7 Tips and Tricks to Make
Spring Skiing More Enjoyable!
1.High Fluoro Wax
High Fluoro wax will make a huge difference in wet spring conditions. This wax is incredibly hydrophobic and virtually eliminates the extreme slowing that comes with wet spring snow. It's expensive wax, but it truly makes a big difference. The next best low-cost alternative is a product called, Zardoz Notwax. Zardoz is a wipe-on teflon product. It's very easy, just wipe it on twice-a-day. Zardoz is better than regular wax but is still not as good as High Fluoro wax.
2) The Best Spring Skiing Happens Early in the Day
Get to the slopes early and leave early. Be on the chairlift as soon as they open and look for south facing and east facing slopes. South and east facing slopes are going to be the first to soften and will most likely just be getting soft at 9 am.
3) Slope Direction Makes all the Difference
The direction the slope faces with respect to the sun makes all the difference. Ideally, you don't want to ski on bullet-proof ice and also don't want to ski in 6 inches of slush. The best skiing is where the snow is just starting to soften up. Choosing the right slope throughout the day makes all the difference. In the morning, look for east and south facing slopes. These will get the most direct sun early in the day and will be softening before northerly and west facing slopes. North facing slopes will be the last to get soft. So those should be saved for later in the day.
4) Look for Shade
In some situations, the snow that is still in the shade may be icy, yet the snow on the exact same slope that is in the sun is too slushy, but the snow that is just coming out of the shade has just the right amount of softening.This particular situation may take place in the morning but will not take place in the afternoon or on warmer days.
5) Look for Places Where Skiers Have Not Skied
Skiers help create goopy, unpleasant slush. If you can find slopes or even parts of the slope where no skiers have been, there will be a lot less slush.
6) Steep North Facing Slopes
Steep north facing slopes will be the last slopes to soften. Head for these slopes later in the day.
7) Different Spring Days bring Different Conditions
Conditions are going to depend on temperature for any particular spring day. Some days in spring may be much colder and on those days, the snow will soften later in the day, so getting on the slopes as soon as they open becomes less important. On warm spring days, it may be so warm that all slopes are soft as soon as the sun comes up. These days don't make for good spring skiing. As any long time skier can tell you, there are fewer good spring skiing days than there were 30 years ago.
Making the best of spring skiing definitely takes some thinking, judgement, and planning. Thinking about where the sun is at any given time of day, and planning on being on the right trails at the right time, and even on the right part of the trail.
Thanks for reading!
If you have any questions or any of your own spring skiing suggestions, I'd love to hear from you. Please put them in the comment section.