With Spring here, it’s easy to forget that the ski season still has three months left to run at plenty of resorts around the world. 2010 has been a bumper year with record snowfalls in many resorts so, with Spring sunshine on the way and low prices and empty slopes the norm, here are some suggestions for 20 possible ski destinations in 10 countries right through to June!
The highest slopes in Austria are open until May 16 this year. The snow depth is currently more than 2m deep and supported by a new all-weather snowmaking system.
Usually open to mid-June with slopes reaching above 3,200m, this is one of the easiest resorts to reach from Innsbruck airport.
One of the world’s two ski areas open 365 days a year and one of Europe’s largest Spring skiing destinations located in the beautiful Ziller Valley.
Banff’s seven month long ski season nears its end with the 82nd annual Slush Cup which takes place at Sunshine Village on May 24. Anyone brave or mad enough can attempt to ski or ride across a pool of icy melt water. The event signifies the closure of the ski hill for another year – or for about five months anyway until the 2010-11 season starts in the autumn.
The star of the 2010 Olympics always has deep snow on the top and this winter has been a banner year. Expect to find the slopes delightfully quiet after the Olympic crowds depart and open until July 25th.
Ruka opens in mid-October each year and aims to stay open for 250 days each winter – more than 8 months in total. Usually at least the main slope number 2 stays open in to June.
With 90% of the ski area located above 2000m, Chamonix enjoys excellent Spring snow conditions and the current base of four metres should last well in to spring. The Grands Montets offers skiing up to 3300m and is the last resort in France to close on the 9th May this year.
Les 2 Alpes
Europe’s largest skiable glacier is one of the last to close in France and then re-opens its 11 runs on 200 hectares from June 16th to August 28th.
Offering some of the highest slopes in France at more than 3400m, Tignes, formerly open 365 days a year is open in to May and re-opens in June.
The Presena Glacier above Passo Tonale has had Europe’s deepest snow all this winter, with an average 5m (17 foot) base. It’s usually open in to June, with red and black graded runs for good skiers open to enjoy.
Open to early May, Val Senales then has a six week closure before re-opening in mid-June to offer snow sports right through the summer.
With several of Norway’s larger ski areas open in to May, Stryn Summerski Centre doesn’t actually open until Friday, May 30th, one of three summer ski destinations in the country. The resort has a snow park, off piste and alpine skiing opportunities and was once named the best pre-season training resort by legendary Italian slalom ski racer Alberto Tomba.
Scotland is coming out of its coldest winter since 1962 and the snow is lying several metres deep. In years gone by there’s been skiing on midsummer night, June 21st, and that’s looking good in 2010 too. The slopes have remained open in to May in recent years with less snow than this and have eventually closed due to lack of adequate skier numbers rather than lack of snow.
Up in the Swedish Arctic Circle it’s so cold and dark that Riksgransen doesn’t open until February and last week the resort was cut off by heavy snow. Come mid-May however there’s 24 hour daylight and the attraction of skiing under the midnight sun draws skiers from all over the world.
One of the longest ski seasons in Switzerland, Engelberg stays open to mid-May with a special Spring Ski season pass now available and access to the Titlis gondola via the Rotair revolving cable car and the Ice Flyer Express six-seater chairlift.
The Diavolezza glacier near St Moritz offers a wonderful long decent each spring, often open right through to June.
Europe’s highest ski runs, touching 3,900m in summer, one of the world’s biggest Spring ski areas and one of the two resorts that tries to remain open 365 days a year.
A fun Colorado ski area with some of the world’s highest ski lifts, a great laid back vibe and often open in to June.
One of half-a-dozen US ski areas that get so much snow they usually stay open well in to May or June, 2010 is looking like a great year for Mammoth which recently passed the ‘400 inches of snow this season’ mark (that’s over 13 feet/10 metres). The area has stayed opened to Independence Day, July 4th, on occasion.
Squaw Valley USA
This year Squaw Valley celebrates 50 years since staging the Winter Olympics itself, an amazing achievement back in 1960 as the resort had only been created a few years previously. It’s made an art form out of its Spring Season with cool California sunshine culture up at High Camp well in to May, sometimes June. 2010 is looking good as the snow depth is currently over four metres.