Ski Out of Season
Whether you’re hitting the slopes next season or hoping to squeeze in the last few minutes of a ski vacation, here’s how to time it.
With the ski season ending in April or May depending on the resort, last minute ski holidays aren’t out of the question. Whether you’re looking for a getaway in the next few weeks, or are leaving for next season, or even looking forward to some summer skiing, here’s our guide to the earliest and newest snow.
End of Season Skiing
For a long ski season, head to the highest resort you can find. Even when booked at the last minute, ski vacations well above sea level often work out as these areas are the coldest and most assured of the snow. Vacations to Val Thorens and Orelle offer abundant snowfall until they close in early May and reopen in November, due to their high altitude locations.
Summer Skiing in the Alps
If you want to ski in the Alps but you’ve missed the season, don’t worry! Even if you’ve decided against Val Thorens at the last minute, ski vacations are available year round at glacial locations. Glaciers are basically enormous rivers of ice. They remain frozen all year round, meaning that the snowfall above them is preserved by the ancient ice below.
The largest ski area in the Alps that remains open in the summer is Zermatt. Also taking the title of Europe’s highest summer ski area, Zermatt offers outstanding glacier skiing and equally stunning views any time of year. If Zermatt isn’t your thing, you’ll find a number of other glaciers in the Alps that are open to skiing outside of normal season.
Beyond the Alps
If you don’t mind venturing further for your ski holiday, you’ll find some brilliant summer skiing elsewhere in the world. Riksgransen, in Sweden, is a particular gem. Not only is the entire area set up as a terrain park, keeping things interesting for those who are not always interested in glacier skiing, but from late May to the resort closure in June you can also expect 24 hours of sunshine. Skiing is available late at night, making Riksgransen a unique place to ski.
For those who like something even more different from the Alps, consider visiting one of the US’s many late-season or year-round ski areas. Mt. Hood, in Oregon, offers year-round skiing as well as the opportunity to dip into the unique US ski culture. It is also worth considering California as a candidate for your ski holiday; most of the United States’ late-opening US ski resorts are here, and these resorts have a fun, surfing atmosphere due to their surfer demographic.