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Best Conditions for 1st Week in April

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
We are planning to take a ski trip for a week in the 4/2 - 4/11 time period.  What recommendations are there for the best bet on good snow conditions at that time?  Summit County, CO or Park City area are likely areas, but would be open to other considerations.

Thanks for your help!
post #2 of 25
 Since there is no way to know the right answer to this, you can guess any thing you want. I'll just say Snowbird.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
I agree there is no way to know ... just looking for the voice of experience as to which resorts generally have better conditions at that time of year.  Thanks!
post #4 of 25
 Mt. Bachelor is a good spring destination if you're looking for a lot of blue terrain.  You need a car and can't stay at the mountain.
post #5 of 25
Big Sky was Epic..in more ways that one. 
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post

 Mt. Bachelor is a good spring destination if you're looking for a lot of blue terrain.  You need a car and can't stay at the mountain.
Hmmm ... 2 strikes against.  We have a 5 year old, so we like staying in places where access is very convenient.  Too bad we can't match those desires with a reasonable budget in most places!
post #7 of 25
 Sugarloaf could fit the bill.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

 Sugarloaf could fit the bill.
Sorry ... I should have clarified that we want to go west for this trip.  All of our skiing in the last few years has been in the east (Vermont),so we really want to try to get out west in that first week of April.
post #9 of 25
Solitude/Brighton. That late in season, should probably be able to get some good rates on slopeside at Solitude. Brighton is only about 3 minutes down road for something different. Could also make a side trip to Alta/Snowbird if you don't mind driving one day. Other option is Alta/Snowbird. Park City can be good that time of year or it can get pretty soft. I was in PC until April 5 last year and it was great. However the high 2 weeks earlier was working on 70 degrees. 
post #10 of 25
 How about one of the lodges at Alta. They have a good ski school and they will have snow. Probably good snow.
post #11 of 25
Find the Tony Crocker recommendations for the best spring areas. We went to Snowmass/Aspen last year for spring break and had great conditions. You need altitude and north facing runs. We have done the Summit County resorts in years past and had pretty good luck, some days it got pretty slushy at the bottom but if you stayed higher up on the mountain it was fine. One thing with the Aspen resorts, you need to check the closing date, I think a couple closed around April 5th last year.
post #12 of 25

Here's an old thread on this topic including a post/link to Tony Crocker's spring skiing recommendations. See #1 below.

The other suggestions are good. I've had very good luck in two recent trips to the Summit County area of CO. 15" new for a visit in early Apr 2007 (see #2 below) and 18" new for mid Apr 2009 visit (see #3 below).

Besides convenient slopeside skiing at Keystone, Breckenridge or Copper, there are also the perennial kings of spring skiing = Arapahoe Basin and Loveland. The last two are pretty much locks on decent Apr skiing, but don't have slopeside accommodations.  Your mileage may vary because Apr can always present risk of slush or reduced trail counts.
As a fellow East Coast person, April skiing out West can be amazing; small crowds, discount prices, often kid friendly weather.  It gives me the nice feeling of a bonus mini-ski season coming a month or so after my local mid-Atlantic skiing has ended.  And, at least for my two recent visits, the best snow I skied those winters. 
 

1. http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/41924/best-skiing-in-april
2.
http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=1022&mode=rss
3.
http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=1200&mode=search }.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the posts ... this is good information to go on!  I will assimilate and narrow down to 1-3 areas.  I may be back with more questions on specific resorts.

Thanks Bears!
post #14 of 25
You don't figure out where to go for the first week in April in the last week of August -- you figure it out in early or mid March.  Start looking in earnest four or five weeks before, so you can lock down a plan with airfare before the 14 or 21 day window.

