Where to ski 1st Week of April--A Snow Comparison
November 20, 2006
A friend asked me where to ski on the first week of April and I came up with this little comparison chart, using figures from the Ski Club of Great Britain..
Similar resorts for the first week of April 06 (all figures in cms) lower slopes/upper slopes:
Bad Gastein: 60/120
St. Anton: 69/289
Val d'Isere: 131/168
Park City: 282/312
The Canyons: 231/261
Clearly, Utah has the best late season snow, but some European places had respectable snow coverage for that week, especially on the upper slopes. Anything under 30 cms in Europe is marginal. In the US, most resorts need about 50 cms (20 inches) for reliable skiing.
John, here's a thread from Epic with some good stuff on this (T. Crocker's brilliant on this topic): http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?p=453680
Some of the best in North America at that time are supposed to be: Alta, Mammoth, Bachelor, Summit County CO, Sunshine Canada, and in normal year Whistler. Yours isn't the first reference I've seen of Solden as a snowy place. I guess it has real high elevation terrain? How far is it from St. Anton? I also suppose Stubai, Kitzsteinhorn and some of the other big glacier-based ski areas (isn't there one near Schladming too) in Europe would be good April bets.
I too am planning a late season ski trip since the season tends to end in March here in the Mid-Atlantic. I was investigating Alta/Solitude/Brighton. These resorts receive 500 to 600 inches of snow every year. I thought I could also find a great late season deal. However, so far the prices I have been quoted have not been discounted at all. Someone suggested that it may be too early to get a discounted rate for a late season trip. If you have any suggestions, it would be appreciated.
This guy wanted to know how Bad Gastein compared to "mainstream" places in Europe an N. America. But I probably should have included some others:
He went to Bad Gastein last year around Christmas and loved it. He wants to go back there but he asked me how it stacked up to other places in Austria and around the Northern Hemisphere. As you can see from the chart, North America is probably a better bet for the first week April, but there are resorts in Europe that have decent coverage. My choice would be Lech if I could get a decent late season rate or Solden, which has a lot of terrain over 2,000 meters plus a lot of glacier terrain above 3,000 meters. A place like Val Thorens in France or Courchevel 1800 would also be a good late season venue provided the prices drop accordingly. As Snowsmith mentioned, it's tough to get a resort, especially in N. America, to explain late season discounts this early in the season.
And I should also note that I've had a lot of good days at Timberline in April. March is actually my favorite Timberline month--no crowds, good snow, and longer days.
I know that Snowbird has some great late season deals in early April. One is with American Express. When you use the card you get a special discount, ususlly beginning in early April.
Snowsmith how many days to ski? if five or six get a hotel in salt lake and a rental car, read the snow report ski where ever you want, lift tickets 50 bucks a day that's a discounted rate. I wonder how it is in early April, still lots of snow