When it comes to spring skiing, Southern Vermont is the place to be. Here are 10 parties you won’t want to miss.
Some people go way south for spring break; we just head to southern Vermont for soft bumps, live music, outdoor barbecues, tailgates and … well, you’ll see. With a half-dozen ski areas within an hour’s drive, there’s always a party somewhere and these ski areas ramp it up with some out-of-the ordinary events. For more around the state, see the Calendar, p. 71.
Free Your Heel (and Your Mind) at Telefest
On February 22 and 23, telemark skiers flock to Bromley Mountain for a weekend-long celebration of all things free-heel skiing: the 35th Annual Kåre Andersen Telemark Festival. Saturday features a full day of clinics—many of them taught by PSIA-certified telemark instructors—for everyone from complete newcomers to those looking to get off-piste or hone their racing skills. It’s a great place to try telemark for the first time or demo new gear for free. Head to the after-party in the lodge for beer and live music. On Sunday, test yourself on a USTSA-certified race course.
Enter the Jack Jumping World Champs
On March 1, the Jack Jumping World Championships return to Mount Snow —perhaps the only mountain wild enough to host a race for people who build their own monoski sit-sleds and ride them down the slopes. The carnage is epic.
Become the Master of the Mountain
Each spring, Magic Mountain crowns the best overall skier and rider in the East. The competition? A single extreme biathlon run down Black Line, where skiers compete for points in an extreme skiing competition in the first half and a giant slalom in the second half. Tricks at this March 8 event earn you time deductions, and the fastest skier to finish upright wins.
Send It With Duct Tape
Build out your finest racing sled from just duct tape, zip ties, cardboard and paint and race it down a special course at Mount Snow on March 22. Awards go to best design and fastest time.
Rock Out at a Reggae Festival
If you’re looking for a good party, head to Mount Snow’s annual Reggaefest March 20-22, with music from live bands all day on Saturday and Sunday on Cuzzins Deck outside the Main Base Lodge and ticketed headliners on the Snow Barn Stage. Look out for Roots of Creation and the Big Takeover at this year’s groovy spring party.
Grab a Local Brew… or 12
Savor local grub from food trucks and taste beer and cider from more than 25 New England breweries at this on-snow winter beer festival at Mount Snow’s Main Base Area on March 28. Come and go as you please between laps on spring corn. Then catch Led Zeppelin tribute band Four Sticks at the Snow Barn.
Bump like a Glade-iator
Pound those soft bumps as you compete in the Glade-iator Challenge, a mogul competition on Ripcord, one of Mount Snow’s most iconic trails on March 29. To win, wow the judges with a combination of fast time, form, line and aerial maneuvers off optional jumps in the course. The best part? Ski down to your cheering friends, and a barbecue and on-snow beer garden.
Go Wild at March-di Gras
On March 28, Stratton hosts a wild party with live music, a performance by the Nimble Arts Circus and fireside après-ski yoga. For the less wholesome, there will be plenty of Mardi Gras beads, a raw oyster bar and, yes, an outdoor deck party with a hand-sculpted ice luge—for shots.
Make a Splash
There’s nothing that says spring party like a pond skim. Grab your best costume and your fattest skis or board and get ready to send it across one of the manmade ponds to an on-snow party with beer and live music. This year, Stratton’s Pond Skim runs on March 28 and Mount Snow’s runs on March 22. On March 21, dress up in your best costume and take the plunge into Bromley’s icy pond-skimming pond to raise funds for Special Olympics Vermont.
Get Your Groove On at Winter WonderGrass
This outdoor bluegrass music festival returns to Stratton on April 10 and 11 with a new theme: Sugar & Strings. Catch more than ten bands and sample beer and cider from more than a dozen local breweries, with complimentary beer tastings on each day of the festival. This year’s headliners include The Infamous Stringdusters, Cabinet and Della Mae—a Grammy-nominated, badass all-women string band from Nashville.
Featured Photo: This spring, the pond skim at Mount Snow should be on your party bucket list. Photo courtesy Mount Snow.