Photo: Aspen Snowmass
As skiers and riders, we know the first time on the snow is a monumental, defining moment. There’s a lot that goes into making your preliminary experience a good one, but the main assurances are having comfortable equipment rentals, an awesome instructor and ideal weather. You can have a good deal of control over the first two items, but Mother Nature isn’t something you can bend to your will, which is why we recommend learning to ski in the spring months when conditions are more mild and forgiving.
Here are five reasons why March is a particularly well-suited time of year to learn to ski:
1. Abundant sunshine + warmer temperatures
By March, the bitterness of mid-winter has worn off and the days are getting longer. Western U.S. ski resorts, in particular, enjoy the lion’s share of beautiful sunny days. During magic carpet and chairlift rides, beginners can bask in the warm spring sunshine. If the skiing aspect of ski vacations hasn’t quite got you smiling yet, the extra Vitamin D will.
Staying warm and comfortable makes a huge difference when learning to ski or ride. Unless there’s a quick cold snap, there’s no need to worry about being chilly if you’re taking your first ski trip in March.
2. Fresh, soft snow is likely
Typically, March provides the perfect combination of longer, warmer and sunnier days and snowy nights. Often, you’ll wake up to a new blanket of snow and bluebird skies. Even though beginners aren’t yet ready to shred the powder, the fresh snow makes for forgiving, soft snow. If you do end up on your bum while you’re learning, falling on packed powder and soft groomers is much better than hard ice. Groomed fresh snow also provides the perfect canvas for beginners to practice their turns. Your skis won’t slip out as easily, so you’re less likely to take spills.
Here are some of the best resorts to learn to ski:
To learn more about what makes these resorts great for beginners, read our 7 top resorts to learn to ski in North America post.
3. Après ski is at its best
Extra daylight and warm spring sun are the most desired weather conditions for skiing’s most beloved tradition: après ski. If you’re visiting in March, you’ll get to experience the pinnacle of après ski, which consists of sunny patios, sunglasses, beer or your beverage of choice and possibly a hot tub or pool. It’s hard not to fall instantly in love with this sport when you’re hanging out in a tank top or swimsuit in the Rockies, Tetons, Wasatch Range or Sierra Nevadas, toasting with new friends and working on your tan.
Catch some spring-time rays at these top après-ski hot spots:
To learn more, read our post: Best après ski scenes in North America.
4. Stacked events calendar
In Ski Country, the whole month of March (and often into April, depending on Easter’s date) is considered Spring Break, which means there are a ton of events and concerts for vacationers to enjoy. From outdoor concerts and beer festivals to goofy and professional competitions, nothing caps off these fun activities like gorgeous spring weather.
Here are some of the best spring events and festivals ski resorts:
Spring Fever | Breckenridge, CO
Rendezvous Spring Festival | Jackson Hole, WY
Many of the dates and details for the 2017 spring events haven’t been released yet, but you can get an idea of what to expect in our Top spring events in 2016 post.
5. Longer daylight hours
The extra daylight means more sunshine on the mountain, so the snow will stay softer longer and lifts typically stay open a bit later in the spring, giving you extra opportunities to practice your new skills. Additionally, the longer days means more time to take in epic mountain views and experience outdoor mountain activities.
Here are some of the best spring activities at top resorts:
Cross-country skiing at Ashcroft Ghost Town near Aspen, CO
Snowmobiling with Nova Guides in Vail, CO
Start planning your spring learn-to-ski vacation today. For complimentary advice or to book your complete ski vacation package, call one of our 70+ Mountain Travel Experts at 800-610-8911. You can also get started by filling out a form for a free custom quote.
Director of SEO + Content
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now living in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com as Director of SEO + Content, I've been able to combine a litany of skills, passions and interests. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.