To paraphrase the English author Samuel Johnson, pond skimming is the triumph of hope over experience. So it is everywhere, and so it is at [R354R, Seven Springs].

Every year this annual rite of spring draws diehard participants who believe that, perhaps, this year they will skim swiftly and lightly across the surface of a frigid pond, arriving safe and dry on the far side, and win prizes and the acclaim of hundreds of spectators.

(That dogged attitude calls to mind my labrador retriever, who seemed always to believe that, next time, he would win his fight with the porcupine. Alas it was never to be.)

The spectators, however, may be hoping for spectacular splashes and sodden skiers and riders who learn, once again, that pond skimming ain't as easy as it may appear.

Be that as it may,Seven Springs' 7th Annual Pond Skim and Meltdown Party is set for Saturday March 28.

It's a double event this year, as participants will try their skill and luck across not one, but two ponds.

Prizes also awarded for craziest costume.

Registration begins at 10 a.m. and skimming gets under way at noon. Fee: $25 for two runs and a T-shirt. Participants must be at least 14.

Call Seven Springs Ski Patrol at 800-452-2223, ext. 7814 for more information.