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Is there a good place to learn to ski in May?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'm in NYC, and am planning a family trip in May. I know it's way after season, and while there are options for year round skiing, the conditions seem largely not good for learning. Are there anywhere that would be still decent to learn that time of year? (outside of flying to Chile or NZ...)

 

Thanks,

B

post #2 of 14

Snowbird and Whistler (actually Blackcomb) will probably be open. Of the two, Blackcomb would be a better place as a learning spot.

 

Probably some other PNW areas will be open too, and no doubt someone will chime in about those.

post #3 of 14

In Colorado at least Loveland and A-Basin are pretty much guaranteed to be open.  While there are good times still to be had on the snow, the runs are going to be more limited and the quality of the snow much less.

post #4 of 14

In a normal to big snow year I would suggest Mammoth for the snow and weather.  High altitude Sierra spring skiing is usually pretty forgiving for about 4 hours before it gets slushy.  That's enough time to wear out a beginner.  They usually still have good beginner terrain in May.  One downside is group lesson's aren't available, the upside is private lesson prices are reduced significantly.  Not this year though, we're at near record low snowfall.

 

Mt. Hood Timberline is open all year and has about average snow this year.  I suggest calling to find out what sort of terrain and lessons will be available on your dates.  I just looked at their webpage and they have Spring season passes for $99, good now through Memorial Day!  (Summer season is up higher on the mountain and only has advanced terrain)

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterboard View Post
 

I'm in NYC, and am planning a family trip in May. I know it's way after season, and while there are options for year round skiing, the conditions seem largely not good for learning. Are there anywhere that would be still decent to learn that time of year? (outside of flying to Chile or NZ...)

 

Thanks,

B

Welcome to EpicSki!  Are the beginners adults or children?

post #6 of 14

Do you have your dates picked yet?   Things can go downhill quickly in May if it really warms up.  The beginning of May is a much better bet than the end, wherever you go.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sieggy80305 View Post
 

In Colorado at least Loveland and A-Basin are pretty much guaranteed to be open.  While there are good times still to be had on the snow, the runs are going to be more limited and the quality of the snow much less.

We are having a big snow year, but I haven't seen Loveland stay open much past the first week of May most years.  A-Basin usually tries to stay open until early June and stayed open until the 4th of July 3 years ago.  2 years ago my cousin came out in mid April with his daughter who had never seen snow- they were jet lagged and I worked with her for about a half hour on the carpet at Copper each of their first two "days."  Their 3rd day, a Monday, with most of the resorts except A-Basin and LL closed, was a powder day so we put her in a lesson at A-B and went skiing ourselves...her "group" lesson ended up being a private with a very good pro and she made great progress.  Here is some footage of that lesson

 

 

I am not sure exactly when they close the Molly Hogan lift, so you may want to check on that before booking, but they tend to have some good late season lift ticket deals.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

Do you have your dates picked yet?   Things can go downhill quickly in May if it really warms up.  The beginning of May is a much better bet than the end, wherever you go.

+1

post #8 of 14
Mt. bachelor
Cheap spring pass, no lift lines, cheap lodging, plenty of civilization in Bend
Private lessons only in May
Oh ...
They must have multiple breweries in town

http://www.mtbachelor.com/winter/mountain/tickets/springtacular
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the responses! Sorry I haven't been following up... had a busy weekend.

 

I'm looking at the second weekend in May. They're all adults, and if we're going for a few days, they're probably going to be doing more lodge-y stuff half the time. We've always talked about going on a ski trip but never really followed through, and now that I'm getting into snowboarding, I'd like to make it happen.

 

That being said, if it's just not really a good idea to take them in May, I'm willing to accept that and find an alternate option.

 

I was thinking Whistler/Blackcomb, but their website wasn't that clear about spring lessons/hours. Will check out the other suggestions. :)

post #10 of 14
I wouldn't take beginners anywhere in mid May.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterboard View Post
 

Thanks for all the responses! Sorry I haven't been following up... had a busy weekend.

 

I'm looking at the second weekend in May. They're all adults, and if we're going for a few days, they're probably going to be doing more lodge-y stuff half the time. We've always talked about going on a ski trip but never really followed through, and now that I'm getting into snowboarding, I'd like to make it happen.

 

That being said, if it's just not really a good idea to take them in May, I'm willing to accept that and find an alternate option.

 

I was thinking Whistler/Blackcomb, but their website wasn't that clear about spring lessons/hours. Will check out the other suggestions. :)

Here's a thread by someone who ended up having a good time in Colorado an extended Memorial Day weekend in 2013.  A beginner from Texas.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/119642/summer-skiing-for-solid-beginner

 

Trip report:

http://www.epicski.com/t/120555/a-basin-may-23-27-2013

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterboard View Post
 

I'm looking at the second weekend in May. They're all adults, and if we're going for a few days, they're probably going to be doing more lodge-y stuff half the time. 

 

Hey, that's Mother's day weekend!  There is an Epicski gathering at A-basin that weekend.  Paging @Trekchick... is there a gathering thread yet?

 

Given the current snowpack at A-basin, there is a very high likelelyhood the skiing will be fantastic, and good for beginners too.  As you can see in the threads posted by @marznc above, at some point A-basin has to shut down their beginner terrain.  Last year that wasn't until after Memorial day.  Unless there is an unusual very long warm streak, which can happen, A-basin is a very good bet.   

 

A couple general thoughts:
 

1.  Have a couple options as where to go and wait as long as possible to buy plane tickets to see how the next month of weather plays out.

 

2.  Pick somewhere to visit with other non-ski activities you'll enjoy.   The long days and warm weather can make for good sightseeing, hiking, biking and other fun activities.  Or, it could be full on winter as was seen for the Mother's Day gathering last year: http://www.epicski.com/t/120336/official-2013-mothers-day-a-basin-trip-report

post #13 of 14

As mentioned by another the snow on this side of the season in Colorado has been exceptionally good.  March hasn't been what it usually is but we have a pretty epic base and there is still plenty of snowstorms to come.  My guess is A-Basin will stretch into June this year without too much of a problem. 

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterboard View Post
 

That being said, if it's just not really a good idea to take them in May, I'm willing to accept that and find an alternate option.

 

I was thinking Whistler/Blackcomb, but their website wasn't that clear about spring lessons/hours. Will check out the other suggestions. :)

 

Whistler-Blackcomb is not a good destination in May to learn to ski:

 

  • There is only one run on Blackcomb that's usable for beginners (Easy Out, near the Catskinner chair). The remaining green runs are traverses and are dangerous for beginners; the traverses are filled with "advanced" skiers ripping along at high speeds who are liable to run into a beginner wedging back and forth. Whistler is closed.
  • Conditions will likely change from icy hardpack to slush within the first 2h. While these conditions can be fun for experienced skiers, I wouldn't want to put a learner in these conditions.
  • You'll have to hire a private instructor for the day since regular group lessons are over by then. I believe rates are around $400/day.

 

If you can move forward by a month, you'll get good skiing in April when Whistler is still open. It's much more appropriate for beginners. And you'll be able to get beginner packages for much cheaper.

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