Top 5 Tips for Spring Skiing

Tamarack Return

Happy first day of Spring! Spring skiing in the Sierra’s is a world renowned opportunity to sample winter with milder weather and abundant sunshine. Although most folks equate good conditions with fresh snow, locals will tell you that springtime is when they really get to enjoy the unique conditions created by cool nights and warm days. Just like the traditional maple sugaring process, spring skiing relies on below freezing temperatures at night and a warming trend throughout the day. Add the company of friends and you have the perfect match for enjoying the last weeks of the season!

Here are the top 5 tips for taking advantage of spring skiing at Heavenly:

    1. Wax your skis for the weather.
      Spring conditions may make skis feel sluggish and sticky. Treating your skis to a “hot wax” will ensure they glide seamlessly over groomed and off piste terrain. There are also several rub on waxes that take just a few minutes to apply, and can be used mid-day to keep the skis moving smoothly all afternoon.
    2. Catch the best conditions at the right time by tracking the sun.
      Just like “parking in the shade” during the summer, some trails on the mountain stay protected from the sun while others are slowly warmed throughout the day. The key is to locate areas the sun has lightly softened, which create a silky sensation underfoot (similar to new snow).
    3. Hire a professional instructor.
      Heavenly’s coaches are your guide to everything from choosing the best skis, wax, terrain and technique to help you get the most out of your day. Some friends and families share an instructor for the entire day to get everyone a few tips on getting better faster, and knowing just where to go for the best snow
    4. Dress for the weather.
      Tahoe is known for getting a combination of spring like and wintery weather throughout March and April. If the forecast is for traditional warmer temperatures wear lighter layers and clothing with vents that can be opened throughout the day.
    5. Wear sunscreen.
      The suns intensity is increased by snow and altitude. Applying sunscreen throughout the day will help prevent the classic raccoon pattern that forms on your face when you get sunburn around your goggles. This can be extremely difficult to remove before returning to work after a “sick day”!

See you on the snow!

~Heidi Ettlinger
Heavenly Ski Instructor, Staff Trainer, Professional Ski Instructors of America National Alpine Team, HEAD Athlete, Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month Ambassador



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