April Skiing in Europe ?

yorks_R1

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Jun 12, 2009
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Hi there
Unfortunately due to illness i cant make my Jan/Feb ski trip this year and i am tearing my hair out . Not sure i can wait another year before skiing again so i was thinking of going the end of March through the the first 3 weeks in April if the conditions are good . Any recommendations for this time of the year for mainly piste skiing , prefer long groomers ( intermediate/advanced) . Not worried about off piste skiing
Thanks
 

CarveMan

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Just go somewhere high. Tignes, Zermatt, Val Thorens fit the bill of altitude and amazing groomers. Sure there will be plenty more resorts - find one where the bulk of the skiing is above 2000m - you might need to download one lift to the valley at the end of the day but so what.

There will still be heaps of snow up high. It's about to go mental in Europe after a slow start.

I will be in Europe for the first 2 weeks of April, though will be ski touring.
 
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yorks_R1

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Jun 12, 2009
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Just go somewhere high. Tignes, Zermatt, Val Thorens fit the bill of altitude and amazing groomers. Sure there will be plenty more resorts - find one where the bulk of the skiing is above 2000m - you might need to download one lift to the valley at the end of the day but so what.

There will still be heaps of snow up high. It's about to go mental in Europe after a slow start.

I will be in Europe for the first 2 weeks of April, though will be ski touring.
Thats why i am tearing my hair out , i keep looking at the forecasts and see things are about to go crazy and i should be there now ....grrrr
 

yorks_R1

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Jun 12, 2009
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Apart from Easter which is the 1st weekend of April am guessing that most resorts are reasonably quiet with no lift lines by then ?
 

WaitAwhile

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Somewhere like Les Deux Alpes might be a good choice, the village itself is only at about 1600 metres but you can ski up to about 3500 metres.
They have a glacier up the top and they used to do summer skiing there, not sure if they still do?
The bottom runs into the village may be closed but there is plenty of good skiing further up the mountain.
If your a good intermediate skier and up you will be spoilt for choice.
 
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Heinz

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Have skied in April in Europe a few times and have very much enjopyed it. Some resort skiing, some touring. Spring skiing conditions. Fine weather, uncrowded slopes except Easter - In Austria usually means lots of German & Dutch tourists. If you are after long groomers you will have plenty of opportunities particularly in Austria (which I am more familiar with) but also France, Switzerland and Italy. In Austria you can ski hard in the morning on firm pistes, have a relaxing lunch sitting outside on a terrace of a mountain hut which you will find at the bottom of just about every lift. Linger, ski a bit more, have a long valley run before it turns too much to slush and an après beer on the way home. Very pleasant.

You want to be looking at places that have a decent amount of terrain above 2000m. A few places I have been in April have been Sölden and Obergurgl in the Ötztal, Silvretta Nova in the Montafon valley, Schladming, Obertauern, Engelberg (Sw). Places like St Anton & Ischgl would also be good then as well.

This is a bit of a guide on proposed season end dates as a bit of a guide.
Austria http://www.bergfex.com/oesterreich/saisonende/
France http://www.bergfex.com/frankreich/saisonende/
Switzerland http://www.bergfex.com/schweiz/saisonende/
Italy http://www.bergfex.com/italien/saisonende/

or if you are still, looking for winter conditions head to Norway. I have skied powder in Narvik in mid April although it is more expensive there.

I'll be in Europe this March & April, although this time only planning on skiing in March, skiing around Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Zell am See and a few other possibilities. Zell am See has the Kitzsteinhorn glacier just up the road so is another possibility.
 

DVP

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Another vote for L2A. Went for the last week of the season in 2011 (which was a terrible snow year) and the snow up high was great. Only one download needed at the end of the day, and as a bonus lift pass covers the gondola down to Venosc. -3 at the top in the morning, 25 in the afternoon in Venosc makes for a lovely spring skiing experience! All of the North facing pistes above about 2100m (of which there were plenty to keep us amused for a week) were still open, and the bars in town were having closing down parties so super cheap booze if you are into that sort of thing.

Zermatt is a good option but fragmented once the lower runs close (which they will be by then), so will involve downloading one section to then go up to another section. At least in L2A all the skiing is in one sector.
 

yorks_R1

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Jun 12, 2009
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Perth , WA
Have skied in April in Europe a few times and have very much enjopyed it. Some resort skiing, some touring. Spring skiing conditions. Fine weather, uncrowded slopes except Easter - In Austria usually means lots of German & Dutch tourists. If you are after long groomers you will have plenty of opportunities particularly in Austria (which I am more familiar with) but also France, Switzerland and Italy. In Austria you can ski hard in the morning on firm pistes, have a relaxing lunch sitting outside on a terrace of a mountain hut which you will find at the bottom of just about every lift. Linger, ski a bit more, have a long valley run before it turns too much to slush and an après beer on the way home. Very pleasant.

You want to be looking at places that have a decent amount of terrain above 2000m. A few places I have been in April have been Sölden and Obergurgl in the Ötztal, Silvretta Nova in the Montafon valley, Schladming, Obertauern, Engelberg (Sw). Places like St Anton & Ischgl would also be good then as well.

