If a couple of weeks ago you looked up in the mountains and wondered, "What about spring?," rest assured. The latest snow dump will at least get us into April.
"I think the snow we just got gave us a real boost," said Heavenly Mountain Resort spokesman Russ Pecoraro. "We're really at a snowpack of close to 100 inches."
As usual in the spring, the South Shore's ski resorts will be packed with T-shirt-clad skiers and riders, a bevy of events and all-around festive atmospheres.
Highlights of the late ski season include a pair of eating contests at Heavenly and Sierra-at-Tahoe Ski Resort. At Heavenly on April 1, participants can try their hand, er, mouth in a bratwurst eating competition at 1 p.m. in Stein's, off of Patsy's run. At Sierra on April 15, the resort's fifth annual Salsa Showdown will feature a taco-eating competition.
Spring is also high time for competitions that involve skill not pertaining to the stomach. Sierra will host the Buckle Up Big Air in Memory of Greg Smith. Heavenly will host the bump-tastic Gunbarrel 25 with Glen Plake. And Kirkwood has both the North Face Masters snowboarding competition and the Freeskiing World Tour at the end of March, beginning of April.
For those of you that are just really feeling the spring season, the Heavenly Angel Fashion Show featuring beautiful women and new ski gear should suffice. Or, for those who just can't get off the slopes, check out Sierra's Telegrass Festival or Kirkwood's passholder appreciation days. There's also a Transworld Snowboarding Magazine park shoot at Heavenly in early April on features that will actually stay up for the general public once the shoot it over.
"People see things in the magazines that they don't get to ride," Pecoraro said. "This is their opportunity."
Heavenly will pull the plug on the season on April 15. Sierra and Kirkwood have yet to announce closing dates. On next year's passes, Heavenly has announced two options for the Vail Resort three-pack (Kirkwood, Northstar, Heavenly) starting at $379. Sierra debuted unlimited passes, which can be used through the rest of the current season, at $249 Friday.