Boarding on Spring Break(87726)Credit: ab.photoCredit:

Spring Break in the Snow

As February draws to a close and with March fast approaching most students will be looking forward to one of the most epic times of year, Spring Break.  While the term spring break may conjure up mental images of palm tree lined beaches, large outdoor concert events, energy drinks and lots of tan bodies sporting surf wear, there are plenty of those who envision the total opposite. Instead of seeking sun and waves, these alternate thinkers may instead seek out black diamond bump runs, deep powder back bowls, off-piste glade runs, narrow chutes, steeps, wide open groomers, and variable terrain parks.  Spring break ski trips are an excellent opportunity for students to break up the monotony of school work and get up into the mountains for some amazing ski conditions as March is typically one of the snowiest months for most ski resorts. 

For those who prefer the snow over the surf, the following is a list of well know ski resorts which offer excellent spring break skiing/snowboarding coupled with diverse nightlife, live music, and unique destinations. This list is organized in no particular order, offering up some of the best places which will have something for everyone to enjoy.  No ski/snowboard gear, no problem, all the places listed below offer on-site rentals for beginners up through performance athletes. Never been on the mountain before, these places still have you covered with access to ski/board schools or full-service resort amenities if lounging by the heated pool and nightlife is more your speed.

Breckenridge, Colorado

Situated at 9,600 feet above sea level at the base, this mountain resort offers up to 2,360 acres of ski/ride terrain with over 150 designated trails, 4 peaks, and 31 operating lifts. Several highlights include the highest lift in America which takes you to the top of the 12,840 ft high Imperial Bowl, multiple terrain parks, and plenty of wide open groomers for the casual spring breaker that likes to take it easy. The town of Breckenridge is located at the base of the mountain and offers a wide variety of local restaurants, micro-brews, coffee houses, and plenty of nightlife with many options for cheap accommodations or vacation rentals to for you and your group to pack it in. 

Heavenly Resort, Lake Tahoe

A coastal ski area split between California and Nevada, which is well known for its amazing views from the top, variable terrain, great snow conditions. Heavenly Resort is an excellent destination for spring breakers looking to do powder runs and park life by day with the option for  a Vegas-style nightlife by night, available right at the base of the mountain.  Heavenly has up to 4,800 acres of available terrain which include well groomed cruisers, unparalleled glade runs, thousand foot long chutes, and the longest vertical drop in California at 3,500 feet in length.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming

Less known for its night life and better known for its epic skiing, the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is best known for its amazing aerial tram, volumes of snow, and proclaimed longest, steepest vertical slope in the U.S. (approximately 4,139 feet!!)  Adrenaline junkies start planning your routes now.   With two mountains, 2,500 acres of inbounds terrain and gate system access to over 3,000 acres of backcountry terrain, you will have no problem getting the most out of your trip. If you have any energy at the end of the day you can spent the rest of your time checking out the many unique places of the area like the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. 

Crested Butte, Colorado

This is one of the most chill, laid back towns with excellent skiing/boarding and among the best resorts for spring breakers thanks to its nightlife setting, local music, and seasonally scheduled events.    The mountain contains 1,167 acres of inbounds terrain, super pipe and jib/terrain park, and some of the best backcountry skiing around.  The location of this resort is the definition of big mountain skiing with a solid mixture of expert bowls and runs, steeps, glades, and wide-open groomers for beginners.  Affordable lodging can be found in town or through condo rentals for groups.

Snowbird/Alta, Utah

Named the #1 ski resort in North American by Outside Magazine in 2008 and located approximately 30 miles away from downtown Salt Lake City, this destination is an excellent option for spring breakers looking for powder, full-service resort amenities, and potential for city nightlife.  Note! Snowboarding is not permitted at Alta; both skiers and snowboarders are welcome at Snowbird.  Mountain highlights include the snowbird 125-passanger aerial tram, over 2,500 acres of available terrain, and unprecedented ski/boarding environment.

From the coastal snow at Heavenly to Rocky Mountain powder and on south to miles of open terrain in Utah, there is plenty of opportunity for the spring break crown to get off campus and into the snow for some amazing rides and crazy times.