Late season ski?
Where to ski late season? Well, there is plenty of choice as most European resorts stay open until mid-April, many until May. We enjoyed excellent skiing last April in France’s Paradiski area; the slopes were quiet, there was fresh snow at altitude and beautiful spring sunshine. Throw in a handful of splendid mountain huts and a relaxing piste-side hotel, and April no longer seems a concern for a ski trip – passes, flights and other accessories can be a lot cheaper too.
For the most reliable corn snow it is best to aim for high resorts, with equally high slopes. We choose a few of the best …
- traditional family choice
The highest parish in Austria and with broad open slopes that merit a late season visit, hopefully when the sun is shining. A moderate-sized area that is great for intermediates, beginners and families.
Open until: 2 May
- hip, lively and with lots of fast lifts
Party animal Ischgl has a life and soul of its own, with a season that continues until the first weekend in May – despite a lack of glacier slopes. This fun Tirolean town will appeal to macho intermediates and mixed groups looking for some spring snow and a legendary end-of-season concert. This year it is Alicia Keys on 1 May!
Open until: 2 May
- short on time? Try this one for a challenge
One of the Alps’ short break capitals and with plenty of challenge and vertical for its size. The high Titlis glacier provides a late season snow reliability. Take advantage of their spring special lift pass, and short-stay packages. All just a short transfer from Zurich.
Open until: 24 May (Titlis sector)
- high, scenic and very Swiss
Along with Zermatt, Saas Fee has high-altitude slopes, exceeding 3000m. So, good snow conditions are guaranteed in late season. And the glacier offers almost year-round fun, one of the few open for extensive summer skiing these days. Its terrain park is a popular attraction and the top-to-bottom vertical is pretty impressive. Neat family choice too.
Open until: 3 May (summer skiing available later)
- a French monster, high on altitude
Tignes’ height and access to extensive glacier slopes make it a big attraction for a late season French holiday. What’s more, the slopes offer miles of varied terrain, with something to suit all levels. While not visually appealing, the resort is certainly very convenient for ski-in/ski-out enthusiasts. Lift passes are discounted for the final week in May.
Open until: 9 May 2010 (also operates summer skiing later)
- the classic French biggie
It’s difficult to beat Val Thorens on snow reliability versus varied slopes. It’s Europe’s highest resort and one of the better-looking purpose-built places. If you are looking to visit the Three Valleys early or late season, it makes a suitable base. The recently extended and improved nursery slopes are an attractive choice for beginners too.
Open until: 9 May 2010
- a reliable Italian choice
This one suits those looking for sunny cruising terrain. You’re likely to find it more manicured than bumpy, more tame than exciting. But for an easy, reliable choice Cervinia excels late season. And if you can manage the mileage, there is always Zermatt’s prettier terrain to try – and a huge glacier shared between them.
Open until: 2 May 2010