EXPERIENCE THE SWEETNESS OF SPRING SKIING & RIDING IN VERMONT
Jen Butson, email@example.com
Head to Vermont’s mountain resorts this spring for a slew of seasonal "Bests" from more sunshine and less crowds, to family events, maple festivals and getaway packages. Here are some crowd pleasers:
1. Take a Layer Off: The average high temperature for sun and fun in the bluebird days of March is 37 degrees. Additionally, daylight hours are longer which allows for people to rise with the sun at 6:05 a.m. and enjoy après-ski sunsets at 7:00 p.m.
2. Lift-Lines no Longer: March sees a drop in skier visits compared to the holiday vacation months of December, January and February. That’s more mountain for you to enjoy!
3. Good Snow: Vermont averages more than 1000 trails to explore during March. The soft and plentiful snow, coupled with ideal temperatures, also make it a superb time for learning to ski or ride.
4. Save a Buck: Skiers and riders visiting Vermont in March and April are met with lift ticket bargains.
5. Special Events: Spring fever is done right with back-to-back parties: rail jams, barbecues, beach parties, Mardi Gras, St. Patty’s Day, Maple Open House Weekend….here’s a few to (pond) skim over: Events & Deals.
BOLTON VALLEY RESORT
Bolton Valley Resort typically changes the hours of operation for skiing and riding with the clocks in the spring, offering up breathtaking sunsets from the resort’s west facing slopes. Skiers and riders ski into the sunset and watch the sky glow red and orange, tucking behind the Adirondacks. Look for spring extended hours and special ticket pricing in early to mid-March.
BURKE MOUNTAIN RESORT
Burke Mountain celebrates the sweetness of spring with its annual Maple Festival.
Adults and children alike keep the energy flowing with a good healthy dose of sugar on snow. There’s also the March Season Pass Sale that allows new season pass holders to enjoy the remainder of the season, while locking in next winter’s season pass at an incredible price.
MAD RIVER GLEN
Mad River Glen will host its traditional Easter Festivities on Sunday, April 8, 2012.
The day kicks off with an Easter Service on the summit of Gen. Stark Mountain at 8:00 a.m. Those attending can ride the lift up beginning at 7:30 a.m. The ever-popular tradition of multiple Easter Egg Hunts are at 10:00 a.m. Per Mad River tradition, there are actually two separate egg hunts. The first, for “slushwalkers,” ages 5 and under, takes place in front of the Basebox Lodge. “Liftriders,” ages 6 to 12, will search for their eggs on the appropriately named Bunny trail. Prizes are awarded to the best egg hunters. Mad River Glen’s unique costume parade follows the egg hunts, beginning at noon. Costumes are judged in many categories including best overall, best group, most humorous, best hat, best couple and the costume that best represents Mad River Glen. Get in the spirit and start planning your costume today! The festivities conclude with a chicken barbecue right after the parade.
Magic loves spring so much that it’s one of a few ski areas with lift service extended to 5:00 p.m. once the clocks spring ahead. Skiers take full advantage of the extra daylight to get more great turns in spring when storms traditionally bring the mountain some epic powder days as well. A highlight of spring at Magic is the annual Spring Fling celebration. Barbecues on the deck, ski races and après events are on March 17. Special spring rates apply so it’s an even better time to ski southern Vermont’s legendary terrain in a spirit of relaxation, warmth and good times with the Magic faithful.
Mount Snow’s reputation for some of the best events in the nation elevates in spring, the time for many of them. On Friday, March 16, lift tickets are $17 in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day with green eggs and kegs in the morning, live Irish music throughout the day and the search for the Pot O’Gold containing a season pass for the following ski season.
Nothing says spring like soft snow, cold beer and live Reggae music. March 23 – 25, Mount Snow Reggae Fest is back for its fourteenth year and is expected to be as groovy as always with three days of live performances from some of the top talent in the Reggae world. Don’t miss the Sink or Skim pond skimming competition or the always entertaining Duct Tape Derby.
The Third Annual Mount Snow Winter Brewer’s Festival returns on April 7 with more than 15 breweries from around the region pouring over 40 beers and ciders while the Gladiator Extreme Bump Contest rocks Ripcord trail with talented bump slayers aiming to get down Mount Snow’s steepest trail with as much speed and style as possible.
