That bittersweet time of year is upon us once again. Closing day marks the end of another awesome winter, which is cause to mourn the passing season and celebrate it. Most resorts host friendly competitions and/or base-area concerts and dance parties—often beer-enhanced. From costumes to throw-back-style skiing, participants in end-of-season revelry also have a range of ways to show their love of the mountain lifestyle. Here are some suggestions for having your best closing-day experience yet:
Don the right duds
Closing day should really be called costume day, since it’s all-too common for skiers and snowboarders to dress up. It doesn’t matter if you’re going for the neon retro-ski look or just a random assortment of weird accouterments, you’re going to have more fun if you join the ranks of wacky costume-wearers.
Read our post on How to harness 80s style on the slopes this spring>>>
Read our post on How to harness 70s style on the slopes this spring>>>
Have portable music on hand
Whether you’re on the chairlift or in the bathroom line, you can be the non-stop life of the closing-day party when you’re rocking a portable speaker. We really love JammyPack, since it stays securely put on your hips, ups your style points and provides extra storage space for sunnies and Zinka.
Say “yes” to pond skimming
A closing-day tradition at many ski resorts, pond skimming is a competition in which skiers, snow bladers, snow bikers or snowboarders attempt to skim across an icy pond. Podium winners are determined by how well they skim or stay up, but crowd winners are determined by big, splash-causing wipe outs. So even if you fall, you’re going to get plenty of high fives and cheers!
Learn more in our Guide to successful pond skimming>>>
Practice proper throwback technique
Choose “Hollywood” lines, right under the chairlift, and showcase your best version of the Arlberg technique (legs tightly together) or even ’80s-era ski ballet moves for extra applause. The more exaggerated, the better.
Know where the best closing-day party spots are
Closing-day gathering spots generally fall in line with popular on- and off-mountain apres-ski hotspots, but they could be hidden gems that only the locals know about. Here are the top places to celebrate another good ski season on the books.
For more photos and info about top resorts for closing-day events, check out our post>>>
Aspen Snowmass, CO
Meet on Aspen Mountain’s Ridge of Bell at 1 p.m. on April 16 to watch—or participate in—the annual bump-skiing free-for-fall. Afterwards, hydrate, refuel and dance in your ski boots on Sky Hotel’s sunny patio.On April 9, at Aspen Highlands rendezvous with some buddies or perfect strangers at the top of Highland Bowl. Then head to Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro for a champagne-fueled, table-top dance party. On your way down to the big DJ dance party in the Highlands base village, stop for a silly photo op on the picnic vista on Upper Robinsons.
Big Sky Resort, MT
Big Sky Resort ends technically ends their season on April 16, but to experience the resort’s famed Pond Skim event, you’re going to want to prepare for a party day on April 16. After a couple of pole wacks at the top of Lone Peak, drop in for some soft slush skiing. At noon, make your way to Ambush Headwall to spectate or join in on the pond skimming fun. Afterwards, the beer will be flowing and a DJ spinning in the base area. An after party continues at Montana Jack.Breckenridge, CO
Hungry? Breckenridge’s Closing Day Bar-B-Que (April 23) at One Ski Hill Place is the place to get your gnosh—and dance—on. The Ski Hill Grill will be offering a variety of BBQ items, drink specials, a mechanical bull and music on the patio.Crested Butte, CO
On April 9, cap off Crested Butte Closing Day with live music by Uptown Toodeloo String Band, a Grateful Dead Cover Band at Butte 66 at 2 p.m
Head to the Mountain House Base Area to compete in or watch the 2017 Keystone Slush Cup on April 10. Children ages six to 13, can also get their splash on in the Kidtopia Slush Cup, which features a smaller pond. Afterwards, enjoy can live music from the Beloved Invaders!Steamboat, CO
The season wraps up at Steamboat on April 16 with the Splashdown Pond Skimming Championships, followed by a concert by the famous bluegrass band, Leftover Salmon.Vail, CO
For the big day—April 16—plan ahead and pack a picnic lunch and take it Blue Sky Basin’s Belle’s Camp and enjoy dining al fresco with fellow skiers and riders. Then, make your way to the World Pond Skimming Championships at Golden Peak at 3 p.m. Alternatively, head to the top of Chair 4 at 4 p.m., where many local skiers congregate for an end-of-season celebration.Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.
End your season on a high note at Whistler Blackcomb’s World Ski and Snowboard Festival, a 10-day and night (April 8–17) showcase of the latest in the skiing and snowboarding world. The event combines Canada’s largest free outdoor concert series with action sports and lifestyle fashion, photography and film, the best spring snow conditions and Whistler’s world-renowned nightlife.
If you aren’t ready to close down another ski season just yet, check out these resorts for super late-season skiing.
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com managing the website and blog content, I couldn't be happier. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.