Let’s call them "spring flings." Few ski resorts let the end of the season just dwindle away, flickering out like a candle. Most of them like to say good riddance with some kind of party. And the lodging packages get no better than in April. Here’s a random sampling of a dozen spring flings from North America’s ski country. Most of the festivities involve some form of pond-skimming, which are to spring flings what the accordion is to polka.
Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge
Come spring, I know Utah-based skiers who long for the kernels of corn-like snow at Killington. Well, the resort is calling all amateurs to their mogul challenge, April 2–3, 2011. Here is your chance to utter those famous last words: Hold my beer and watch this!
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
The Third Annual Cody’s Challenge shakes up Steamboat Springs, April 2, 2011. This randonee endurance ski race tackles the full Monty of Herculean climbing, traversing and descending Steamboat’s in-your-face terrain. The race is in memory of Cody St. John, a Steamboat ski patroller, providing scholarships to increase the medical knowledge of the ski patrol.
Spring Music Sessions
Lake Louise, Alberta
It’s tough to beat the Canadian Rockies for spring skiing. Think March snow in April. But beginning April 2–3, 2011, Lake Louise also celebrates a series of weekend music concerts featuring the likes of Black Out City Kids, locally-raised "organic DJs."
Spring Back to Vail
Vail is the biggest ski mountain in America. Maybe that’s why they spread Spring Back to Vail, a series of free concerts that include national headliners like Train and Stephen Marley, over the entire month of April.
The Canyons, Park City, Utah
Now in its fourth year, Spring Grüv, March 25-April 3, 2011, delivers ten days of beach-like partying that includes free concerts with Los Lobos, Tosh Meets Marley, and others.
Red Bull Buttercup
Buttermilk, Aspen, Colorado
This snowboarding event “showcases creativity in technical flatland trickery,” according to the organizers. The high-paced, jam-session format yields cash prices on Buttermilk Mountain, April 3, 2011. Butter up and cut loose!
This extraordinary resort near European-like Quebec City is ending the season Easter weekend, April 23–25, 2011, with special on-slope activities for kids. On weekends between now and then, the resort offers barbecue, special events, and music.
Parrot Head Festival
Sunday River, Maine
It’s their biggest party of the year. April 1–3, 2011, Sunday River celebrates spring with the annual Parrot Head Festival featuring outdoor concerts, barbecues, parties, pond-skimming and more.
The “best party in the East” tradition continues April 14–17, 2011, with the 23rd annual Reggae Fest featuring live music night and day. Ski and lodging passes are also on special for the event.
Roxy Chicken Jam
Mammoth Mountain, California
Non-stop snowboarding, music, mascots, and a free live concert in the Village, March 24–27, 2011, at Mammoth’s 7th annual Roxy Chicken Jam. First started as a tribute to women's snowboarding, RCJ has now evolved into a three-day all-out party.
From April 1–24, 2011, Breckenridge plays host to a nice mix of concerts, competitions, and fun while blaming Spring Fever for all the get-out-and-party action.
TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival
Whistler, British Columbia
This is the elephant in the room. Every other spring fling out there is just that, a fling. The TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival, April 15–24, 2011, is a parallel universe. If the world was only made up of snow sports, this is what it would look like if you blended all the subcultures, including music and film. It’s world peace, man!
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