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Early April in Colorado - Page 2

post #31 of 34
Quote:
One thing I would recommend for the OP- if you get there and the week looks like dry spring weather, unless you already feel very comfortable skiing slush, consider taking a lesson to help. 

Spring skiing in heavy snow works best on steeper terrain where gravity overcomes the resistance of the heavier snow.  Expert bump runs become easier than usual.   Flat runs get sticky and grab your skis, so it's understandable that beginners are a lot less enthusiastic about spring skiing than more advanced skiers.  Intermediates need to think about time of day and aspect of runs and stay away from steep runs that haven't had enough sun to soften and flat runs that have had too much.

 

afsi722 is correct about 2011 and 2013 being great Aprils and 2012 being bad.   But an average April in Front Range ski areas gets almost as much new snow as an average winter month.  And above 11,000 feet April is essentially still a winter month with most snow remaining packed powder.

post #32 of 34
Thread Starter 

There hasn't been much discussion about Western Colorado. How do Telluride conditions usually compare to Summit County in the late season? It has the altitude, and appears to have mostly North-facing terrain.

post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by springskier View Post
 

There hasn't been much discussion about Western Colorado. How do Telluride conditions usually compare to Summit County in the late season? It has the altitude, and appears to have mostly North-facing terrain.

 

All of the high altitude ski areas in Colorado have good, good snow preservation. I don't have late season Telluride experience, but I have never heard anything about poor snow quality in April.

 

In the SW, Silverton has a great reputation for great April conditions, and lots of locals queue up for the April unguided days- a great base with a good chance for fresh snow, and lacking that, different terrain aspects for a great corn harvest.

 

Wolf Creek, with all skiing above 10,000 feet and the most snow almost every year, is another good candidate. The mountain closes first weekend in April, but will normally repoen weekends after April and May spring storms. This past year was the odd year where that did not happen as they were replacing one of their main lifts.

 

Monarch is another great choice with a base at 10,800 feet and a summit just under 12,000 feet. My birthday is April 4, and most years my birthday "party" is a ski day. For many years, Monarch had a deal for a free ticket in April with the purchase of a $10 Colorado gems card (no more), so my party would be at Monarch. For about 12 years straight, this meant a birthday blizzard- I always got a powder day skiing the weekend around my B-day. This past season, I spent closing weekend at Monarch, and again, closing day was a dump day.  Unfortunately, Monarch does not seem to stretch their closing date even in years with good snow. I suspect the reason is that they do not get enough crowds to make money off extended openings. :(

post #34 of 34

Winter Park has it on most of your stuff- but depends on what you mean by "nightlife."  A-basin has awesome late season snow and so does Loveland , but it's a little bit of a hike to Frisco or Dilllon for nightlife. 

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