In this article, I list 5 ski resorts, in Europe, where you should be able to go for good spring skiing.
You might also want to read my previous article describing the conditions you can expect to find when spring skiing.
The European winter ski season lasts between late November and Late April in the Alps. Some resorts open a little later and some close a little earlier. I have been skiing on the last day of the season right and the end of April on huge amounts of fresh snow that would last for weeks, but no-one wants to ski in May so the resorts have to close their lifts. The lower altitude resorts might have run out of snow by this point anyway. But during April there are many resorts offering good skiing right the way through to the end of April.
Easter often marks the end of the ski season, although with the variation in dates this is not always the case. The 2010/2011 ski season sees Easter right at the tail end of April and there will be little skiing around after the holiday period. When Easter falls in March, then there is still several weeks left of the season afterwards.
Skiing at the end of the season has many advantages. The weather is generally warmer and sunnier, the days are much longer and the crowds have gone leaving quieter slopes to enjoy. There can be a real party atmosphere, at the end of the season, as spring is in the air and the locals and resort staff celebrate what is a long winter. It can often snow too, and although the snow melts and changes more quickly, you can still experience powder snow, at any time of the season. The downsides can include deteriorating snow conditions with afternoon slush and morning ice, the potential for rain, some of the ski lifts closing down and some of the hotels closing early. Personally I have never found any of these to be a problem, if it’s icy don’t ski too early on and enjoy the slush!
Here are my top 5 major ski resort destinations, in Europe, for spring skiing:
The high altitude ski area of Zermatt ensures that snow remains in good condition throughout March and April. This is really the best time of year to ski in Zermatt as the sun stays high above the steep mountain peaks and the town comes alive with the noise of running water and blooming flowers.
A popular destination for spring skiing due to its large glacier and high altitude location. Hintertux offers beginners and intermediate skiers a great choice of runs and the accommodation is of a high standard.
The town of Livigno is location in a high valley very close to the Swiss border. Its high altitude ski areas offer a variety of options for intermediate skiers. Livigno is a tax free town which means cheaper prices and often attracts a younger clientele.
Alpe d’Huez, France:
The south facing slopes of Alpe d’Huez hold the snow well due to the high altitude right through to the end of the ski season. The skiing is suited to all levels with miles of terrain for intermediates and plenty of challenges for experts.
Far up in the Arctic Circle, Riksgransen is open right through to May when the days are very long and the temperatures warm up above freezing. Skiing here before March is really cold and dark so head up to this amazing place at the end of the season and enjoy some Swedish hospitality.