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Welcome to the best part of the ski season: spring. Home to creamy corn turns, deck beers, warm hands and toes, and some of the wackiest and most creative parties on snow. True, powder days might be on hiatus until next winter, but spring skiing brings with it some of the true joys of the sport, and the camaraderie that comes with it.
While events are not back 100 percent, we’re getting there. These 10 Closing Day—or close to it—gatherings are some of the longest-standing traditions at their respective resorts, from pond skims to dummy downhills to cardboard box races. Sign up to compete, or just join the partying spectators and give the 2021-’22 ski season the send off it deserves.
10 Best Closing Day Cellys at North American Ski Resorts
Bacon Appreciation Day, Buttermilk Mountain, Colo., April 3
It’s bacon from dusk ’til dawn at Aspen Snowmass’s Buttermilk Mountain, starting with bacon waffles at the Cliffhouse, followed by bacon doughnuts, and bacon samplers available throughout the mountain until supplies run out. If you’re so inclined, you can burn calories for the impending bacon-palooza during the Bacon Sizzle Up ski-mo event. If you can stomach any more bacon, stop by Bumps, at the base, between 2p and 4p for a bacon and beer happy hour.
Pump House Beach Party, Jay Peak Resort, Vt., April 16
This untraditional closing day party takes place inside, at the resort’s Pump House Water Park, with bikini- and board shorts-clad revelers enjoying the facility’s poolside vibe after their last day shredding the slopes of Jay.
Slush Cup, Banff Sunshine, Alb., May 23
This is possibly the longest-running pond skim on the continent, celebrating 94 years this spring (with two years off during the pandemic). Skiers attempt to cross an icy pond while dressed in the wildest costumes they can think up.
Jump & Freeze, Copper Mountain, Colo., April 16
Copper’s longtime season sendoff, Red Bull Slopesoakers, is now the first annual Jump & Freeze. It’s exactly what it sounds like: people launch off a ramp into a very cold pond. Costumes are encouraged, and skiers can participate as individuals or teams of two or three.
Hasta La Vista Fiesta, Crystal Mountain, Wash., April 29-May 1
Crystal aficionados don sombreros, fill their margarita cups, and perfect their tangos for this Mexican-flavored celly chock full of drink and taco specials, live music, and the last turns of the season.
Beer Relay, Brundage Mountain Resort, Idaho, April 2
Who can resist something called a “beer relay”? Teams of four participants substitute a full mug of beer for a baton in this relay that speeds down Brundage’s intermediate Alpine run. A costume contest and dance-off follows the relay.
Cardboard Classic and Spring Splashdown, Steamboat Resort, Colo., April 9-10
Steamboat pulls out all the stops during its Springalicious megafest that officially winds down the season. The highlights are the Cardboard Classic, where skiers cobble together homemade snow crafts from boxes, and the Splashdown pond skim, complete with costumes and prizes.
Reggae Fest, Sugarloaf, Maine, April 7-10
It’s not closing day, per se, but this spring bash is one of the best festivals of the season, and if you can get in some turns, too, you can’t go wrong. Closer to closing day, Sugarloaf is also the home of the East Coast Pond Skimming Championship on April 16, which takes place on the pond just above the ski beach.
Kayaks on Snow, Monarch Mountain, Colo., April 16
Kayakers navigate the snow on a specially made course with banks and berms that spill into a pond at the base. This event is as much fun to watch as it is to compete in.
Downhill Dummy, Tahoe Donner, Calif., April 10
Look to the community hills for some of the best events, like the Downhill Dummy at this Tahoe-area mountain. What’s a downhill dummy? Pretty much anything you want, mounted on skis or snowboard, and sent careening down the hill. Fastest time wins, unless your dummy falls apart, so plan wisely.