OK, let’s get the wise cracks and *ahem* comments about the West Coast having a long season behind us. Sure… you can surf, ski, golf, and mountain bike all in the same day in places like Mammoth, Mt. Bachelor, and A-Basin. BUT to do this on the East Coast or Midwest outside of Killington into MAY is rare. In fact, it makes the 2017-18 midwest skiing season recording setting! So, we have to give them a shout out. Here’s a few of the highlights.
2017-18 Ski Season Record Setting Closing Dates
Open until May 6th
Only twice in its 69-year history has Eagle Mountain at Lutsen Mountains been open for skiing in May. For this season, it wasn’t even just one run but rather over a dozen slopes were open for people to shred. It also gave folks a chance to golf at Superior National Golf Course AND ski on the same day.
Granite Peak Ski Resort
Open until May 6th
A late spring snowstorm that brought over two feet of snow to some parts of Wisconsin last weekend helped push the its Midwest skiing season for one resort to its latest closing ever. Originally targeted to shut down on April 15th, thanks in part to cold temperatures and a couple of massive snowstorms, they were able to keep the lifts running until the first weekend in May. It’s one for the record books.
Bristol Mountain Ski Resort
Canandaigua, New York
Open until May 1st
New York’s resort that was to first open on November 11th also became one of two resorts to push their closing date into May. With seven slopes open and highs in the mid-70s, it was a one-of-a kind treat for folks living in upstate New York. In fact, this is the FIRST time in its 54 year history that skiers and snowboarders were able to slide in May. This is thanks in part to a cold snowy March and April.
Wilmington, New York
Open until May 5th
Home to the 1980 Winter Olympics, the resort maintained seven day operations through April 21st and then were able to stay open every weekend until May 5th. This helped push the resort to have its latest closing ever! Previously, the latest day of skiing at Whiteface was May 1st. Nine trails were open between the Little Whiteface summit and the base lodge offering top-to-bottom skiing, accessible by two chairlifts: Face Lift and Little Whiteface. This gave diehard sliders a chance to shred some awesome spring corn with temps hitting the mid-60s.
Boyne Falls, Michigan
Open until May 6th
This winter was a wacky one for Midwest skiing. Northern Michigan received more snow in April than they did in January, and this gave two resorts an opportunity to push their limits of staying open. In effect, Mount Bohemia and Boyne Mountain Resort decided to make a bet to see which could keep its slopes open longest, with the losing resort donating $1,000 to a charity of the winner’s choosing. For Boyne, this wasn’t the first time they pushed their closing date into May. They did this back in the 2001-2002 season as well and even though Bohemia had over 300 inches of snow, Boyne won by closing on May 6th.
Open until April 29th
While Boyne may have won the battle, Mount Bohemia won the war on snowfall. Considered the Midwest skiing powder mecca, it features Western terrain that gets the most snowfall and has the biggest vertical all in one location. Thanks to continued cold temps and the fifth snowiest April on record, they were able to stay open until April 29th.
Banner Spring in the East
This year the East saw it all. A DEEP freeze in December, spring skiing in February, legendary snowfall in March and all-time conditions in April. While not record breaking, the perennial late season destinations were able to still push their closing dates into May and one possibly even later due to over 6-8 feet of snow the last two months of spring.
So, here’s to you ski resorts that fought the good fight and kept the lifts running because there was snow on the ground. May your next winter be just as good!
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