North American Ski Season Draws to a Close
With weather patterns disrupted around the world, many snow skiing destinations are faced with making the decision on whether to remain open, or close early as the northern hemisphere snow sport season draws to a close. With the month of April not yet a week old, only seven ski resorts in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont were open for business – Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Saddleback, Loon, Wildcat, Killington and Jay Peak. Sugarbush will reportedly be reassessing their snow coverage during this week with a view to opening for skiing on the weekend.
While snowfall has been scant, these resorts still have much to offer. Sunday River resort has its popular Parrothead Festival coming on 6-8 April. Promoted as one of the biggest spring parties in snow country, the Parrothead Festival has become an annual tradition at Sunday River. The weekend program includes outdoor concerts, parties, the annual pond-skimming contest, and plenty of margaritas. While other resorts may be slowing down, Sunday River is looking forward to plenty of action this weekend.
The four ski areas run by the Aspen Skiing Co will stick to their scheduled closing dates despite the dry conditions and relatively high temperatures being experienced in the area. While Buttermilk will be closing on Sunday, Aspen Mountain and Snowmass are set to close on 15 April, with Aspen Highlands staying open through 22 April. Steamboat Ski Area has already closed 77 of its trails, leaving around 33 percent of its skiable terrain still open. Vail Mountain’s skiable terrain has been reduced from 5,289 acres to around 1,476 acres. While skiable terrain has been reduced, the sunny days have attracted more skiers to the slopes as they enjoy the mild weather. The lower skiing regions may have some bare patches, but higher up the snow cover is still good.
According to state trade association Colorado Ski Country USA, Telluride and Crested Butte are among the resorts planning to close Sunday. Arapahoe Basin and Wolf Creek have not yet confirmed their closing dates, while Loveland is scheduled to close on 6 May. Buttermilk’s closing weekend celebrations will include a rail jam, as well as a concert featuring DJ Naka, followed by DJ Z Trip.