In the next few months, we can begin to look forward to warmer spells of weather and more sunshine on the slopes. This means you can strip off the extra three layers you were wearing during January and February, put on a pair of sunglasses and enjoy a mid-afternoon beverage on a terraced mountain restaurant instead of competing for an indoor table. Spring skiing has its ups and downs; yes, the snow is slowly starting to turn slushy nearer the bottom of the mountain but there are plenty of resorts that maintain great snow all the way up to May. Here’s a list of some of the best springtime resorts where you can get an equal amount of snow and sun.
These two resorts go hand-in-hand on this list, they are situated at a fantastic height of 1850/2100m making them incredibly snowsure even at resort level deep into the spring months. The skiable slopes in the famous Espace Killy range from 1,550m all the way up to 3,455m, offering almost 2,000m of vertical skiing. Another bonus is that the majority of its north-facing slopes, around 60%, are all above 2,500m, on two superb glaciers. The resorts, particularly Val d’Isère, are fantastically lively too during the springtime with thriving après every day.
Obergurgl is one of the highest non-glacier ski resorts in Austria standing at 1,980m, even higher still is its close neighbour, Hochgurgl, standing at 2,150m. The Obergurgl area makes for some great high-altitude springtime skiing with slopes going as high as 3,082m and with the added option to head over to Solden to reach up to 3,250m and to enjoy more of the traditional Austrian après-ski that is offered there. Obergurgl is fantastic for families looking for a snow-sure resort over the Easter holiday period.
Val Thorens is the highest resort in Europe at 2,300m, it’s also one of the three powerhouses, as well as Meribel and Courchevel, that make up the largest ski area in the world, Les Trois Vallees. The slopes range from an incredible 600m to 3,250m offering an enormous 2,650m vertical drop. Val Thorens also has great après-ski, restaurants and nightclubs that rivals even the likes of Val d’Isere; You also have the ability to ski to other nearby lively resorts like Meribel and Courchevel. Val Thorens has proven a favourite with tourists for reliable spring skiing and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon.
Flaine is the hidden gem on this list that most people wouldn’t contemplate for springtime skiing. Don’t be fooled by its modest 1,600m resort height and 2,500m maximum skiing height, this resort is arguably one of the most snow-sure resorts on this list and in the whole of the Haute-Savoie region. Not only does the resort have incredible high natural snowfall records due to its ideal location and proximity to other mountains but it is also set within a bowl of wind-shielding north-facing slopes. This means that the average 15m of snowfall that Flaine receives on its higher slopes and 6m it receives at resort level is preserved almost perfectly all the way through the season, so you can still look forward to great powder runs even in April.
Zermatt, whilst not the highest of resorts at a moderate 1,620m, can boast that it has the highest skiing in Europe. With slopes ranging all the way up to a staggering 3,899m resulting in it having some of the most snow-sure slopes in the whole of the Alps. Zermatt itself is a beautiful, lively resort filled to the brim with Alpine traditions, fantastic chalets and great restaurants that sit right in view of the iconic Matterhorn. Zermatt shares its 362km of skiing, a lot of which is above 3,000m, with its neighbours Breuil-Cervinia and Valtournenche in what is known as the Matterhorn Ski Paradise area.