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Tuesday, March 26 Local

Get some final ski runs in before it’s too late

The best spring snow conditions in years keeps on giving.

After several feet of snow in March, many ski resorts still have most of their terrain open. Unlike prior springs, we have not seen above normal temperatures, drenching rainstorms or fog that can decimate the snow base. Check the latest conditions here.

While northern ski resorts still have a few more weeks - some even months - nearby ski areas have either packed it in or will soon be closing.

We’ve reached a point in the season when fewer skiers and snowboarders are showing up at resorts. Often, the decision to stay open is not whether an area has enough snow, but if it’s worth the expense of keeping the lifts turning and paying workers.

Many of the larger resorts like Killington, Stowe and Sugarbush in Vermont stay open the longest thanks to deeper snow bases and a commitment to season pass holders in their mountain communities.

Mohawk Mountain in Cornwall is the only Connecticut area still open. Ski Sundown, Mount Southington and Powder Ridge Mountain Park called it quits last week.

Mohawk is still open daily, but it’s now limiting night skiing to just Friday and Saturdays. Unless the weather turns ugly, Mohawk could squeeze out another week. Traditionally, Mohawk offers discounted tickets (sometimes, free) on the last day of the season.

Just over the border in Massachusetts, Catamount and Butternut will end their season on Sunday. The Cat expects to have 30 of its 34 trails open this weekend; Butternut, all 22 trails will be open.

In northwestern Massachusetts, Jiminy Peak plans to keep its season going through April 8. It’s got 43 trails open with a base depth between 20 and 45 inches.

Berkshire East will also be open this weekend with 40 of its 45 trails.

Northern ski areas in New York and New England are still going strong.

Most big Vermont areas should remain open well into April with more possibly making it into May. Killington will likely have its Superstar trail open to June 1, as it did last year. Other late finishers last year were Jay Peak, Sugarbush and Stowe.

Look for most New Hampshire and Maine areas to close by the end of April.

If you do some late season skiing and snowboarding, be sure to be prepared for changing conditions. Mountain weather can vary dramatically from warm to cold, rain to snow. Be sure to pack a bag of winter clothing just in case.

Those who like faster runs should be in line with the lifts start to get the best groomed conditions and harder, fastest surfaces. Ski the south-facing sides of the mountain first because the snow softens up.

Lower-elevation trails also quickly soften up.

One of the big joys of spring skiing and snowboarding is kicking back, soaking up the sun (and suds) to celebrate another good season.

Yes, there were some rough weather days when it was bitter cold, when it rained instead of snowed and when February’s warm temperatures melted the snowpack.

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But in March. the snow gods finally delivered the goods: Several feet of snow that will keep skiers and snowboarders smiling for the next several weeks.