Is it just us, or did this ski season pass in the blink of an eye? (You know what they say about how time passes when you’re having fun!) From crazy weather patterns to jaw-dropping feats of athleticism on the world’s biggest stage, we can all agree that it’s been a memorable season. Here’s what went down in 2017-2018.
Crazy Snowfall at Whistler Blackcomb
Let’s start with Whistler Blackcomb’s amazing season. Storms and storm totals varied drastically around the Northern Hemisphere this winter, but the Canadian behemoth seemed to exist within its own bountiful snow globe all season. North America’s largest resort has received nearly 500 inches of snow this season and as mid-April approaches, even the lower mountain is still buried in a 120-inch base.
There were a number of instances (particularly at the end of January) when blizzards dumped up to three feet overnight. If you’re brimming with jealousy, you still have time—Whistler’s projected closing date is May 21.
Massive Storms Hit Tahoe
The Sierra Nevada were buried under an otherworldly blizzard that hit at the end of February into early March, dumping so much snow and producing such whiteout conditions that Interstate 80 and several resorts closed for hours at a time.
At first, the storm dumped around five feet on Lake Tahoe Resorts, and then another storm hit overnight on March 15, adding close to 30 more inches in a matter of a few hours at Mount Rose, Heavenly, Northstar, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.
March Madness on the East Coast
Not one but four Nor’easters nailed East Coast resorts in March. By the middle of the month, the storms dropped more than five feet of snow on most of Vermont and around eight feet on a handful of resorts in a period of two weeks, burying snow stakes. East Coast skiers and riders rejoiced about the abundance of powder and the best March conditions in years at places like Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont and Whaleback Mountain in New Hampshire.
April Dump in Colorado
A huge storm hammered the Colorado Rockies the second weekend of April, leaving close to three feet in three days at Breckenridge, Winter Park, and Loveland. Everybody loves April (snow) showers!
2018 Winter Games
The spectacles at February’s Winter Games in Pyeongchang ranged from jaw-dropping to superhuman. Standouts included Shaun White ’s insane redemption victory in the halfpipe. The 31-year-old California snowboarder secured the third gold medal of his career in the Winter Games—and a historic 100th for the U.S. at the Winter Game—after landing a show-stopping final run as the last man down the pipe. White’s winning performance included a pair of soaring back-to-back 1440s and his signature double McTwist 1260.
A bunch of other California and Colorado athletes came up big, too. After becoming the youngest female slalom skier to ever win gold in the 2014 Games, Mikaela Shiffrin demonstrated the expansion of her skill set in 2018, landing gold in giant slalom and silver in super-combined. Let’s not forget fellow Vail skier Lindsey Vonn , who, after being sidelined from the Winter Games for eight years due to injury, returned for a spectacular downhill performance to earn a bronze and also wrapping up the season with a few more World Cup victories, edging ever closer to overtaking the record for most winning skier of all time (she has 82 Cup victories and is going after Ingemar Stenmark’s record of 86).
Then there was 17-year-old snowboarder Redmond Gerard who secured the first U.S. gold of the Games in men’s slopestyle as fellow Colorado resident Kyle Mack , 20, put some serious oxygen under his board to take silver in the Big Air event.
Fellow 17-year-old Chloe Kim of California surprised no one by easily winning the women’s snowboard halfpipe event while Colorado’s Arielle Gold put it together for bronze, but let’s not forget Tahoe snowboarder Jamie Anderson ’s incredible flying skills. In extremely gusty conditions on the slopestyle course, the Tahoe rider managed to handily defend her gold medal from 2014, even while downsizing her big move 900-degree spin in mid-air as a gale-force wind kicked up. She then went on to take silver in Big Air.
California veteran women’s halfpipe skier Brita Sigourney landed a big bronze in Pyeongchang, and Nevada native David Wise repeated his 2014 gold. After earning his way to the highest step of the podium in the first-ever ski halfpipe event in the 2014 Winter Games, the father of two overcame some technical difficulties and a pair of falls before bringing it all together among stiff competition in his final run while Colorado’s Alex Ferreira threw down for silver. Indiana native Nick Goepper also one-upped his bronze medal Sochi performance, earning silver in the Pyeongchang men’s ski slopestyle.
Perhaps the most startling result on the ski racing circuit was that of the Czech snowboarder Ester Ledecka , who flew out of the backfield to a gold medal in the women’s super G.
Last but not least, sleek dream team Jessie Diggins (Minnesota) and Kikkan Randall (Alaska) truly etched their mark by becoming the first American cross-country female skiers to win a Winter Games medal and the first of men or women to earn gold.
Follow-up Athletic Feats
Proving that those medals were no fluke, Mikaela Shiffrin proceeded to execute dominance in every race she entered for the rest of the season, landing on the podium in each and earning her second straight World Cup overall globe. Chloe Kim followed up her gold with a big win at the 2018 Burton Open in Vail and Jessie Diggins finished the 30-kilometer World Cup cross-country ski race in Holmenkollen Norway in second place on the heels of champion Marit Bjoergen.
The Epic Pass Got Even Better
As if the global options for great slopes on a single season pass weren’t already abundant, Vermont’s Okemo Mountain Resort and Stowe Mountain Resort, Mount Sunapee Resort in New Hampshire, and Colorado’s Crested Butte have joined the Epic Pass mix for 2018-19. This means Epic Pass holders have access to a whopping 64 ski resorts in eight countries around the world.
What was your favorite memory of the 2017-2018 season? Tell us in the comments below!
Written by RootsRated for Rent Skis.
Featured image provided by © Vail Resorts