Don't count Whiteface Mountain out yet.
Yes, this winter has lacked the normal snowfall depths we've come to expect in the Adirondacks, but that doesn't mean it's time to pack up the skis or snowboard. There are dozens of trails open, and when you pair that with the amazing Springfest Maple Weekend lineup, March is looking like a great month to be on the slopes.
First, let's talk skiing and snowboarding. I'm a skier, and when I think of spring I think of fewer layers and more sun. The snow is usually soft but still fast, creating an ideal combination of control and fun. I tend to get twice as many runs in during a 50-degree day because I don't feel compelled to visit the lodge every 30 minutes to warm my toes, and few things feel better than carving down a mountain in a short sleeve shirt.
Likewise, few things feel better than standing at the base of Whiteface Mountain and checking out a band in between runs. That's the kind of scene Springfest brings to the end of winter.
The events started March 5, but if you missed that there are plenty more on deck. March 12 and 13 is rife with St. Paddy's Day happenings that include live music, timed runs down the Fox Trail race course, limited first runs with staff down a freshly groomed trail, kids' activities, and a two-for-one lift ticket special on Sunday.
The March 19 and 20 weekend is the always-sweet Maple Weekend. There's live music and a chance to make first tracks, and there's also maple syrup — lots of it — in the form of things like maple cheesecake and maple and candied walnut ice cream.
If you're in the mood to compete, sign up for the Apple Butter Open mogul competition on Saturday. It's open to all ages and abilities.
Easter weekend is a great time for young skiers and boarders to learn new skills. On Saturday, kids 12 and under can sign up for the Grommet Jam Competition. Coaches will teach entrants how to hit jumps, do tricks, and then land them from noon to 1 p.m., then the competition begins. An award ceremony follows the event.
Sunday features an Easter service, brunch, and a hunt for 5,000 hidden Easter eggs.
The last weekend, April 2 and 3, is my personal favorite. Saturday has some kids' activities, live music, and food and drink specials, which are fun, but Sunday's Pond Skimming Contest is when the party gets going.
The rules for pond skimming are straightforward: Get dressed up, cruise downhill at top speed, and see how far you can glide across the surface of a shallow pond. Attend and you'll see all manner of ridiculous attire — diapers, suits, viking helmets, and capes aren't uncommon — and you can join the crowd as it responds accordingly to the derring-do of the participants.
Break out of the norm this spring: