Now that it is officially spring, it’s time to shed some layers, load on the sun screen and hit the soft stuff. But please note, springtime shredding is by no means bad, in fact, spring conditions can give rise to some of the best days of the season. You just need to know how to approach it.
The first piece of advice is to get out early and lock in those edges on some fresh corduroy. With spring’s freeze-melt cycle, the mornings are prime for testing your edges on some hard-packed and extra-grippy groomers.
Once things start to heat up, you should follow the sun. It will soften up the icy spots just enough for some slush-surfing. Go find some banked features and try your hand at spraying some heavier stuff. Pretend you’re Kelly Slater if you snowboard or these guys if you ski. Even get wild with some moguls, as soft bumps make it easier on beginners while learning and can be just as fun for the well-seasoned. And please, avoid the shaded areas at all costs, as it will be a like an ice rink once people have made some turns on them.
This next one is not a riding tip, but it may be the most important thing to takeaway. And that’s how to layer. You should not be sweating while you ski or ride even though it can be quite strenuous. If you sweat, it’ll freeze, and you’ll be colder than you would have been without that extra layer. So, test out if you run hot or cold while you ski, what the weather and winds will be like, and start experimenting to find your perfect setups.
The best advice I ever got was to “start cold.” As taunting as it may be to leave your heated car with only a shell on, it will prove to be worth it. Skiing and snowboarding will warm you up warm quite a bit.
Also, do not put your powder skis or your hopes and dreams away just yet. Springtime is the season for huge storms followed by bluebird days. Be ready to roll with everything you needed for the deep, winter days when the forecast is announced.
Lastly, enjoy yourself. Make the most of your last turns of the season, no matter what the conditions, as you will be sitting in your home at some point over the summer fantasizing about your last pow day. Go have ápres outside or grill in the parking lot and spend as much time as you can at the mountain… before it’s too late.