Spring kicked off on Sunday with the vernal equinox, and as April approaches, it’s the time of ski season when skiers and snowboarders look forward to laid-back days on the slopes. The focus is on a few relaxing runs under bluebird skies and then sideways to the slopes, rather than racking up lots of vertical feet. It also means concerts, festivals, goofy contests and pond-skimming exhibitions.
In a month, 20 ski areas in Colorado will be closed for the season, leaving only seven still in operation: Aspen and Copper Mountain are scheduled to close on April 24. Loveland, Winter Park, Breckenridge and Vail will do so in May (Vail plans to close May 1), while Arapahoe Basin is expected to remain open until mid-June as usual.
There are too many concerts to list here, so suffice it to say that music will be a big part of spring skiing at most resorts. With time running out in the season and the days getting longer, here’s a list of other spring events scheduled for Colorado ski resorts over the next month.
Arapahoe Basin: Celebrating 75 years of skiing, A-Basin is planning three days of special events during the first weekend in April. They will include a sit-down dinner at 6th Alley Bar & Grill with a 1946 dress encouraged on April 1 ($75); a ’70s-themed Bump and Bash event on April 2 ($25 to participate); an after-hours uphill event called Uphill and Chill from 4-6 p.m. on April 2 that ends with beer and pretzels at Steilhang Hut ($30); and a Wall Scavenger Hunt is April 3 ($25). In addition, there will be après ski parties on April 2 and 3 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Mountain Goat Plaza. And don’t forget pond skimming in June when the Arapahoe Basin is Colorado’s only ski area still open.
Aspen Snowmass: Aspen is also celebrating its 75th anniversary season and its annual Spring Jam festival from March 25 to April 3 will feature competitions, concerts and parties. There will be night skiing on Aspen Mountain from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on March 25 and 26 ($7.50), as well as sunset skiing until 6 p.m. at Aspen Mountain on April 1. The next day, watch the banked slalom competition at Snowmass. Other activities include a free snowboard clinic for beginners, taught by professional riders and teachers, called Terrain Park Boot Camp. Several concerts are planned, including Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats on April 2 in downtown Aspen.
Beaver Creek: As part of Beaver Creek Bloom, there will be après ski events in the village this week. On Thursday, guests are invited to take part in a twilight glow ski run, followed by a fireworks display. Download for the downhill ski starts on the Haymeadow Gondola at 6.30pm. On Fridays at 7:30 p.m. there will be a ‘fire show’ featuring performers incorporating flames into their acts, including fire juggling and acrobatics. On Saturday there will be a FunFest in the village with carnival games and prizes, cartoon drawing, DJs and more.
Brekenridge: Breck will host its pond-skimming event, “Splash into Spring,” on April 30, but unlike other resorts, it won’t mark the end of the season. Breck expects to stay open through Memorial Day. During end-of-season operations, the ski area will operate on peaks 6, 7, and 8, with access to high mountain terrain. No beginner pitches will be available when end of season operations begin.
Cooper: The Ski with a Ranger information visits will take place from Sunday until closing day (April 17). Learn about tree, plant, and animal species from a volunteer U.S. Forest Service ranger, plus stories about the history of Cooper and the famed 10th Mountain Division, which trained in Cooper for World War II mountain combat.
Copper Mountain: The first Jump & Freeze event will take place at Copper’s Center Village on April 16th. Skiers and snowboarders are encouraged to dress up and dash into a pool of icy water – on skis, snowboards or whatever would look great crashing into an ice bath – in front of a crowd cheering epic wrecks. Anyone 18 and over wishing to participate can register before April 3 as an individual or as a team of two or three. Entrants will be notified of their selection on April 5.
Eldora: A banked slalom event will be held April 2-3 with competitors on a luge-style course with $10,000 in prize money up for grabs. Additionally, the 10 Barrel Snow Beach Beer Garden will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until the end of the season with live music. Currently, Eldora is scheduled to close on April 17.
Keystone: The Springtastic Closing Weekend Celebration will take place on April 16-17. There will be live music, a rail jam and the return of the Keystone Slush Cup, a pond skimming event, on closing day.
Monarch: Monarch’s signature event, Kayaks on Snow, will take place on April 16. There will be one-on-one kayak racing down a snow slope with berms, embankments and bumps, ending in an icy pond. The cost of entry is $40. Also on closing day you can run to the top of the Gunbarrel Trail, ski up and down. This event is free.
Purgatory: Purgatory’s Pond Skim will take place on April 3 with music and beer with prizes for best skim, best wipeout and best costumes.
Steamboat: Free concerts on weekends until closing day (April 10) and special events: an uphill/downhill race called Cody’s Challenge (April 2); the 40th annual Cardboard Classic, which features competitors riding homemade snow slide creations made of cardboard, glue and tape (April 9); and the Splash Down Pond Skim on April 10.
Vail: Most Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through April 24, live music is scheduled at MidVail, Eagle’s Nest, International Bridge, and Vail Village, Lionshead Village, and Golden Peak.
Winter park: There will be a banked slalom event on April 3, an uphill race (costumes encouraged) on April 9, a Beach Bash on April 23, and the Spring Splash (pond skimming) on April 24.
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