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Spring skiing at Vail, Beaver Creek looking great as weather pattern shifts

March 14, 2016, 11:28 am
spring skiing Vail

Vail and Beaver Creek are back in the snow cycle this week and next, which means spring skiing should be great through closing day on April 10 (Vail Resorts photo).

If you’re like me — a total and complete “powder snob” — you haven’t been alpine skiing much since the first week of February, a month that broke the global temperature record by a “shocking amount,” according to The Guardian.

Let’s not kid ourselves, this past February in Colorado was a lot like March and April used to be in terms of temps, minus the significant snowfall that typically falls during those spring months. I was on a roll headed into February, having racked up a couple of dozen quality powder days in December and January.

Then the snow spigot was shut down and temps went off the charts. Fortunately, enough snow had fallen during December and January that Vail and Beaver Creek remain in amazing condition for the final few weeks of the ski season. Had we had a sub-par early season in terms of snowfall, things would be very sketchy right now on the local ski hills.

The good news is the snow spigot is about to open back up again, according to meteorologist Joel Gratz at

“Scattered snow showers will bring light accumulations to the northern mountains on Monday, then heavier snow should fall on Monday night in the northern and central mountains leading to a powder day Tuesday with 4-8”+,” Gratz wrote on Monday morning. “After a lull in the snow on Tuesday, another wave of heavier snow should drop 4-8”+ of additional accumulation the northern mountains on Tuesday night, leading to a powder day on Wednesday.

“The snow should lighten on Wednesday and Thursday, and then yet another wave of snow on Thursday night and Friday will mainly focus on the areas east of the divide with 12”+ likely by Friday afternoon. The weekend and early next week looks dry then snow is possible again during the middle of the week (March 22nd) and during the following weekend (March 26-27th).”

All of that means it should be a very strong finish to the ski season, and with an early Easter on Sunday, March 27, Vail and Beaver Creek are also closing early this season (Sunday, April 10). That leaves less than a month of in-bounds skiing in the Vail Valley, so hopefully it all ends in a huge pile of powder skiing and spring festivities.

The Taste of Vail set for March 30-April 3, the Vail Film Festival is set for April 7-10, and Spring Back to Vail is set for April 8-10. The spring break crowds will have greatly diminished by then, prices for lodging and dining drop dramatically, and it could be some of the best skiing of the year.


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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is an award-winning freelance reporter based in the Vail Valley of Colorado, writing on health care, immigration, politics, the environment, energy, public lands, outdoor recreation and sports. His work has appeared in 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Colorado Times Recorder, the Daily Trail (Vail), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington),, the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the London Daily Mirror, the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, Atlantic Media's (formerly Government Executive State and Local), SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail and Westword (Denver). Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of and

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