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Planning April trip and looking at closing dates in 2015

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

I was thinking of taking an Easter week vacation with my daughter next April 3-9, 2015.  Her school is closed the week of Easter (4/5) and thought it would be fun to go to Jackson Hole, a place we've never been to.  I also thought she would enjoy Telluride (I've been).  But....both mountains are projecting a 4/5/2015 closing date.  I just wondered if any locals can comment on if these ski resorts generally stay open longer or are they locked into those closing dates?  I would think with Easter so early this year that most resorts would be wise to stay open a week after Easter to take advantage of so many kids being out of school.  Problem is I would be booking airfare with miles so I need to decide where and book the air.

 

I could always do the "old faithful" resorts that close a little later....Cottonwood Canyons, Lake Tahoe and Summit County.

 

Any thoughts on Jackson Hole or Telluride closing later than 4/5 or should I look to one of the others?  Thanks.

post #2 of 26

Don't forget Mt Bachelor For Spring Also

 

I cant speak to the closing dates for Jackson

 

Maybe @tetonpwdrjunkie or @Bob Peters can comment

post #3 of 26

Since you said you might consider other destinations, here's a thread with the closing info for Aspen in 2015.  Sounds like there is some flexibility based on conditions there.  But one mountain closes earlier.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/126862/aspen-last-day-2015-easter-is-4-5

 

At Alta, last day of daily operations will be April 19, 2015.  The Supreme lift closes for the season a week earlier, so last day   will be April 12.  Alta Demo Day is April 11.  My annual spring break trip is to Alta Lodge with friends.  Started when the kids were free because they were 12 and under in April.

post #4 of 26
The odds of Telluride staying open later are slim and none. It's not snow conditions that causes them to close.....it's lack of paying customers
post #5 of 26
Our closing at Whitefish is later than usual this year - April 12, but given that we are expecting a warm winter, I wouldn't bank on them making it. Will know better mid March.
post #6 of 26
Crystal Mtn. Wa has been really good the past 4 Aprils. Official season ends around mid month, but there will be lift operations commensurate with the snowpack for the 'spring' season. Record was July th set a couple of seasons back.


And April at Whistler can be fantastic. No crowds and often mid winter conditions in the alpine.
post #7 of 26

Jackson will close in early April as always, no matter how much snow they have.  If they posted the 5th somewhere, that's probably going to happen.  It's stupid to close with +100" base, but .....ah well.

 

Snowbird is your best bet for April turns (and May turns too).  Alta has been known to stay open with good conditions a week or so past predictions.


Edited by SpikeDog - 12/26/14 at 7:00am
post #8 of 26

Snowbird will be in full operation through your dates.  Alta too with the possible exception of Supreme.  As always I highly recommend Mammoth and Mt. Bachelor in that time frame.  The 3 major Aspen areas are open to at least April 12.  Whistler and Banff/Lake Louise are good choices then too.

 

It's all about altitude and exposure in April, thus the recurring recommendations.  Different from early season where it varies year to year who gets early snow, though of course some places have a better track record than others.

post #9 of 26

Just to toss another name into the mix to think about.  Mammoth 

 

Bring sunscreen wherever you go

post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. So here's what I'm thinking at this point. I am heading Aspen/Snowmass already over MLK weekend in January. So I was going to just get the Mountain Collective pass and fly into Reno over Easter weekend (4/3) and hit two days at Mammoth and one each at Squaw and Alpine Valley. So I would get six days of skiing for $409 ((plus additional days 1/2 off) which is not too shabby. And my 12 year old gets a pass for $99! All the Cali resorts close late April at the earliest so we're good in terms of being open. Now the snow conditions may be a different story but I'm sure we'll have fun! smile.gif
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Make that Alpine Meadows above...I think Alpine Valley is in the Midwest somewhere lol!
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by gores95 View Post

Thanks guys. So here's what I'm thinking at this point. I am heading Aspen/Snowmass already over MLK weekend in January. So I was going to just get the Mountain Collective pass and fly into Reno over Easter weekend (4/3) and hit two days at Mammoth and one each at Squaw and Alpine Valley. So I would get six days of skiing for $409 ((plus additional days 1/2 off) which is not too shabby. And my 12 year old gets a pass for $99! All the Cali resorts close late April at the earliest so we're good in terms of being open. Now the snow conditions may be a different story but I'm sure we'll have fun! smile.gif

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gores95 View Post

Make that Alpine Meadows above...I think Alpine Valley is in the Midwest somewhere lol!


Sounds like a great way to make use of the MCP, especially for a parent.  Don't wait too long to buy the MCP.  Always hard to predict when they will close it off.  Status bar is towards the end of LIMITED STOCK but not into NEARLY SOLD OUT yet.

