The end of the season is coming soon - but not yet - to [R304R, Okemo], as to resorts across New England.

Okemo plans to run at least until April 19, but will extend if skier and rider interest remains strong.

"We've extended every year that I've been here," said Okemo's Bonnie MacPherson.

MacPherson is among many skiers and riders who consider these final weeks the best of the season.

"We can see the end ahead, but this is the best time of year to ski," she said.

Why? "I love the sun, feeling it warm on my face, seeing the way conditions change throughout the day. I love the first run on classic winter corduroy and as soon as the sun starts to warm up the snow changes, gets softer and starts to mound up into those huge hero lumps of snow that look like moguls but are really soft. You ski for the morning and then go in for a lunch break, sit on the deck in the sun," MacPherson said.

MacPherson said she loses the helmet in spring conditions, although not when she goes into the woods or attempts anything crazy.

"Layers are what it's all about, but you always need a Hawaiian shirt as your middle layer so you can look really cool," she said. Glove liners, not gloves; sunglasses; sunblock.

"It feels really good to not feel all layered up," she said.

Okemo's 2009-10 season passes are on sale, with an option to add the rest of this season.

People who buy by April 30 get last year's early season rates. For example, the Ultra Pass offers unlimited skiing at Okemo, [R430R, Stratton], Sunapee, and [R120R, Crested Butte] for $1,259; the Value Pass offers skiing during all non-holiday periods at Okemo, Stratton and [R287R, Sunapee] for $589; and the Midweek Super Pass offers skiing Monday through Friday at Okemo, Stratton, and Sunapee.