photo by: Mark Oliver. Sun Valley, ID.
AMIE ENGERBRETSON- Squaw Valley, CA
Squaw Valley never really wants to close, so they drag it out, celebrating “closing day” pretty much all of April. There is the Cushing Crossing, an ultimate natural pond skim, which is a sure sign that winter is nearly over. Spectators usually pack a thirty-rack, sit on the shores, and take in the crazy costumes and big wipeouts. I have seen all types on crossing attempts: ski bike, snow blades, switch, a camel, 3 dudes-3skis, saucers, pretty much you name it I have seen it go across the Cushing pond. Best moment, watching Mr. Shane McConkey, swiftly cross and backflip out…
There is also the pass holders party up at high camp, which is a mountain top pool party where people are white, wasted and happy. It usually takes a few beverages before you are brave enough to navigate the crowed waters of the ski-town, dude infested hot tub. Eventually, everyone ends up in!
Last favorite closing celebration is the Chamois Closing Party. The Chammy is a winter mecca and second to Wildflour cookies, the best part about skiing squaw, other than the actual skiing part. The Chammy closing party crowd usually takes over the entire lawn, dogs and babies run wild, there is live music and everyone has a pitcher of Bud. It a fun sunny afternoon that just makes you more excited for winter to come again next year!
COLLIN COLLINS- Sun Valley, ID
Closing day at any resort is a ritual not to be missed. Ski and snowboard enthusiasts gather in celebration of another great season coming to an end, and of course to soak in one last hurrah on the slopes. Sun Valley, Idaho is no exception. The locals come out in force and you’ll find your typical “party on the mountain,” crazy costumes adorned and copious amounts of beverages consumed. But be ready to shred fast if you want to keep up. It will be a day of slushy 3,000 ft. vertical laps and debauchery on and off the mountain. Sun Valley will still have a ton of terrain open, thanks to their excessive snowmaking throughout the winter, and 4/20 is a late closing date for Sun Valley, so the weather should be exceptionally nice and warm.
Once the lifts stop spinning, a massive crowd assembles atop Bald Mt., where you can take in the glorious 360 degree view and soak in the vibes and the last rays of the day, but most importantly just party with hundreds of friends and drink beers. This summit gathering is also the place to rally the stoke in preparation for the final descent of the season. Eventually, by 4:30 or so, a parade of costume-clad characters then mob down the mountain, like a drunken Chinese downhill; although most take a much slower approach, milking the last turns for all they’re worth, perhaps even in the form of a mile long human slalom.
The real party starts (or has already started) down in the Greyhawk parking lot at the base of Warm Springs. Grills, tents, fires, kegs, and of course a wild local crowd will be holding it down, and this party is known to rage on well into the night. Stuff your face with some good old fashion BBQ off a tailgate, and revel in stories with the snow-loving community. From there you can migrate back and forth to Apple’s, the killer aprés spot at the base of Warm Springs. Apple’s will feature some live music, tasty food and flowing drinks, and you can find a strong local presence there, grooving to the music and recollecting the epic moments of the season. If you’re in the area or have a chance to come visit, I wouldn’t miss this closing day celebration at Sun Valley. SUNDAY APRIL 20, 2014.
BRITA SIGOURNEY- Park City, UT
Park city closing day is dangerously fun, emphasis on the dangerous. Everyone shows up ready to party (as they should) and shreds the park all day with pbr’s in hand and 200 of their favorite park rat friends. Things definitely get sloppy in the slush, especially skiing technique. Trains are popular but I’m not sure there’s any other option with so many people in one park. This year I heard there will be a holy bowly…. I don’t know what to expect but I’m sure it will be epic!
TYLER CECCANTI- Crystal Mountain, WA
Closing weekend, words that are bittersweet in the PNW. Every year when April rolls around I have a love hate with the month at my home mountain. On one hand I’m bummed the ski season is coming to a close, but on the other I always look forward to the shenanigans of closing weekend. The tradition at Crystal has always been Dummy down hill and bikini downhill, rain or shine, cloudy or bluebird. Nothing beats hanging out with a beer in hand watching girls in bikinis battling it out for a pass… magic. But it’s not always about the events on closing weekend. One thing I have noticed is you never know what to expect from Mother Nature. There has been multiple times my last runs of the year were blower pow and left me wondering why the mountain was closing. Or some years where its been T-shirt weather and patio lounging with PBR’s. The one thing that has always been constant is the locals. Locals at Crystal are always up and out having their own little party on the hill for the last day. Doesn’t matter if you know them or are best friends, they are welcoming people to join in on the party and celebrate the end of the year.