There's nothing quite like the dread of losing an hour of sleep when daylight saving time begins on the second Sunday in March. However, there is a silver lining - spring skiing. The longer days and warmer temperatures of March mean that Vail Mountain could receive some of its heaviest snowfall of the season. For many skiers, this is the ideal time to visit.
To make the most of your spring skiing experience at Vail, you should dress appropriately. While the mornings and evenings can still be chilly, you'll want to remove layers as the sun starts to shine. Lunchtime is the perfect opportunity to shed your down mid-layer and embrace the warmth.
Don't worry about hitting the slopes too early in the day, as spring skiing conditions can be quite volatile. March through May can bring plenty of thaw-freeze cycles, which means that the snow can soften up in the sun before turning into icy chunks at night. Sleeping in a little later and enjoying a later dinner is perfectly fine and even recommended.
Planning your day's skiing terrain is important. Our top tip is to follow the temperature. If you're out early, aim to ski on some groomed runs. We recommend taking a few front-side laps, followed by a groomed blue or black run in Northwoods. Then, head to the Back Bowls for some corduroy skiing (The Slot and Red Zinger are great options). Once the sun has done its work and softened the snow, you can explore the rest of Vail Mountain. Smooth, gentle turns are the hallmark of spring skiing. When the snow becomes too wet and slushy, return to the front side for a few more groomed runs, or maybe tackle some sunbaked moguls before heading to Après.
Here are some of our favorite skiing spots in Vail:
Morning Favorites: Berries, Northstar, Gandy Dancer, The Slot, and Red Zinger.
Afternoon Favorites: Over Yonder, Shangri-La Glade, Forever, Ghengis & Widge's Ridge.
Don't forget to pack SPF and water! It may sound silly, but sunscreen and hydration are essential for enjoying a day of skiing in the sun. Even though the quick trips down the hill may cool you down, the warmer temperatures mean that you'll sweat a lot. Failure to stay hydrated can leave you fatigued and may even ruin your trip.
When in Vail, there are a few "can't miss" springtime activities that you should consider. One such activity is the BBQ in Blue Sky Basin. The locals stuff their backpacks with hamburgers, hot dogs, and more so that they can have a feast on the self-service grills. During this jubilee, it's not uncommon to see table cloths covered in all the fixings. Another must-do is to experience the après-ski culture. Vail is famous for its abundance of decks, live music, and après spirit. The Vail Après Spring Series is a great way to connect the mountain to the village with live music, and locals will park themselves almost anywhere to enjoy a beverage. Some of our favorite après-ski spots include the deck at Garfinkles, the back patio at Vendetta's, the raised patio at El Segundo, and a beer outside at Vail Brewing Company.
Spring skiing in Vail is an experience that you shouldn't miss. This season, Vail Mountain is staying open until May 1st, making it the longest season in history. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy the slopes!