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Banff or A-basin in Late April/Early May!!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

So it's almost May 2016 and we've decided to go on a last-minute ski trip this weekend...Both of us that are going are very experienced skiers and open to trying new terrain, no matter what the difficulty. My dad is older and doesn't love traversing or flats, but I'm down to hike or sidestep if the goods are worth the work. We want to go somewhere that has good expert/backcountry/advanced terrain that is OPEN with good quality snow. We were thinking Banff or Arapahoe basin, so I'm wondering which one of those is better, or if there are other areas open this late in the year, which ones are the best? I've been to Utah in April and it was great but I checked Snowbird and they have a good base but only like 30 runs open. Any suggestions for this weekend?? Thanks!! 

post #2 of 23

Snowbird is showing Mineral Basin closed, probably due to avalanche danger from recent snowfall, but it should reopen, giving more terrain. Peruvian Gulch side of the mountain will remain closed due to tram cable replacement.

 

If you go to Arapahoe, you could also ski Loveland, which will be open until May 8.

 

Other areas open include Squaw, Mammoth, and Mt. Bachelor. From your description, I think you would like Mammoth.

post #3 of 23

Too hot, too soon in Alberta. Daytime highs in Banff last week were significantly warmer than an average July day.

 

Lake Louise is down to a handful of patchy runs. Closing Sunday (one week early), but probably should be closed now.

 

Coverage at Sunshine is better, but pretty awful on Goat's Eye (which is down to a couple of runs). Overnight freezes have been soft, so snow is isothermal. Anything that could slide is closed, and some, like north Pocket,have. It's slushy groomer-zoomers for now.

 

Things might cool off, and we could get a big dump before close, but that's not a gamble I would take.

 

In normal years, SSV is pretty good in May. Louise is rarely great this late, but almost always better than it has been over the last month or so. 

 

Strange, hot spring. 

post #4 of 23

Do you have any type of pass?

 

Denver has the most options for skiing this weekend.   ABasin, Loveland, Mary Jane and Highlands are all open.

I'm landing in DEN 7am 4/29 and skiing Loveland, Highlands, Highlands and Loveland, departing DEN 5pm 5/2.

 

I just wish the weather was going to be a little better.

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

Do you think Snowbird or the areas surrounding Denver (Abasin, Loveland, etc) have better quality snow and more challenging areas open?

post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmeijer15 View Post
 

So it's almost May 2016 and we've decided to go on a last-minute ski trip this weekend...Both of us that are going are very experienced skiers and open to trying new terrain, no matter what the difficulty. My dad is older and doesn't love traversing or flats, but I'm down to hike or sidestep if the goods are worth the work. We want to go somewhere that has good expert/backcountry/advanced terrain that is OPEN with good quality snow. We were thinking Banff or Arapahoe basin, so I'm wondering which one of those is better, or if there are other areas open this late in the year, which ones are the best? I've been to Utah in April and it was great but I checked Snowbird and they have a good base but only like 30 runs open. Any suggestions for this weekend?? Thanks!! 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmeijer15 View Post
 

Do you think Snowbird or the areas surrounding Denver (Abasin, Loveland, etc) have better quality snow and more challenging areas open?

Welcome to EpicSki!  Since you are new, thought it was worth noting that if you were to meet up with SHREDHEAD and follow him around, you'll be plenty challenged at either Loveland or Highlands.  He's been skiing around Aspen a long time and a challenge for experts to follow. :)

 

Have you ever ski A-Basin or Loveland?

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 

That's sick! I've never skied either of those areas; I'm from the Midwest and I've only ever been to the areas around SLC! 

post #8 of 23

Blackcomb and Mt. Bachelor are open until the end of May.

 

I plan on traveling to Blackcomb in my truck camper in mid May, then camp along the Washington-Oregon coast before heading inland to Bachelor.

post #9 of 23
I am at A-Basin for an extened Spring Fling. 10 days in to a 20+ day stay. I have $75 Super Senior Pass age 70+, $209 I think for adult rest of season pass.

36 inchs in 7 days from the last omega block, 42" since I got here. A few inches last night and a afternoon/evening storm a day predicted thru Friday.

Check Alpine Slopes Lodge 970-513-9009 where I am staying 5 miles from A-Basin, across from closed Keystone. Trip Advisor 2015 award winner. Nice hot tub and good service.

At least 95% open, scheduled closing 5 JUNE, but likely later.

Snow has been good, at the winter to spring transition, back to winter with each storm.

Negative has been low visability with storms and wind. Few bluebird days.

PM me for more if you are coming.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmeijer15 View Post
 

Do you think Snowbird or the areas surrounding Denver (Abasin, Loveland, etc) have better quality snow and more challenging areas open?

 

Normally Snowbird, but this year with the Tram and Peruvian closed, it's probably  Abasin, LL and MJ.

Highland's normally competes well with Snowbird on it's own.  But I guess the sun got too a lot of the terrain last Friday and the skiing was extremely challenging last weekend and not in a good way.

Personally, I'd wait for better weather if I had a choice, but Aspen Ski Company hasn't made a decision on opening for Memorial Day, so it looks like I'm going this weekend!

post #11 of 23
Mary Jane open thru May 7, Loveland also but not sure of closing date. Loveland Pass backcountry has been very good, but you missed last Friday Moonlight rave with several hundred ski, snowboard, dogs, and one monoski
post #12 of 23

Prediction is for 10-20 inches  of new snow Thursday and Friday, snow showers  Saturday-Monday for Summit county & Front Range

 

Traction Laws (AWD or chains) will be in effect.  If you come I recommend staying in Dillon/Silverthorne/Frisco/Keystone for access to A-Basin.

post #13 of 23

Lots of good terrain still open at A-Basin...snow should be good, visibility, not so much, but there is some protection for expert skiers under the Pali lift.

