Seasons have changed and the urge to change gears into spring hobbies is strong.
The first weekend of April brings the end to daily skiing at Purgatory Resort, Wolf Creek Ski Area and Telluride Ski Resort. That makes it easier for the mind to wander to golf courses, rivers, climbing areas and bike trails. But with the end of the season comes one of the best celebrations of the year, and there is plenty to celebrate this year.
We made it.
Yes, we made it through a weird year of skiing and snowboarding around the COVID-19 pandemic and all the related health guidelines. We stood in longer lift lines, wore masks, kept our parties to smaller numbers and didn’t congregate at indoor bars and dining areas. It was different, and it lacked a bit of what I love about snowboarding at resorts – things that have nothing to do with the sport itself like watching afternoon Denver Broncos games on a warm bar stool or catching some spring training baseball action from that same seat in the spring. But the skiing was good and we got to finish the season, unlike a year ago.
So this weekend, get out and celebrate that fact at the ski area of your choosing. Purgatory Resort still boasts a 53-inch base depth with fairly decent coverage, though some rocks were starting to show their faces in the middle of prominent runs Friday. Wolf Creek has a whopping 103-inch base depth thanks to 362 inches of snowfall this year. And Telluride still is holding onto a 65-inch base depth.
But beware, some of that spring snow is as sticky as tree sap. With temperatures near 60 degrees this weekend at Purgatory and over 40 at Wolf Creek, hopefully some of that stick snow turns into that good spring slush. It is past time to put warm weather wax on the bottom of your skis or snowboards. If you haven’t yet, it’s still worth the work or the small fee to take it to your favorite board or ski shop with the potential of a couple more weekends of playing on snow this month.
Purgatory Resort will be open weekends only now until a closing-day party April 18. Wolf Creek has yet to announce official plans and said potential weekend operations will depend on snow conditions. With that base depth, it’s hard to imagine not getting at least one more weekend at Wolfie.
Before you pack your gear away for good this season, let’s enjoy another weekend or two together on the slopes in our tank tops and silly costumes. And be sure to give a “thank you” to the hard working and often under appreciated employees at our favorite mountains for a job well done keeping us sane, organized and safe this season.
I’ll see you on the chair lift.
John Livingston is the Regional Sports Editor of The Durango Herald. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter and Instagram, @jlivi2.