Resorts in the age of global warming: or end-of-season frivolity?
Celebrate the end of winter with corn snow and a healthy dose of debauchery at these resort-closing shindigs.
April • Breckenridge
Get your spring fever ya yas out by entering Brecks iconic rite-of-passage spring comps, which include the Massive Slopestyle Competition and the Imperial Challenge, a pseudo-triathlon featuring a bike-skin-ski course. The Bud Light Concert Series, Spring Beer Festival and Après Ski Bar Crawl will also be back, along with our personal favorite: the Mascot Olympics.
51st Annual Loveland Derby
April 14-15 • Loveland
Expect up to 600 competitors, many in costume, for not only the largest, but also the oldest amateur slalom ski race in North America. The entire mountain shuts down, as all of the main ski runs are required for the races. Not into competition? Volunteers earn free lift tickets for next season. And everyone is welcome at the rowdy post-derby BBQ.
Spring Back to Vail
April 9-15 • Vail
Spring Back to Vail is a weeklong extravaganza with free concerts and an on-mountain filmmaking competition open to both professionals and amateurs. The week culminates with the World Pond Skimming Competition, quite possibly the most fun you’ll ever have watching people on skis. Costumed participants launch themselves off an on-snow run across a 100-foot pond in an attempt to successfully exit the pond on both feet.
August 14-19 • Aspen
It’s impossible to say the word schneetag, German for “snow day,” without smiling. Similarly, it’s impossible to partake in, or spectate at, Aspen Mountain’s annual Schneetag without laughing your ass off. Teams of four pilot a homemade vessel down the slope in front of Bonnie’s Restaurant in an attempt to sail across a 30-foot pond at the bottom. Teams must perform a skit before descending, and are judged on costumes, creativity and flight distance.
6th Annual Parking Lot Cook-Off and Tailgate Party
April 15 • Monarch Mountain
Monarch’s annual cook-off party is designed to bring out a ton of laughs, and closet chefs willing to do just about anything to win next year’s season pass. Contestants are judged on their culinary skills, style and spirit, which means the food and costumes get hilariously creative. And don’t forget about the Kayaks on Snow event the week before, where competitors race down a specially designed course on the mountain (read: bumps and berms) in a kayak, ending in an icy pond paddle race.
April 14-15 • Steamboat
Crazed costumed skiers and boarders go careening down the mountain in attempt to propel themselves across the pond at the bottom. Like most pond skimming comps, competitors are judged on costumes and distance, but Steamboat adds crowd response, so bring your most raucous friends.
April 14-15 • Copper Mountain
The end of ski season isn’t so tragic at Copper, thanks to Woodward, a year-round ski and snowboard training facility featuring a 19,400-square-foot indoor playground. But just in case you’re feeling blue, there’s plenty of closing weekend festivities and free concerts as part of the annual Sunsation celebration.
Coca-Cola Spring Splash
April 22 • Winter Park
Winter Park boasts the oldest pond skimming competition—44 years to be exact. Participants come out of the starting gate backward, and navigate an absurd obstacle course before attempting the ubiquitous icy pond in hopes of reaching the finish line on the other side. Unlike some of the other pond skimming comps, this one is judged on time, which adds a comical sense of urgency. Stick around for the free live music afterward.