Shortly, the ski season will come to an end. Rest assured, however, as there’s still time to hit the slopes if you choose your destination wisely. There are plenty of advantages to late season skiing and snowboarding, including longer, sunnier days and fewer people to crowd the mountains.
Most of the Alpine ski resorts keep their lifts open well into the last week of April, or even the first week of May in places like Val Thorens and Gstaad. Spring skiers can enjoy quieter resorts (except maybe during Easter) with shorter queues for lifts. For the best late season snow conditions, you usually need to go to the highest resorts or head to a glacier. A luxury helicopter transfer is the most convenient and luxurious way to reach these remote destinations. To help you plan your end-of-season ski trip, we’ve compiled a list of the closing dates for the Alpine resorts.
The glamorous Swiss resort is projected to close on 17th April, giving you at least six more weeks to enjoy its variety of slopes for all levels. Many visitors are more interested in celebrity spotting, which leaves the ski runs blissfully uncrowded for winter sports enthusiasts.
The well-groomed slopes surrounding Gstaad are closing on Sunday 8th May 2016, offering plenty of time for a luxurious end of season vacation in the Swiss Alps. Home to the only glacier ski region in the Bernese Oberland, skiers can enjoy a longer season in Gstaad.
Nearby Chamonix offers an equally protracted season skiing, with the latest closing date set for 1st May. Located at the foot of the legendary Mont Blanc, Chamonix’s altitude ensures great skiing into the spring. The resort has long attracted adventure-seekers and adrenaline junkies with its advanced pistes, but also has plenty of options for more amateur skiers.
Created as the French equivalent of St Moritz, this lovely resort is unique because it was built upon a medieval village, rather than from scratch like most other alpine skiing hubs. The low altitude of the slopes means it closes a little earlier than some neighbouring resorts, but you still have until 24th April to enjoy the view of Mont Blanc from its ski runs.
Val d’Isere and Tignes
These two resorts are closely linked and combine to form the popular Espace Killy ski area. The high slopes make this area one of the most reliable for late season snow, with Tignes benefitting from the presence of the Grande Motte glacier. Val d’Isere will close on 1st May, followed by Tignes one week later on 8th May 2016.
The ultra-luxurious resort of Courchevel is due to close on 22nd April this year, so ensure your Courchevel helicopter transfers are arranged. It’s the place to be if you want to ski amongst celebrities and royalty. If you don’t care for skiing, there is still some fine dining to be enjoyed in its Michelin-starred restaurants and high-end hotels.
This purpose-built ski resort is part of Les Trois Vallees, the biggest lift network in the world, and is due to close on 24th April. Meribel is popular with British skiers and has a varied enough terrain to keep all abilities happy.
Along with Courchevel and Meribel, Val Thorens is located in ‘The 3 Valleys’ and, as it’s the highest purpose-built ski resort in Europe, it remains open longer. The car-free village is friendly and relaxed, and this year the cutting-edge facilities and powdery snow runs can be enjoyed until 8th May.