By Derek Taylor
Let’s be straight about one thing: I love powder days. Storming, low-vis, mid-winter, everything-is-soaked, two-inch-an-hour mornings when your lines just keep filling in run after run are when I’m happiest. By no means do I want this to take anything away from that.
But spring skiing is awesome! It’s awesome because it is exactly not one of those days. It is clear, high-vis, everyone-is-stoked, two-runs-an-hour-between-beers-on-the-deck afternoons when your tan lines keep filling in.
The truth be told, one of my favorite days of the year is closing day. That’s hard to say considering that it represents the end of everything I hold dear for another season. Take a step back, though, and look at the day for what it is, not for what tomorrow will bring, and it’s hard to argue.
There are things you will see and do on closing day that just don’t happen on mid-winter powder days. Here are a few.
• Pond Skimming
• The inside of your eyelids at 9:00 am. One of the beauties of a spring corn cycle is that it sucks first thing in the morning. You can sleep in, and the skiing only gets better. There’s no powder panic—no early morning line ups, no feelings of dread that you got there too late or will miss the rope drop, no agro attitude on the traverse. Slush melts and freezes, but it doesn’t get tracked up.
• You can ski in a t-shirt
• You can ski in a bikini
• You can ski naked
• Depending on what resort and/or country you’re in, you can ski in a sweater with bunnies and hearts on it while drinking a beer.
• You’re likely to see at least two of the four previously mentioned activities.
• Or you might see this:
• Moguls are soft, provide faceshots, and are markedly less painful than mid-winter.
• Park landings are slushy.
• Since spring snow starts frozen and tends to get sticky in the afternoon, 10-2 is technically bell-to-bell, which therefore justifies any debauchery you get into for the rest of the day. “I should do a shot ski. I rode bell-to-bell!”
• At some point in the day, you will likely ski up on someone with a grill and a cooler.There’s a greater than 60-percent chance that person will offer you a hot dog.
• There’s a high probability of finding a live band on a sunny deck.
• You will spray your friend with slush, hopefully while he is buckling his boots or kneeing in the middle of the run waiting for you. When you do, he will be wearing sunglasses and outerwear that doesn’t repel water.
• You may not see any of the aforementioned things; you may get lucky and catch an April snow storm, in which case you’ll be too busy shredding powder to care.