3rd April 2023
With good snow conditions in high altitude areas of the French Alps, we are looking at late season skiing & Spring skiing. We bring you PlanetSKI’s choice for April skiing & snowboarding. NEW
Despite the mountain of snow that’s fallen recently in the Alps, it pays to go high at this time of year.
Temperatures can rise quickly and, with the sun high in the sky and strong, the melt at lower altitudes happens fast.
It’s one of our favourite times of the season to ski and – outside the Easter holidays – is one of the quietest too.
So, where to go and why?
Skiing Altitude: 1550m to 3456m
Resort Slopes: 150km
Ski Area Slopes: 300km (including Val d’Isère ), 60% are above 2,200m
Glacier Skiing: Grande Motte in Tignes (3456m) and Pisaillas in Val d’Isère (3,300m)
Resort Lifts: 33
Ski Area Lifts: 71 (including Val d’Isère )
Open Until: 6th May
PlanetSKI’s Verdict: One of the best all-round high-altitude bases in France, especially for good intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders. We prefer staying there to neighbouring Val d’Isère
Skiing Altitude: 1800m to 3230m
Resort Slopes: 150km (Val Thorens-Orelle) of which 99% are above 2000m
Ski Area Slopes: 600km (Les3Vallées) of which 85% are above 1800m
Glacier Skiing: Peclet (3100m)
Resort Lifts: 30
Ski Area Lifts: 158 (Les3Vallées)
Open Until: 8th May (28th April for the whole Les3Vallées)
PlanetSKI’s Verdict: Hard to beat in terms of snow reliability. Can be bitterly cold and bleak in winter so spring is a great time to go.
Skiing Altitude: 1450m to 2850m
Resort Slopes: 160km (Les Menuires, La Masse, St Martin-de-Belleville)
Ski Area Slopes: 600km (Les3Vallées), 85% above 2000m
Glacier Skiing: No, but access to Peclet in Val Thorens
Resort Lifts: 31
Ski Area Lifts: 158 (Les3Vallées)
Open Until: 28th April
PlanetSKI’s Verdict: Our preferred base when wishing to ski in both Les Menuires & Val Thorens. Generally cheaper than the rest of Les3Vallées and we have just been staying there.
Skiing Altitude: 1200m to 3226m
Resort Slopes: 200km
Ski Area Slopes: 425km (Paradiski), 70% above 2000m
Glacier Skiing: Varet (3226m) plus Bellecôte (3417m) in La Plagne, part of the Paradiski area
Resort Lifts: 53
Ski Area Lifts: 129 (Paradiski)
Open Until: 29th April (22nd April Paradiski)
PlanetSKI’s Verdict: An often underrated resort. Arc 1950 Le Village is our choice for a base in spring for its easy access to the highest skiing in Les Arcs.
Skiing Altitude: 1300m to 3600m
Resort Slopes: 200km, 70% above 2000m
Glacier Skiing: Mantel (3600m)
Resort Lifts: 40
Open Until: 23rd April
PlanetSKI’s Verdict: At 3600m, it offers the highest skiing in France. Some great places to eat and drink along the resort’s sprawling main street, along with some good value accommodation.
ARGENTIERE – CHAMONIX MONT-BLANC
Skiing Altitude: 1,240m to 2,767m
Resort Slopes: 17
Glacier Skiing: Ski touring from top of Bochard lift.
Resort Lifts: 9
Open Until: May 1st
PlanetSKI’s Verdict: Chamonix itself is a fabulous mountain town but skiing in the different sectors is not lift-linked so you’ll need a car or to take the resort bus. Argentière is the best location for spring skiing on the Grands Montets.
Now we have selected just six resorts, but there are others: Alpes D’Huez, La Grave and La Plagne spring to mind.
Other lower areas will likely have decent skiing at altitude in their ski areas – amoung them Serre Chevalier and Avoriaz.
What You Need to Know:
There are some great late season deals for self-catering with Pierre et Vacances.
Rent your skis or snowboard with some HUGE discounts with Intersport
Resort transfer can be arranged with Ski Lifts.
Fancy a lesson (especially of there’s a spot of powder) try Maison Sport.
Here at PlanetSKI we are out in Chamonix and Les3Vallees (Les Menuires & Val Thorens) until the final week in April.
Then back out again for the closing weekends in May at some of the above resorts.
Then did we mention California in May?
Where over 17m of snow has fallen this winter and resorts have slopes open into July.
Ahead of that we shall be looking at the best resorts for late skiing in Austria where skiing goes on well into May in its glacier ski resorts.
It would also be remiss not to mention one other resort in Europe that offers fabulous late skiing – Narvik in northern Norway.
PlanetSKI visited at the end of last April:
Skiing and snowboarding ain’t over yet, not by a long way…