There's still plenty of snowsporting going on up the hill

Yep, Heavenly closed Sunday but that doesn't mean skiing and riding are over for the season. The bull wheels are still turning at Mt. Rose on weekends, and Squaw Valley is open through April 26, as is Kirkwood, although the back bowl at Kirkwood is closed for the season. Squaw adult tickets are now $64.

Alpine Meadows closed last weekend but is offering biking, Homewood closed the week before, no biking there.

Northstar Resort closed last Sunday but is offering some good kids' programs for next year. All kids' team programs include an unlimited Double Whammy season pass and training with Todd Kelly, Northstar Resort's Ski & Snowboard Team Manager and former U.S. Olympic Ski Team member, and Chris Hargrave, Burton Snowboard Academy manager, author of the "ASI Freestyle Park and Pipe Guide," and trainer and coach of the High Cascade summer camps at Mt. Hood, Ore.

Programs include:

The Pioneer Program, geared toward kids ages 4-12, starts at $299 for Wednesday and Friday afternoon sessions. Sessions on Sundays all-day, all season, excluding blackout dates are $399, and sessions that take place weekends and school holidays all-day, all season, are $799.

Development Race Team Program, features almost 300 hours of training. The program is suited for ages 5-18 and trains weekends and school holidays all-day, all season, for $1,199.

Competitive Race Team Programs offer more than 400 hours of training. The competitive programs train on weekends and school holidays all-day, and mid-week afternoons Wednesday-Friday. J 4/5 programs for ages 9-12 are $1,949. J 1/2/3 programs for ages 13-19 are $2,149 for the season.

All programs are eligible for Northstar Resort's 30 percent down payment program, with all programs to be paid in full by Sept. 30.

In addition, the Burton Snowboard Academy will introduce new programs designed specifically for kids, including the Northstar Training Lab, a season-long development program that supports the foundations, skills and tactics that all riders need to push the limits of their riding and the sport.

Riders in the Northstar Training Lab program can expect to learn the tools they need to manage terrain parks, prepare for and participate in competitions, and set realistic goals for growth and success.

For more information about any of these programs, visit www.NorthstarAtTahoe.com.

SPRING IS THE BEST

Last Friday and Sunday were excellent stuff at Heavenly, with Friday the best skiing for this writer for the whole year. The skis carved like a turkey on Thanksgiving, and the softening snow made for deep tracks. The new knee works just fine so if there's a problem with your knees, see the surgeon this summer so you can be ready next fall. My recovery to successful hiking took about two months, with lots of therapy involved.

It's been my season of woes, but anything wrong with my skiing is me, not the knee. Vertigo at Mt. Rose in a whiteout, two blindsiders by snowboarders resulting in a sprained thumb and two broken ribs. But nobody ever said skiing was like a walk in the park. I wound up skiing last Friday almost like when I was younger, say only 70.

I'm figuring on one more day at Mt. Rose and ditto Kirkwood before taking off April 30 for a couple of days at Mammoth, where the skiing and siding goes on and on.

SKI REPAIR

I've got an old pair of Machete Volant skis, one with a raised P-tex blister about 18-inches long. No ski shop has been able to offer a repair technique so I've punched a hole in the P-tex and plan to inject epoxy to attempt to flatten with base, using clamps and a 2-by-4 to hold the P-tex base in place. If it works I've got a nice pair of rock skis; if not they'll look good over the garage.

GEAR TREATMENT

If you're hanging it up for the season, don't forget to back off the tension in your bindings. That makes the system last longer. One more thing: give the bases a good wax job, don't scrape the wax down. That keeps the P-tex from drying out. And jot down the DIN number on your bindings for next season.

- Contact Sam Bauman at 775-841-7818 or sambauman@att.net.

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