If you don’t feel like you got enough time on the slopes this winter, well, you’re in luck: This year’s ski season could end up running into the summer.
That may seem a bit bonkers (skiing on Memorial Day?!), but according to a recent New York Times report, some resorts are hinting that they may stay open into June or even July. For now, a number of big names have already said they’ll be operating until at least late May: California’s Mammoth and Palisades Tahoe, Utah’s Snowbird, Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin, and Vermont’s Killington.
“The snow coverage at resorts is amazing right now, probably top five all-time,” Michael Reitzell, the president of Ski California, told the Times in an email.
It’s a big change of pace after a snow drought early in the season limited opportunities for skiing and snowboarding. Now, thanks to storms that are dropping several feet of powder in just a few days, resorts across the country are seeing record snowfall, with recent numbers making up for the prior deficit. At Killington and Pico, for example, the mountains have accumulated enough snow to match the five-year average, but that’s with 30 percent less snowfall in December and January.
Skiing later in the season can come with a whole host of benefits, including lower rates and less crowded slopes. And it seems that people are already taking advantage: Killington, for one, has sold 20 percent more spring skiing passes than it did last year.
But more snowfall also comes with more challenges. While the late-season powder may help out West in terms of water shortages and wildfires, dangerous conditions can trap people in their homes and lead to increased avalanche danger. For those willing to brave the weather anyway, they might find themselves stuck due to road closures or at a resort where the ski lift isn’t running.
Out at Palisades Tahoe, for example, the resort had to close for three days due to heavy storms. Yet even that has a bright side: So much snow fell then, the resort will be able to stay open for an extra five to 10 days in the spring, the Palisades spokesperson Patrick Lacey told The New York Times.
So to all the snow bunnies out there, don’t put your skis and winter gear into storage just yet.