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What to Know Before You Go Spring Skiing

March 20, 2024  · 
What to Know Before You Go Spring Skiing

With spring now officially here, the final stages of the ski season are upon us — but there’s still time to get some more slope action in before hanging up your skis for the season. 

Spring is one of the very best times to go skiing. Whilst powder might not be quite as abundant as it is mid-winter, the longer, sunnier days present beautiful conditions for making the most of the late season.

Thinking of heading out to The Alps for a spot of springtime skiing? Here are some things to bear in mind before you pack your bags and board your plane.

Consider which resorts are best for spring

Some resorts are a little more snowsure in the late season than others, so it can be worth doing your research on which destination might be best for a springtime trip. The most high-altitude resorts will often be your best bet.

Val Thorens, which stands as Europe’s highest ski resort at 2,300m, is always a safe choice for spring, whilst the connected resorts of Zermatt, Switzerland and Cervinia, Italy provide another excellent late-season option. 

Discover which other resorts are the best for spring skiing 

Anticipate a variety of conditions

Skiing in spring is a little different to taking to the slopes in the winter months. Typically, the snow tends to be softer as the sun shines more and the days grow milder. 

Conditions on the slopes can be quite variable, thanks to the free-thaw cycle. Low temperatures in the night mean that snow can be hard and frozen in the morning, before turning softer and a little slushier in the afternoon.

Sleep in a little

And on that note, you don’t always need to aim for the first lift in spring — unless, of course, it’s a powder day. Enjoy half an hour longer in bed as you wait for the icy morning snow to soften a little, giving way to excellent skiing conditions. 

Follow the sun

Opt for the trails that have enjoyed the most sun first. This snow will be softer than that in the more shaded areas. Then, as the day goes on, opt for the shaded areas to avoid the slushy snow that is likely to be found on the sunnier pistes. 

Bring sun cream

Speaking of the sun: sun cream is a must. Warmer days, sunnier weather, and higher UV levels can give way to nasty sunburns. Make sure to be liberal with your application, and apply more as the day goes on, with a focus on the parts of your body that will be most exposed to the sun.

Shade your eyes

Ensure you wear a pair of sunglasses or protective goggles when out in the mountains to shield your eyes from the reflection of the sun on the snow. This is an important consideration all year round, but especially so in spring, when sunny days are more abundant. 

Dress appropriately

Toeing the line between warmth and comfort can be a little trickier in spring than it is in winter. Cold mornings, mild afternoons, and variable and sometimes unpredictable weather can make it difficult to know what to wear.

When dressing for the slopes, keep in mind that base layers are as important as ever, and are your ticket to staying warm on the slopes. Take care in picking what material your base layers are made out of. Merino wool tends to be the best option, as it's great at wicking away moisture. 

You can ditch the bulky winter coat and opt instead for a lightweight softshell jacket, which is more breathable and better at helping you maintain a comfortable body temperature. Thinner and more lightweight gloves are a good call too — in fact, sometimes just glove liners can suffice on the warmest of days.  

Stay hydrated

An important rule of thumb no matter the season, but one that is particularly key during the spring months. The combination of high activity and warmer conditions can give way to a greater loss of fluid than you might experience in the winter. Take care to remain hydrated throughout the skiing day, and take regular water breaks.

Enjoy long, leisurely lunches

The end of the skiing season provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy more time spent with your friends, family, or loved ones, and to reflect on what a great season it has been. There’s no better place to reminisce about the winter months gone by than the sun-soaked terrace of your favourite mountain restaurant. 

Of course, you’ll want to make the most of your time on the slopes, but make sure to factor in some time throughout your visit to relax in the Alpine sun. 


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