Skiing In April – A Simple Guide
Traditionally, the ski season in Europe is from December through until the middle of April or just after the Easter holidays. The majority of people that go on a ski/snowboarding holiday tend to book a holiday during this period. The reason why the majority of people ski between these dates is simply because they believe that this is when the ski season starts and finishes. This is actually true for the majority of ski resorts throughout Europe but there are some ski resorts that actually stay open much later and there are a couple that stay open all year round!
There are several ski resorts that keep their lifts open well into Spring and as I said previously, there are a couple of ski resorts that you can ski 365 days a year if you so wished. Obviously, the main reason why the majority of ski resorts have a limited opening time is due the snow conditions. The snow conditions and depth of snow fall fluctuates from year to year but most of the popular skis resorts receive enough snow throughout the ski season to keep them open until the middle of April. Ski resorts are well equip to manage the snow fall they receive and pack and groom the piste’s so that it lasts for the duration of the season.
Skiing In April Advantages and Disadvantages
Some people like it, some people don’t but there are many reasons why some people enjoy skiing in April yet others don’t. Skiing in April has both its advantages and disadvantages and it really all boils down to personal preference as to whether or not you choose to book your ski holiday for the month of April.
There is no doubt that skiing in April offers better temperatures, quieter slopes and is normally less expensive but apart from all these advantages, there is one big disadvantage of April skiing and that is snow cover! It really is a compromise when you choose to go skiing in April as opposed to the earlier Winter months of December, January and February. The early Winter months offer fresh snow, powder fields and snow sure runs down to the valley.
Spring Skiing and Skiing In April
Many people prefer to ski from March onwards because the conditions are better in terms of temperature. Throughout March and April you can expect to experience blue skis and sunshine in the Alps but obviously, this comes with a few compromises. Generally, from the middle of March is when the temperature begins to rise and the days become much warmer. This then results in the snow melting throughout the day and becoming heavy and a little slushy towards the afternoon, especially on the lower slopes or valley runs. This means that if you want to have snow sure skiing throughout Spring, you really need to be heading for the higher altitude resorts that can guarantee good snow conditions.
Although March and April are generally renowned for pleasant temperatures and sunshine, the weather in the Alps is unpredictable and can change at any time. It is not uncommon to experience heavy snowfall through these months but it does happen and I have experienced it myself several times. If you are intending to go skiing or snowboarding in Spring, you should always pack your warm clothing just in case!
There are many ski areas throughout Europe that guarantee snow until the end of May and well into June and July. As we mentioned earlier, there are a few that guarantee skiing throughout the year. There is one thing that these resorts all have in common and have something that the other resorts do not have and that is height. The lower ski resorts in Europe will all close the slopes around the middle of April or just after the Easter holidays and this is simply because the slopes will be much harder to manage due to the rising warmer temperature. However, the higher altitude ski resorts in Europe can manage their piste’s much easier and for longer, due to the lower temperatures. Also, due to their high altitude, they will receive fresh snow falls much later into the season.
Why Choose To Ski Or Snowboard In Spring
Daft as it may sound but there are many reasons and benefits to why you should take a look at booking your ski or snowboarding holiday later in the year in Spring. One of the major reasons why you should do so is expense! You will find that skiing/snowboarding in Spring is much cheaper than at any other time throughout the season (except the opening week of the season in December when there are equally some great ski deals and offers to be found).
Why Is It Cheaper Skiing Or Snowboarding In Spring
Spring is classed as ‘Low Season’ and it is when many of the Ski resorts and Tour Companies release there ‘Special offers’ and April ski deals. Lift passes are usually cheaper in Spring, accommodation is cheaper, flights are cheaper and even carriage for taking your skis/snowboard on the aircraft is cheaper!
It seems to be quieter on the slopes in Spring than in Winter which as a result means less queuing for the lifts, easier parking in the car parks, less waiting and standing on ski buses and less queues in the restaurants!
As we mentioned earlier, the temperature is much warmer in Spring and the majority of days offer blue skies and sunshine. Not only that but the days stay lighter for longer and the lifts stay open longer too.
