Spring Skiing

Spring is well and truly here and Easter is upon us, so it’s worth reviewing the state of the resorts to see just what is still worth going out for. Follow the links to get more detailed resort information and an update on conditions.

Airolo piste

The good news is that, despite a very warm March, there is significantly more piste open this year than was open last year, although a later Easter has stretched the season for some resorts. The number of open resorts and pistes is still behind the figures for the two seasons prior to last year, but not by much. All my 4 and 5 star resorts have at least one valley run still open, apart from the Portes du Soleil, the Aletsch Arena and Zinal. These resorts do, however, have lots of terrain open, and – in the case of Zinal and the Aletsch – a lot of it above 2000m, around where the freezing level has been hovering just recently.

All the low-lying resorts are now closed. Of the resorts I rate 3 star and above only Anzère and Rougemont have closed completely.  Some resorts with their highest runs below 2000m have managed to keep an impressive amount of piste open, but from my last couple of outings this week, I would surmise these runs are invariably icy in the morning, heavy in the afternoon and decidedly patchy in places.

So, where to go? Verbier is good, Corviglia and Corvatsch in the Engadine should still be good. Flims, Saas-Fee, Samnaun, Val D’Anniviers, Arolla, Zermatt and Mürren should all  be pretty good. I imagine Grindelwald, Wengen, Davos, Klosters, Disentis, Grächen and Glacier 3000 will be good in patches. Andermatt, Engelberg, Belalp and Lauchernalp should be good if you stay high, and you can. Surprisingly Portes du SoleilLeysin, Malbun, ScuolLenzerheide, Flumserberg, Obersaxen, ArosaSedrun, Melchsee-Frutt and Adelboden/Lenk reckon to have the vast majority of their runs open still but I can’t imagine conditions are easy. Even Villars and Les Diablerets seem to have a respectable 65km of piste open. Crans, Diavollezza, Bivio, Sörenberg (on the Brienzer Rothorn I imagine) all have significant open terrain and some good altitude.  A lot of other smaller resorts will be open over Easter, although my suspicion is that we will see a huge fall-off of open resorts come April 10th.

Open with significant terrain of 70km or more until the end of April last year were Zermatt, Samnaun/Ischgl and Saas-Fee. EngelbergSt Moritz, Silvaplana, Grächen, Andermatt and Verbier also kept at least 25km open. Come May, and there was just some limited glacier skiing and very high ski touring.

Then it’s time to get the skis serviced.

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