Felicity Long
Felicity Long

Spring fever can come in many forms, from gardening to manic house-cleaning sessions, but for many snow-sport diehards, the real joy of spring is a last mad dash to the slopes.

One attraction is the warmer weather, which may not get you on the slopes in shorts and a T-shirt -- although we've seen it done -- but will almost certainly enable you to leave a few layers behind.

Another draw is lower prices, with some resorts trimming room rates as well as lift ticket prices as they wind down for the season.

But for many of us, the real fun of spring skiing is the soft snow, which allows skiers and snowboarders to attempt terrain and moves that might be more daunting in harder, faster snow.

In fact, industry experts often refer to spring snow as "ego snow" for that very reason. I once had an instructor point out that his students were less afraid of falling in soft snow and, therefore, were more relaxed, causing them to ski better.

All that said, too much warm sun can also cause slushy terrain and mashed potato snow, which is no fun to maneuver in at any skill level.

Resorts that stay open into April and beyond typically only open and maintain a select number of runs, and staff can tell visitors which runs are best to hit at which time of day.

Not all services will be up and running at the tail end of the season, which means that clients with children might not have access to the children's club, and not every equipment rental facility might be open.

One thing that won't be in short supply, however, is great spring spirit, which can transform even a day with so-so conditions into one that closes the season on a high note.


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