There is still a ton of snow up high in the mountains, so ski areas are extending their seasons and preparing the Springtime festivities. Grab your sunscreen and retro gear and meet some friends out there to squeeze the last bit of fun out of this ski season. The month-long ski party starts this weekend.
Who's still spinning lifts?
Lake Louise is staying open until May 8th.
Sunshine Village, as always, will be open until the end of the May long weekend, May 23rd.
Norquay has added bonus days to their season, April 21-24.
Nakiska, too has extended until the 24th.
Marmot Basin is skiing and partying until May 1st.
Surprise, this weekend will be all about powder skiing, with snow forecasted every day this week and 16cm expected by Friday night. Another storm early next week will set the mountains up nicely for the rest of the season. After that, we'd expect to see a return to classic spring skiing conditions with warm weather and the melt/freeze cycles that bring corn snow and soft terrain parks. Thanks to the early snow and compact base that the Rockies started this season with, we've had great coverage all winter, even during the mid-season drought. That solid base has persisted, meaning that this Spring should have a lot to offer.
The resorts all have fun events to coax you off the couch (or your bike). Here's a list of the events we at Fresh are looking forward to.
Apres ski in the sun at Lake Louise. pic: Noel Hendrickson
April 23rd: This Saturday is Pass Holder Appreciation Day. Our favourite DJ, DJ Petch (the Lake's head avalanche forecaster and all-around good guy), will be playing outside the Banded Peak Base Camp. Pass holders get a free BBQ lunch and prizes, and there are drink specials for everyone. If you have a mid-week pass, you get to ski free for the day and if you have the SkiBig3, Super Pass and Rocky Mountain Pass, you get a free lunch as well. We'll meet you by the BBQ on Whiskyjack Deck!
April 30th: Mt Slushmore Pond Skim. Retro clothing, Shred Kelly playing loud, and a pond skim. The best thing about this pond skim is that even if you don't want to enter the event, anyone can try it out after 2 pm. If you've never tried skiing across water before, this is your chance. With the sun shining, getting wet is just part of hte fun. Bring an extra change of clothes and session the pond!
*BTW, there is a shuttle bus from Lake Louise to Banff, Canmore and Calgary, so you can ride instead of driving home after all the fun.
Party time at Sunshine Village. pic: Ben Girardi
Sunshine has its usual concert series rocking the Village every weekend. Tim Hus is now a Fresh favourite since he narrated Rob Heule's Left, Right, Left, and he'll be playing April 23-24. This year, Sunshine is giving out complimentary refreshments around the bonfire at the gondola base every weekend. But the on-snow events are what we are looking forward to most:
Holy Bowly is a park event with creative little features at the base of Divide Chair that can be linked together into snake runs. It's mostly a snowboard event, but skiers can get in there too. The invite-only event is April 25-29, but you can enter the public event on April 30-May 1.
Slush Cup Weekend! The big finale. This is how you celebrate the end of a ski season, with a May long weekend and three days of aquatic shredding.
May 21st: Slushshine Rail Jam is a rail jam but with water features added in. This could be the most fun you have all season if the sun is out.
May 22: Watergate Banked Slalom. Race ya! All the mayhem and flow of a banked slalom course with the added fun of a pond skim.
May 23rd: Slush Cup. Sunshine says this is the 94th (ish?) season of the most famous pond skim and the biggest party on skis. Every Rockies skier will be there in their most colourful Hawaiian shirt. For one day, we'll be praying for sun instead of snow.
Norquay terrain park. pic: Jamie Walter
Head north! Marmot Basin is throwing a Retro Weekend party up in Jasper from April 30th to May 1st this year, and if you buy your tickets online, the final day, May 1st, is 50% off.
The family resort in K-Country has extended its season until April 24th, and they say conditions are "AMAZING" for Spring. Gold Chair, Silver Chair and the Monster Carpet are spinning. Watch this week's snowfall amounts. There's a chance it up-slopes which usually means a sneaky powder day in K-Country.
Slush Cup!! pic: Dan Evans
Wax up the monoski, bust out the Zinka and squeeze into that one-piece suit. It's time to send the 2021/22 season out in style!