Case in point:  In late February 2006, it looked like Tahoe had a bust of a season.  Then it started snowing on February 27 and stopped six weeks and 450 inches later.  Here are my sons (five years old at the time) on the back side of Alpine Meadows on April 9, 2006:



Criteria should include:
  • Snowpack in March
  • Historical closing date (probably not much of an issue, since most places you'd think about going won't close until mid to late April regardless)
  • Availability of lift, lodging, and airfare deals (at least the first two will be plentiful, since most civilians don't consider April "ski season")

Random thoughts... Many Tahoe resorts have a "spring pass" deal in the $150 range, but I'm not sure how prevalent those are elsewhere.  The only times I've skied Mammoth have been July 4th weekends; it should be fully open then and has plenty of terrain to keep you interested all week.  Snowbird should have good snowpack and deals as well (I stayed slopeside for $100/night, including lift ticket and breakfast, in spring 2008).
Edited by TheDad - 8/24/09 at 6:38pm
post #15 of 25
Bachelor is actually pretty good for convenient access.  You can find lots for reasonable lodging in town, 22 minutes from the parking lot.  Then you ski from your car right to the lift. As in back the hatch up to the snow and on to a run.  Stop by the car any time to change to a lighter jacket. I'd rather do that than many of the shuttle- bus, ski boot clomps found at other resorts.

Unless you can pay for actual slopeside, you won't find it much less painless.

Here's what it looked like May 13th.



Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbes429 View Post



Hmmm ... 2 strikes against.  We have a 5 year old, so we like staying in places where access is very convenient.  Too bad we can't match those desires with a reasonable budget in most places!

 

Edited by newfydog - 8/24/09 at 5:18pm
post #16 of 25
I agree wholeheartedly with the above 2 posts.

Bachelor is intermediate friendly, early April is perhaps its best time of year and Bend is certainly a good destination for a "reasonable budget."   The drive up the hill is on a straight and gradual road that rarely closes despite the impressive snow record.

TheDad's advice is something we should remind people about more often.  There is way too much paranoia (no doubt fed by the marketing people) that you have to book ski trips in autumn to get the best deals. This is not often true (depends some on particular resort and timing) and will be even less of an issue in 2010 with the soft economy.

One of the advantages of a late season trip is that you don't have to book it until mid-season.  Thus you can completely eliminate the inadequate snowcover/not all the runs open downside that is all too common during Chrismas week and in low snow years.
post #17 of 25
Snowbird, Ut

after they get though december there is no place in america that get the amount of light dry snow they do.

IN april it can still be mid winter, heck in may it can still be mid winter.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

Snowbird, Ut

A great place, especially when you have a knowledgeable and kind local to show you around. 

That said, remember that the OP has a five-year-old, of indeterminate ability.  If there's been a warm spell and the bottom of the mountain is getting rank, there won't be much beginner and intermediate terrain on tap.

There is no upside to committing now, only downside.
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice.  We will just research some likely spots for now and wait to see what the season brings for conditions.
post #20 of 25
Good points so far...Would add that 5 year olds ski free at Loveland, A-Basin & Copper, but not at Keystone & Breck...lessons are another story, but a few years ago my daughter got a free week in France when they were trying to attract April customers so it is worth checking out individual websites for deals.  Not sure when your kid's b-day is, but I paid $30 online for my daughter's '09-10 Copper/Steamboat/Winter Park season pass this year before she turned 6... 
post #21 of 25
Almost every ski area has good snow in late March and early April. They all run out of skiers before they run out of snow. It may be a little icy early and a little slushy at the bottom late but overall there is plenty of snow and usually plenty of fresh snow up high at all the major resorts in the Rockies. That said, Breck is high and when you're looking for snow look UP.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

Snowbird, Ut
IN april it can still be mid winter, heck in may it can still be mid winter.
 

Bushwacker already gave you option #1.

There is a very good reason why all the "Let's Go Colorado" events always started in Summit County, CO the first week of April.

If you want the best possibilities of consistent snow, these are (IMHO) the best places in the US for the first week of April.
post #23 of 25
Higher elevation is better.....nothing else matters because you can't count on it if you are booking early.  Summit County CO will have the most predictable ski conditions in the US at that time.  You can gamble that you will get powder (lots of it if you get it) in UT or if hasn't snowed in several days then the conditions at A-Basin or Loveland will be the best in the US.
post #24 of 25
Whistler. While it may be a snow rain toss up, the last couple of aprils have been awesome.

Stevens Pass Washington 2008 (similar conditions 07 and 09 just don't have any pics)

April 2nd or 3rd



April 4th

post #25 of 25
I've had great luck in the Cottonwood Canyon resorts already mentioned, so I'll add my vote to those. Brighton/Solitude/Alta may have terrain more suitable for a 5-yo, but all ought to be good!
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