6 of North America’s Best End-Of-Ski-Season Parties

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.

Winter Park - Spring Splash

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!