Now we know, this year is one of the first years in history where most resorts that have the ability to stay open throughout April, or further, will not be blessed with the joys of spring skiing. Now often people think that April may be when you should start to plan the summer holidays but for the serious skiers and boarders we know that there are still plenty of places providing the goods! Now we know this year is a write off in almost all countries but as many of you have found, airlines are offering free rebookings for most flights booked during these covid-19 times so perhaps it IS the best time to find your spring skiing destination for next year!
How can you use Ratoong to find these fantastic resorts? Ratoong has integrated the option of choosing your ‘MINIMUM ALTITUDE’ as well as ‘MINIMUM VERTICAL DROP.’ Firstly it is important that you understand what both of these mean:
Minimum altitude is the altitude of the village in an area.
Vertical drop is the distance from the top of the resorts (highest elevation) to the bottom of the resorts (lowest elevation). By playing with these two conditions you are able to find resorts with overall higher altitude skiing, more likely to have later seasons. Resorts that are found further north or with higher altitudes tend to have great seasons well into the spring therefore by adjusting what countries you would like to visit in the settings you can find the spring skiing destination best for you!
Let’s try an example: In some of the alps towns are often not situated very high except the modern built ski towns known as satellite towns e.g: Tignes and Val Thorens, so a max MINIMUM ALTITUDE could be 1200 meter and then a very large difference in the VERTICAL DROP like 1900 so this means out will come ski areas with towns higher than 1200 and with skiing above 3100 meters (1200+1900). Remember to set the countries you’re willing to travel to prior to making these ranges.
It is important to remember that North american skiing and european skiing differ in many ways however and there are certainly other things to consider such as how north the resort is, where in the mountain range the resort sits, such as on the border of the range or deep inside the range, snowfall accumulation and which direction the mountain faces.
Historically, the resorts with higher elevations and a higher percentage of north facing terrain find themselves with better conditions to stay open longer. In Europe resorts often have faces facing in all directions.
To save you some work we’ve made a list of 5 resorts that stay open at least until end April and more of them even longer, but we encourage you to check others out yourself on Ratoong.com !
1. Zermatt, Switzerland
3.9 Ratoong Score – Rate now!
Altitude 1562m – 3899m
Boasting the longest ski season in the Alps thanks to its high elevation, glacier skiing and north-facing slopes, Zermatt offers skiing year-round like several other resorts in Europe! Ski across the Italian border to Cervinia through early May, and then schuss while soaking in the views from Glacier Paradise atop the Klein Matterhorn cable car.
2. Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
3.5 Ratoong Score – Rate Now!
Altitude 653m – 2284m
Whistler is known for being the largest ski area in Canada since it joined with Blackcomb Mountain and now together they make up one of the longest seasons for a Canadian resort! When Blackcomb Mountain closes mid-late April, Whistler Mountain typically continues hosting an extended spring ski season before glacier skiing and camps start hosting skiers and riders into July!
3. Mammoth, California, USA
Altitude 2424m – 3369m
With it’s high altitude and abundance of north exposure, Mammoth has the right combination for excellent snow preservation. Mammoth mountain therefore sees a ski season starting early November and running late June or even early July! Having a base mountain elevation so high in the mountains, those cool high altitude temperatures keep the snow season good well into the spring and even summer!
4. Mt Hood Timberline, Oregon, USA
Altitude 1478m – 2602m
Located in the Pacific Northwest, Timberline provides the longest ski season in North America, with nearly year-round skiing. It resides atop a volcano, on the highest mountain in Oregon, Mt. Hood. The Palmer Express quad provides lift-served skiing to the Palmer Snowfield from June through September. To offset the intense summer sun on this west facing slope, rock salt is applied to the surface of the snow, making it firm and supportive for summertime skiing.
5. St Anton, Austria
4.0 Ratoong Score – Rate Now!
Altitude 1270m – 2811m
Not as long of a season as some of the rest but definitely a spring skiing favourite is St Anton. Most seasons, St. Anton is open from late November through early May thanks to its many north-facing slopes and its ideal situation in the mountain range. But, if you want to ski on the southerly sunny slopes, you can do that too in St. Anton, as the resort is well-equipped with snow making.
Have other great ski spots for the spring? Share your stories with us and give us your feedback on these spring skiing spots!