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Where in the United States or Canada does WINTER conditions go deepest into spring?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I live in the northeast and I know it's not here! April 1st and places like Stowe are DONE!


Does it vary from year to year or is there always one or two regions that get slammed with winter temperatures and snow deep into spring?


Checked Mt Bachelor's website recently and it appears they're still going strong.


I just want to know for the future when I can pick up and go. I won't want to hear how great Killington is with their 20 trails open, half snow / half dirt, and telling me how great the spring skiing is!


So where is it still truly winter in April EVERY year?



post #2 of 19



From the Crystal Mt. website:


"Tomorrow we expect to be in normal mid week operations with all lifts running except for Quicksilver and Gold Hills. We received 170" (over 14 feet) of snow during the month of March! The season snowfall total is 56" greater than it was last year at this time!

The main trails will be machine groomed overnight. You’ll find soft skier packed powder with pockets of powder off-piste. PRACTICE DEEP SNOW SAFETY: Ski/ride with a visible partner!"


March roared in like a lion, and out like one too!
March 2011 total = 134" 
March 2012 total = 170" 
Season snowfall total last year at this time = 480"  
Season snowfall total this season = 536"

Temps are warmer so snow quality isn't 'superb', but there's still a lot of skiing to be had. Last Thursday and Friday were knee deep. A bit heavy'ish, but it skied very very well! Bachelor, and W/BC have summer ski 'season' as well.  Ski touring in the PNW is a 12 month affair.

post #3 of 19

You never *really* know ahead of time. But two reliably good bets are Mammoth and Whistler.


Per the above post, the Cascade areas usually hold their own in terms of snow - but with the exception of a few rooms at Crystal, lodging does not exist. And they tend to close or reduce operations inconveniently somewhere in April or early May. Despite settled snowpacks of well over ten feet the past few years...

post #4 of 19

Lake Louise is still going strong, lots of snow




post #5 of 19

Crystal Mt went into July last year, though by July I think they were down to the gondola and one lift. But I ski through the end of April every year here in the WA Cascades, and usually on good snow. Spring in the PNW is cold. Hiking season doesn't start until mid-July. April is still winter. If PNW weather ever starts making me a little nuts, like I get to book a tropical vacation to escape the cold and gray asap, it's in the spring. There are cheap lodging specials in spring too. http://www.crystalmountainresort.com/Plan-Your-Trip/Lodging-Deals

post #6 of 19

If you want to play with historical data to predict future weather, check this out:



post #7 of 19

mt bachelor---yesterday 13 degrees, new powdwer


March 150 inches


closing end of May


skiable until mid July

post #8 of 19

Definitely varies every year, and this isn't a typical year in many places. Snowbird is usually a good bet until Memorial Day (I've had a powder day there around May 5). It was open until 4th of July last year and last April was ridiculous with storms.  I'm not too confident it will make it out of April this year and I've given up on hoping for any big storm cycles.


PNW and BC/AB seem like the best (only?) bets this year.

post #9 of 19

All great suggestions, yes, Pacific North West gets a ton of snow but Mammoth often stays open the longest (others can give you the geographic reasons) because it gets most of its snow in March, April and May, in 2011 I think Mammoth was open, limited operatons but quite skiable I heard till July 4th I think!


Whistler-Blackcomb is fantastic till Mid April, this year, Whistler closing is scheduled for April 22, and Blackcomb is open till May 28 (but that means limited operations). Sunshine Village is usually open with a ton of snow latest in Banff National Park. Check ski area websites for closing dates. But amongst the major resorts in the USA-Canada corridor, I said "major", so please no "fits" from anyone, Whistler-Blackcomb has a ton of snow. 





And if you have the time and inclination for visuals: This is Whistler-Blackcomb April 14-24, 2011 period (the last bit is April 24, 2011; and warning clip is 6 1/2 mins long!) We have TR's on this website with details. 



And this is Sunshine Village, Alberta : 3rd week of April 2008:(warning about 10mins, so do scroll through at will but you will get an idea that it is Winter in Spring! in Banff National Park on the mountain!)


Finally I would be remiss not to add that normally Utah is in great shape in early and mid April This year they are getting a lot of late snow but have had unseasonably warm temperatures so world-class places like Snowbasin do not have consistent conditions, but the cottonwoods and Snowbasin and Deer Valley have snow but with the freeze-thaw cycle, you would need live on-mountain reports to get a good idea. But usually they are good till April 10th almost always. Snowbird often is open later, Alta has to close - something to do with a lease on Federal land! Others can give you info about Jackson Hole which probably has the best snow conditions in the NW except for the far NW places in Oregon and Washington state, but they also usually cloase by April 10 but please check website. This year, I understand Sun Valley is still getting snowed on, so there you go, just a veritable treasure trove of snow riches, yes!

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks to everyone.


BRAVO dustyfog!


That kid's gonna be good in no time, huh?


Well, now I know - if I want to extend my season into April I'll have to save enough money to go to British Colombia, Alberta or Washington.


And unless this season was a horrible fluke, all the good skiing is done in the northeast come the second week of March.


I have no interest in skiing 5 trails in mashed potatos, half moguls, in a t-shirt.


And please, don't insult my intelligence and tell me how great that is!

post #11 of 19

Sunshine Village is the best in my region. 


It  could be argued that april is the best month.

post #12 of 19

Definitely Sunshine Village.  At the end of May, when they traditionally close, the mountain is still about 90% open.  Nothing else comes close to having the coverage or acreage still skiable at that time of year.  Anywhere else open that late in the season is under limited operation.


