What's your spring break style? Jell-O shots, Grenerds and après eternal? Try Whistler's Telus Ski and Snowboard Festival. Maple syrup shots and hand plants? Stowe's Spring Summit Celebration has you covered. One Benjamin to ski or ride six slushy parks every day from now until the end of April? Ring ring. Meadows callingpick up. Cheap all-mountain jib sessions into the night? Brighton wants you. Don't need a reason to send 'er? Take one deep breath; head for Jackson.
No matter where you are in the U.S. of A. or its badass neighbor to the north, our Spring Resort Guide has you covered. Want to suck up the last weeks of winter with a roller-coaster strawlike you mean it? Here are five mountains where you can make your own spring magic to finish out '08-09.
Oregon is the land of concrete skateparks, so it's not without irony that we dub Oregon's own Mount Hood Meadows a skatepark trapped in the body of a ski resort. Located just less than two hours up the road from the hip art/snow/skate-scene mecca of Portland, Meadows features an intriguing labyrinth of undulating terrain, from hidden chutes and blast-able windlips to wind-ghosted treerides and gully slashers. "It's like a skatepark made by God," says K2 pro and Meadows local Bryan Fox.
Massive Northwest storm systems dump down on Meadows throughout the regular season, giving it an average annual snowfall that rivals any resort in the West. Hit Heather Canyon for wide-open alpine bowls, Jack's Woods for trees and Private Reserve for steeps. For non-pow spring days, parks and pipes abound, and if the weather calls for raingo up anyway! This is the Northwest, after all, and you haven't really ridden until you've ridden in a Glad bag.
Mt. Hood Meadows
Locals: Darrell Mathes, Nick Dirks, Bryan Fox, Sara Phillips, Scotty Wittlake, Brett Butcher, Ahmon Stamps, Scott Blum, Shane Flood, Danny Kass, Kevin Casillo, Jeff Kramer, Colin Langlois, Eric Pollard, Sammy Carlson.
Spring-tastic: Ski or ride from now until the end of April for $99 with a Meadows spring season pass. The all-new Vista Park on Catacombs is yet another spot to get jibulous -- this one on a choice, wind-protected run that never lacks snow, especially with the now-135-inch base.
When to go: Because of its proximity to Portland, spring weekends can get wild at Meadows. If you show up late when conditions are on, you just might get turned away due to the place reaching capacity, so set that snooze clock for "early" on Saturday and Sunday. March and April are a go for suntan sessionsslush, big park kickers, the Superpipe and jibs galore.
Off-snow hoo-ha: Meadows is less "resort" and more "ski area," meaning there's no "village." Ice-skating rinks, oxygen bars and Prada one-pieces? Nope, just the lodge, chairlifts and mountain. While the lodge does have a restaurant and bar, the closest off-hill food and lodging spots are 15 minutes back towards Portland in Government Camp. Govie trends toward the sleepy side during the season, so don't expect a raging nightthough we can't guarantee you won't have one. For fries and nachos, Charlie's and the Ratskeller are the epic après mainstays. The Huckleberry Inn, or "Huck's," is a 24-hour diner famous for huckleberry milkshakes, maple bars and the mountain of butter sitting in the cook's window like a dairy-based sculpture of Mt. Hood itself. If it's cosmopolitan cuisine you're after, suck up the two-hour drive and head back to Portland.
Betcha didn't know: Mack Dawg Productions conducted exclusive film shoots on a massive scale here every spring for nearly a decade. Need proof? Watch 2003's seminal film "Shakedown" and get an eye-load of dudes skyrocketing over kickers draped in Meadows banners.
Slush Rush: Pick Your Poison