The weather in Tahoe City, California, is currently 68 degrees and sunny, nights are no longer hitting freezing, and the Truckee River is so full of snowmelt it's flooding the bike paths along the bank.
But with nearly 60 feet of snowfall in the Tahoe Sierra Nevada this winter, the Golden State--where summer typically means palm trees, waves, and spray tans--may just be the place to score ski turns in August. This is the ski season that just keeps on giving.
Mammoth Mountain, in the heart of the Eastern Sierra, will be spinning lifts on the daily until Fourth of July and possibly longer. Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe announced this week plans to stay open indefinitely, on Saturday's only after the Fourth of July weekend and only for special passholders. No doubt Squaw's well-timed media announcement was intended to plant pleasant thoughts of spring skiing into the minds of skiers distracted by warmer weather pastimes. Temps are continuing to climb and even though schizo spring may bring snow this weekend, this endless season will demand an endless supply of salt to keep slopes slick. Regardless, there's no denying the volume of Squaw's 20-foot and Mammoth's 25-foot current base depths.
California is only halfway through its water year, and already, the state's Department of Water Resources announced this year as the wettest on record. In January, 282 inches fell on Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, an amount that broke their record for the most snowfall seen in one month and was on par with season snowfall totals during the worst of the drought years, between 2011 and 2015.
But even in the biggest winters, Squaw has never stayed open later than the Fourth of July. They plan to defy the natural order of the seasons "through strategic movement of snow using grooming machines." So basically, the self-dubbed Spring Skiing Capital plans to move snow around to build a groomer.
I'll take it: the casual days, the snow that feels like a 7-11 slurpy, and après at noon because skiing won’t last much longer than the morning. And then get on with your multi-sport day: jumping in the lake, mountain biking, and summer softball rec leagues.
Not in California? You can keep skiing long into summer at one of these places, too.
Beartooth Basin, Montana
Opening Memorial Day weekend 2017, two pomas give skiers access to 700 vertical feet and a high alpine ridgeline well into the summer solstice. We recommend coming out for the Summer Shredfest, a small ski area symposium hosted by the Mountain Rider's Alliance in June.
Arapahoe Basin, Colorado
Fire up the grill and bring your lawn chairs and dancing shoes for beach season at A-Basin. Folks here haven't given up on skiing yet--but the ratio of après to hot laps may skew toward more beers than recommended.
Mount Hood, Oregon
Summer at Mount Hood is perhaps the only time Oregon is free from the stereotypical grey. Freestyle and race camps like Windells, High Cascade, and Party Beach are in session. Happy campers, come one and all.
Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
A few hours north of Mount Hood and another round of summer camps and ski race training go down on Whistler's Horstman Glacier.