Shred through spring with bluebird days, holidays
Get ready to trade your sparklers for ski poles.
With the Sierra Nevada boasting its biggest snowpack in 22 years, resorts in Reno-Tahoe have extended their closing dates -- even through the Fourth of July.
“This will be only the fourth time in 50 years that we have reopened on July 4,” said Liesl Kenney, spokesperson for Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. “This has been our snowiest season in our recorded history.”
Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe -- which has received a whopping 650 feet of snow this season to date and counting -- is marking its second season being open longer than six months, with skiing and snowboarding available through Memorial Day. That’s the latest operating day in the resort’s history.
Over at Heavenly and Northstar, the lifts will be open most of April.
And with seasonal snow totals rising, this season is slated to be the most epic in decades. The days are getting warmer, the skies are bluer, daylight lasts longer, and, depending on the weather, the jackets are lighter -- or even left in the car.
There’s deals to be had, too. Check out prices for 2017-18 passes that include spring skiing for the rest of the season. Or, get your lift ticket at a discount for booking online in several days in advance.
Spring skiing tips
- Protect your skin: Because you’re at altitude, the sun is shining down strong. Be sure to protect your face and apply sunscreen and lip balm.
- Wear layers: Spring mornings can be chilly, but warm up quickly. It gets cold again quickly, too. Layer up; you can always shed clothing, but you can’t pull on something you didn’t pack.
- Extra turns: Snow stays softer longer with the extra daylight, which means more time to explore the mountain, and more bang for your lift ticket buck. And the softer snow makes for a more gentle canvas, especially if/when you take a spill.
- Hydrate: Staying hydrated on the mountain is an all-season thing, but you’re likely going to sweat more and lose more water when the sun is in full force. Dehydration at altitude -- or any elevation, for that matter -- is not good. So drink up before, during and after your day on the hill. And no, beer does not count.
- Gear up: Sunglasses and goggles go without saying, and helmets are recommended no matter the season.
- Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe
- Closing date: May 29
- Website: skirose.com
- Heavenly Mountain Resort
- Closing date: April 30
- Website: skiheavenly.com
- Kirkwood Mountain Resort
- Closing date: April 16
- Website: kirkwood.com
- Northstar California
- Closing date: April 23
- Website: northstarcalifornia.com
- Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows
- Closing date: Into June, then select weekends through July 4
- Website: squawalpine.com
Be sure to check resort websites for latest information and exact closing dates; which may be subject to change