This is a bit of a guide on proposed season end dates as a bit of a guide.
Austria http://www.bergfex.com/oesterreich/saisonende/
France http://www.bergfex.com/frankreich/saisonende/
Switzerland http://www.bergfex.com/schweiz/saisonende/
Italy http://www.bergfex.com/italien/saisonende/

or if you are still, looking for winter conditions head to Norway. I have skied powder in Narvik in mid April although it is more expensive there.

I'll be in Europe this March & April, although this time only planning on skiing in March, skiing around Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Zell am See and a few other possibilities. Zell am See has the Kitzsteinhorn glacier just up the road so is another possibility.
Thanks for that ......plenty of info there
 

Draizuh

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Jul 29, 2012
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To be honest you dont want to be skiing back into L2A when the snow is shit. Last time i spoke to mates that live there they said the valentine was icy death (which is standard) but to comment on it means its really bad. The diable at the other end can be just as much as a bitch. They have said the snow is average, but the park is great. The glacier has good runs and yes its still open in summer. You also have Alp D'huez over the other side which will still have great snow up high and amazing offpiste. Serre chevalier at the other end of the valley looks fantastic as well but in 2 winters in the area i never made it down there sadly.
 

Incider

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Have done 2 April snow trips:

Zermatt in 2008 - 5th April to 12 April - snow was top notch, albeit it didn't snow during the week I was there.
Isola 2000 in 2011 - 8th to 12th April - was 22 deg at base lifts during the day, so you can imagine that it was quite soft on southern slopes. Was still quite a lot of fun up until midday - especially riding in a t-shirt!
 

Kletterer

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Ah Firn Shnee.The joys of going off piste on spring snow are often overlooked.Wear knee padding. Some of those death cookies can really angulate off your tips.
 
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Kletterer

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Nice blog.Some of us feel at home in the alps.others are lost without them . july was also the month i spread my fathers ashes on the back side of Kitzsteinhorn where he worked on the dams Right or wrong throwing ciggies and shnapps onto the glacier gives me a reason to go back to see the mountains in Pinzgau...... My home
 

Kletterer

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Enjoyed april powder at Riffelsee-2800 mtr top station in pitztal once.Didnt ski the Glacier resort/ Austrias highest but the quality and scope of ice climbing there was a distraction.
 

WaitAwhile

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We did a 6 week European trip a few years back in April and early May, as it turned out they had a really good second half of the season, so Lucerne was omitted and replaced with Engelberg (Mt Titlis,Switzerland),trains run every hour from Lucerne so getting there was very easy.
The day before we got there(last week of April) a big weather system rolled in and dumped a heaps of snow right down to the village. Fantastic snow, unfortunately it was also a complete whitout for the entire 3 days we were there, empty pistes and when standing in the middle of the runs it was even difficult to see the red markers on the edge, so I had to stick to one side ,very challenging and in conditions like that it is very easy to get yourself into trouble as the mind starts to play tricks on you. Made worse by heavy snowfall after the groomers had gone over the runs ,very flat light, and some markers missing as the run snakes it way down the mountain and completely empty pistes, sometimes you'd swear you had gone of the marked run and skied into heavy snow and only being able to barely see one red marker and no other points of reference .
But apart from that it was great, as the lowers run had better visibility
And the wallet took an hammering, back then the AUD and the CHF were about 1:1
 

yorks_R1

Hard Yards
Jun 12, 2009
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I am still planning on skiing in Europe in the first 3 weeks of April . I am looking for good on piste skiing with long runs and thinking that visiting 2 resorts should be fine .Based on current conditions and forecasts where would be the best resorts to go ?
 

WaitAwhile

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I was under the impression that France was the most expensive place to ski in Europe , am i wrong ?
Yes
Try Switzerland and your Scandinavian countries.
A lot is proportional to the incomes earned in each country, and how much you would be prepared to pay for particular goods or service
Italy will generally get you better value for your money, than France and Switzerland.
Not sure where Austria fits in.
 

Chester

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Espace Killy is one of the mega resorts that I mentioned, so irrespective of time of year, lift tickets and food will be at the upper end of the scale. As for accommodation, I'm not sure about exact prices, but April (perhaps excluding the easter period) is low season so accommodation will be at it's cheapest.
 

yorks_R1

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Jun 12, 2009
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Espace Killy is one of the mega resorts that I mentioned, so irrespective of time of year, lift tickets and food will be at the upper end of the scale. As for accommodation, I'm not sure about exact prices, but April (perhaps excluding the easter period) is low season so accommodation will be at it's cheapest.
I guess because of the time of the year i will be going then my skiing is limited if i am looking at snow sure resorts with plenty of skiing
 

Chester

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Your options are quite good considering you're just interested in skiing on piste. Do your research and choose a few resorts that already have good snow cover and conditions. Your pre-requisite of long groomers already eliminates a large number of the smaller resorts. Resorts with a lot of north facing aspects will have retained snow much better than resorts that are mostly south facing. Then watch the weather (rain at high altitude is what you should be watching for) at the resorts you have on your list, and make a decision as late as possible. Finding accommodation should not be a problem at that time of year.
 
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