Category Archives: Events

Best Spring Ski Festivals in the West

spring ski festival pond skimming

It’s nearly March. The snowiest month of the ski season is only days away and places like Snowbird and Mammoth have already reached record-breaking base depths with no end to the powder days for the near future. While those who hate winter lament; those of us who live for sliding are doing the mother of all dances. And this spring will be the ultimate culmination of the best ski season since 1995. You can bet the coming festivals that celebrate spring skiing and shenanigans will rage from the energy this winter has stoked.

Spring skiing means less base layers, more sunlight, longer afternoons for apres. It’s the time for locals and guests to celebrate an epic ski season with festivals, events, tailgating parties, and pond skimming. How can you get in on the action? Check out our list of top spots to ring in the spring.

Tahoe Snowfest, Lake Tahoe

North Lake Tahoe SNOWFEST is one of the largest winter mountain festivals on the west coast. The annual 10-day event celebrates the best of North Lake Tahoe from ski town nightlife to outdoor family-friendly events. Get ready to party March 2-12 with parades, laser show and fireworks, pancake breakfasts, live music and concerts, bar parties, ski races, dog and pet events, ice carving, a polar bear swim and much more. 

Subaru Winterfest, Snowbird and Woodward

The concert and mountain lifestyle tour is a winter playground for music fans, skiers, snowboarders, and dog lovers alike. It gives you an excuse (do you really need one?) to get outside and gather with fellow winter lovers as you celebrate the move towards spring and warmer days with live music, giveaways and vendor booths. The tour visits Woodward, Park City, first on March 18 with headliner the Spazmatics and then moves to Snowbird March 24-26 and music from SunSquabi and Simba Sax.

Spring Gruv, Park City/Canyons

Park City Mountain’s annual spans a whopping 16 days, starting with Oakley Week on March 23 and culminating with a 100-foot pond skim on April 8. Anyone can enter and there are prizes for the biggest splash, best costume, and best overall skim, plus tons of raffles and giveaways. There’s live music every afternoon and most evenings along with jugglers, magicians, s’mores and backyard games.

Rendezvous Spring Festival, Jackson Hole

The Jackson Hole Rendezvous Spring Ski Festival is a two-day music festival on March 31 – April 1, 2023, that starts in downtown on Friday night but finishes in Teton Village on Saturday afternoon. Chart-toppers The Revivalists will headline with ZZ Ward and Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Then Yellowstone crooner Ryan Bingham headlines alongside Elle King plus Futurebirds and Dumpstaphunk. Tickets are free but you have to reserve on Eventbrite and it’s first come-first serve.

Bonus, skiers and snowboarders who own a valid 2022-23 winter resort season pass ANYWHERE in the world who travel to Jackson Hole during Rendezvous Fest can receive a 50% discount on lift tickets!

Altitunes, Big White

Canada’s biggest mountain music festival is back for two days of music, skiing, and an array of outdoor activities with your crew, March 31-April 1. The tunes are curated for a fun blend of folk, pop & alt- rock, and a full day of upbeat dance music on Saturday.

WinterWonderGrass, Steamboat & Palisades

Bluegrass, jamgrass and roots music and beer. What more could you want? Oh, yeah, great skiing. This pair of three-day festivals will be held in Colorado and California, March 3-5 and March 31- April 2, respectively. Headliners in Steamboat – Greensky Bluegrass, The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon and Paul Gauten and more will perform on four stages, over three days.

WWG part 2 will take place at Palisades Tahoe on March 31-April 2, with Trampled By Turtles, Greensky Bluegrass and Marcus King topping the bill.

Day passes start at $109 and include three hours of complimentary beer and spiked seltzer tastings.

World Ski and Snowboard Festival, Whistler

Hands down the most off-the-hook spring ski festival in North America. Known to locals as WSSF, the World Ski & Snowboard Festival combines spring energy with a week of non-stop events and action on and off the slopes. Ski and snowboard competitions like Big Air and Slush Cup, music, art, photography, action filmmaking and exciting nightlife will happen April 10-16.


The country’s top multi-multisport event to benefit of Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation will have racers gearing up May 13 in Bend, Ore. Anyone can enter as individuals, pairs, or teams at

Since 1976 the event which features ski (alpine and nordic), bike, run, canoe/kayak, sprint legs annually attracts thousands of competitors from throughout the Northwest and beyond, and stretches from the slopes of Mt. Bachelor to the finish line in Bend’s Old Mill District.

Whether you are a less-competitive racer who wants to join a team for fun, have an active day with friends or family, or an elite multi-sport athlete, the SELCO PPP has a place for you.