 

By Joel Gratz
POSTED 2 MINUTES AGO
samc.jpg
By Sam Collentine
POSTED 1 DAY AGO
 

Day 1-5 Forecast

FORECAST UPDATED: 32 MINUTES AGO | BASE ELEV: 10,780FT | FORECAST ELEV: 11,920FT | SUMMIT ELEV: 13,050FT
THU
APR 28
Day
1-3"
 
 
Snow and Breezy
32°F
FREEZING LEVEL
Below Mtn Base
WINDS
SE
Gusts to
30-40mph
Night
2-4"
 
 
Snow
20°F
FREEZING LEVEL
Below Mtn Base
WINDS
E
Gusts to
20-30mph
 
FRI
APR 29
Day
3-6"
 
 
Snow
28°F
FREEZING LEVEL
Below Mtn Base
WINDS
E
Gusts to
20-30mph
Night
2-4"
 
 
Snow then Snow Likely
17°F
FREEZING LEVEL
Below Mtn Base
WINDS
W
Less than
20mph
 
SAT
APR 30
Day
2-4"
 
 
Snow Likely
29°F
FREEZING LEVEL
Below Mtn Base
WINDS
SW
Gusts to
20-30mph
Night
0-1"
 
 
Chance Snow
15°F
FREEZING LEVEL
Below Mtn Base
WINDS
E
Less than
20mph
 
SUN
MAY 1
Day
0-1"
 
 
Chance Snow
28°F
FREEZING LEVEL
Below Mtn Base
WINDS
SE
Gusts to
20-30mph
Night
0-1"
 
 
Chance Snow
18°F
FREEZING LEVEL
Below Mtn Base
WINDS
SE
Gusts to
20-30mph
 
MON
MAY 2
Day
0-1"
 
 
Chance Snow
33°F
FREEZING LEVEL
Near Mtn Base
11,200ft
WINDS
NW
Gusts to
20-30mph
Night
0-1"
 
 
Chance Snow
20°F
FREEZING LEVEL
Below Mtn Base
WINDS
NE
Less than
20mph

Day 6-10 Forecast

post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
 

 

Normally Snowbird, but this year with the Tram and Peruvian closed, it's probably  Abasin, LL and MJ.

Highland's normally competes well with Snowbird on it's own.  But I guess the sun got too a lot of the terrain last Friday and the skiing was extremely challenging last weekend and not in a good way.

Personally, I'd wait for better weather if I had a choice, but Aspen Ski Company hasn't made a decision on opening for Memorial Day, so it looks like I'm going this weekend!

It won't be springlike, but if Highlands gets the 8-17" predicted for today and Friday, don't you think it will ski nicely this weekend? Some wind in the forecast and the under layer may still be firm but powder is always nice.  

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

Welcome to EpicSki!  Since you are new, thought it was worth noting that if you were to meet up with SHREDHEAD and follow him around, you'll be plenty challenged at either Loveland or Highlands.  He's been skiing around Aspen a long time and a challenge for experts to follow. :)

 

Have you ever ski A-Basin or Loveland?

+1, SH skis fast, so bring your A game if you meet up with him!

post #16 of 23

Yes, I think the skiing will be good and ASC pushed up Highlands opening to Friday, because of the storm.

post #17 of 23

A-Basin. Alberta is pretty much done for the season. Usually I'm still skiing until mid-May, but this year has been so hot (literally hot - temps have already been in the high 80s in Calgary!). Sunshine usually has these great early May snowstorms...but doesn't look like it this year.   :(

post #18 of 23

Quote:

Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmeijer15 View Post
 

Do you think Snowbird or the areas surrounding Denver (Abasin, Loveland, etc) have better quality snow and more challenging areas open?

 

Normally Snowbird, but this year with the Tram and Peruvian closed, it's probably  Abasin, LL and MJ.

+1 Having the entire Peruvian side of Snowbird inaccessible is a big loss IMHO.

 

Normally by May I'd strongly recommend Mammoth over Colorado for more consistent spring skiing. I had 2 excellent days there Tues/Wed 4/26-27and it's still winter conditions today and tomorrow with a few inches more new snow. 

 

But Joel's forecast is for full-on deep mid-winter powder of 10-20 inches this weekend in Colorado.  So if you're making the last minute call for this weekend, that's where you should go.


Edited by Tony Crocker - 4/29/16 at 8:30am
post #19 of 23
Leaving for MDW @ 3:30.
Taking the hound for his last run till May
post #20 of 23
Landed 7:15.
Loveland didn't look that great at 9.

Rallying to Highlands was the best call!


No line at the cat.
This mountain kicks ass!
Still dumping.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Landed 7:15.
Loveland didn't look that great at 9.

Rallying to Highlands was the best call!


No line at the cat.
This mountain kicks ass!
Still dumping.

 

I can't believe how badly I want to be there... off-seasons weren't like this before I joined here; I would just completely forget skiing until at least September!

post #22 of 23
Skiing just been off the hook. Highlands for the storm days and today was a sled day with my boys.







Loveland tomorrow if anyone's around?
post #23 of 23
Hadn't seen this thread. Loveland yesterday...

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