As the season lurches towards the Easter period, a lot of resorts are reporting spring conditions (which just so happens to be one of our favourite times of the season!)

This is the time of year to take a layer off, put a little SPF 30 on, and ski in the afternoon sun. Spring is a great time to be on the hill — the days are longer, the prices are better, and crowds begin to thin. Spring skiing conditions can be a mixed though, and having a few specific strategies for dealing with what you get from late March to May can make or break your late season trip.

Spring Skiing Strategy

Strategy is as much a part of spring skiing success as solid carving skills are. Know the weather forecast and be on the hill for the ideal skiing window—don’t ski when the runs are bulletproof, and avoid the late day melt-down when the ski experience becomes more like the one you’d find behind a boat. Use your head and follow the sun, skiing east-facing slopes at the start of the day, then move to south slopes, and then ultimately west and north-facing slopes later in the day.

Technique is really the least of your worries — it should be about as easy to deal with as any skiing you do, so long as you’re discerning in where, when, and what you ski. But here are a few tactics (courtesy of to keep in mind to maximize the fun:

  • First, look for smooth patches of snow that haven’t been touched by other skiers. Untracked, wet snow is almost as fun to ski as fresh pow, and the sides of the runs are usually the place to find a clean slate.
  • Mind the piles! Depending on where you ski, you’ll probably encounter piles where most skiers have been. Do your best to navigate the slope to either surf along the wads, banking off them like your own skiercross course, or choose to arc through the slipped-off troughs nearby. Lacing your turns together in like kinds of snow will allow you to find your balance and better maintain it from turn to turn. Travelling at speed without paying heed to the slippery troughs and sand-like piles will result in a stop-and-go game of fore-aft catch up that often ends badly.
  • Last, let the ski do the work by focusing on rolling the skis onto edge rather than driving against them or constantly pushing them through turns. Soft slush can feel very “grippy” which can tire out a person if he or she is overworking the skis. Let the turn develop by using the skis’ shape, tipping them over to carve through the slush leaving a more defined track in the snow. If attempting this tactic only results in a build-up of too much speed, consider trying a shorter, wider, more shaped ski—you might be surprised by how well you can do and how much fun can be had!

Don’t forget to check out our promotions page for some of our best value late deals and go check out the sun, slush and apres-ski!