Happy Easter. I hope your plans for today include some skiing. This week’s snow reopened a number of runs around the region and covered some bare spots on others.

A week ago, we were at Crested Butte in southern Colorado and were delighted to hit 5 or 6 inches of fresh powder on a First Tracks Run. A lot of areas have special early runs for groups, and this resort adds breakfast. The Paradise Warming Hut (actually a full restaurant) is on the far side of the mountain from the base area, so we started on the Red Lady Express to a point where we could make a short traverse to lower Ruby Chief. Being in the second chair, we got to put the first tracks in that powder on the way down to breakfast. After bacon, eggs, home fires, fruits and other goodies, we spent the next hour or so seeking out powder. It was the perfect way to wind up our last day of skiing on the trip.

There is always a price to pay for such an excursion – listening to folks from the resort. Actually, they are all skiers and wanted to hit that snow as much as we did, so the remarks were brief. But, the director of the ski school, Charlie Farnan, made an important point, “There has never been a better time to learn to ski or ride than right now.”

He went on to cite the reasons – equipment, technique, grooming and training of ski instructors. Farnan is absolutely right. All I have to do is look at some of my old skis and imagine pushing a pair of 209 GS skis around to realize why I see skiers in their 50s, 60s and beyond still skiing at a high level. It’s the skis, the boots and the grooming. My current GS skis are 175s and, while they hold as well as those straight 209s, they take no effort to turn. Add the perfectly groomed runs, and skiing has never been easier.

There is another story at Crested Butte, an Eastern story. The resort was recently purchased by Tim and Diane Mueller, the team that turned Okemo into one of the East’s top destinations. They did this by guaranteeing quality in snowmaking, grooming, lodging and, most of all, service. They leased Sunapee a few years ago and have turned that New Hampshire resort into a top ski spot. Now, they are applying that same philosophy to Crested Butte, and the locals are happy.

One major change is snowmaking. Instead of some token snowmaking around the base area, snow is being pumped out the way it is here in New England, creating a base for the powder that falls nearly every night when the base is at 9,350 feet and the summit at 12,162 feet.

It will be fun watching how the Muellers combine the best of East and West to this spectacular mountain.

Closer to home, it looks as if our season will wrap up in New Hampshire. Next Friday and Saturday, Bode Miller will be on hand for his annual BodeFest. This event raises money for Bode’s charity, the Turtle Ridge Foundation and Bretton Woods Adaptive Skiing Program. Bode’s charity is dedicated to supporting innovative health programs, athletics for disadvantaged and disabled people and sustainable living strategies.

BodeFest had included a ski race in the morning and a nine-hole golf match in the afternoon. Held two weeks earlier, this year will be all skiing. That means better skiing.

The event gets under way at 3 p.m. Friday with kids’ camp registration. From 4:30-5:30 p.m., kids can ski with Bode, no adults allowed. Registration for the full event starts at 4:30 p.m.

Saturday’s activities include the racer’s breakfast, kids’ camp, BodeFest team race, silent auction, BodeFest BBQ lunch, and an autograph session with Bode. At 3:30 p.m., Miller will read to the kids from his new book, “Sammy on the Slope.” An apres ski party will follow. This is a brief summary of the activities. For complete details, entry fees and lodging rates, check mtwashington.com/bodefest/.

At previous BodeFests, I have watched Miller interact with kids. One year I spent the entire race at the start injecting my questions to Bode between his signing bibs and helmets for kids and having his picture taken with every team. He is great with kids, and nowhere is he more relaxed than at this event in his own back yard. BodeFest is a great way to wrap up a season, even if we might have several weeks left with all this snow.

Dave Irons is a freelance writer who lives in Westbrook.


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