As the ski season comes to a close, you might be ready to pack away your skis. But don’t be too hasty since there are still some resorts open for late spring skiing in Europe. Longer days, sunny weather, reasonable prices and a whole season’s worth of snow to glide on make spring (and even summer) skiing a possibility. You can relax on a beach in the morning and ski in the afternoon with a helicopter from St Tropez to St Moritz, Val Thorens, Courchevel, or any of the spring ski resorts. We’ve outlined six of the advantages of spring skiing below.
The resorts are quieter in spring, which means you have more space on the slopes and spend less time waiting in lift queues. However, it’s not so quiet as to be boring; it’s just not peak-season packed, which allows you to reserve a table for lunch at even the most popular restaurants at the last minute. People are usually in high spirits because of the sunny weather and blue skies so it’s an ideal combination chilled out during the day and vibrant at night.
Skiing in mild temperatures is a much more pleasant experience, particularly for families with young children. Alternative outdoor activities like hiking, climbing and snowshoeing are also available in sunny weather. The sunny days mean that the vistas change and so does the flora and fauna. For example, you may see cute baby mountain animals like marmots and chamois. Skiers can enjoy long al fresco lunches and evening barbecues, which would not be possible in the depths of winter. You can even sample the apres-ski scene without leaving the snow. Tignes and Val d’Isere in particular have several on-slope bars. Just don’t forget to pack sun cream!
Besides the milder weather, longer spring days allow you to enjoy more time on the slopes and mean you can sleep in. The on-piste bars that used to close at 3pm also stay open into the evening. This is perfect for those who want to enjoy a resort’s nightlife without sacrificing precious skiing time.
To encourage spring skiing in Europe, most resorts have special deals on accommodation, restaurants, transport and lift passes. Hotels try to fill their rooms before they close for summer and offer enticing deals. Maybe you can get a luxury ski chalet with a large outdoor deck for soaking up the sun or a Jacuzzi perfect for a soak after a long day on the snow. Plus, shoppers will find plenty of deals and sales in resort shops on all kinds of ski equipment, ready for next season.
Resorts often get their heaviest snowfalls later in the season. The most snow-sure spring ski resorts, such as Tignes, Val d’Isere, Val Thorens and Chamonix, have north-facing slopes that retain fresh snowfall. Many of the resorts have snow-making facilities, including the Espace Killy and Three Valleys, which has more than 2,000 snow cannons.
If you’re concerned by the quality of snow, you can go higher up the mountain or find a glacier – limited skiing is possible almost year-round on some glaciers. Val Thorens is one resort that offers glacier skiing in summer and good conditions for spring skiing through to the 5th May on its north-facing slopes. It is the highest purpose-built ski resort in Europe with over 140 kilometres of runs above 3,000 metres and the Glacier de Péclet guarantees lots of off-piste powder. The last snows to melt are at higher altitudes so it’s best to aim for resorts that have pistes at 2,000 metres or higher, such as St Moritz, Val Thorens, Tignes and Courchevel.
If you would like more information about our helicopter transfers to spring ski resorts, please contact Skycam’s team.