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Best Bet for May Skiing This Year?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hi, I am looking for recommendations for the best spring skiing that will be available in North America (preferably US, but Whistler may be ok) during mid-late to late May this year.  The earliest skiing date would likely be May 17th and I would like to ski for a minimum of 5 days.  I am an advanced intermediate to beginning advanced skier (approximately level 7) and would be looking for skiing comparable to Breckenridge or Vail.  I like long cruisers but also like steep groomed runs, as well.  I don't mind ungroomed runs unless they are moguled out and steep...I am just starting to get into bumps.  I don't currently do any tree skiing and therefore it is a non-issue for me.  I don't care if there is a fancy resort town attached to the mountain.  Cheap lodging and/or camping would be nice.  I don't care about the night life.  I am looking for purely the best skiing experience that I can get for 5 days in mid-late May this year.  Just to be clear, I am looking for lift serviced skiing.

 

I have read that normally Mammoth would be a good bet, but with the horrible snow year they have had, I doubt it is a viable option.  Whistler looks like it will close about May 18th, so it probably isn't an option.  Mt. Bachelor looks like it may be an option.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank You

post #2 of 28
http://www.beartoothbasin.com/

Sounds like they hope to open 5/25. Two high speed poma lifts.

Good luck its been a thin year, maybe Bachelor or Hood.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply.  I will definitely keep beartooth basin in mind, but it isn't quite what I had hoped for.  I was hoping for more along the lines of more traditional resort skiing; it looks like beartooth basin is more or less one big bowl with a couple lifts servicing it.  It would be greatly appreciated if anyone has any other suggestions or inside info as to how long Mt. Bachelor or Mt. Hood resorts will open.

 

Thanks

post #4 of 28

Bachelor's website says mid-May and they are hoping for Memorial Day. Sounds iffy to plan in advance for late May.

 

Snowbird has had a low snow year for them. Late May sounds iffy also. If they are open, it is likely to be three day weekends only.

 

Arapahoe Basin might be your best bet.

 

The reality is that nobody can tell for sure.

post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info!  I will def keep an eye on Mt. Bachelor, Snowbird, and A Basin.  Ultimately, you are right in that I guess I will just have to wait the next few weeks and just see what is open when I am planning on going.  I guess my purpose of this thread was to get ideas about which places I should keep an eye on.  So far I have Beartooth Basin, Mt. Bachelor, Snowbird, and A Basin as far as possibilities go.  If anyone has any other ideas as far as places I should keep an eye on, please let me know.


Thanks

post #6 of 28

Not sure exactly how, but Mammoth is planning to be open until May 31. They got a good dump today, so maybe they will make it? Have been camping there Memorial Day weekend many years in the past and they have been open almost every year, conditions ranging from very little snow on the ground and blizzard conditions to 80 degrees and almost the whole mountain open with great snow, and everything in between. Even with their crappy year, it is worth keeping them on your list of places to watch, especially since nobody else has had a particularly stellar year either. There are lots of nice campgrounds in town and just out of town. Camping at Twin Lakes one lean snow year (did not ski) in a blizzard on Memorial Day has to rate as about the coldest I have ever been - the weather is at all iffy, I would recommend the campground in town.

 

Waiting until the very last minute would be the best if you can do that.

post #7 of 28

Good advice above.  I didn't check the website, but Blackcomb might be open after Whister closes and it could be a good option.  You could also consider Killington which will likely be open but only on a couple runs which may be only bumps.

post #8 of 28

I have skied every Memorial Day for the last 16 years. Most of the years have been at Mammoth, which probably

won't make it this year despite getting 2 feet yesterday. 

 

Mammoth and Mt Bachelor are my first two choices because I can drive to them.

 

I am thinking of going to MT Bachelor in early May, and flying to Denver and ski at Arapahoe Basin for

Memorial Day. 

post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunValleySteve View Post
 

I have skied every Memorial Day for the last 16 years. Most of the years have been at Mammoth, which probably

won't make it this year despite getting 2 feet yesterday. 

 

Mammoth and Mt Bachelor are my first two choices because I can drive to them.

 

I am thinking of going to MT Bachelor in early May, and flying to Denver and ski at Arapahoe Basin for

Memorial Day. 

 

FYI, A-basin is typically WAY better mid-May than the end of May.  Even if there is plenty of snow left, they have to close down the steep terrain once the water starts running underneath for wet slab avalanche concern.  There is a dencent chance Pali and the East Wall will be open mid-May, but pretty much zero chance on Memorial Day.   

post #10 of 28

 

FYI, A-basin is typically WAY better mid-May than the end of May.  Even if there is plenty of snow left, they have to close down the steep terrain once the water starts running underneath for wet slab avalanche concern.  There is a dencent chance Pali and the East Wall will be open mid-May, but pretty much zero chance on Memorial Day.   

 

 

Thanks for the tip. I may skip Memorial Day skiing this year. I would be content if i did an early to mid may trip

post #11 of 28

Snowbird has posted their late season schedule:

 

http://www.snowbird.com/spring/

 

They are offering $49 tickets if you show  season pass from elsewhere.