Here's what you see in mid to late May at Sunshine (and none of that mash potatoes, fog and rain you get on the coast beginning in April).


Divide Pano.JPG





Edited by exracer - 4/2/12 at 9:33pm
post #13 of 19
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

mt bachelor---yesterday 13 degrees, new powdwer


March 150 inches


closing end of May


skiable until mid July

icon14.gif Four of us are flying in Saturday Newfy. I've been watching the conditions for the past few weeks, and it looks like we're arriving at the right timeyahoo.gif



post #14 of 19

Flights out of NYC to Vancouver on Cathay for the next 2 weeks if you pick your dates right are under $500 before taxes, which is very good, and the way it works with Cathay, you will be able to ski the day you land and the day you leave. WB has some great deals, call them up, they can set you up, and you will be flying out of JFK, I do not know your location so hard for me to assess thereafter. WB is the only real place in North America which compares to Lech-Zurs-St. Anton, Austria, or Chamonix, Swissy, or les Trois Valles, France, Swissy and so on. It is hell of a place with some serious skiing, great groomers, steep and so d*mned long, huge bowls, massive powder fields, steeps like you will not believe, but there are steeps which scare everywhere, like Squaw Valley or Alta or Snowbird or JHole, for sure, but WB's size and vertical can be very, very intimidating, when you look down from where you are about to slide past a cornice(forget about jumping that cornice, not for yours truly), it gets really dicey), and the terrain has endless choices. le is very much 


And my boy is a great BIG mountain skier, he handles terrain like Spanky's ladder, Blowhole, Sapphire and Diamond chutes with relaxed chilled, NP-at all skiing attitude but is deeply disappointed by the fact that on his ski race team he does not win on East Coast slopes where he gets beaten by his pals who he out-skis every time they train on the steeper terrain, but not in the gates, c'est la vie, he is 46.5lbs and 9 years of age(the minimum that I know of amongst the 7 year olds and above is 59lbs! to my knowledge anyway). Too light is one thing and also he is not aggressive enough in the gates but that is who he is, I can only ask so much, after all, I ski because of him, thereafter, he decides, his style of skiing is very much of someone who has skied big mountains and maintains that even when he races, as he says, he does not want to DNF (i.e. lack of sufficient aggression when attacking gates, and then he says slopes are too flat! Comme ca!) Part of what he does is the basic instinct of always leaning down the hill, so less inclination around the gates which is often necessary for greater speed, and big mountains skiing is about safe, controlled descents, and that is what he has internalized, and is not going to change soon to "b*lls to the snow" skiing!


Well, here is the same young one recently, again, if interested only, he was learning pivot transitions, and funnily in a slalom race, he gave one of his best friends the tip of how to do it after run 1, since he was coming 3rd, and friend was in 7th place, but he was gracious enough to impart the knowledge and friend came in 3rd, and he slowed down because of an accident another kid had before he raced, and he had to wait 45mins on the gate, and was dying to take a leak, and froze, temps were 15deg F, and did not go in his pants since he is older now, wish he had told me, I would have given him permission to let it loose in full glory, so his second run was much slower, and ended up 9th overall, that remains life. He is the best big mountain skier on his team(8-12 year olds), you can see it when the terrain gets hairy, but gates, another story. You got me started, apologies in advance for the story but here is the clip, scroll through, next step in pivot transitions is to pull his legs back but that is for another day!



Once again, WB is a hop-step away and not that costly if you move quick and you can ski the day you land and the day you leave just like Utah but for LONGER. 

ps: we are in Whistler-Blackcomb for Round 2, post 2011, on April 6th! 

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 

I forgot to mention that I do like the groomers - the cruisers. I'm sure I'd like nice puffy powder but being a new skier on the east coast I've never experienced it. (And I'm probably not equipped for it - I have Salomon all mountain skis, 78ish underfoot)


I don't mind the groomed hardpack at all - I just don't want mush - especially mush mixed with dirt.


post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

Choices still!


Whistler / Blackcomb or Sunshine Village?


Crystal Mountain or Mt Bachelor?


If I spend a mini fortune next year I'm gonna want to go to the best!


I have to admit the trail map to WB looks RIDICULOUS!


But then I hear that conditions down low where I may more likely be can be quite wet? (I'm an intermediate skier comfortable cruising blue trails and a few easier blacks)


Are there some nice blue trails up high at WB? I can go look I guess!

post #17 of 19
Originally Posted by exracer View Post

Definitely Sunshine Village

Anyone planning on going to that place should read this thread first.




Cold powder in August wouldn't make me want to spend a loonie at SSV.

post #18 of 19

Whistler-Blackcomb has longest Blue runs that I have seen, both on Whistler, and on Blackcomb, and don't worry, you never have to come down to the base until the end of the day.


Go to this site, make sure you have Google Earth and you can look at the Blue Runs to your hearts content, plus they have groomed runs in the middle of the biggest bowls you will ever see.



Again, Sunshine is smaller, I have no experience with Washington places but others on this site know them much better.


You have a lot of info now. And check out this site, lots of details and live experience reports and reviews everywhere.


post #19 of 19

Ditto to everything Dustyfog said. It sounds like W/B will be perfect for you. There are blue groomers galore. There are also greens that would be blues at most other resorts. It's true the runs on the lowest part of the mountain can be somewhat soft and wet, and it's also true you'll probably never ski them except to come home at the end of the day. If conditions are warm and spring-like and you don't want to deal with those lower runs at all, you can download on the gondola.



especially mush mixed with dirt. 

 You won't find that in the PNW.

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