Late season snow-sure resorts offer good snow

Exclusive comparative snow data
from the Ski Club of Great Britain.

Easter Sunday is late this year, the 24 April 2011, making the ski season unusually long. So, where to ski late season? Despite what many snow lovers think, there is plenty of choice as most European resorts stay open until mid-April, many until May.

Why go skiing later in the season?
Perhaps the most attractive element of late season skiing is the weather. As spring approaches it is much sunnier, with longer daylight hours and longer lift opening times giving holidaymakers the chance to enjoy the BBQs and drinking that takes place on the sun terraces of slope-side cafes and bars.

It is also much cheaper to go skiing in the spring. Late season is low season, so lift passes and accommodation cost considerably less. What’s more, it is also quieter. Skiing and snowboarding in late season means fewer people on the slopes, and less chance of lift queues.

Where to go for late season skiing?
When deciding where to go, the key elements to look out for are of course altitude (high – ideally with glacier) or latitude (northern) and a reputation for lots of snow (machine made or natural). A combination of any two of these factors normally ensures skiing success.

The higher the altitude of the ski area, the colder it is, and therefore the longer the snow lasts, so ideally, skiers should aim for resorts that have skiing at 2,000 metres or above.

Several of the best-known resorts in the Alps offer glacier skiing in the summer. In March and April however, these are your best bet for fine winter snow conditions all day.

The Ski Club of Great Britain (skiclub.co.uk) has historical snow records for the last 17 seasons. Using this data, the Ski Club and Crystal Ski (crystalski.co.uk) have compiled a list of the best resorts for late season skiing.

The data shows average historical snow depths from mid April compared to mid February based on the last 17 years on upper and lower slopes. Also shown is the average total fresh snow fall during the month of April (based on data from the last 5 years).

Espace Killy: Tignes/Val d’Isère
Offering some of the most extensive skiing and snowboarding in Europe including the Grand Motte glacier.
2nd wk of April Upper: 226cm Lower: 108cm
2nd wk of February Upper: 171cm Lower: 104cm
Average fresh snowfall in April: 66cm

Val Thorens
Europe’s highest ski resort making it snow sure throughout the season.
2nd wk of April Upper: 249cm Lower: 98cm
2nd wk of February Upper: 197cm Lower: 102cm
Average fresh snowfall in April: 47cm

Paradiski: La Plagne/Les Arcs
Offering a wide variety of skiing for all abilities with ski in ski out convenience.
2nd wk of April Upper: 248cm Lower: 95cm
2nd wk of February Upper: 178cm Lower: 99cm
Average fresh snowfall in April: 34cm

St Anton
Firmly established as one of Europe’s top resorts with great skiing and après-ski.
2nd wk of April Upper: 361cm Lower: 47cm
2nd wk of February Upper: 267cm Lower: 64cm
Average fresh snowfall in April: 51cm

Obergurgl
The highest parish in Austria and with wide open slopes and fun après-ski.
2nd wk of April Upper: 164cm Lower: 46cm
2nd wk of February Upper: 151cm Lower: 53cm
Average fresh snowfall in April: 46cm

Ischgl
Party town Ischgl has a life and soul of its own, with a season that continues until the first weekend in May.
2nd wk of April Upper: 361cm Lower: 47cm
2nd wk of February Upper: 267cm Lower: 64cm
Average fresh snowfall in April: 28cm

Zermatt
Spectacularly situated beneath the majestic Matterhorn, it offers fantastic skiing including a glacier, picturesque surroundings and lively nightlife.
2nd wk of April Upper: 211cm Lower: 25cm
2nd wk of February Upper: 190cm Lower: 55cm
Average fresh snowfall in April: 99cm

Saas Fee
Traditional Swiss village at 1800 amid peaks and glaciers with an exceptional high ski area.
2nd wk of April Upper: 277cm Lower: 60cm
2nd wk of February Upper: 230cm Lower: 73cm
Average fresh snowfall in April: 61cm

Lake Louise /Banff /Sunshine
Skiing in the Banff National Park in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.
2nd wk of April Upper: 183cm Lower: 108cm
2nd wk of February Upper: 155cm Lower: 97cm
Average fresh snowfall in April: 35cm

Mammoth and Lake Tahoe
The extensive and varied terrain offers incredible skiing up to 3,370 metres and an average of 30 feet of snow every year.
2nd wk of April Upper: 364cm Lower: 263cm
2nd wk of February Upper: 301cm Lower: 223cm
Average fresh snowfall in April: 81cm

Ends

For more information please contact:
Marion Telsnig, Crystal Ski
t: 020 8939 5027, m: 07712 047 701 e: marion.telsnig@tuiski.com
Betony Garner, Ski Club of Great Britain
t: 020 8410 2018, m: 07740 642 262, e: betony.garner@skiclub.co.uk

Notes:

Average snow depths are from the Ski Club of Great Britain’s historical snow reports and are from an average of the last 17 seasons (starting in 1993). Average fresh snowfall is taken from April 2006-2010. For comprehensive snow reports and snow information visit skiclub.co.uk/snowreports for details.

For more information see ski-buzz.co.uk

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