After a less-than-average snow year at top ski areas, including traditionally powder-filled Colorado resorts, snow-conscious skiers are putting more effort into finding the best conditions for their late spring ski vacation. Fortunately, whether by nature or ingenuity (resorts that increased their snowmaking capacity this year saw a great return on investment thanks to early cold temperatures), not every destination has suffered a snow drought. For an April or even May excursion to the slopes, consider one of these top destinations:
Best Resort for Powder Chasers: Mt. Bachelor, Oregon
Mt. Bachelor was the anomaly in 2011-2012, ending the season with more than 500 inches of snowfall, according to OnTheSnow.com. This year, nature proved even kinder, dropping 639 inches by mid-March alone. High altitudes and steady powder ensure consistent conditions throughout spring, allowing the resort to keep its traditional closing date of May 26.
Best Resort for May Skiers: Mammoth, California
With a base depth of 200 inches at the summit, Mammoth should have no trouble delighting skiers through its projected May 31 closing date. The resort has historically enjoyed great April snow, averaging more than 48 inches over the last seven years, and currently has one of the highest recorded snow depths among North American resorts.
Best Resort for Groomers: Deer Valley, Utah
Skiers love Deer Valley for its unfailing consistency – a consistency that extends even to snow quality. Guests of the skier-only resort know they can expect silky corduroy slopes from December to April; and thanks to state-of-the-art snowmaking, that’s exactly what they get, even in low natural snow years. With less-than-average snowfall through mid-March, Deer Valley still enjoys a healthy 70-inch snow depth at the base great conditions at higher elevations. Deer Valley Resort will close for the season on April 14.
Best Resort for the East: Mount Snow, Vermont
With snow depths reaching 51 inches and snowfall reaching more than 100 inches this season, Mount Snow offers some of the most consistent conditions in the East. The resort doesn’t promote a specific ending date, but with events running through early April, including a mogul contest on April 6, skiers can likely bet on open slopes for another few weeks.
If you really can’t let go of the exhilarating feeling of flying down the slopes and sipping drinks on the ski beach, consider heading South for a summer ski trip. Chile’s Portillo resort and Australia’s Selwyn Snowfields are popular options in the southern hemisphere.