By Jay Lloyd

If you’re in the Pocono Mountains and the aroma of burgers on the grill is filling the air, the sun is shining overhead and you’re looking at smiling people in ski and snowboard boots, it must be time for spring skiing — and the carnival antics that unfold on the slopes every March! This season, Pocono winter sport areas are expected to see the longest season in recent memory. With six feet of snow on the slopes and trails, it’ll be hard to miss a record. They’ll literally run out of skiers and riders before they run out of snow. So, what’s on tap in the nearby Poconos? Let’s take a look. – Jay Lloyd

(credit: Camelback)

(credit: Camelback)

CAMELBACK MOUNTAIN

301 Resort Drive
Tannersville, PA 18372
www.skicamelback.com

Ever see or, better yet, try “pond skimming”? It’s a blast to watch and a bit chilly to indulge, but the experience is unforgettable. It’s on the event menu as a spring carnival unfolds at Camelback Mountain. Skiers and riders try to get enough speed on a downhill incline to carry them “skimming” across a pond. Slow down and you take an icy dunking. There are prizes for those who make it to the other side dry. It will be part of the action here on March 21st. Also look for brilliantly designed, slope-sliding cardboard box conveyances to race their way down a dedicated slope. That’s on the 22nd. The entire weekend will see one big springtime party in the sprawling Camelback parking complex. Did I mention the food and drink?

(credit: Dave Figenshu)

(credit: Dave Figenshu)

JACK FROST MOUNTAIN

Rte 940 & Jack Frost Rd.
White Haven, PA 18372
www.jfbb.com

The outdoor grills are fired up and it’s lunch in the sun on the snow. Or just grab and gulp a burger or dog as you ski past the barbie on the way to the lifts for another run on a favorite slope. Look for weekend music to get into an island mood or show up Friday, the 13th – of March that is – when the WIP Sports Talk crew takes over to broadcast live from the lodge.

SHAWNEE MOUNTAIN

Hollow Rd.
Shawnee-on-the-Delaware, PA 18356
www.shawneemt.com

It’s a double-dip weekend from March 20th to 22nd when a party mood gets a grip on the mountain as Shawnee also fires off a salute to the men and women in uniform. All active duty military who get their kicks on skis and boards — along with spouses and kids — get free weekend lift tickets and rental equipment. Retirees and immediate family members are saluted with half-off tickets, too. That’s just a warm-up for one of Shawnee’s zaniest events of the year. Sunday, March 22nd celebrates the 30th year of the hilarious costume carnival parade. Show up in costume and ski or ride, free. Then vie for prizes in the afternoon on-the-snow promenade. Be creative, it goes a long way. Spring skiing has its budget bonuses, too. Score three lift tags for $109 in March by buying online.

(credit: Blue Mountain)

(credit: Blue Mountain)

BLUE MOUNTAIN

1660 Blue Mountain Dr.
Palmerton, PA 18071
www.skibluemt.com

The snow is piled high on Blue Mountain and operator Barbara Green envisions skiing and riding well into April. Those spring days will be accompanied by live bands on weekends with gradually warming days, softer snow and outdoor dining. Blue is also launching a unique ticket pricing system called “Mercury Rising.” If the forecast calls for temps in the 40s, just go online and score a 40 percent discount. If the forecast calls for the 50s, an online ticket buy yields half-off. And keep an eye here for the last day on the season. Then get ready for the dynamic Blue Mountain version of “Pond Skimming.” Stay dry, my friend.

Spring skiing tips: Dress in layers. The morning chill will give way to warmer days, and you’ll want to start shedding gear. Wear waterproof or water-resistant pants. Use gloves instead of mittens. Carry sunscreen. A rising sun reflecting off the brilliant white of the snow translates into an early tan, occasionally even a burn.

Enjoy!