Spring ski vacations
March and April will be fantastic months to go skiing this year, given the epic amounts of snow that fell in the early part of the season. These months also see skiers enjoying suntans, spring snow, blue skies and long days replacing freezing fingers and toes and white-outs, so for anyone who suffers from the cold, later in the season is ideal. This year the weeks of the 01 and 08 April are in the main Easter vacations too, great for families looking to hit the slopes.
Our top tips for springtime skiing are:
- Go to a high resort - with Easter falling late this year, the best skiing will be found above 2000m and on slopes that do not face directly South. Courchevel 1850, Zermatt and Val d’Isère all fit the bill perfectly and frequently get fresh powder conditions in late March and April (don't just take our word for it see welovetoski's top 10 resorts for spring skiing). In the US, they call it "corn snow", this is the layer of freeze thaw snow that you want to find just as the sun hits it. When you time it right, the soft top and firm, smooth base make it a lot like powder skiing.
- Have a lie in and a long late lunch. There is no rush in the morning as the snow will be frozen hard and at the end of the day, it can get slushy. But between 10 and 2, the conditions are at their best.
- Follow the sun. Think about which way the slopes face and aim to ski as the sun gets there. So, head for the South / East facing slopes in the morning and the West / North facing slopes in the afternoon.
- Think about how high you ski and check where the freezing level is on the forecast. If it got warm in the day and is going below zero that night, the snow will be icy until the temperature gets back to zero. Likewise if it didn't refreeze overnight, it will be slushy by 10am.
- Wear layers – you can unpeel as you get warmer during the day.
- Take the lift down. After a long lunch, your muscles get cold and injuries often happen in the heavy snow on the final run back to resort when conditions have deteriorated. If you do want to ski home, do a proper warm up (not a vin chaud!) before tackling the slush and bumps.
- If this all sounds too complicated when your brain is on vacation - get a guide. They are the experts and a good one will always find the best snow.