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Spring on the Slopes

Thinking about hanging up the skis? Here's why you shouldn't stash them yet:

1. Because there's more snow now than at the beginning of the season when you were going nuts to get on the slopes. Both Mount Ashland and Mount Shasta have more than 10 feet of snow on their upper slopes.

2. Fewer clothes equals more fun.

3. Ski in the morning, ride your bike in the afternoon.

4. Spring skiing lets you work on your goggle tan.

5. Skiesta Season (through April 17) on Mount Ashland, which means less money for lift tickets and more money for beer.

6. Lunch on the deck with the sun beating down almost feels like summer.

7. Feeling the wind in your hair.

8. Carving a perfect arc on corduroy.

9. The famous Dummy Downhill Race on Mount Ashland, which happens to be Saturday (March 19). The events that day also include live music, night skiing until 9 p.m., and a beer garden in the snow.

10. Catching air on the jumps that naturally form off the groomed runs. You can live out your freestyle fantasies without the embarrassment of crashing in front of a crowd.

11. Snow and sunscreen.

12. Ski free — with conscience. Bring five cans of food for ACCESS Inc. to Mount Ashland on Sunday, March 27, and get a free all-mountain lift ticket for the day.

13. Now that the fog has finally let up, you can show off your skills and people can actually see.

14.Mount Ashland has a slopestyle competition open to the public this Saturday (March 19) and Mount Shasta has a night rail jam Saturday, March 26.

15. A perfect opportunity to take pictures and prove to your non-skiing friends that your favorite mountain isn't always icy and wind-blasted.

16. Get a good laugh — sunny days on the mountain always seem to bring out people in costumes and crazy outfits. Break out the neon.

17. Perfect spring snow. Catch it at that magic time of day. and your turns can be almost as smooth and effortless as on powder.

18. Sunset on the slopes.

19. The view from the top of a ski hill on a windless, sunny day where you can see forever and don't have to endure Arctic conditions to enjoy it.

20. Checking out the hotties.

21. Close-out sales on snow gear at all the ski shops and sporting-goods stores.

22. Because you will look silly wearing your ski parka in July.

23. Sunglasses instead of goggles.

24. Rubbing snow on your forehead to cool off.

25. The laid-back spring vibe. No one's uptight or in a hurry like they were during the Christmas/New Year's holidays.

26. Spring break on the slopes.

27. Seeing your kids transform from the tentative beginners they were at the beginning of the season into confident little shredders.

28. Not having to worry about getting stuck on your drive up to Mount Ashland or Mount Shasta.

29. Realizing you're standing on 10 feet of snow and trying to remember what the terrain looked like when it was bare.

30. Knowing the snow you're riding now will soon be carrying you downstream in your kayak or driftboat.

31. Beer.

32. Making fun of telemark skiers on the groomed runs.

33. You find a hole in your ski clothes, but you don't worry about getting wet and cold.

34. Feeling the snow change throughout the day, from hard and icy in the morning to soft and smooth midday.

35. Cranking the tunes and letting your board or skis rip for a speed run down a deserted slope. Or maybe two.

36. Your early-season rubber legs are now tight and toned. Or, at least, we can pretend they are.

37. Skiing the bumps in the afternoon after they soften up. That slush can be like coaster brakes on a bicycle.

38. Laughing at the people skiing in shorts.

39. Hitting the out-of-bounds terrain.

40. Ski nine runs, play nine holes.

41. Stepping out of your ski or snowboard boots and into sandals.

42. If you stare really hard, the snow can look like tropical sand.

43. Your ski boots are finally broken in.

44. Powder hounds and fair-weather skiers can spend a day together in harmony.

45. That wistful feeling you get after your last run on your last day. It's part joy and part sorrow with a sense of accomplishment. You can't help looking forward to next season.

Spring on the Slopes