OKEMO MOUNTAIN RESORT
For bragging rights that include an awesome goggle tan, skiers and snowboarders head to Okemo Mountain Resort for a variety of springtime events and activities that culminate on April 7. It’s a chilly spring dip for costumed skiers and riders who don’t make it across an 80-foot long slush pond at Okemo’s annual Slush Cup pond skimming competition. This popular competition is open to the first 125 participants. Fabulous prizes are awarded in several categories: best costume, driest competitor, best wipeout and more. Registration starts at 8:00 a.m. and the pond skimming starts at 11 a.m. Later that same day, Tug o’ War will determine the strongest (and driest) team in the Okemo Valley. This single-elimination battle lands one team in the slush pond every round. The victorious team of eight wins $250. Registration is free and limited to the first 16 teams. Visit Okemo’s online press kit for more events.
SMUGGLERS’ NOTCH RESORT
At Smugglers’ Notch Resort, families who visit during March Break, March 10-15, can enjoy many of the special events usually reserved for the major winter holidays, like fireworks and après celebrations, without paying holiday pricing. From March 16 through April 7, the popular Club Smugglers’ Winter Base Package starts at $79 per youth and $109 per adult with lodging, daily lift tickets and use of the indoor pool, hot tubs, FunZone family entertainment center and snow tubing as inclusions. Spring celebrations include the statewide Maple Open House Weekend on March 24 and 25, when the resort serves as home base for guests exploring local sugarhouses, and the resort’s BrewFest on April 7 featuring favorite local and regional brews, music and munchies.
STOWE MOUNTAIN RESORT
March on Vermont’s highest mountain is the peak winter experience. Generally, when most skiers and riders plan a trip to the mountains they target late December through February. Amazingly enough, those aren’t the optimal times to enjoy the best weather, snow-conditions, deals and overall experience; March is.
Stowe Mountain Resort receives an impressive average of 333” inches of snowfall each winter. At least one-third of that accumulation consistently occurs in March. Last year Stowe reached nearly 300” before March even arrived. That means some of the deepest snowpack in the Northeast is on Vermont’s highest peak, Mt. Mansfield.
Great snow and moderating temperatures are the templates for mountain conditions every March in Stowe. Couple that with fewer people on the mountain, a calendar of fun events, ski & stay packages that offer great value and you’ll discover the ideal time and place to ski and ride.
Events this March include the East Coast Super Shoot, Cliff House Summit Series Dinners, Eastern Cup Finals, Vintage Ski Day, Stowe’s Spring Summit Celebration, Ski Club Appreciation Days, Spruce Peak Performing Arts Shows and more. For information call 800.253.4753 or visit www.stowe.com/vacation/specials/.
STRATTON MOUNTAIN RESORT
Spring is a wondrous time at Stratton Mountain. With March being the snowiest month of the year at Stratton, there’s lots of snow to slay under warm sunny skies. Spring also marks the arrival of skiing and snowboarding’s biggest athletes when they descend upon Stratton to compete in the 30th Annual U.S. Open of Snowboarding, March 4-11 and the US Freestyle Championships, March 20-26. Watch as Olympians and pros including Hannah Kearney, Louie Vito and Kelly Clark compete for the top titles in their sports. Spring at Stratton isn’t just made for spectating. Get in on the competition at evening rail jams, the annual Pond Skim in mid-April and Mountain Mayhem, a Memorial Day Weekend rail jam. Outdoor barbeques, bluebird days, Long Trails on the deck at Grizzly’s at the base – spring at its finest.
Once the lifts close at Mt. Ellen in late March, the Lincoln Limo - a 12-passenger luxury cabin snowcat equipped with a flat screen TV and cushy seats - is available for private bookings for skiing and riding on Sugarbush’s highest peak.
Sugarbush is the only resort in the Eastern U.S. to offer cat-serviced opportunities such as skiing/riding, dining, sightseeing and more. The April Cabin Cat Lincoln Peak experience – for parties as large as 24 people – takes advantage of warm sun and soft snow.
For the late season fun – which runs until the snow melts - a Sugarbush guide, a gourmet barbeque lunch and a cash bar at the Glen House is included in the cat skiing package.
TRAPP FAMILY LODGE
Over the past three years, Trapp Family Lodge trails have been open until mid-April. In March, skiing or snowshoeing to the property’s sugarhouse is a popular activity to enjoy stunning scenery and learn about the centuries-old tradition of making pure Vermont maple syrup. There’s even sugar on snow parties and the beginning of April features a Spring Fling Party to celebrate the winter season.
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