Utah’s Big Gear Show Concludes

big gear show overlook

And that’s a wrap for the second annual (?) Big Gear Show. The outside off shoot that sprung up at Deer Valley last year after the Outdoor Retailer Show in Denver drove major outdoors brands to flee the Colorado Convention Center is starting to find its footing. Even more brands than last year turned out to appreciate the ability to connect with outdoor shop buyers and media.

big gear show booths

Brands like Mountain Hardwear and Black Diamond joined more than 200 gear manufacturers in the lower parking lot of Deer Valley to showcase their 2023 lines to prospective and current retailers. It was an opportunity not only to see what will be in stores like REI and Sportsmans Warehouse but to feel them as well. You could demo trail running shoes from Adidas by jogging the singletrack above the Lodges, take eBikes to Main Street or float a kayak in the Deer Valley pond. Paddle brands like Aquaglide and Solstice settled along the edge of the water just like in days past when the Utah Outdoor Retailer Show hosted their “demo day” at Pineview Reservoir.

deer valley pond

Attendees to this year’s BGS noted the relaxed atmosphere, the bigger selection of gear brands over the inaugural year and the congruency of hosting an outdoors experience outdoors instead of in a convention center. It certainly wasn’t busier than the ghost-like aisles of the OR convention but organizers are taking feedback and making changes to move in that direction. Parking, however, could be an issue in the future if that happens. This year, the lots of DV filled up by 10 a.m. and people took to the sides of public streets.

Several Utah-connected brands made a showing for the two-day event including Camp Chef, Petzl, Magnum Bikes, Uncharted Supply Company, Hydrapak, Goal Zero, Liberty Mountain, Scott Sports, POC, Klymit, Peak Refuel, Black Diamond Equipment, Chums. Missing from the roster though were Altra, Lowa Boots, Coalatree, Kuhl, Cotopaxi, Gregory Mountain Products, Lizard Skins, Lone Peak Packs, Cypher Climbing, and Salomon.

utah beer at the big gear show

Like the OR Show demo day (which is coming back to Utah this January!), the Big Gear Show gives attendees that hands-on session with the brands. We took a sunrise trail run with Uncharted Supply Co’s Christian Schauf and Utah Olympic Nordic gold medalist Billy Demong off Guardsman’s Pass to test Uncharted’s Park Pack hip back and hiked to DV’s Royal Street Cafe with wearing Mountain Hardwear’s butter-soft Crater Lake Tank and Scarpa’s Ribelle Run trail runners.

scarpa trail running shoes

No one’s pontificating on the future of the BGS now that the OR is returning but those who attended seemed to enjoy the slower pace, the less-hurried meets with buyer and the mountain breezes wiggling their tents. I do have to say that for an outdoor event I was sadly sunburned after expecting at least a dozen sunscreen brands to attend and not a one could be found. Really, Guys, how can you play outside without sunscreen? Perhaps next year.

Ski Play Live TV at the Big Gear Show

Let’s meet some of the brands who attended-

Walls are Meant For Climbing

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Walls aren’t for isolation. They are structures that invite people to gather and commune.  The wall is a place for the climbing community to come together to test themselves, build trust, and strengthen bonds.

The North Face created a global brand program in 2018 called “Walls Are Meant for Climbing,” and it’s back August 24, 2019. The program aims to counter the divisions we’re witnessing globally by inviting people to find trust in community.

Building on the success of the last year, TNF has partnered with dozens of climbing gyms and facilities worldwide to celebrate Global Climbing Day (August 24, 2019) and will be offering free climbing opportunities in cities in the U.S., China, Canada, Europe, Nepal, Australia, Peru, Guatemala and more. The plan is to donate $1 for every person who climbs at one of the more than 150 participating gyms on August 24th- up to $100,000. Funds will go to Khumbu Climbing Center.

In the U.S. , TNF partnered with the Trust for Public Land to support the installation of public climbing walls in more communities, with a focus on underserved areas and making the sport more accessible to all. For example, the Montbello Open Space Park, near Denver. The 4.5 acre green park serves 40,000+ low-to moderate-income youth and families from the area. More public climbing boulders will be coming soon.

To celebrate the connections we make while climbing, The North Face is also releasing a limited series of “Walls are Meant for Climbing” products with designs in multiple languages to reflect the diverse communities participating in Global Climbing Day across the globe.

For more information on “Walls Are Meant for Climbing” and Global Climbing Day location events, visit


Alta’s Earth Day Is Coming

alta earth day

The 10th annual Alta Earth Day 2019 celebration is headed to Utah Saturday, April 20th. There’s no better way to honor all the natural resources and beautiful landscapes of the Wasatch than playing amid the epic conditions of our 2018-19 winter season (so far 500+ inches!).

Alta Earth Day 2019 is a free event honoring the community’s vision to build awareness and appreciation for Utah’s environment. The day’s celebration includes a display of environmentally conscious vendors and organizations, ski and snowboard recycling with Utah Recycling Alliance, a Fix-it Bike Clinic with Salt Lake Bicycle Collective, and other activities.

