Although keystone events of spring are absent this year, one thing there is plenty of is spring snow. Spring in the Wood River Valley brings about juxtaposed weather patterns mixing courteous doses of sunshine and thaw inducing temperatures with winter flurries inflated by frigid arctic winds. While the south slopes turn a muddy brown and the lower valley starts to get buds on the trees it is still winter up high. Some of the best turns of the season happen after the calendar says the seasons have changed.
The most obvious place to get your turns in is Baldy. Corny and soft snow awaits you for that oh so glorious spring “pow” turns. Although its little brother Dollar Mountain, with its rad terrain parks, is probably closed this late in the season, there are a few “pocket” parks plus all the classic hits scattered around Baldy.
Winter certainly hasn’t waved it’s red flag in the higher elevations. Depending on when you’re reading this, Baldy will either be nearing the end of their sanctioned lift service or closed. If they’re finished up for the season, it’s up to your self-ascending or snowmobiling access to get those last winter fixes.
Go for a hike… Or a snowshoe rather. The melt freeze cycles make for a nice crust layer in the mornings allowing you to cruise around and explore wherever your heart desires.
Speaking of that crust layer, this is the time of year that you’ll see cross country skiers actually going cross country and venturing off of the usual groomed trails. Although the south valley trails and bike path are probably plowed by now there is still plenty of skiing to be had up north and around Galena Lodge.
Pack the sunscreen!
Your pale face and skin has been covered up all winter and this warm weather and long days beg to get some vitamin D, but be warned that spring snow is extra reflective and nobody wants to be applying aloe on the way to an easter egg hunt.
Cherish the slush! This snow can often be frowned upon by powder chasers but seasoned veterans now that some of the best turns of the season are during the slush days!