Spring skiing in North America: The best fests and quirky slopeside events

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Ski season doesn’t have to end with the onset of spring. Many resorts across Canada and the U.S. stay open into May, and many of them have some fun events worth checking out. If you’re looking to extend your time on the slopes and add even more fun to your time there, we’ve rounded up some of the best festivals and events happening slopeside across North America.

Quick tip: There are also some other advantages to planning a springtime ski trip (aside from kooky and crazy events). There are often fewer crowds, so you have more slope space to yourself and lift tickets and accommodations can cost less than when you book during regular ski season.

Cardboard Box Downhill Derby, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

Spring skiing in North America: The best fests and quirky slopeside events
Skiing at Lake Louise (Image: Bill Rand)

Lake Louise will play host to the annual Cardboard Box Downhill Derby on April 19, where participants use only cardboard, string, tape and glue to build a race-worthy cardboard vessel to (hopefully) get them down the hill in one piece. Compete solo or in groups of two, three or four. Prizes will be awarded to the top three speediest racers as well as for the three best designs.

High Camp Pool Party, Lake Tahoe, California, United States

Spring skiing in North America: The best fests and quirky slopeside events
Pool at Squaw Valley Resort (Image: Squaw Valley Resort)

At Squaw Valley Resort there’s more do to in the spring than hit the slopes. What better way to relax and unwind after a few days of skiing than with a slopeside pool party. Every Saturday between March 28 and April 25 you can party by the pool from noon to 3:30 p.m., soaking up the sun, having a few drinks and taking in amazing views of Lake Tahoe.

Caribou Cup, Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada

Spring skiing in North America: The best fests and quirky slopeside events
Mont Tremblant (Image: Joe Shlabotnik)

On April 11 brave skiers and snowboarders can compete for the Caribou Cup at Mont Tremblant. Participants will try their hand at crossing a 75-foot pool of ice cold water using only their momentum from the hill leading down to the pool and their skis or snowboard. Helmets are mandatory and poles, sticks or any pointed objects are prohibited.

Pond Skim, Mammoth, California, United States

Spring skiing in North America: The best fests and quirky slopeside events
Mammoth Mountain (Image: Marty B used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
Spring skiing in North America: The best fests and quirky slopeside events
Pond skimming (Image: Geoff Stearns)

Like the Caribou Cup, Mammoth Mountain holds a similar event that has skiers and snowboarders aiming to get themselves over a large body of water. In this case, the ice cold “pond” is 118 feet across and to make things even more interesting, all participants have to be in costume. What you dress up as is up to you, but the more colorful and outrageous the better.

Slushpool, Lincoln, New Hampshire, United States

Loon Mountain Resort has its own version of the pond skim dubbed the Slushpool Party happening on April 11. Their event has been going on for 30 years and has become a much-loved springtime rite of passage for those brave enough to try it. Apparently most attempts fail, which is fun for onlookers who would rather watch from the sidelines than end up in a frigid pond.

Dummy Downhill, Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada

Also on April 11, Mount Washington Alpine Resort will be holding the Dummy Downhill. This is your chance to use your creative and artistic skills to build a dummy boarder or skier to launch off a jump. Dummies will be judged based on creativity, take-off and crash/landing.

Spring Back to Vail, Vail, Colorado, United States

Spring skiing in North America: The best fests and quirky slopeside events
Skiing in Vail (Image: LASZLO ILYES)
Spring skiing in North America: The best fests and quirky slopeside events 7
Pond skimming in Vail (Image: Lietmotiv)

From April 17 to 19, Vail Mountain is hosting Spring Back to Vail as a celebration of spring on the mountain and the end of ski season. Over the course of the three day event you can expect free live concerts, parties, giveaways and more. The 13th annual World Pond Skimming Championships will be closing out the festival.

Aloha Cup, Jasper, Alberta, Canada

Dig out your best and brightest Hawaiian shirts and beach wear for the Aloha Cup on April 18 at Marmot Basin. The race is open to all ages, and competitors are encouraged to dress up as if it was the middle of summer. The cost of entering includes a BBQ lunch.

Mum’s Mountain Classic, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Spring skiing in North America: The best fests and quirky slopeside events
Whistler Blackcomb (Image: Ruth Hartnup)

This annual event on April 8 at Whistler Blackcomb is open to all skiing and snowboarding mums and grandmothers (along with their friends and family). The theme of the day is 70s/rock disco, so dressing up in something crazy that reflects the theme is strongly encouraged. In addition to the race down the slopes (may the best costumed mum or grandma win), the day includes a coffee and lunch voucher, and race practice.

Featured image: Patrick

Spring skiing in North America: The best fests and quirky slopeside events was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Jessica Padykula
Author: Jessica Padykula (91 posts)

Jessica Padykula is a Toronto-based writer and editor who regularly covers travel and lifestyle trends. When she’s not writing or researching a story she can be found planning trips to places near and far in a never-ending quest to travel the world.