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    Get the most out of it!

    Photo:RR Scotty having fun! We had an e-mail the other day from someone traveling up to Tahoe over Easter break. They wondered if there would be any snow left. With all the warm weather the west has seen, it's hard to believe that there's still lots of snow up in the mountains! While at lake level the snow is on the way out, at higher elevations there is still ten to twenty feet of snow. And that makes for some great spring skiing and boarding.

    Skiing and boarding doesn't have to end with Easter. Most Western areas are shooting to have sliding through May, some in to June. So don't put away those boards just yet. There's still plenty of time to make tracks. Here's a primer on spring skiing…

    Choose a mountain that has plenty of snow. Most resort websites have that info. Arrive early to maximize the harder snow. Follow the sun. South facing slopes get hit early. The snow softens there first. Then move with the sun, discovering north facing slopes in the afternoon.

    Dress accordingly. Spring skiing or boarding can be deceptive. Layers are your best bet. A tee shirt, sweatshirt and shell work best. It may be warm on the bottom of the mountain, but windy on top. Don't ski in shorts or even short sleeves. A fall on morning ice or slush will beat any road rash you've ever had. Forego the bathing suit top or shorts until you hit the deck after skiing.

    Sunscreen! Don't even think about leaving the house without it. Apply liberally and often. High altitude sun reflecting off of the snow can burn within minutes.

    Photo:RR Abby getting some deck time! Hat! A baseball hat or other brimmed hat works well. Kids should still wear helmets (yes they are hot, but newer models with more vents are great for springtime shredding). Look for "lid locks" that attach your collar with hat so it doesn't fly off with high speed.

    Look for breathable fabrics. Shell pants without long underwear are great, even windpants. Spring gloves keep hands dry, yet cool. Gardening or work gloves work good too.

    Hydrate often. Resorts are doing a better job of keeping water and cups handy. The doctor says drink eight glasses of water during the day! For maximum hydration consider a Camelbak, that straps on to your back - you'll never take a break! See KidzStore for ordering info.

    Think about putting the kids in ski or snowboard school. They are oftentimes less crowded and that means more personal attention. Kids seem to do better in the spring. The weather is better, the attitude lighter, and the soft snow makes learning easy. Avoid the temptation to wait for next year. Little ones especially will love the intro and look forward to learning more.

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