The Essential Utah Spring Skiing Gear Guide

By King of Après Apr 3, 2017
The Après Adam gear guide to spring skiing in Utah. Discover ten local products and ski essentials to help make the most of this spring!
The Essential Utah Spring Skiing Gear Guide

Spring skiing is in full bloom in Utah. With a deep snowpack and more snow and sunshine on the way, I’m here to help you make the most of spring skiing in the Wasatch. For a full breakdown check out my Definitive Guide to Spring Skiing in Utah. The following ten items are local products that are sure to make the most of what’s left of your ski season.

Snowbird Spring Pass

With the longest season in Utah and the only resort open past April, the Snowbird Spring Pass is a must. The resorts are closing. One-by-one the lifts will stop spinning. And as much fun as spring touring and hiking is, it’s not realistic to think you can ski uphill every day this spring. So pony up the $419 and buy a Snowbird Spring Pass today and start riding as early as April 1st… no joke.

Pit Viper Sunglasses and a Half Hat

Pit Vipers are the official sunglasses of Utah’s own Party Mountain. These stylish shades are a must-have for any true skier or après-skier. Not only are these shades bulletproof*, but they perfectly embody the entire spring skiing experience. From pow days to costume parties, from park laps to slopeside pitchers, there’s no spring event, outside of maybe Easter service, that isn’t augmented by the presence of a pair of Pit Vipers. Skip the extra bulk of carrying both goggles and après-ski sunglasses and adopt this new hybrid sunglass-goggle technology. *not actually bulletproof.

Check out their equally awesome lineup of headbands… I mean Half Hats. Perfect for those days when a beanie is too damn hot, but you still want to cover your ears and look cool. They’re also embroidered with inspirational messages that will inspire your crew to get extra rad on the slopes of Party Mountain today and everyday!

Big Shots Shot Skis

Because you can’t spring ski without taking at least one shot ski. What I love about Big Shots, aside from being based out of Park City, is the simplicity and versatility provided by the latest in shot ski technology. Gone are the days of drills, screws, magnets, and hot glue guns (ouch!). Peel off the adhesive cover, stick the 3M VHB adhesive pad to any surface, press the mounts into place, and start partying! The mounts come in two sizes: Shooter and Bomber. The shooter is your traditional shot glass size. The Bomber is a game-changer in the shot ski industry, allowing you to perform your favorite shot ski maneuvers with a pint glass or red Solo Cup. Sick and tired of Fireball shots? Me neither. But now you and two buddies can simultaneously chase that shot of delicious liquefied cinnamon bears with a pint of beer on a ski. That’s freakin’ teamwork!

Rossignol Black Ops

Spring skiing isn’t just about costumes and partying. We occasionally ski too! It’s not unusual to see all four seasons make an appearance on a typical spring ski day. You need a ski that can handle anything mother nature throws at it. That’s where the Rossignol Black Ops comes in handy. Park, powder, corn, mashed potatoes, slush bumps, wiggles, zipper lines, spread eagles, and pond skims. These babies do it all. Rossignol, based right here in Park City, tried to keep the release of these skis a secret, but the world has caught on. If you can find a pair, buy them up and convert your old favorite ski into a Big Shots Shot Ski, that’s the only use it’ll get after riding these Black Ops this spring.

Sunscreen and Zinc

While a stout goggle or Pit Viper tan is sure to earn you some valuable ski town street cred, make sure to take care of you face skin while on the hill. No one wants to look like that grizzled, leather-faced old man over there. By the way, that old man is really just a 41-year-old ski bum that never listened to his mom about putting on sunscreen. I highly recommend lathering up with all-natural Beyond Coastal sunscreen. It’s local, it’s all-natural, it’s good for your skin. Get some.

Want to add a little flair to your face? My go to is the Zinka Nosecoat 3-Pack. It’s bright, it protects, and it’s fun. It’s also a great conversation starter at parties. So walk over to that cute girl in the Bogner onesie and tell her “I ZINC your nose is starting to get a little burnt.” It’s hilarious and it shows how great of a guy you are.

Skullcandy Wireless Speakers

Because you can’t party ski without music and cords are always getting in the way of your next banger instagram photo, I highly recommend picking two bluetooth-enabled products from Skullcandy. Based right here in Park City, Skullcandy released two new products ideal for spring skiing. The Crusher Wireless, is a bluetooth version of one of the company’s iconic headphones. Perfect for a day of cruising groomers or lapping the park to that banger 80’s Ski Playlist on Spotify.

The Barricade XL is a bluetooth-enabled speaker perfect for that spring party or booter building session in the backcountry. It’s fully waterproof, has a battery life of ten hours for these long spring days, and is buoyant in case you take a spill trying to take it with you on that next pond skim.

Thrift Store Onesie

Skip the trendy websites selling “retro” snowsuits head to the local thrift store. You might have to do some digging, and even then you might not hit paydirt. But be patient and diligent in your thrift store shopping and you may come across something actually unique and fun. You’ll be revered by the frat bros rocking their “ironic” onesies, the hipsters for repurposing used ski gear, and everyone in the community for buying locally. And when that cute guy or girl asks where you found that thing, you’ll have a better story than, “it’s actually pretty hilarious. I was on Facebook and I saw an ad for this cool onesie. So, I clicked on the link only to find out they were sold out of my size. So I picked my second favorite and, wouldn’t you know it, same thing…. Then get this, I picked my third favorite one and clicked ‘add to cart’, entered my credit card deets, and boom! One week later it was at my door… Hey, where’d you go?”

A Mullet Wig

A mullet wig just makes everything more fun. It also works with pretty much any spring skiing costume party you can think of:
  • Gaper Day 70’s skier: Check
  • Pond Skim Day 80’s dude/girl: of course
  • Closing Day mishmash of whatever costume pieces not yet lost: Definitely.
  • Jortski guy in jean shorts and a mullet: obvi.
  • Memorial Day or 4th of July(?): Is there anything more patriotic?

The Chuting Gallery

Spring is the perfect time to escape the resorts and head up into the backcountry to work on that tan and get in shape with bikini season just around the corner. And while the Wasatch can seem small at times, it can be an intimidating place for someone new to the area or just starting to venture beyond resort sidecountry. There a lot of places to find information about the Wasatch Backcountry, but my favorite is The Chuting Gallery: A Guide to Steep Skiing in the Wasatch Mountains, written by Park City’s own Andrew McLean. The book describes a wide range of lines in the Wasatch, ranging from entry-level to why-the-hell-would-anyone-ever-ski-that?. It’s not for everyone and a lot of the lines aren’t skiable this time of year, but it’s a great starting point to check some boxes and start making plans for next season.

Daymaker Touring Adapters

Looking to get some exercise while getting rad in the backcountry, look no further than Daymaker Touring adapters. An updated and significantly improved evolution of Alpine Trekkers (aka “Day Wreckers”), these Utah-made adapters are ideal for getting you into the backcountry on your favorite pair of skis. While most people have a touring setup for the winter, that ski typically isn’t ideal for a lot of backcountry missions in the spring. 

Want to build a backcountry booter? Throw Daymakers on your widest park skis and start walking. Trying to check off some gnarly lines in the Chuting Gallery? Throw some Daymakers on your most trusty setup and start skinning to the top of that 60 degree chute. It’s late-spring and it’s starting to get a little thin out there? Throw some Daymakers on your best/worst rock skis and ski the hell out of some rocks. Daymakers turn your measly ski quiver into an entire backcountry-ready arsenal.

Made it this far? I've created a 2018 Essential Spring Gear Guide - you should probably check it out!