Love Spring

Spring is here but don’t be fooled into packing away your skis and snowboard quite yet.  Yes the sun is high in the sky but the season is far from over.  The Alps remains a snowy paradise for much longer than you might think.  In fact for many of us the best of the season is just arriving! 


After a long winter everyone is craving that essential vitamin D in the form of a huge hit of sunshine.  The Alps has this in abundance; bright blue skies, not a cloud in sight and blaring sunshine. Longer daylight hours and diminishing risk of frost bite from daring to step outside means the resorts come to life on and off the pistes.

Despite the spring time buzz astonishingly the resorts are much quieter.  Lift queues disappear and the pistes are noticeably emptier.  No school holidays, no Christmas piste traffic jams, just a wide open playground of snow to be enjoyed. 

Spring is bargains galore.  Once the mad rush of Christmas, New Year and Half Term is over the patient skier is rewarded with great deals.  Some of the lowest prices of the season are here to snapped up during this time of tranquility

Add stunning weather, take away the incessant people dodging, reduce the prices; there has got to be a catch right? Well actually no not really.  The vicious rumours of skiing on grass has given spring skiing a lousy and very misleading reputation.  With the right know how you can enjoy snow that rivals powder without having to battle the wintry conditions of January.

Snow Retention

Head High and go north.  Altitude is your friend during the spring months.  The cool temperatures reduce the risk of melt retaining the snow for longer than in lower resorts.  Also any precipitation that falls will do as snow increasing the likelihood of spring powder.  Shady north facing slopes save the snow hiding it away from the sun for longer.  Val Thorens is the highest resort in Europe, with most slopes above 2,000 meters and north facing, it’s an excellent bet for spring skiing.

Corn Snow

A classic skier term used to describe the spring snowpack after the daily freeze melt cycle of warm spring days.  As the early sun warms the hard solid snowpack, snow with a consistency most resembled to velvet is created.  During this incredible window of opportunity, revel in the corn snow induced fast, smooth, highly-edged turns.  For many untracked corn snow is as fun as fresh powder. 

Timing is Everything

Follow the sun to get the best out of the magical time of year.  Catching a slope 1-2 hours after the sun has begun to warm it up and you’ll start to fall in love with spring snow.  Start east and keep moving throughout the day to avoid the over warmed slush.  Hit south, west and finally north facing slopes later in the day as they are exposed to the heat of the sun.  Then it’s beer time.

Generally considered to have the best snow cover in the Alps, Val d’Isere is part of the highest and largest ski areas in Europe.  This enormous area offers a vast number of slopes of varying aspects, perfect for finding the perfect corn snow.          

Go Glacier     

Glacier skiing doesn't just extend the skiing until spring but actually allows skiing almost all year round. Tignes, the second highest resort in Europe, offers skiing an astonishing 10 months of the year and Les Deux Alpes boasts the largest skiable glacier in Europe.  Putting both firmly at the top of the spring must list.  

Backcountry Gems

Access the best spring has to offer backcountry.  Whether it’s fresh powder turns or untracked corn snow you crave,ski touring gives you access to these untouched gems.  Make sure you plan your tour considering the orientation of the slope.  You don’t want to arrive at your descent to find the sun has been boiling it for several hours and you’re left with a slushy and avalanche prone face.  A guide is vital when exploring the backcountry and their expertise and local knowledge means they know the best spots.  UCPA Argentiere run ski touring courses from absolute beginner to advanced throughout spring.

High Mountain

Chamonix, home of Europe’s highest cable car Aiguille du Midi is the spring choice for the extreme.  Famous for its glacier descents and high mountain steep skiing the Aiguille du Midi stands at 3,842 meters.  Completely ungroomed and unpatrolled this area is only skiable by the very advanced under the leadership of a guide.  UCPA Argentiere runs a dedicated high mountain course in the Chamonix valley, including the Aiguille du Midi, until mid April.  

UCPA

Embrace spring and the transformation of the Alps brought about by the change in weather.  UCPA offers incredible prices to some of the highest and most snow sure resorts in the Alps.  Whether you are a beginner hoping to learn while enjoying the good weather or an expert hunting out the best snow there are courses to suit everyone throughout spring.   

Check out our best Easter Deals here or use our quick search to find your perfect spring trip to the Alps. 

Skiers relaxing in the spring sun enjoing the view of the mountains
Group of Snowboarders
Snowboard Lessons UCPA
Stunning view over Val Thorens
UCPA Les Deux Alpes centre

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