Ahh, closing day: a bittersweet term that signals the end of ski season at resorts across North America. On one hand, it provides an opportunity to break out your best dayglow retro gear and crush corn snow and PBRs one last time. On the other hand, it is the sad day that your sticks get relegated to the back of the closet until the lifts spin once again next winter. Whether you view closing day from an optimistic or pessimistic vantage point, send off the 2016-17 ski season at one of these insanely awesome closing day parties…
April 9, 2017
Cloud Nine Bistro holds several notable distinctions: craziest party at 11,000 feet, Veuve Clicquot’s top-selling U.S. account and arguably one of the best closing day fiestas at any ski resort worldwide. The chair dancing, Veuve poppin’ and booze-fueled revelry will start early and go until the lifts stop spinning on closing day. Then, spill down the mountain to the Highlands base area where the fun goes well into the night. Must do on closing day: Grab one last lap on the famed, hike-to Highland Bowl before joining the rager on Cloud Nine’s sundeck.
April 9, 2017
Jackson’s free “Music Under the Tram” series concludes closing weekend at the sun-soaked deck at Nick Wilson’s Cowboy Cafe. Nick Wilson’s—located at the base of Jackson’s famed tram—always pops off on closing day. This year will be no exception with live tunes from Sneaky Pete and the Secret Weapons, a funk favorite for Jackson locals that is sure to tear the roof off the place on closing day. Soak up the tunes, then rip your heart out on 4,139 feet of vertical rise.
April 16, 2017
The Annual Frank World Classic has become the unofficial kick-off to closing day at Alta. It started six years ago as an ode to “Franks” — skiers rocking straight skis, throwing daffys, struggling to link bump turns and generally throwing caution to the wind. It’s a day reserved for posting up on the Punk Rock run under the old-school, two-seat Wildcat lift, cracking a beer and watching rippers and Jerrys alike launch off kickers while a megaphone-toting MC critiques their performance.
April 16, 2017
You better bring your grilling A-game if you want to take home a 2017-18 Monarch season pass at the 10th Annual Parking Lot Cook-Off and Tailgate Party. Flipping burgers and cracking cold ones alone will not impress the discerning palate of the judges at this tailgate extravaganza. On top of whipping up delicious grub, contestants will be judged on the décor of their grilling set-up and the spirit they convey throughout the day. Cap off the Monarch season by competing in the Gunbarrel Challenge—a race up the Gunbarrel run by foot and then back down on skis. Or, just crush the insane ski terrain all day.
April 22, 2017
While some Jay Peak lifts could keep spinning beyond April 22 if the snow sticks around, the official end-of-season send-off is the annual Tailgate Party in the Stateside parking lot. While this Vermont tradition isn’t as old as Ben & Jerry’s or Phish, it has developed quite the raucous reputation over the past seven years. Be prepared for live tunes (weather permitting), great grub, lots of booze and general tailgate debauchery. These folks aren’t messing around; they love their mountain and they love their partying.
Mammoth, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows
July 4, 2017
After several subpar snow years, Ullr brought the pow back to Cali in a big way during the 2016-17 season. With over 50 feet of snow by April 1, Golden State resorts like Mammoth and Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows have decided to extend their season all the way until Independence Day. Fireworks, BBQ and lift-served skiing in Cali on the Fourth of July? Now those are some serious closing day soirees… America, f#ck yeah!