I definitely know the worst places for the last of the ski days this season. Those late snowfalls we all hoped for gave way to soaring record-breaking temperatures.
So, where to go for acceptable Spring skiing?
Among the CO Vail properties (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and A-Basin), the list is whittled to those that have decent snowmaking and grooming capabilities. That rules out A-Basin (thin and rocky runs) and Keystone (thin base and not well supplemented this year).
Vail seemed the most obvious, as the crown jewel of the collection. However, all the snowmaking and grooming in the world cannot counteract the lower mountain conditions, which are pure slush and ski-stopping crud. They even advise taking the lift DOWN.
Breckenridge seemed like a good contender, and may still be on some of the more remote peaks, but Peak 9 is a dangerous mess. It is all crud, even on what they claim are groomed runs. The Spring Breakers are still running amok, skiing in sports bras, shorts and tank tops, which are entertaining, until they fall—and seemingly everyone falls in the recent high-temp generated slushy crud.
That leaves Beaver Creek. Probably one of the best maintained and exclusive of the Vail properties, BC prides itself on meticulous grooming and mountain supervision and enforcement, notably absent from Breck. The only problem with Beaver Creek’s main mountain, is that the top is full of green runs, and therefore kids, and the lower half is where adults find the skiable blue runs.
Beaver Creek is still the best maintained, in spite of the unseasonably warm and slushy conditions, and the only one I will venture onto again this season, until their premature close.