It's like skiing at the beach. The best of both worlds. Spring skiing in New Mexico boasts longer warm days with great snow and affordable skiing.  Now is the time to plan your spring "winter" get a-way. 

[R366R, Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort] has extended their hours of operation through the end of the season. Lifts will be open March 20-21 and again March 27-28, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., giving snow enthusiasts an extra hour every afternoon on the slopes. Lift operations will go from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. March 22-26 and April 3 until closing day (scheduled for April 11). Lift ticket prices drop to $25 for adults and teens, and $10 for kids and seniors beginning March 22. Fourth graders (proof, such as report cards, are required), kids ages six and younger, guests who are 40 years old, and seniors 70 or more ski and ride free every day at Sipapu.

March 28 marks the end of daily operations for Sipapu. The resort will be open weekends only beginning April 3. Sipapu is scheduled to again be the last resort to close in New Mexico, with the closing date set for April 11.

[R367R, Ski Apache] in Ruidoso has stepped up to announce they will extend their season while several other New Mexico resorts are considering the option. Apache closes April 11.

[R14R, Angel Fire Resort] will host the fifth annual Fiesta del Sol through March 20. The week-long celebration combines classic spring break fun with snow sporting events. You'll witness (or participate in) wild competitions including terrain park challenges, snow volleyball, and pond skimming. There will be live outdoors music, themed après ski parties and extended night skiing and tubing. If you haven't had a chance to check out the tubing lanes, schedule an hour or so after skiing for a few laughs with buds as you zip down in your inner tube. Add a hot tub soak and a bottle of wine afterward to culminate your epic day at Angel Fire.

"Our spring break crowd is a great mix of vacationing families and young revelers, so we strive to make Fiesta del Sol the perfect balance of entertainment for all ages," said Angel Fire's Dave Dekema.  "With 100 percent of the mountain open, over 200 inches of snow year-to-date, a 60-plus inch base and fresh powder in the forecast, Angel Fire is enjoying the best spring skiing and boarding we've seen in years. Thanks El Nino."

Hang out with the guys from Twin Tip Nation Sunday, March 14, at 9 a.m. Get hints, tips, and tricks at Lowrider Park.

There's face painting on the Ski Deck March 15-17 at 11 a.m. and pond skimming from noon to 4 p.m. at the base of Exhibition. That's three days of pond skimming - using your skis or snowboard to skim over a man-made pond much like you would skip a rock on water. Failure to make it across means a very cold bath.   

Angel Fire Resort mixes it up by having the traditional entry and exit into and out of the pond as well as a rail entry and jump exit for the daredevil, freestyle crowd.  Costumes are encouraged for the event but not a requirement.  A change of clothing is also recommended just in case you end up swimming.  Some folks try to simplify the process by disrobing completely prior to their skim.  Being a family resort, however, Angel Fire will enforce "bathing-suit" region coverage. 

A few tips from our local expert pond skimmer and Events Manager, Andy Whitacre, "Get plenty of speed, lean back slightly and stay loose. Think of water skiing or wake boarding." 

Pond skimming is open to the public. You'll have to sign a waiver with a parent or guardian present to sign for you if you are a minor. 

The Village Haus hosts the Shamrocks and Swimsuits Contest the night of March 17. Show up and strut your stuff; then enjoy live music from Warning Shot in the Lazy Lizard. There are green beer specials all night. 

Join the Bud Light Tug-o-War in front of Moguls Thursday, March 18, at 11 a.m. on the backside of the mountain and  play snow volleyball from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. also on the backside of the mountain March 19-20. There's a Bud Light Keg Toss in front of Moguls, Friday, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Both days there is a live music deep until 8 p.m.

Angel Fire has extended its Winter White Sale until the end of the season. That's $59/person/night for lodging, lift ticket, and buffet breakfast in the resort's spacious slopeside hotel. Make sure you request one of the newer rooms. The Lodge at Angel Fire has nearly completed its multi-million dollar renovation but about half of the rooms still await their makeover. The 120-room slopeside hotel welcomed guests this season with a new fitness center, upscale lobby/front desk, and a handful of remodeled hotel rooms. The entire job should be finished this summer.

Crews are also going to town on the new 27,000 square-foot Golf and Country Club. That bad boy is scheduled to open to the public this summer with a fine dining restaurant and grounds worthy of any summer party or wedding. The best food - until the Club opens - is at the Caliente Grill in the Lodge where you can order one heck of a succulent steak.

More information:

Angel Fire Resort , or call 800- 633-7463.

Sipapu, or call 800-587-2240.