In my humble opinion, spring skiing is the best time of year in the ski world. You can look anywhere in the world and see the joy emanating from people who live in cold weather climates once spring hits. In ski culture, we experience that too, but we also keep on skiing. It’s the best of both worlds. The weather gets warmer. Snow is soft. Apres lasts longer complete with sunbathing. The weird comes out in the form of costumes and music and goofy events. But underrated and perhaps the best part of spring skiing at Sugarbush comes from an operational change: spring hours.
Each year around the end of March/beginning of April we shift our lift schedule back an hour. It’s a godsend for those interested in sleeping in a little longer (not that I ever get to do that anymore with kids), and it also makes a lot of sense from a conditions perspective. One obvious reason is that the sun sets later, so we leave a lift open for an extra hour.
The bigger reason the switch makes sense is because of the freeze/thaw cycle. In the world of spring skiing, we typically see a bit of a freeze overnight, followed by a warm-up during the day. This typically makes for first conditions until the snow softens up. In fact, oftentimes those first few runs before the sun gets things heated can be pretty tough, particularly on ungroomed terrain. Hence opening lifts an hour later.
This year, we’re moving to spring hours starting this Monday, March 28th. Monday through Friday all scheduled lifts at Lincoln Peak (Mt. Ellen will be closed after this weekend) will spin 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, with the exception of Super Bravo which spins 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Additionally, on weekends both Super Bravo and Heaven’s Gate will also open at 9:00 AM. It’s the same total hours of skiing on any given day, we’ve just bumped things back an hour.
Sometimes it’s easy to let skiing drift from your mind when April hits, especially if you don’t have any snow where you live. But this is some of the most fun skiing (and apres) around. Don’t put those skis away yet. Come carve up some corn.