The 2012-2013 ski and snowboard season begins winding down this weekend -- with the first round of closing-day parties at Ski Granby Ranch, Powderhorn and Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort -- despite the fact that snow conditions are actually quite good, with more snow in the forecast. Here's a rundown of when and where to get your last licks in over the next month.
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This weekend: Durango's Ska Brewing Company is backing the Beach Party at Purgatory on Sunday, March 31, with events including a SKAvenger hunt, pig roast, snow bar and Ten Pin Porter bowling tournament, all benefiting the Durango Winter Sports Foundation. Call 800-525-0892 to book the $99/person Spring Fling Stay & Ski Special.
Closer to Denver, Ski Granby Ranch (formerly known as SolVista Basin) is offering night skiing until 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, then closing out the season on Sunday with an 11 a.m. Easter egg hunt and 1:30 p.m. Spring Splash. Granby Ranch is aiming for a quick transition to summer: the Bike Park is tentatively scheduled to open on May 24.
Closing Day, April 7: Keystone's closing weekend celebrations include The Last Grind Rail Jam on Saturday April 6 in the A51 Terrain Park, and the Red Bull Schlittentag (in which three-person teams build and race ridiculous sleds), and Slush Cup shenanigans, both on Sunday April 7. Crested Butte is introducing a new Roost the Butte snowmobile racing event before the annual Slush Huck Pond Skim.
Buttermilk closes out with its third and final rail jam of the year in the Buttermilk Rail Garden.
Wolf Creek wraps it up with "Locals Appreciation Day" (no ID required), offering $35 adult lift tickets on Sunday ($20 for seniors and children) to coincide with the ninth and final event in the 2012-2013 Fun Race Series.
Ski Cooper and Telluride will also be closing out their seasons on Sunday, April 7.
Continue reading for more end-of-season events. Closing Day, April 14: The Schneetag races at Snowmass promise spectacle and high hilarity, with costumed four-person teams performing corny skits before careening down Spider Sabich and across a 30x20-foot pond in makeshift sleds.
Breckenridge marks the shifting of seasons with the Imperial Challenge, a triathlon of sorts starting with a six-mile bike ride from the Breck Rec Center to the base of Peak 8, followed by an uphill ascent (on skis, splitboards, snowshoes, etc) to the top of either the T Bar or the top of Peak 8 before skiing or snowboarding back down. Breck's Spring Fever Bud Light Concert Series at the base of PEak 8 wraps up with performances by 3OH3! on Saturday and Matisyahu on Sunday, April 14.
Copper Mountain's closing "Sunsation" weekend features the new Red Bull SlopeSoakers competition -- a rail jam/pond skim hybrid -- and a free concert by Matt & Kim on Saturday, followed by the second annual CopperMan Winter Adventure Race (think Human Luge and Hot Chocolate Pit Cross) and a free concert with Ozomatli on Sunday.
Eldora and Vail are each tentatively scheduled to end their fiftieth anniversary seasons on April 14 -- pick up a 2013-2014 Epic Pass to get unlimited access to both -- and Aspen Mountain, Beaver Creek, Silverton and Monarch are also scheduled to close on Sunday, April 14.The biggest bash of this bunch will be the World Pond Skimming Championships at Vail.
Closing Day, April 21: Ullr-willing, both Aspen Highlands and Winter Park are aiming to make it to late April. For the big party, head for Winter Park's two-day Springtopia celebration, featuring perfomances by Julian Marley & The Uprising on Saturday and Karl Denson's Tiny Universe on Sunday, after the Spring Splash pond skim on April 21. And beyond? Not ready to call it quits quite yet? Loveland is aiming to keep its 75th anniversary stoke running through May 5, well after its eleventh annual Corn Harvest party, a benefit for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, and closing day at Arapahoe Basin is officially "TBA." In fact, A-Basin rather optimistically has events scheduled through July, including the Save Our Snow celebration on Saturday, April 13, benefiting the High Country Conservation Center, the 24th Annual Enduro race on Wednesday April 17, rail jams on May 4 and May 18, and the 12th annual Festival of the Brewpubs on May 26.
Keep doing those snow dances If the powder-loving patriot in you is holding out for 4th of July fireworks.
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