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Family ski vacation guide with the best ski resorts for family skiing

Month: April 2015

Who’s Still Skiing?

cannon-ravineIt makes me sad every ski season,  skiers call it quits in April just as the sun comes out and the best skiing of the year is here. These are the same yahoos that line up in early November to ski a ribbon of manmade snow on one trail in low light and short days. Now we have the longest days of the season, sunshine and as much as 50% of the terrain open on a winter’s worth of snow at some of the top ski resorts in New England and the Best Ski Resorts Out West – the Kings of spring skiing .

Yes, you need to wear sunscreen and watch for bare spots and brown snow, aka: snirt which is snow + dirt.  And yes, the perfect corn corduroy does get squishy in the afternoon, but the ski slopes still have legit base depths, and a fun spring fever attitude. You can rock your jeans and your retro ski attire – ridiculous spring fling outfits from the closet are perfectly appropriate now.

Out west, Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, Snowbird, Winter Park, Mammoth, Squaw, Mt Bachelor and Timberline are still open for skiing.

In New England, Killington, Sugarbush and Jay Peak are still spinning, Okemo plans to reopen April 24-26.

6sugarloaf-summitSugarloaf  will keep skiing into May. Sunday River re-opens April 25-26 weekend, and finishes the season on May 2 with their free SkiMaynia tradition. Wildcat, the only NH ski resort still open,  skis through April 26, then plans to re-open May 2-3 weekend.

Get out and enjoy the spring skiing while it lasts. You will have plenty of time for biking and HB_waterski09waterskiing later.

Grab your shades, a cooler for tailgating apres ski,  SPF 30, and your Dad’s one-piece fart bag, or whatever screams out from the closet. The more outrageous the better. That lousy limited low-light November skiing is still six months away.

K, go ski! See our Top New England Ski Resorts for Spring Skiing and the Best Out West for late season skiing!

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Heather Burke, 2016 Copyright & Photography property of Family Ski Trips

For the Love of Spring Skiing

Loon-Kathy-Heather-SkeaI love spring skiing. Its the best, the conditions you wait all year for – sun, soft snow, temps above freezing, a free dress code without face masks…

Its mid April and  just 14 of the best spring ski resorts are still open in New England. Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Loon, Cannon, Sunapee, Wildcat, Jay Peak, Killington, Mad River Glen, Mount Snow, Okemo, Sugarbush, Stowe, and Smugglers Notch remain open this week for skiing and riding. Bretton Woods, Magic, and Saddleback plan to re-open next weekend for skiing.

Last year, Tax Day 2014, many of the same ski resorts were still open for skiing, but with much lower trail counts – 20-50%, versus this season where Cannon, Wildcat,  and Jay Peak, even Mad River Glen are near 100%! Some of my favorite ski trails really shine come spring time.

 Western ski resorts are envying our East Coast snow pack, some California Lake Tahoe resorts closed mid March.  Its nice to feel their jealousy for a change. Its also nice to post on facebook that you are still skiing – ideally a photo in the sunshine rockin’ a headband and shades. Be sure to ski wearing high SPF, sun on the ski slopes is intense!


1ski-wildcatSunday River
, Killington, and Wildcat all pledged to keep skiing til May.  These ski areas need your support to justify spinning lifts, grilling burgers and paying their staff – so show up and ski!

See our Best New England Ski Resorts for Spring Skiing and Top Western Ski Resorts for Spring Skiing

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Heather Burke, 2016 Copyright & Photography property of Family Ski Trips

Easter we ski – Family Ski Traditions

What’s your Easter tradition? My daughter Aspen came home from college for Easter obsession-2ski (3)weekend, not for family brunch or church – but to ski. Her roommates asked her, “What’s your family’s Easter tradition if you don’t go to church like everyone else?”

“We ski,” my daughter replied. Since our kids were first learning to turn, we would take them to Sugarloaf or Sunday River for Easter weekend. We have skied in cold wintry blizzards and gorgeous sun with soft squishy snow. That’s spring skiing in New England for you. There have been many Sunrise Services, where we woke before dawn and loaded a lift in the dark, to witness the sun rise over the mountains followed by the most glorious ski down the mountain before it is open. The kids have found Easter eggs and chocolate on the ski trails, worn amosblueberrypierrevcostumes and bunny rabbit ears, had their pictures taken with Amos the Moose and Blueberry the Bear over the years. If that’s not a tradition, I don’t know what is.

So when my daughter requested coming home for Easter weekend from college to ski, we were ecstatic. Skiing together as a family – first tracks on Sunday morning was priceless and precious at Sunday River.

She’s a little grown up for egg hunts and mascot photos with Eddy and Betty the Yeti, preferring lunch at the Foggy Goggle with a more adult beverage, but the mountains of memories continue to be made. I hope your family enjoyed their Easter tradition as well.

The spring skiing in New England is the best right now… so get out and enjoy those high elevation ski resorts still 100% open.

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Heather Burke, 2015 Copyright & Photography property of Family Ski Trips

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