Spring into action: and grab yourself a good deal!

Like the snowboarding term, riding switch, skiing in the springtime is an altered state. The down jackets, thermals and goggles come off. The t-shirts, shorts and sunglasses go on. Layering is key. Sun cream is essential. And no one will mind if you clock off that bit earlier to sunbathe the afternoon away. Promise.

Sarah Neith

The down jackets come off and the t-shirts go on…

In the past few years I’ve often been found in resorts throughout late April. Although the snow can be slightly slushier, there is a potential for some of the biggest snowfalls of the season…

Firstly, and probably most importantly, it’s cheaper. Skiing in April, and even early May is considered the ‘down period’. Lift passes; accommodation and transfers are usually significantly reduced. For example; an adult skiing for six days in Les Trois Vallées before April will pay €260. At the end of April, the price is €234. Similarly, the Mont Blanc Unlimited pass goes from €266 down to €200.

After Easter, most people start focusing on more summer-based activities. Whether that’s mountain biking, sailing, or even scuba diving, it ultimately means that the ski resorts tend to be a bit quieter. Lift queues dwindle, restaurant service takes half the time and generally you can be a bit more selfish on the mountain. This especially works well for those people who book the later Ski Club Freshtracks holidays, the last lifts could be all yours.

Lastly, (and this is a little obvious) it’s sunnier. If you’re not a fan of icy, hard snow, howling winds and freezing temperatures then spring skiing is ideal. It might be best to get an early start in order to avoid the much skied, wetter snow that appears in the afternoon. But when the sun’s shining, the sky’s blue and the snow’s glistening in the morning light, then it doesn’t seem much of a chore to be out of bed for the first lift. That’s not to say that you definitely won’t be hit by a snowstorm and cold conditions, just that it’s not so likely.

Perhaps just keep these simple pointers in mind…

1. Look at higher altitude resorts or ones with glaciers such as Val d’IsèreTignes, Val Thorens, Zermatt, Cervinia, Åre  and Hintertux for example.

2. Take an assortment of clothing. Thin layers are best so you can chop and change as the weather suits.

3. Apply plenty of sun cream, especially under your nose and under your chin. (I once forgot to do this and ended up with a blistered face. This is considered very attractive by others.)

4. Carry a water bottle with you at all times. Most restaurants and cafes on the slope will happily re-fill them when you run low.

5. Keep an eye on the Ski Club snow reports (and historical snow reports if you’re a Ski Club member) on the website.

If you’re still not convinced, then fair enough. I’ll admit defeat and direct you to our summer discounts page. Hopefully I’ll see you in the mountains next season (before April of course).

Although if you’re now looking at higher-altitude resorts and the best brands of sun cream. Wonderful. You’ll have a superb time. Honest.

Chris Taine

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