This year’s record snowfall has kept ski junkies and snowboarders smiling all season. And it’s not over yet: Several West Coast resorts are helping enthusiasts squeeze in a few more runs by keeping slopes open through Memorial Day (and even July 4!), thanks to deep snowpack and even a dumping of several inches this week.
Here, a few destinations where you can continue to carve up the slopes with great spring skiing. If it's warm enough, go ahead and bust out the board shorts or bikini top (but don’t forget the goggles and sunscreen!)
Mammoth Mountain, CA: Summer skiing, anyone? This fave spot in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which has picked up a whopping 33.5 inches of snow since Sunday (and 55 feet total this winter), is scheduled for the fourth time in seven years to stay open through July 4. Judging by current conditions – base depth up to 19 feet, with fresh and packed powder and machine groomed snow – this is shaping up to be an epic season at Mammoth (www.mammothmountain.com).
Get on the slopes early (lifts open at 8am) and then slip into summer mode with a leisurely afternoon of golfing, hiking, mountain biking, or fishing. The resort is also hosting a Memorial Day bash, with activities including snow volleyball and Ping-Pong, music and food and drink specials, plus a frozen T-shirt contest. Additional chair lifts also will be open.
Crystal Mountain, WA.: Take advantage of great conditions and great prices while taking in views of nearby Mount Rainier. The resort plans to stay open through at least June 4 and possibly into July – or until the snow melts. Warmer temps also coincide with hot prices: $40 for a lift pass through May 22, $35 from May 28 onward. You can also buy a Spring Special pass for just $499, which is good for skiing through the 2011/2012 winter season. www.crystalmountainresort.com
Squaw Valley, CA: A perennial favorite among spring skiers and boarders, Squaw's challenging slopes will be open through May 30. Don't miss après-ski at the High Camp Lagoon and Spa, a mid-mountain party spot with a heated pool, a 25-person hot tub and several bars and restaurants. The resort (www.squaw.com) is also offering several spring skiing and accommodation deals, starting at $75 per person.
Whistler/Blackcomb, British Columbia: Blackcomb's last day of the spring season is May 30, but hardcore action will continue long into the summer on the mountain's Horstman Glacier. The summer hotspot for freestyle skiers and riders, the 93-acre glacier is open to intermediate-level skiers public from June 18 through July 24. www.whistlerblackcomb.com
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