Hunter Mountain, mecca for tens of thousands of New York metro area skiers and snowboarders, is offering a March Into Spring Pass for $169.

The pass is valid for unlimited skiing and riding from Feb. 28 until April 10, or the end of the 2010-11 season, whichever comes earlier.

Hunter's March Into Spring Pass will pay for itself in less than three visits.

Snowmaking remains the heart of winter operations at Hunter, and a big reason why New York area urban dwellers feel confident of finding snow on Hunter's trails. Operators say 95 percent of the mountain's customers come from south of Exit 18 on the New York Thruway, and 75 percent come from northern New Jersey, Long Island, and the Metropolitan area.

Over the years - 50 of them - the Slutzkys embraced better and more efficient snow guns, new groomers, and high-speed chairs.

Hunter was the first ski area in the world to have top-to-bottom snowmaking. That happened in 1967, thanks to the Slutzkys' dedication to the new technology. The Catskill resort became the first ski area in the world to have 100 percent snowmaking coverage on its trails 13 years later.

The investment in snowmaking means excellent coverage, edge-to-edge, and a long ski season, as manmade snow is far more durable than the natural kind.

Combine the two kinds of snow - natural and manmade - as has happened this season, and it's the best of all world's for skiers and riders.

More information. Or call 800-486-8376.