Despite the spring weather, more than 1,200 skiers and snowboarders carved Mount Ashland's slopes last weekend — enough to convince the ski area to extend its season by two days.

Despite the spring weather, more than 1,200 skiers and snowboarders carved Mt. Ashland's slopes last weekend — enough to convince the ski area to extend its season by two days.

The mountain will be open this Saturday and Sunday, before closing for the season.

A skeleton crew made up of Mt. Ashland's managers and supervisors will operate the lifts and other equipment, because the last day of work for the seasonal employees was Sunday, said Rick Saul, marketing director for the ski area.

"It's just going to be basic services. There'll be no ski check, no terrain park. It's just a bare-bones thank you weekend," he said.

For the third consecutive year, the mountain issued a challenge to skiers and snowboarders that if more than 1,500 people visited the ski area on the last scheduled weekend of the season, the season would be extended by two days.

Unlike in past years, visitors didn't quite meet the attendance goal this weekend, but Mt. Ashland officials decided to extend the season anyway, said Kim Clark, general manager at Mt. Ashland.

This year the Mt. Ashland's challenge weekend faced steep competition from the popular Pear Blossom Festival, held on Saturday in Medford, and from Easter events, held on Sunday.

Mt. Ashland officials "took that into account" and decided to extend the season to reward loyal skiers and snowboarders, Clark said in a release.

"It has been a tough year for everyone and we wanted to go out on a positive note and provide a little extra value to our loyal guests," he said.

Contact staff writer Hannah Guzik at 482-3456 ext. 226 or hguzik@dailytidings.com.