Many skiers and snowboarders think spring is the best time to hit the slopes, and that spring snow offers the best skiing and riding of the season.
As the Romans said, "De gustibus non est disputandum," which is roughly translated as, "There's no disputing taste." (A more snippy translation might be, "There's no pleasing some people.")
Seriously, though, spring skiing is wonderful.
The sun is higher and warmer, and snow has evolved from the light, fluffy powder of deep winter into the soft, large-grained corn snow that makes every turn a work of art.
Days have grown noticeably longer, with sunrise earlier and sunset later.
The sun has a real bite now, making it a pleasure to sit outside at the base lodge or an on-mountain eatery, enjoying food and drink with friends, watching other skiers and riders make their way down the mountain.
Winter continues, with lots of snowpack, and freezing nights.
Snowmaking is over for the winter, but grooming continues until the lifts stop spinning.
Each night the groomers smooth out trail surfaces bumped up by a day's worth of skiing and riding.
A magic hour occurs each morning, when warm spring sun loosens the frozen surface of trails, and each run is pure joy, each turn a magic experience.
Veteran skiers and snowboarders know to watch out for variable surface conditions, and to beware of thinning cover that can expose rocks, although this year that likely won't happen until later in March.
They also know to wear sunblock to protect against stronger sunlight that beats down from above, and reflects up from below.
Goggles or sunglasses are important pieces of equipment.
Clothing shifts from the ultra-warm garments of mid-winter to lighter garb of spring.
Skiers and riders dress in layers still, but more lightly, so various items of apparel can be taken off and stowed away as the days warm from 20s to 40s. They know to ski early, enjoy the mid-day sun and warmth, and go home happy.
It's the best of times. Savor each run.
Question: What is spring skiing?
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