What’s On Tap For Alta Earth Day 2019

Throughout the day there will be opportunities for people to get in touch with their ‘wild’ side with a naturalist snowshoe tour, Tour with a Ranger, Arborist ski around and Alta birding tour followed with an après ski celebration at Our Lady of the Snows at 4:30 pm. Enjoy live music, food and beverages and an opportunity drawing to support the sustainability efforts of the Alta community.

“This event speaks Alta. A fun casual gathering by Alta patrons to celebrate all that Alta provides by way of its natural environment, skiing, and community mountain experience. It’s my favorite day of the season next to powder days,” Alta resident Maura Olivos.

The Alta community is pleased to host eco-minded vendors with on the snow demos and displays at Wildcat Base the day of the event from 9 am to 4 pm. Featured vendors include Coalatree Organics, Momentum Recycling, Peterson Equipment – PistenBully, Utah Recycling Alliance, Norwex, Xistential Love, Oligie, Meier Skis, and more. This event wouldn’t be possible without the additional support from our sponsors: Natural History Museum of Utah, Porcupine Pub & Grill, REI Salt Lake City, DPS Skis and Arc’Teryx.

Interested environmentally committed vendors and organizations seeking to be a part of this event may contact the Alta Environmental Center at For event details visit the Alta Earth Day webpage. This event is a collaborative effort by organizations and members of the Alta community – Alta Community Enrichment, Alta Ski Area,  Alta Environmental Center, Cottonwood Canyons Foundation, Friends of Alta, Tracy Aviary, TreeUtah and the Town of Alta. Share the event:  #AltaEarthDay, Webpage, Facebook, Instagram

Santa Monica Pier Keeps The Beach Vibe Alive

santa monica pier

If you’re like me- constantly looking for summer fun- then check out this latest entry that seems to be an off-the-hook gathering of beach bums. The Santa Monica Pier in Southern California is officially putting summer on notice. The first-ever Pier 360 Ocean Sports & Beach Festival, June 23-24, will crush the Santa Monica Pier.

On the deck, down to the shore and into the waves, the Pier will offer a complete 360° of California beach culture. A spin around the festival grounds presents a full slate of marquee ocean races, beachside tournaments, immersive art, music, surf history and activities for all ages. The event is totally free whether you’re a regular surf rider or can’t swim a length.

santa monica pier

What began in 2010 as the single-day Paddleboard Race at the Santa Monica Pier has continued to evolve into one of California’s largest ocean festivals, drawing thousands of spectators each year. Pier 360 is summer’s kickoff celebration.

“Pier 360 combines all of the beautiful things about beach life and rolls it into one epic happening,” says SMPC Executive Director Negin Singh. “As we turn up the volume on all of our Pier-produced events, our team is super excited to show the world what we’re all about with this summer kickoff. There truly will be something for everyone!”

The two-day beach bonanza officially begins Saturday at 7 a.m. with a Hawaiian blessing on the sand before diving into the first of 13 competitions. Over 500 athletes will compete for cash prizes, and victorious high school and collegiate beach volleyball teams will earn points towards the national championships. Later, thousands of spectators will line the sand and the deck as lifeguards compete in dory races; and elite stand-up Paddleboard (SUP) racers compete in a challenging course around the Pier. And, if that’s not enough, spectators can catch skaters busting 360’s on the pop-up skate ramp. Hands-on activities include assisting the build of a colossal sand sculpture with the art collective, Think Tank Gallery.

Up on the Pier deck, live music takes center stage, anchored by music festival mainstay Brownies & Lemonade (high off its Coachella Heineken House takeover). Of course, Pier 360-goers can groove with drink-in-hand at the Beer & Spirits Garden, which will be pouring beer and cocktails from 10 a.m. to sunset both days.

While you’re there, cruise the Museum of Beach Life and its collection of antique surfboards, paddleboards, and lifeguard equipment celebrating the long history of beach life at the Pier that dates back to the 1940’s.

The experiential rundown:

On the Pier deck, the festival vibes. Top experiences:
• Beats by Brownies & Lemonade
• Beer & Spirits Garden by Kona Brewing Co., Aperol, Patron and White Claw
• Live Polynesian Band & Hula Dancing
• Immersive Art Installations by Think Tank Gallery
• Eats by The Albright and Seaside on the Pier
• Skate Experience thanks to Red Bull

On the sand, the activities heat up. Major spectacles:
• Beach Volleyball AAU & 4-Man
• Beach Volleyball Doubles
• Kids Activities

In the water, the paddle battles rage. Marquee competitions:
• Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Surf Competition
• Paddle Cross Race
• Dory Sprint & 3-Lap Dory
• 1 Mile Ocean Swim
• Long Course Paddle Race
• Splash n’ Dash
• Junior SUP Race

Full event schedule available online at:

The festival benefits The Surfrider Foundation and The Bay Foundation, two non-profits dedicated to preserving coastal access, protecting the environment and improving the health of the ocean environment. Shore to be a good time.

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