On closing day, The Canyons resort in Park City was an absolute marvel. Everywhere you looked, untracked freshies. Park City Mountain Resort had so much snow, they extended their season for another week. The 22- foot high walls of PCMR's fearsome superpipe is now a more manageable 15 or so feet, as shown.
"This is some of the best skiing of the whole year. The days are long, the skiing's good, nobody's around. There are great discounts at PCMR, Snowbird has a great discount season pass. Spring sking is one of Utah's little secrets," says Ski Utah's Nathan Rafferty.
The last four years have had overwhelming amounts of snow in April and even into June. Snowbasin has even had two "Firecracker" GS races on two separate 4th of July holidays.
But why do people, so anxious for the season to start in November, desert perfect slopes at the first hint of spring?
"People have skied hard all winter, and people are ready for change. I hope what they would do is ski in the morning and do another activity like bike or hike down in the valley in the afternoon, it's such an easy place to do that," Rafferty says.
Is the first glow of golden daffodils enough to bring on the desire for shorts and bare skin, or is it that bundling up for the cooler air of the slopes just seems like too much work?
Whatever, the slopes are still in January condition, with soft and warm springlike air. The little potguts are coming out of their holes, and running with herky-jerky motions through the trees. The snow softens by 10:00 a.m. and turns to incredible hero stuff that holds your edges regardless of how off balance you get. It's a great time to teach a newbie to ski or snowboard.
Next week is the end for PCMR and Alta (with it's incredible closing day party). The 'Bird will keep going. But don't lose the chance to get in the last run on the best days of the year before the lifts stop for the summer!