top 10 reasons to hit the slopes this spring
When the snow is the consistency of a sugary 7-Eleven slushy, outdoor enthusiasts all around the country rejoice! For the dreary gray days of winter are now behind us and mother nature gifts us with bluebird skies.
The mountain culture fully awakens as the vibe shifts to a daily party. Our senses are graced with the fresh aromas of spring. With daylight savings comes extended sunshine; the urge to dash home before the cold dark night subsides, as our biological desire to hibernate thaws along with the thickest of ice.
So, what is it that makes spring on the mountain the happiest time of year? There truly are a plethora of reasons, but we have boiled it down to the top ten.
1. Spring fashion! Get geared up for a wardrobe change, because warmer air means less layers and more opportunities to show your true colors. The 70s and 80s resurface in vintage and remastered retro apparel. Time to pull out your favorite bikini, jorts (cut off jean shorts… highly fashionable), animal onesies, and t-rex suits, because all are acceptable as closing day approaches. Or keep it classic with your favorite shades and a Turtle Fur trucker!
2. The end-of-season events. Feel like you need an occasion to bust out a wacky costume in public? Sign up for a pond skimming competition! Banff mountain in Canada hosts the oldest pond skimming festivities known in North America. This will be the 91st year of the legendary event. Sugarbush Resort in Vermont, right in Turtle Fur’s backyard, is known for challenging individuals with the longest skim – 120 feet! Whether you dare to test out your winter waterskiing superpowers, or are simply looking for entertainment, you will surely have a healthy laugh at any pond skimming event near you.
3. Your body finally gets the opportunity to naturally produce vitamin D, and reap the benefits! The combination of the tilt of the Earth’s axis and the longer days leading to more time for the Earth to absorb the sun’s rays, create the warmer temperatures we begin to experience in the Northern Hemisphere’s spring months. Skiers and riders are no longer covering every inch of skin to avoid frostbite, and with that, we are giving our skin the chance to catch some rays. This direct exposure to sunlight causes our bodies to naturally produce vitamin D. So, what is the big deal? Vitamin D is incredible for three main reasons: it reduces depression, it helps maintain a healthy functioning immune system by aiding in the regulation of calcium and phosphorus absorption, and there are even studies promoting that it can assist in weight loss. Let yourself soak in the sunshine, and have fun fighting over which friend has the best goggle tan! SPF is still important, especially with the highly reflective white corn on the ground! Did you know that Turtle Fur’s Totally Tubular™ necks are made of the UV performance fabric Comfort Shell™? At UPF 50, it blocks 97% of UV rays!
4. Get every single minute out of your day! As someone who enjoys playing outdoors, it is thrilling to have time to sneak in a training run, cycling adventure, or even brave a stand up paddle, after a day on the slopes. Achieving multiple sports in one day is an exceptionally rewarding feeling. As the sun sets later and later in the evening, you gain a sense of freedom from the constrictions of a dark sky. Mountain communities such as the one found at Bolton Valley Resort are known for their locals taking every advantage of this bonus daylight. Even on days without night skiing, it is common for a crew of seasoned regulars to catch the last chair and chill at the infamous Cobrass Café (Note: this is not an actual café…) and enjoy a brew while watching the sunset before calling it quits. The sinking sun transforms the space above you to pinks and purples as you traverse downhill savoring the magic.
5. Tailgate parties, parking lot grilling, live music, need I say more? No more hiding at indoor bars and restaurants and patiently waiting for the coveted seat closest to the fireplace. The après ski scene moves outdoors!
6. Hero snow! As the snow pack softens under the glowing sun, it creates a phenomenal base for turning. You feel like the next Jeremy Jones as you meticulously lay your edge down in spring’s forgiving mashed potato snow.
7. Fewer Jerry sightings. Less people means less clueless individuals on the slopes, shorter lift lines, and an overall better experience compared to those absurdly crowded peak season vacation days.
8. A great time to learn how to ski or ride. No frozen fingers, less people to crash into, softer snow to cushion your falls – the spring is an awesome time to pick up a new sport! As a skier from age four, this is my favorite time of year to experiment with a snowboard, because, let’s face it, falling on ice hurts.
9. Enjoy a good bargain? The deals available at the end of the season are unbeatable. This applies to lift tickets, new gear, lesson packages, and lodging rates. It all gets better as the winter wanes.
10. Happiness all around. There is something about being out in the open air, enjoying time with like-minded individuals that make this an extra special time of year. Perhaps it is the vitamin D, or simply everyone’s stoke feeding off of one another. Endorphins are flying, drinks are being poured, and it’s all smiles from here on out!
Spring is an undeniably incredible time for the winter sports community. The serious side of winter is history, and a level of chill takes over. Go shred up your local resorts, reward yourself for enduring the skin-cracking wind chill of the past, and soak up that sweet, sweet, sunshine. See you on the slopes!
Photo credit: Jason Gerhart + Shelby Farrell @fresh_world_press