April skiing isn’t the most favourable amongst the Brits, with many picturing slushy slopes and water skiing rather than alpine skiing. But pick the right resort and you’ll see the many perks of skiing in the late season including last minute spring skiing deals, less crowded pistes, reduced lift passes and après ski coming into its own under blue bird skies and sunshine.
The key points to look for are…
- High altitude – ideally with glacier skiing and north facing terrain
- Good snowfall records
- Snow machine capabilities
1. Val d'Isere (1,850m) & Tignes, France (2,100m)
In the Espace Killy ski area, more than half of its pistes are above 2,500 metres and the ski area stays open until early May. Skiing down into the resort centres is also always possible. Tignes resort itself even has skiing possibilities into summer at the Grande Motte glacier with its highest altitude at 3,450 metres. Whilst Val d’Isere has guaranteed snow cover as it has the largest artificial snowmaking facility in Europe, La Snow Factory.
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2. Val Thorens, France (2,300m)
Europe’s highest resort, Val Thorens season runs right into early May with plenty of snow at village level. The vast majority of its slopes are above 2,000 metres and its top slopes reach 3,230m including two glaciers for snow sure confidence.
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3. Obergurgl, Austria (1,930m)
Obergurgl is Austria’s highest parish and although it isn’t a glacier resort, it has a high altitude for Austria. Many of its north facing slopes extends up to 3,080 metres and it even claims to 100% artificial snow coverage. With the possibilities of skiing in neighbouring Hochgurgl and Solden, also high resorts means its variety of pistes will be well covered even into the late season.
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4. Cervinia, Italy (2,050m)
Pizza and snowsure slopes in April?! Cervinia’s slopes reach up to 3,480 metres and a vast number include its cruising intermediate runs. Its ski area is shared with bordering Zermatt, offering guaranteed snow on 200 kilometres of pistes and with 26.5 kilometres open for summer skiing at the Theodul glacier.
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5. Saas-Fee, Switzerland (1,800m)
This charming, traditional chocolate box chalet resort is one of the most reliable ski resorts in Switzerland. The majority of its runs are over 2,500 metres and are north facing, contributing to its excellent snow record. Its glacier also keeps temperatures low throughout the valley and offers 20 kilometres of pistes available to ski even into April.
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6. Ischgl, Austria (1,400m)
Along with Obergurgl, it provides the most reliable non glacier snow conditions and hence has one of the longest and liveliest seasons. All of its pistes, except those running into resort, are north facing and above 2,000 metres with its highest point (Palinkopf) at 2,864 metres. Not to mention it has massive snowmaking infrastructure to ensure pistes are kept in top condition.
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7. Les Arcs, France (1,950 – 2,000m)
There are a number of villages in Les Arcs to choose from but for late season, we recommend staying in the higher villages of Arc 1950 or Arc 2000 so you can ski back into them at the end of the day and avoid downloading on a lift. You can ski as high as 3,225 metres at the Aiguille Rouge summit and the majority of its slopes are even over 2,000 metres combined with neighbouring resort La Plagne, forming the Paradiski ski area.
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8. Whistler, Canada (675m)
Whistler holds an enviable snow record with an average of 12 metres of snowfall a season! Its legendary snowfall is due to the fact that it’s close to the coast and rain rolls over the mountains to form snow. Even in April the average snowfall is almost a metre and the resort on average is open 175 days a year, not closing until June.
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9. St Anton, Austria (1,304m)
Spring in St Anton is not only good for its slopes but it is when après ski comes out in full force along with the sun. Its excellent snow record is due to its many north facing slopes which are able to maintain good snow conditions. The neighbouring resort of Lech is also a snow sure one which you can ski directly into as part of the Arlberg ski area.
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10. Les Deux Alpes, France (1,651m)
The home to Europe’s largest skiable glacier, Les Deux Alpes is an underrated snow sure resort as despite its low resort altitude, its highest slopes are at 3,500 metres. As it’s a glacier resort, skiing possibilities run into the summer months so conditions will be excellent in April. Plus, it is also one of the sunniest resorts so it is perfect for blue bird days and sitting on a sun terrace in a T-shirt!
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Put away the thermals and grab your sunnies, you’ll want to jet set to the mountains for the last time of the season. Have a browse through our April ski deals!