohol).
Here’s a roundup of the best end-of-season shindigs around North America to help you celebrate another year on the slopes. Some are full-on festivals, others are an afternoon beer-and-bbq, laugh at your friends type-affair. All are intended to have one last celebration on the hill before all the snow is gone for another year.
Copper Sunsation — Apr 13–14
This festival is all about fun. There are no media-pleasing big events — all the on-hill activities are open to anyone with the courage to make a slight fool out of themselves. There are also concerts and parties going on pretty much all day and night somewhere on/in the resort. Highlights are Ozomatli headlining on Sunday, the CopperMan adventure race, and the RedBull SlopeSoakers pond skimming comp (with a promised “twist”).
Vail SpringBack — April 12–14
Vail is one of the biggest resorts in North America, and by deduction, one of the biggest budgets to blow on an end of season party. This means bringing in top acts such as Sublime with Rome and Reggae Pioneer Jimmy Cliff. It is also host to the self-dubbed “World Pond Skimming Championships,” which perhaps some of the other mentioned ski resorts might object to. Nevertheless, it’s going to be a fun weekend.
Canyons’ Spring Gruv
This has actually come and gone for 2013, so unfortunately you probably missed out. If you did go this year, you could share your experience with the rest of us in the comments. I went to this a few years ago and someone was kind enough to post a video of it. Check out the action from back in 2010:
Winter Park — Spring Splash- Apr. 21
This is a pond skimming event with a twist — it’s actually a race. Competitors must first navigate a hilarious course before skimming across a pond to reach the finish. The stress of getting the best time makes for some pretty hilarious bails. Many of the racers dress up in costume. There is also no drug/alcohol screening beforehand, making this quite an entertaining day, even for spectators.
Kirkwood Banked Slalom — Apr. 13–14
The banked slalom is one of those events that people reminisce on when they talk about skiing and snowboarding having become too commercialized. The good news is that it has withstood the test of time — for nearly 20 years, in fact. It’s a good reminder that you don’t need a flash and dance to have a good party. Everyone is welcome and there are divisions for all walks of life. Check out more info here.
WSSF — Whistler, BC
What’s there to say about this festival that hasn’t already been said? Maybe that it’s the festival that all other festivals aspire to be. Now in its 15th year, it has set (and consistently raised) the bar for how you should end the season with a bang. Concerts, Comps, Artists, Parties, Free stuff… there is truly something for everyone.
We would love to know more about your home resort’s end of season bash! Please leave a comment and tell us how you throw down for the end of season below. Thanks and see everyone in the sun and slush!