Spring is in the air, but that doesn’t mean you have to put away your skis just yet. Skiing towards the end of the season is quieter and cheaper, and the weather is generally warmer and brighter. This means less time waiting in line for the lifts, and more time relaxing, beer in hand, while on a slope-side terrace enjoying the sun. By early May there are less than 50 ski resorts in the world still open, and these are generally found further north, since the snow lasts longer in higher altitudes. Here’s our pick of the best late season ski resorts for your next ski break.
This is Europe’s highest ski area at a height of 2,300 metres, and lifts often run until early May. With direct access to the Three Valleys, Val Thorens has a good range of ski terrain for all abilities, including some challenging off-piste terrain and two glaciers. The 150km of slopes are mostly north-facing, so the snow stays colder for longer. La Folie Douce is the highest open-air club in the world, and its sunny south-facing terrace is the perfect spot to grab some lunch during a spring ski break.
One of the best ski resorts for late season skiing, Tignes boasts the longest season in France, with peaks reaching dizzying heights of 3,455 metres, and the Grande Motte glacier offering skiing almost year-round. Although the home runs can be more of a challenge in warmer weather, the higher altitude skiing is good for all but a few weeks of the summer. The year-round vibe is good news for the après ski scene, with more than 60 restaurants and a large sunny terrace at the Loop Bar that is very popular during the warmer months.
Although frequently overlooked by British skiers, Ischgl is one of the best ski resorts in Austria, and typically stays open until early May. Many of the slopes are over 1,800m and face north-west, guaranteeing better snow for longer. Get in right at the end of the season to experience the huge outdoor rock concert used to mark the occasion – superstars such as Elton John and The Killers have rocked out here during previous years. The resort is well known for its dynamic après ski scene, with plenty of ice-bars and nightclubs. The 1950s-style Allegra Bar serves drinks until 1am and has become quite the local hotspot in recent seasons.
With advanced runs remaining powder packed until April, and the season regularly lasting into June, California’s Mammoth resort is perfect for spring skiing. As the name suggests, Mammoth Mountain is huge – reaching lofty heights of 11,000 feet, with 3,500 acres of ski terrain, including nine unbound terrain parks. Experts will enjoy taking on the challenge of the steep double-diamond chutes, while less-experienced skiers will find plenty of gentler runs to try out. They even host a ‘Mammoth Springfest’ during May, with live music events, competitions and slope-side parties.
Call our ski experts to find out more about the best ski resorts for late season skiing.
We’re working hard to be accurate but these are unusual times. We understand there will be some form of après but it will be different this year so please do call to speak to our ski experts for the latest information.