Spring skiing gets into full swing in March. To adjust for the freeze-thaw cycle of warmer weather, skiers and boarders master the art of following the sun for the softest snow. However, the spring can also bring plenty of precipitation, so March powder days are much more common than many skiers realize. Unless one of those storm days has arrived, break out the soft shells and spring gloves to enjoy the ski-town events of March.
ASPEN SNOWMASS// AUDI POWER OF FOUR SKI MOUNTAINEERING RACE
Scheduled for Saturday, March 2, the ninth-annual Audi Power of Four Ski Mountaineering Race stretches across all four Aspen Skiing Company ski areas: SNOWMASS, BUTTERMILK, ASPEN HIGHLANDS and ASPEN MOUNTAIN. The demanding Colorado course covers 24 miles and more than 10,000 feet of vertical climb. If the Power of Four layout seems overly daunting, athletes can opt for the Power of Two race that follows the second half of the course including Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain.
JACKSON HOLE// RENDEZVOUS SPRING FESTIVAL
Music and skiing come together in Wyoming. The JACKSON HOLE Rendezvous Spring Festival features free concerts both in Teton Village right at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and in the Town Square of Jackson. Grace Potter headlines the music in the Town Square on the evening of Friday, March 15. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats play along with Greensky Bluegrass on Saturday, March 16, in Teton Village.
HEAVENLY// GUNBARREL 25
Located on the south side of Lake Tahoe, HEAVENLY hosts probably the most famous bump-bashing tradition in skiing, the Gunbarrel 25, on Saturday, March 30. The 16th-annual event challenges participants to complete 25 laps on The Face and Gunbarrel, the iconic double-black mogul runs under the Gunbarrel Express chairlift. The fastest times earn enshrinement on the famed Gunbarrel 25 plaque hanging in the California Lodge at the bottom of the run.
SUN VALLEY// FILM FESTIVAL
While the January’s Sundance Festival in PARK CITY may still receive more attention, the SUN VALLEY Film Festival adds an Idaho ski town destination for filmmakers in March. The eighth-annual festival is slated for March 13-17. Past festival guests include Gwyneth Paltrow, Clint Eastwood, Oliver Stone and Jodie Foster. Sun Valley is an appropriate location, because of its history as America’s first ski destination for celebrities during the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Growing in popularity with more than 4,500 yearly attendees, the festival plans to honor Meg Ryan with its Vision Award for “an industry icon whose contributions to the art of cinema have changed the industry for the better.” Actor and producer Fisher Stevens will be honored for his environmental advocacy work. He produced a documentary about tigers in the wild called “Tigerland” that will be shown at the festival.
SUN PEAKS// HUB INTERNATIONAL NANCY GREENE FESTIVAL
The 17th-annual Hub International Nancy Greene Festival welcomes more than 600 young ski racers to SUN PEAKS in interior British Columbia. Held March 22-23, the event draws kids from Nancy Greene Ski League clubs across Canada. Along with working at Sun Peaks to promote skiing virtually on a daily basis, 1968 Olympic Champion Nancy Greene Raine has extended her influence in growing the sport through the entry-level race program that bears her name.
JAY PEAK// GEORGE SYROVATKA SKI RACE
Vermont’s JAY PEAK hosts the 39th-annual George Syrovatka Ski Race to benefit Leukemia research on Saturday, March, 23. The dual slalom ski and snowboard races on the Lower Can Am run include age categories ranging from 6 and under to 60 and up. The races start at 10:30 a.m. A post-race party follows with awards and raffle to benefit the fight against leukemia.
I am a freelance ski writer and golf television producer. While the golf work keeps me based in sunny Florida, frequent winter trips out West keep me passionate about skiing. Especially when the snow is good, protein bars on the lift ride are my favorite lunch. I frequently tweet as @skiingexaminer.