Updated: Aug 19
For a lucky few it doesn’t matter what time of year it is. The truly addicted skier can follow their passion for skiing all year round in amazing places like New Zealand, Chile, Australia and even in South Africa. If like me you’re not one of these fortunate few and find you can commit to only a few weeks of skiing a year, it’s important you get the most out of it. It’s not just the resort you choose or the instructor you decide to ski with that can effect your holiday but the period of winter you choose to travel. Throughout this blog we’ll highlight some of the pro’s and cons of different times during the season you can join us in the French Alps.
The Remarkables, New Zealand, 29th July 2019
Early season – October/Early November
Most skiers assume that the season doesn’t really start until Christmas. In fact, by the time Santa roles into town many of Europe’s high resorts have been open for weeks or in some cases months. Resorts such as Tignes provide access to glaciers from as early as October. If you don’t mind skiing the same few runs or sharing the slopes with racers it can be a great time to perfect your technique. It can also be a great time to mix skiing with a variety of other sports that the Alps have to offer.
Pros – Early chance to perfect technique, great specific ski training period, mix skiing with other alpine sports
Cons – Limited terrain, limited slopes
TTignes, November 7th 2019,
From late November a greater number of
resorts begin to open; offering far greater.
variety of runs than just the glacier.
A few examples include Val d’Isere which
opens on the 26th of November 2020 and
Val Thorens opening even earlier on
November 22nd. The biggest concern many skiers have about booking during these early periods is a lack of snow.
Thankfully due to large snowmaking facilities’ these resorts never fail to open. The slopes are quiet ensuring no lift lines, plenty of space on every run to ski and cheaper costs all round.
Meribel, 3 Valleys, 14th December 2019
Pros – Quiet slopes, low cost, great piste skiing
Cons – Only Higher resorts and not all runs open, limited off piste
Christmas and New Year
A fantastic time to bring family to the Alps. Spending Christmas in the snow can be a truly magical experience. The mountains are generally fully open for this period with good snow conditions. The holiday period is a fun, family friendly time to go skiing that offers a unique way to see in both Christmas and New Year. This is however one of the busiest times of the season. To make sure you get the lessons you need at a time that suits; you need to book early!!!!
Pros – School holiday time making it great for kids, magical winter experience, full snow coverage and lots to do in the village to help celebrate the holidays
Cons – Cold temperatures, busy slopes, early booking needed for lessons and one of the most expensive times of year to travel
Val d’Isere, 2nd January 2020
January is one of the most over looked times to go skiing as it falls outside of the school holidays. If you can ski outside the holiday periods or are looking for an adults only trip then January could be the ideal time to come skiing with BASS. The snow conditions during this period are often the best you’ll find. Lots of snow and cold crisp temperatures make for excellent piste conditions and an ideal start to the off piste routes.
Pros – Generally the best snow conditions of the year, quiet slopes, cheap travel prices and good availability of lessons
Cons – Outside school holiday period, cold temperatures
Meribel, 15th January 2020
February and Half Term
The best time of the year for a ski holiday, right? The answer is it depends on your situation. February is certainly the most popular period due to the half term holidays. The snow is still in great condition and is a little warmer than in January. It’s a great time to bring the family skiing and a great opportunity for both children and adults to learn new skills and experiences on the mountain with BASS. February is also the busiest and most expensive time of the year. If you are not restricted to the school holiday period you might find what your looking for at a different point of the season
Pros – Great skiing conditions, school holidays, lots of family orientated lessons and experiences available
Cons – Busiest point of the season, most expensive period
Val d’Isere, February Half Term 2020, Courchevel 25th Feb 2019
A fantastic time to go skiing with BASS. The slopes are far less busy than during February and the snow is still in great condition. March is when temperatures in the Alps begin to warm up. It’s an ideal period for the team at BASS to show everything the mountain has to offer from quieter pistes, great off piste and the many mountain restaurants which begin al fresco dining around this time. A bit like the January period although the snow can become a little softer the later in the month.
Pros – Warmer temperatures, quiet slopes, cheap travel prices, good availability of lessons, outdoor eating and drinking
Cons – Outside school holiday period, snow can become soft toward the end of the month
Tignes Le Lac, 8th March 2020
April and Easter
The Easter holiday period is the last real
opportunity for a family friendly ski holiday. It’s a fantastic time of the season to learn new skills and for the kids to enjoy all the mountain has to offer with BASS.
The temperatures are a lot warmer in April
so the snow conditions do change
throughout the day from firm to soft.
That means loads of fun to be had and lots to learn across the whole mountain. It’s also a fantastic time of the year for al fresco eating and drinking on the mountain so offers something for everyone.
Pros – school holiday periods, warm temperatures, great al fresco dining,
Cons – changeable snow conditions, busy, early booking required
Val d'Isere April 9th 2019, Drinks at the refuge restaurant Solaise
That’s right; you can ski in May!!! A bit like early season the lower slopes might not be open but there is plenty of skiing in the high resorts and on the high slopes. A lesson during the late season can help you perfect that certain skill or achieve that last goal before putting the skis away for the summer
Val d'Isere, 28th April 2019
Pros – quiet slopes, cheap travel period, excellent availability, last chance to ski
Cons – limited to the upper slopes and resorts, outside school holidays, changeable snow conditions
If you have any questions about which period of the winter would suit your needs best or any other ski lesson related questions you can contact us via our website britishalpine.com You can also find information on all the products we offer via our Facebook and Instagram pages. Follow us on instagram at british_alpine_ski_school for the resorts of Val d'Isere and Tignes & bass_ski_schools for Meribel, Courchevel and Val Thorens. Whatever time of year you choose to ski, BASS is the ski school to help you get the most out of your holiday.