 

If you can handle the red-eye flight back from Reno, skiing at Mt Rose the day of departure can be fun.  Only 45 min from the airport.

 

If you want a warm up day, Homewood has great views if visibility is good.  Pretty inexpensive compared to the bigger north Tahoe resorts.  If you go on a weekend, get there really early because parking is limited.

post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

 

 


Sounds like a great way to make use of the MCP, especially for a parent.  Don't wait too long to buy the MCP.  Always hard to predict when they will close it off.  Status bar is towards the end of LIMITED STOCK but not into NEARLY SOLD OUT yet.

 

If you can handle the red-eye flight back from Reno, skiing at Mt Rose the day of departure can be fun.  Only 45 min from the airport.

 

If you want a warm up day, Homewood has great views if visibility is good.  Pretty inexpensive compared to the bigger north Tahoe resorts.  If you go on a weekend, get there really early because parking is limited.

We have skied Homewood....nice, smaller, throwback mountain with killer views!  Never skied Mt Rose but our flight out will be very early in the morning so no time.  I am thinking of staying either at the Hampton Inn in Truckee or at Harrah's in Reno.  Obviously Truckee not quite as long a ride every day.

post #14 of 26

Better get the MCP real soon!  They sent out the "last chance" email today.  The status bar dropped all the way to the end of NEARLY SOLD OUT.

 

post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by gores95 View Post
 
 

We have skied Homewood....nice, smaller, throwback mountain with killer views!  Never skied Mt Rose but our flight out will be very early in the morning so no time.  I am thinking of staying either at the Hampton Inn in Truckee or at Harrah's in Reno.  Obviously Truckee not quite as long a ride every day.

With a 12yo, Truckee would be my choice.  If a late season storm rolls in, the drive from Reno to north Tahoe would be a pain.

post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by gores95 View Post

Thanks guys. So here's what I'm thinking at this point. I am heading Aspen/Snowmass already over MLK weekend in January. So I was going to just get the Mountain Collective pass and fly into Reno over Easter weekend (4/3) and hit two days at Mammoth and one each at Squaw and Alpine Valley. So I would get six days of skiing for $409 ((plus additional days 1/2 off) which is not too shabby. And my 12 year old gets a pass for $99! All the Cali resorts close late April at the earliest so we're good in terms of being open. Now the snow conditions may be a different story but I'm sure we'll have fun! smile.gif

 

Sounds fun! But that's a lot of driving around. A couple people recommended Snowbird & Alta--yes, your Mountain Collective pass only covers two days there, but you'll spend almost as much on gas driving around California and Nevada as you'd save on lift tickets.

post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by New2Utah View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gores95 View Post

Thanks guys. So here's what I'm thinking at this point. I am heading Aspen/Snowmass already over MLK weekend in January. So I was going to just get the Mountain Collective pass and fly into Reno over Easter weekend (4/3) and hit two days at Mammoth and one each at Squaw and Alpine Valley. So I would get six days of skiing for $409 ((plus additional days 1/2 off) which is not too shabby. And my 12 year old gets a pass for $99! All the Cali resorts close late April at the earliest so we're good in terms of being open. Now the snow conditions may be a different story but I'm sure we'll have fun! smile.gif

 

Sounds fun! But that's a lot of driving around. A couple people recommended Snowbird & Alta--yes, your Mountain Collective pass only covers two days there, but you'll spend almost as much on gas driving around California and Nevada as you'd save on lift tickets.


When planning a trip as a parent flying out west, sometimes it's about more than the skiing.  I get the impression that the OP has skied LCC more than once as well as north Tahoe, and most likely so has his daughter.  Exploring someplace new, meaning Mammoth, sounds like it's of more interest this time since JH is not a good bet in early April.  The OP would then get 2 other days on the MCP, 6 total instead of 4.  Or 7 if he bought early and opted for the 3rd day at Aspen.

post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by UGASkiDawg View Post

The odds of Telluride staying open later are slim and none. It's not snow conditions that causes them to close.....it's lack of paying customers

Telluride always closes the first Sunday of April. The word on that usually is that it has to do with the National Forest Service Lease, but mostly I have heard what UGASkiDawg said-there just aren't enough paying customers into April. Management probably uses the lease as an excuse. I was there for closing weekend about 10 years ago and attended the celebration on Main Street. It had been a good year with a deep base, and Mother Nature had dumped new snow in the days leading up to the celebration. No extension. Good party, though.

post #19 of 26
Quote:
The word on that usually is that it has to do with the National Forest Service Lease

Any area that trots out that old bromide is :bs:.  It's all about lack of paying (read not locals with season passes) customers, as UGASkiDawg said.

