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end of ski season

Spring Skiing Pros and Cons

Arialle Hess
Skiing is a winter activity, however, it can leak into early spring. If you are lucky enough to live near a mountain resort that is open during this time of year, you are probably aware of the effect the change of seasons has on this sport. 
 
At Bear Creek, “spring” skiing typically starts in the beginning of March and continues until the snow is gone. With continuous snowmaking from the Mountain Operations team all winter long, the snow on the slopes lasts longer than what’s in your backyard. So, even though your street is clear and the birds are chirping, don’t forget there are still plenty of turns to be made on the mountain.
 
Skiers and snowboarders have mixed feelings about spring skiing. Those for and against have reputable arguments, but at the end of the day most skiers and riders will enjoy whatever is left of winter. 
 
We encourage all guests to come out and experience spring skiing in PA and decide for yourself!

Weather Conditions

PROS: Warmer weather allows for less layers. The time for bundling up is finally over. It’s a wonderful feeling when you don’t have to worry about freezing fingers and your toes going numb after a few runs. Get out and enjoy those warm sunny days!
 
Another pro is a late-season snow storm. Although the rising temps normally yield rain, there is always one that takes us by surprise. All winter enthusiasts secretly hope for one last dumping of snow to coat the slopes.
 
CONS: Possible rain; the one thing every winter enthusiast dreads to see in the forecast. With the temps on the rise, any precipitation will most likely be liquid. Although most resorts do operate in the rain, it definitely doesn’t make the Top 10 Best Ski Days.
 
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Slope Conditions

PROS: Soft snow makes turning easier. The first half of the day provides skiers and riders with optimal conditions.
 
Before the sun starts beaming, the soft snow makes digging in your edges easy and carving super fun, but it’s still firm enough that your skis glide; giving you all the confidence to make you feel like an expert skier.
 
Another pro is it doesn’t hurt too much if you fall. With the warm sun rays penetrating into the thawing ground, it would be a challenge to find an icy spot.
 
CONS: Mushy snow can be super slow and tricky to navigate. The second half of the day provides more of a challenge to skiers and riders.
 
Once the sun hits the slopes and skiers have left their tracks, the water-laded snow slows you down and choppy conditions make it difficult to carve, which can lead to risk of accidents and injury. Your skis can sink deep into the snow, feeling like you are dragging them through sludge. Plus, the wet snow gets you soaked if you fall.
 
Another con is narrow runs. Once the snow starts melting, we lose that edge-to-edge coverage. No more glades or skiing the spine.
 
If your mountain has night skiing, watch out for a change in conditions. If the night temps still drop below freezing, all that mushy snow hardens up fast as soon as the sun dips down. The slopes can become very slick.
 
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Crowds

PROS: Ski resorts are less crowded. Once the streets are clear and the air warms up, people want to get back outside for the sports they left behind in the fall. Spring sports begin for kids, and runners and cyclists jump at the chance of unsalted roads.
 
While others look to plan their spring breaks in warmer places, take advantage of the deserted lift lines. The Hotel at Bear Creek still has availability for those looking at a safer alternative by staying local. Plan to spend your spring break skiing and beat the beach crowds!
 
CONS: The first few days of warmer weather might attract a crowd, but the appeal normally fades once the soccer fields open.
 
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Events

PROS: Pond skimming, and other year-end events. Although many resorts host on-hill events throughout the winter, you can’t escape the excitement of the events that come with spring skiing. Plus, who doesn’t like fun times, prizes, and free swag?!
 
Another pro is enjoying the outdoor bars and grills that accompany the events. When the weather is nice many food and beverage outlets take their business outside; enticing you with delicious smells that travel all the way to the chair lifts. What better way to celebrate another successful season than by enjoying a cold beer on the deck with friends and family.
 
CONS: Due to COVID, many on-hill events are not happening this year to ensure the well-being of guests and staff.
 
Bear Creek usually hosts Pond Skimming, Cardboard Box Races, and Snowmobile Races. Each event attracts a unique crowd of its own; however, due to safety concerns for guests and staff, the resort will not be hosting these events for 2021.
 
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We don’t know how long the snow will last, but Mother Nature has been very kind to us this winter and one can only hope that we will still be skiing in April. As of now, there is still plenty of snow left on the slopes to make some turns.
 
Lift tickets for March are being released on a weekly basis. Rental equipment and snow tubing tickets are still available online as well.
 
Slope conditions are updated daily via the snow report. And don’t forget to take a peek at the webcams to see what’s going on before you arrive.
 
We hope you decide to come out and join us this year for some spring skiing!
 
Bear Creek wants all its guests to feel safe during their visit. If you have concerns about how the resort is handling its operations during these times of uncertainty, please view the complete Winter Operational Plan, a comprehensive cleaning and sanitization program (EVER STRONG) and a socially-responsible event program (EVENT STRONG).
 
 

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