Things To Know When Booking A Late Ski Holiday In Spring
As was mentioned previously, if you are hoping to book a ski or snowboarding holiday in Spring, you really should head for a ski resort with high Altitude or head for a resort that is further North than most other ski resorts. This is simply because the temperature will be much colder and as a result helps sustain the condition of the ski slopes much longer.
Try to look at resorts that offer skiing/snowboarding above altitudes of 2000m or at resorts that have a glacier.
Chase the snow! It pays dividends to keep your eye out on the snow conditions and snow reports in various different ski resorts and also check the past snow records for April skiing in Europe and the resorts you wish to visit. Snow fall can vary from one year to the next, so you need to be aware of what the weather conditions are like in the resorts you hope to visit.
Where To Ski In April
If you want to find the best skiing in April, as we mentioned earlier, it is all about height! Stay high and you are pretty much certain to have good conditions but if you choose to go low, then you need to be prepared to experience the spring slushy conditions on the lower slopes. If you are wondering where to go skiing in April and are trying to find which are the best resorts in April for skiing, then hopefully the list below will help you.
The Highest Ski Resorts In Europe And Best Ski Resorts In April For Late Skiing
There are many high altitude resorts throughout Europe which offer skiers and snowboarders the opportunity to ski and snowboard much later than the lower resorts do. Below is a list of high altitude ski resorts in Europe whose slopes stay open well into late May or beyond.
Are: Located in Sweden, Are enjoys a long ski season from November right through until May.
Airports close to Are: If you are hoping to visit Are, you can fly into Ostersund Froesoe, Stockholm and Oslo airports.
Chamonix: Chamonix is home to the The Grands Montets which reaches altitudes of 3,275m.
Airports close to Chamonix: The closest airport to Chamonix is Geneva airport.
Ischgl: Located in Austria, Ischgl is one of Austria’s highest ski resort and offers skiing up to altitudes of over 2500m.
Airports Close To Ischgl: The closest airport to Ischgl is Innsbruck.
Les Deux Alpes: Les Deux Alpes in France offer skiing usually until the last week in April but it also has a Glacier which offers skiing throughout the Summer months. The highest slopes are approximately 3500m which prtty much guarantees good snow throughout the season.
Airports close to Les Deux Alpes: The closest airports to Les Deux Alpes are Grenoble, Chambery, Lyon and Geneva.
Livigno: Livigno is one of Italy’s highest ski resorts and offers skiing and snowboarding up to 3000m.
Airports close to Livigno: Livigno can be easily accessed by flying into any of the Milan airports or Innsbruck.
Obergurgl: Obergurgl is one of Austria’s highest skis resorts and enjoys skiing through until early May. The majority of skiing in Obergurgl is at altitudes above 2100m and the highest skiing is at 3000m.
Airports Close To Obergurgl: Innsbruck, Munchen, Salzburg.
Riksgransen: Riksgransen in Sweden is one of the most Northern ski resorts in the world and offers skiing and snowboarding until the end of June.
Airports close to Riksgransen: If you are wishing to get to Riksgransen, you can fly into either Stockholm or Kiruna.
Saas Fee: Located in Switzerland, Saas Fee offers a large variety of skiing and snowboarding at an altitude of up to 3500m.
Airports close to Saas Fee: Sion, Bern, Geneva, Basel, Zurich or any of the airports in Milan.
Sölden: Sölden in Austria offers skiing over 2000m and also has Glacier skiing which allows skiing late into the season.
Airports close to Sölden: The closest airport to Sölden is Innsbruck.
Stubai: Stubai in Austria offers skiing at altitudes of 3200m and the ski area is situated on a Glacier which guarantees great snow throughout the season and ensures skiing until July.
Airports close to Stubai: The closest airport to Stubai is Innsbruck.
Val Thoren: Located in the 3 Valleys ski area in France, Val Thoren is the highest ski resort in Europe. Its high altitude offers snow sure skiing and snowboarding above 2000m well into May.
Village altitude: 2,300m – Highest lift: 3,200m
Airports close to Val Thoren: The closest airports to Val Thoren are Chambery, Geneva and Lyon.
We hope this guide has been useful and beneficial in helping you choose the best resort in Europe for skiing in April.