 

gores95 should definitely come to Mammoth. Even the past 3 years skiing in early April has been good at Mammoth due to Colorado-like snow preservation.  Not so at Tahoe.  Don't commit in advance to lodging there: you'll be able to find last minute lodging midweek if it's good and you decide to split the trip.  Worst case scenario you're in Reno. 

post #20 of 26

We regularly hit Mammoth over Spring Break in April.  So far, we haven't been disappointed and quite often have had the perk of a nice snowstorm to provide some freshies.

post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 

Hey guys thanks for continuing to chime in.  I do realize its a lot of driving but we have done LCC many times the past few years (Alta is one of my all-time favs...for that matter so is Telluride!).  So the plan is to fly into RNO and drive straight to Mammoth...I have made that drive before so no worries.  Spend two days skiing there then drive to N Lake Tahoe to ski two days...one each Squaw (been there) and Alpine Meadows (never skied).  So basically my daughter and I getting four "Free" days of skiing.  I realize that traveling around kind of sucks but hey the scenery on 395 is spectacular!  I will definitely monitor the weather/snow and if Mammoth is heads and shoulders better than the Tahoe resorts we will stay there and ski for 1/2 price after the first two days.

 

On another note regarding crazy airfares...we are flying into RNO from Newark, NJ.  No direct flights but I did find a flight that connects through SLC for $404 round trip...not too shabby.  Literally one day after I bought I was checking to see if a buddy and his kid could join us on the same flight, and that flight went up to $1,200 round trip.  It's amazing how volatile flights are compared to hotels.  As an eastern skier flying west the first rule of thumb is always to find a cheap flight...then everything else falls into place.  I know many posters on this board say no need to book trips far in advance and just wait to see where the snow is best, but crazy airfares warrant at least some forward planning.  Needless to say my friend elected to pass on the trip! :0 

post #22 of 26

Send me a PM when the dates firm up and if you'd like some company. I know I'll be getting up to Mammoth at least once in April, and maybe I can show you around a little.

post #23 of 26
Quote:
Spend two days skiing there then drive to N Lake Tahoe to ski two days...one each Squaw (been there) and Alpine Meadows (never skied).

You must have missed my last post.  The last 2 years conditions at Squaw/Alpine were not good at all during your time frame.  Lodging is not like airfares. There's absolutely no reason to commit to that now.

Quote:
I know many posters on this board say no need to book trips far in advance and just wait to see where the snow is best,

That varies by when you're planning on skiing.  The quality of March/April skiing is primarily driven by altitude/exposure, which do not vary for each ski area.  It takes massive snowfall during your trip to make a low or sun exposed area good in spring or a sequence of very unusual weather events to make a high, north exposed area bad.  Thus deciding at New Year's to ski Mammoth or LCC in March/April is a low risk decision. 

 

It's the people who ask in the fall where they should ski in December that should wait as long as possible before booking.  The right answer is going to be who gets the most snow in November/early December, and there is lots of year-to-year variability in that. Any area is risky the first half of December and many are risky in terms of having advanced terrain open well into January. 

post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

You must have missed my last post.  The last 2 years conditions at Squaw/Alpine were not good at all during your time frame.  Lodging is not like airfares. There's absolutely no reason to commit to that now.

 

That varies by when you're planning on skiing.  The quality of March/April skiing is primarily driven by altitude/exposure, which do not vary for each ski area.  It takes massive snowfall during your trip to make a low or sun exposed area good in spring or a sequence of very unusual weather events to make a high, north exposed area bad.  Thus deciding at New Year's to ski Mammoth or LCC in March/April is a low risk decision. 

 

Did you just argued against yourself? If the condition doesn't change drastically from resort to resort in April, the OP is fine to make a tentative decision to take advantage of his 4 free days. Chances are good he'll have his cake and eat it too. :)

 

He did mention he'll change his plan to stay in either location if the condition is vastly superior in one over the other.  


Edited by at_nyc - 1/2/15 at 6:43pm
post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
He did mention he'll change his plan to stay in either location if the condition is vastly superior in one over the other.  
Yup if the North Tahoe resorts suck when we go I would just park it at Mammoth all week, which we've some before in April with good results! Now if Mammoth is also bad I'm not sure what the heck we'll do?! Kirkwood maybe lol?! Or maybe drive to Vegas and get a nanny for my 12 year old! smile.gif
post #26 of 26

Mammoth has had one busted April, 1977, in 45+ years. Those are pretty good odds.  You may get a lot of spring conditions if it's warm, but groomed slope maintenance is superb until the natural snow areas soften up.  Odds heavily favor winter snow for the upper steeps.

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