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Dig a hole in a plane with Max

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Hi all, I'm still noob-like with Max(8) and I need your help. I want to make a "hole" in a plane using another mesh. In the image you see a mesh made with a spline over a plane terrain but I'd like to use any closed mesh, such as a sphere, to create the imprint. This would be easy if the plane were a volumetric mesh, I could use a boolean operation, but since it is a plane I am having problems figuring out how to do this. Does anyone know of a plugin, modifier, or process that I could use to dig this sand trap? _Neil

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you may be able to:
boolean through the plane
convert the plane to an editable poly mesh
select the subtracted boarder you've created
extrude the edge down (hold shift, then click and drag)
with boarder selected, use cap to fill the hole.

booleans are usually pretty sloppy, but you may get close to the desired result.

edit: clarifications

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