Now we know, again this year it is hopefully one of the few years in history where most resorts that have the ability to stay open throughout March and April, or further, will not be blessed with the joys of spring skiing. Now often people think that March and April may be when you should start to plan the summer holidays. For the serious skiers and boarders, or just those that love the warmth of the sun, we know that there are still plenty of good skiing days left.
5 reasons to love spring skiing!
- Often the slopes are less crowded and this means you can enjoy more of the mountain in less time and the same goes for the lifts.
- The sun….. the sun makes us happy from its warming rays. Of course, it can give this slush snow that some people are not super happy about, but if you wanna learn how to ski off-piste this is not a bad start as you are using some of the same techniques. Spring skiing can also be this “firn-skiing” as it is called in Austria, so skiing off-piste when the sun has heated the first 5-10 cm of a hard surface.
- In many resorts, spring is the time for a lot of precipitation and thus a lot of snow and good chances of powder skiing!
- Fun festivals ending the season if often seen in many of these resorts. So if you love the party and e.g. pond skimming it’s the time for you!
- Exceptional offers in the shops and stores! And many other reasons you should find out about by trying it out!
Now we know this year is a write-off in many countries. But for those operating we hope you will have the best experience. For those being excluded from skiing this season, for several reasons, this is the perfect time to find your spring skiing destination for next year!
Get help and inspiration!
On Ratoong you can get help to get inspired and find these fantastic resorts? Ratoong has integrated the option of choosing your ‘MINIMUM ALTITUDE’. Firstly it is important that you understand what this means:
Minimum altitude is the lowest part of the resort – often the village in an area.
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 it excludes all resorts below 1200 meter. 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, wherein 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 the end of April and more of them even longer, but we encourage you to check others out yourself on Ratoong.com!
1. Zermatt, Switzerland
4.06 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
3.75 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
Rate Timberline on Ratoong Now!
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
4.55 Ratoong Score – Rate Now!
Altitude 1270m – 2811m
Not as long of a season as some of the rest but definitely a spring skiing favorite 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 snowmaking.
Have other great ski spots for the spring? Share your stories with us and give us your feedback on these spring skiing spots!