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Best Late April Resort

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
My best week to take a road trip this year won't be until the last week of April. My family is a group of solid intermediates who stick to the blue/black groomers mostly but like a challenge now and again with easy bumps or tree skiing -- not into extreme terrain at all. Night life is unimportant to us.

Any suggestions on the most dependable conditions at that time at a resort that is suited to our abilities and still open that late? Searching past posts it looks like either Snowbird or Whistler are good late season bets, however, I am open to just about any place in N America.

Thanks for any input!

[ September 01, 2002, 03:42 AM: Message edited by: gForce ]
post #2 of 23
Snowbird and Whistler are both good bets, but don't overlook Arapahoe Basin. Unlike the other two, The Basin is likely to have mid-winter conditions into May.

The best thing to do, though, if you can, is wait until the season has a chance to play out a little. See what areas have the best snowpack come spring--then make your reservations!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #3 of 23
My favorite late spring skiing mountains are as follows:

1. Whistler (Every skier should go to Whistler at once) They close quite a lot of terain about the end of April so you should check ahead carefully.

2/3 Mammoth Moutain, CA. Don't ski on the weekend however. Ski during the week. The have been selling season passes starting about May 10th for the next year and you can use them the rest of May til they close. About $375 the last couple of years. A large part of Mammoth closes about the 24th / 30th of April but you can still ski some great runs in May.

2/3 Mt. Bachelor, Oregon. The summit lift is awesome on a sunny day in May. Only about 3-4 lifts are open after the 24th of April however you can ski most of the hill.

Mammoth and Bachelor are the two best late spring skiing hills in the states in my opinion.

Just my thoughts. Take it for what it is worth
post #4 of 23
I had a week of very fine powder at Whistler a couple years ago in the first week of May. It just didn't stop snowing. Maybe every 4th chair on all lifts were occupied. However, only the top tier and a half of lifts were worth skiing before the falling snow thickened to slush, and in the village was torrential rain. So the best skiing was limited to about the upper 2200 vertical feet, which is still more vertical than a lot of mountains have.
post #5 of 23
We have been to Whistler in April for the past two years, over Easter. There was still a load of snow at the top of the mountains - and it snowed when we were there- but lower down it was slushy. Skiing back to the base was not a great option and we downloaded on the gondolas most days.We had a few sunny days as well, which is not something Whistler is especially known for. When it was snowing it was raining at the village, heavily !! What you should watch out for is they close Blackcomb mountain in late April and you may find that if you go last week in April you only have Whistler open to ski on.I think they close for economics ie not enough people to keep both mountains open rather than lack of snow
post #6 of 23
Whoever gets the big snow over the winter has the best late spring skiing. Whistler probably has the best April from a social standpoint, lots of activity in the village in the spring, but they often get rain in April so the skiing is a toss up. Mammoth also has among the most consistant spring skiing.
post #7 of 23
Don't forget Sunshine Village. They have the latest winter conditions on the continent.(Both altitude and latitude). Springtime storms are the ones that sometimes get the powder density down into the 3% range, a condition seldom seen out at the coastal resorts, if ever. It isn't uncommon for weather patterns to turn the skiing back to winter conditions for a couple of days even late in April. --- That said, it is still a crapshoot!!
post #8 of 23
You won't find any tree skiing at Sunshine!

I'll have to toss my vote in with Bob. Ski Loveland and A-Basin. There is nothing more fun than those two places in late April or early May.

It will be cheap, there will be no crowds, and the skiing is superb.
post #9 of 23
Errrr... if I were taking a week in late April and lived in Maine, I'd be awfully tempted to stay local. You pay your dues all winter for that month of glorious spring skiing. Sugarloaf is my favorite eastern skiing in April.

If you're booking a trip that involves an airplane, you're best off picking a place that has lots of different exposures and elevations so you can follow the sun around if it's spring conditions. I know people sneer at it but I've always found that Squaw is great in April. For some reason, Californians don't ski all that much in April so it's not crazy like midwinter. You have a much better shot at a week of continuous sunny days than Whistler.
post #10 of 23
Squaw will not be at full operation in late April. KT and the entire lower mtn will almost surely be done by then, leaving not much up top. Alpine might be allright, but Mammoth is a way better choice if travelling all the way across the country.
post #11 of 23
What happened there?
Lots of people got in before me and said "Whistler", that would be like people singing the praises of Bandit XXs before Oboe!

Yes, I would agree with the consensus above that Whistler would eb a good choice, if you want to stay in North America.

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the great responses (and keep 'em coming!). Staying local is a tempting option but often that late in April terrain and conditions are very limited. After a seeson in Maine, though, I was also hoping to treat myself to a trip away. I had never thought about going to Europe -- I will look into it. I will likely keep my eyes open as to conditions and snowpack through the season and book later.

Thanks again!
post #13 of 23
If you're thinking about Europe, consider Val d'Isere/Tignes in France or Westendorf/Kaprun in Austria. Choose an area with a glacier just in case the rest of the mountain is getting low.

post #14 of 23
Originally posted by colin:
What you should watch out for is they close Blackcomb mountain in late April and you may find that if you go last week in April you only have Whistler open to ski on.I think they close for economics ie not enough people to keep both mountains open rather than lack of snow
According to their website, Blackcomb's last day is scheduled for April 27, 2003.
post #15 of 23
Originally posted by Wear the fox hat ?:
If you're thinking about Europe, consider Val d'Isere/Tignes in France or Westendorf/Kaprun in Austria.
Um... isn't Westendorf part of the low-lying Ski Welt? I'm going there in January, but wouldn't recommend it at the end of April.

Aren't you supposed to be correcting ME about that part of the world?

[ September 03, 2002, 08:50 AM: Message edited by: jamesdeluxe ]
post #16 of 23
Hi James,
You may be right (I've never been there), but one of my friends who owns a ski shop goes there at the end of every season (late April), and seems to get a lot of skiing in.

post #17 of 23
Where is this ski shop? Kaprun or Westendorf? I'd like to ask him/her some questions before I go...
post #18 of 23
His ski shop is about 10 miles from Belfast!

He does know the area well. If you wanted, you could email him. He may be able to help.
Contact him through his web site:
The Ski Shop web site
Click on the ski section, and you'll get a link to email him at the bottom of the ski home page.
Tell him Stewart suggested you mail him.

post #19 of 23
Sorry... I misread your previous post -- thought it said "one of my friends owns a ski shop there."

I'll contact him when we get closer to January. Thanks!
post #20 of 23
i would suggest keystone, but the lower mountain can be slushy by then; but arapahoe is right next door. you should be able to get good lodging rates and they stayed open until the last week of april the past 2 years; even in last years bad snow season. then you can ski arapahoe on the same ticket, which is 5 min. away and drive to loveland too and you have the town of breckenridge for shopping+dining only 30 min. away.
post #21 of 23
If you're seriously talking crossing the Atlantic, Val Thorens is the highest resort in Europe. I was there in May for 4 days this year and it snowed continuously for the first 3 of them. The downside is that the area round Val Thorens itself is not that big, and the lift links to the rest of the 3 valleys are rather dependent on conditions. However it's the same problem at the glacial resorts - if only the glacier is open there won't be a big variety of skiing.

Val Thorens is a long drive from the airport however.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Funny, that nobody has piped up about Snowbird. I had understood it was a good late season destination. Any Utah bears with any input?
post #23 of 23
I'll put in a vote for Bachelor. The advantage of Mt. Bachelor, besides great spring skiing, is there are tons of other things to do in the Bend area that time of year including great golfing, mountain biking & white water.

If you're driving all that way you could also go by Mt. Hood.
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