Lift Line: Spring Skiing Tips

A warm spring day on Warm Springs.

By Katie Matteson

Spring has sprung and conditions, weather, outfits and the mountain are all vastly different than they were in December. So to help you make the most out of the last couple weeks of the season, here are some Spring Skiing Tips from local experts.

As Executive Director of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Don Wiseman has seen his fair share of ski conditions but as a former Sun Valley ski instructor, founder of Sun Summit Ski and Cycle, and Sun Valley local for over 25 years, he has a wealth of knowledge about skis, snow, gear and good ol’ Bald Mountain.

1.) Be prepared for all conditions. Conditions can vary greatly during the spring. It could be icy and hard at the top, and creamy at the bottom of the mountain.

2.) The type of ski that is ideal for spring skiing depends on where and even when you are skiing. If you are headed to the Bowls or Plaza or down into the Ridge South Slopes, a good, fatter, all-mountain ski will work. But if you are staying on-piste, on the groomers, a sharp, fast pair of GS skis will work too.

Meredith Richardson, a Sun Valley snowboard instructor, wicked videographer who makes edits like this, has a few tips for the boarders.

1.) Wax on, wax on. Always have your board waxed unless you plan on hiking down the mountain, slush is not your friend.

The fun of onesies.

2.) During spring ugly is beautiful. This time of year it is crucial to find and wear the most ugly "onesie" imaginable. It is like a rite of passage on the mountain, honoring the trends that came before us.

Drew Daly is a five-year member of the Sun Valley Ski Patrol and perennial guide for Sawtooth Mountain Guides. He might have crashed a snowmobile during his first season on the Patrol, but this Vail native is nothing short of a mountaineering and skiing expert. Here are his tips for  April skiing in Idaho .

1.) Timing is everything. You can have some of the best skiing of the year in the spring, but if you don’t time it right it could be some of the worst. Check the weather forecast and wait for it to heat up a bit. But don’t wait too long or the isothermic snow could swallow you like quicksand.

2.) Be prepared for anything. You never know what you might encounter during a day of spring skiing. Pack your stylish fanny pack with an extra layer for those freak snowstorms. Throw in water and sunscreen for the classic Sun Valley “powder day.”

To read even more local experts’ spring skiing tips and wardrobe suggestions (hint: they all seem obsessed with "Onesies"), check out this story.

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