To say that spring skiing is about drinking is probably unfair to the finer points of slush bumping and costumery, but, in a lot of ways, spring skiing IS about drinking. You can take hot laps until the snow gets soupy, but then it’s about sitting in the sun, scorching your cheekbones, and smelling the funk coming from the knee brace that the guy next to you has pulled off his sweaty leg and slung over the bench next to him. Spring makes people friendlier, it makes them want to tell you stories about their après past lives, to fill up your plastic cup with cheap beer out of their pitcher.
If you are in Tahoe—where, unless it’s snowing, it’s almost always warm enough that it feels like spring—the best place to make temporary best friends and get too buzzed up to drive home is Le Chamois, at Squaw Valley USA, America.
Its only downfall is that it’s not right on the hill, so you can’t see other people in various states of dress and drunkenness make their way to the bottom. Everything else is positive. Wildflour cookies are five steps away, if you get hungry. For your viewing pleasure there will be kooks from Sacramento finding new and creative ways to carry their skis. There’s history there, if you want to pee next to photos of Daron Rahlves, or drink under Shane McConkey’s eyes. A little nostalgia never hurt anyone.
This is the last weekend that Squaw, along with a lot of other places, is open. Spring went fast, so you should probably embrace the last couple of days that you can wear ski boots till 9 p.m. and have someone serve you a beer in the sunshine.