 

I believe Alta is open until April 19 the reopen April 24-26

post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post

but pretty much zero chance on Memorial Day.   

I'd say 80% chance with the HUGE May we are going to get. You heard it here first.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Miles View Post
 

Snowbird has posted their late season schedule:

 

http://www.snowbird.com/spring/

 

They are offering $49 tickets if you show  season pass from elsewhere.

 

I believe Alta is open until April 19 the reopen April 24-26

 

Hmm... I may consider a road trip to Utah..

post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by rx2ski View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Miles View Post
 

Snowbird has posted their late season schedule:

 

http://www.snowbird.com/spring/

 

They are offering $49 tickets if you show  season pass from elsewhere.

 

I believe Alta is open until April 19 the reopen April 24-26

 

Hmm... I may consider a road trip to Utah..

Iam headed down there tomorrow!

post #15 of 28

The thread starter is looking for groomed cruisers or at the least ungroomed but not bumped up runs.  Do any of you think that any of the suggestions you made would fit that bill?  I'd think that May skiing would be a bit more challenging conditions than what a skier of his stated level would want.

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

The thread starter is looking for groomed cruisers or at the least ungroomed but not bumped up runs.  Do any of you think that any of the suggestions you made would fit that bill?  I'd think that May skiing would be a bit more challenging conditions than what a skier of his stated level would want.

Yes, A-Basin is perfect and it probably doesn't matter to the OP if Pali and East Wall are closed, although without snow Zuma could close by then and it would be pretty limited.

But with Zuma open it's pretty much gorgeous above treeline bowl skiing in May with a number of different groomed aspects through all open terrain, and slush skiing down low.

With A-Basin on less than expert terrain one should have a solid joy of finding new lines on same terrain, but again, we are talking about May here.
post #17 of 28

Whistler will be open to Memorial Day. This year they are closing Blackcomb on April 19th. There wil be limited lifts open, they announced  it will be the Red, Emerald and Peak Chair plus the T-bars.This will still access more terrain than anywhere in N.A.at that time. There is plenty of snow in the Alpine and it looks we will get more this weekend.

post #18 of 28

There's still 8'+ at the top of MRG, probably even more at Stowe. Too bad they shut it down early… there could be snow up high until June.

post #19 of 28
Mid to late may??
Mrg will be done.
Kton will have Superstar and Skelark.
Abasin mid May could be ok. Cruisers early while frozen Hopefully. If Palli is closed Abay gets small but thats 98% bumps over there.

Don't know how the bird is in May.
If Whistler had a horrendous season, how is May going to be decent?

Spring is going to mean bumps. It's also a decent time to learn something about them.
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the suggestions!  I may have some hope yet.  It looks like I have a few good options with A Basin perhaps being the best.  As someone astutely noted, it will not matter to me if Pali and East Wall is closed...I am not currently at that level.  I am looking for anything up to single black runs; preferably more blue and single blacks.  It looks like A Basin should fit that bill nicely.

post #21 of 28
You really should know that you are looking at very limited terrain. Abasin for cruisers is not Sun Valley in winter let alone May. Once you eliminate bumps...it's very small. As long as you are fine with that.

It's just telling you to do some bumps...
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 

I am not opposed to doing bumps.  If that is all there will be, then I would be open to learning.  Maybe a bump lesson would be a good way to start the trip.

post #23 of 28
Rumors around here are the Bird's last day will be May 17th. I'm still holding out hope for a 100" April, but my hope is dimming.
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnarvin View Post

I am not opposed to doing bumps.  If that is all there will be, then I would be open to learning.  Maybe a bump lesson would be a good way to start the trip.

A-Basin is not a particularly bumped up mountain, I think largely because much of the terrain does not funnel people down repetitive paths. The pitch of much of Zuma bowl that would be good for you, both groomed and not...if it us still open (we will need snow for sure). The front side blues have plenty of cruising, rollers, etc, and from different aspects. As noted, it isn't particularly big, but it also isn't a frontside with a bunch of cut trail cruisers, either.

Here is a video I put together during our January warm spell when we were all freaking out about a lack of snow and the off-piste you'd be likely to access was not particularly enjoyable. This should give you a reasonably good feel for the blue terrain of A-Basin.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
 If Whistler had a horrendous season, how is May going to be decent?

Because the alpine areas of Whistler aren't horrendous. They have a 70" base and it's skiing well, and it's been snowing quite a bit lately (and the forecast is good: http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/the-mountain/snow-and-weather/index.aspx).

 

The lower part of the mountain is bare and is truly horrendous. 

post #26 of 28
Reports are that snowbird is in tough shape. There will be limited terrain open for the National Academy at the end of the month.

Mike
post #27 of 28
I am at Snowbird for a few days. If it doesn't turn cooler and/or snow (known to happen in April), they will be doing good to make it till May.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy319 View Post
 

Because the alpine areas of Whistler aren't horrendous. They have a 70" base and it's skiing well, and it's been snowing quite a bit lately (and the forecast is good: http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/the-mountain/snow-and-weather/index.aspx).

 

The lower part of the mountain is bare and is truly horrendous. 

 

A nice dump yesterday, and more expected during the week. The alpine is in very, very nice condition:

 

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