Tips for enjoying season’s final days |

Tips for enjoying season’s final days

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – With just three days of skiing and riding left at Vail and Beaver Creek and the last snowstorm that produced any meaningful accumulation more than a month behind us, a little advice for the best way to enjoy the last few days of the ski season is in order.

The first tip is obvious – wait for the snow to soften up and skip first chair.

“Spring conditions prevail and the best time to ski and ride is late morning into early afternoon when the sun is out and the snow is soft,” said Beaver Creek Resort spokeswoman Jen Brown. “Variable conditions do exist. Later in the day, downloading is recommended.”

Spruce Saddle is still serving lunch, with both inside and outside seating available, she said.

“The top of the mountain has some great cruising runs and skiers should check the grooming report each day,” Brown said. “Springfest also continues through Saturday with afternoon activities for teens and families.”

At Vail, Spring Back to Vail festivities continue throughout the weekend, with plenty of fun to be had off the mountain including outdoor concerts and pond skimming Sunday afternoon.

Skiers and snowboarders also still have the chance to enjoy their last rides on the Vista Bahn Express Lift, Chair 16, which will be replaced this summer by a new gondola, said Vail Mountain spokeswoman Liz Biebl.

The new gondola, which will feature heated seats and Wi-Fi, is set to debut Nov. 16. The 2012-13 season is Vail’s 50th anniversary season.

Another good way to pass some time on the mountain while the snow is still softening up is to sit on a deck, such as the deck at Vail’s new on-mountain restaurant, The 10th.

“The upper Golden Peak Terrain Park is also still open and on-mountain dining is currently offered at The 10th, Eagle’s Nest, the Look Ma level of Mid-Vail, Buffalo’s and Express Lift,” Biebl said.

Vail Mountain Ski Patrol Director Julie Rust said ski patrol is assessing mountain conditions daily. She said people can’t take anything for granted on closing weekend.

“Go out and enjoy the good snow that’s out there and the good skiing, but don’t take anything for granted because conditions are different,” Rust said. “It’s a different year. Keep it slow, keep it in control.”

Rust said Avanti and Pickeroon are good picks for great spring skiing right now.

And for those who inevitably celebrate closing day with alcohol, Rust said to remain especially careful.

“Take good care of yourself,” Rust said.

The most important tip Rust can give for closing weekend is for people to enjoy themselves. Terrain is changing slightly every day, but whatever terrain is open, she hopes people enjoy it.

Assistant Managing Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or

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