Tips for Spring Skiing 1
By Ed Fowler, Guest Author

Over the last ten years the investments in snowmaking and grooming have helped to extend the snow season on the slopes locally to the end of March with most terrain open. It is not for the lack of snow the resorts start to think about closing but lack of participation. Some of the best riding of the season can still be had, but a few things need to be considered to make it more fun and less work.

The freeze thaw process, twigs, pollen, dirt, waxes, cosmic dust, etc tend to build up in the snow and in your wax. Snow aking is marginal. Snow surface can range from firm and packed in the morning, to wet granular mid day, to loose granular at night and everything in between. Grooming is still going on, but heavy traffic will bump up the steeper slopes. The whitest snow is always the driest and firmest snow to ski on in the spring. Sunglasses or goggles, sun screen and old shoes for the messy parking lots are a must. Thank goodness for the pit zips, and zippered side pants.

Temperatures are in the mid 20’s for lows and high 40’s and above for highs. Conditions of the surface will depend on the following: temps, user traffic, shade, sun, steeper slopes that face the sun will absorb more heat and base depth. The general rule of thumb, follow the sun. Green and less steep blue runs will have none or very little bump up.

Sticky spots can be found near the bottom of slopes, hit it fast and flat or the suction can throw you down. Try to slow down and stay on edges, making turns.

Wax will enhance your glide and delay muscle fatigue, re-wax for warm conditions. If the wax is the wrong type or no longer providing glide, muscles will get fatigued faster. Injuries happen due to fatigue. Wax tends to shed off over a day or two. Use a high fluorinated wax or rub on wax then buff with a pad. Even a quick rub on or crayon on warm wax and buff with Scotch-Brite, will do wonders. Shops can do the work but most need overnight or 2 days turnaround, check with them.

As always, remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort

Reader Comments

RobbieA
March 9, 2010
Good tips. also leave the long sticks at home, ski on the shortest skis in your rack. Spring is a great time for Snow blades.

The best time to ski in the spring is right when the lifts start turning and an hour after sun down. The snow firms up nice after the sun goes down.

Ski and Tell

Speak truth to powder.

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