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Skiing in a swimsuit.

(As opposed to swimming in a snowsuit)

Skiing in springtime, or even in the summer, is something every downhiller ought to try. This year, with snowfall in some places at nearly twice what it was last year, schussing in the warm sun will be much more fun than staying home to do spring cleaning.

Nine Western ski areas are promising to stay open this month, though most with shorter hours and less open terrain than in winter months. But crowds will be thinner, and most lift prices will be reduced. At two areas Timberline in Oregon and Blackcomb in British Columbia-skiing continues all summer.

Other resorts may also be open, but, since conditions can be so changeable, they require that skiers call beforehand to check on conditions. Don't assume that, because there's snow in the mountains, ski areas will be open; many close when their crowd counts drop.

When you ski in spring, be mindful of sunburn and dehydration. Remember that the snow greatly amplifies the normal effects of the sun's rays, so a stronger sun screen than you generally use is a good idea. And drink lots of water; you're bound to perspire, and dehydration aggravates altitude sickness a potential problem up where the spring snow will be best. These ski areas can all but guarantee skiing this month (regular operating hours are usually 9 to 4).

California. Alpine Meadows, Tahoe City; (916) 583-4232. Open through Memorial Day. Depending on temperature, hours are changed to 8:30 to 1:30 and lift tickets cut to $22. Open from bottom to top; various slopes may be alternately closed. Mammoth Mountain, Mammoth Lakes; (619) 934-2571. Open through July 4. In May, hours change to 7:30 to 2:30 and lift prices drop to $23. About 9 of the 30 lifts stay open to service runs for all abilities around the main lodge.

Squaw Valley USA, Squaw Valley; (916) 583-6985. Open through Memorial Day. This month, hours are 8 to 2 and lift prices drop to $25, although both are subject to change. Various slopes on the upper mountain will be open.

Colorado. Arapahoe Basin, Keystone; (303) 468-2316. Open through first week of June. Hours are 8:30 to 4; beginning in April, lift tickets are reduced to $17. All five lifts-a triple and four double chairs will be open.

Oregon. Mount Bachelor Bend; (503) 382-2442. Open through mid-July. On June 1, hours change to 7:30 to 2:30, and lift tickets drop to $17. Three of the 10 lifts stay open until mid-June, when Pine Marten lift closes.

Timberline, Timberline Lodge; 272-3311. Open through Labor Day (may be closed for about two weeks in early May). Spring and summer hours are 7 to 1:30; lift tickets cost $17. Two of the six lifts will be open, including a 1 1/4-mile run that's not available during winter.

Utah. Snowbird, Snowbird; (801) 7422222. Projected closing date is June 11. This month, hours are 9 to 3; lift prices drop to $16. The upper mountain, accessible by tram or chair lift, is open.

Washington. Mount Baker Bellingham; (206) 734-6771. All terrain will stay open at least through the first two weekends in May, Hours are 8:30 to 3:30; lift prices drop to $15.

British Columbia. Blackcomb, Whistler; (604) 932-314). Area closes May 7, reopens June 17, and stays open through Labor Day with 5 of the 12 lifts operating. Summer hours are 8 to 3; lift prices drop to $24 (U.S.).
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Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Article Type:Directory
Date:May 1, 1989
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