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J2Ski's Where to Ski in April 2024

J2Ski's Where to Ski in April 2024

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Started by Admin in Snow Forecasts and Snow Reports

J2Ski's Where to Ski in April 2024

Admin posted 01-Apr

Heavy snow continues to fall at altitude, on both sides of the Atlantic. There's been some fierce wind, some wild temperature variation at times - and even some Saharan sand - in the Alps. But it's Spring, and high slopes are in great condition for April skiing.

Even the Easter Bunny got some Powder in Alta, Utah, this week.

Where to Ski in April 2024
It's April 2024 and for most of the northern hemisphere's ski areas, the next few weekends will mark the end of the season. But hundreds, including many of the world's best-known resorts, will make it to the latter half of the month, some into May or beyond.

The good news is that as in 2023, we're seeing colder weather and heavier snows in spring than we did for much of March and base depths are actually increasing after some heavy late-March snowfalls on higher slopes, so it's looking like a good April for skiers and its to be expected that more resorts will announce extended seasons.

In the wider world about a dozen Japanese ski areas including big names like Niseko aim to stay open into May and the country's only summer ski area, Gassan, is due to open for their 2024 season on April 12th, which runs to July if there's enough snow.

We're also just two months away from the start of the southern hemisphere's 2024 ski season and we've already seen early autumn March snowfalls on ski slopes in Australia, New Zealand and the South American Andes.

Austria offers the two extremes of Spring snow - the vast majority of its ski areas are quite low-lying and have been hard hit by the warm winter with wet snow the norm for much of 2023-24 around Kitzbuhel, the Skiwelt and Saalbach and many more big areas. Most of these will close on the first weekend of the month or in the Skiwelts's case, what is still open (about 35%) closes April 1st!

But Austria also has high areas like Obertauern and Ischgl which plan to stay open to May 1st and more glacier ski areas than any other, with the Stubai posting the world's deepest snowpack with nearly 5m lying through much of March, so by mid-April more Austrian areas will be open than any other European nation.

France was posting some of the world's deepest snow depths and saw some of the biggest snowfalls in the final few days of March, so is looking good for the start of April. Isola 2000 got nearly five feet (1.5m) of snowfall in 48 hours into the Easter weekend.

Many of the country's ski areas will close by April 14th but some of the biggest and most famous areas continue through to the end of the month, or even to early May.

The Paradiski area (Les Arcs and La Plagne) is aiming for the 27th (April) with Chamonix, Les 2 Alpes, Tignes, Val d'Isere and Val Thorens aiming to stay open into May.

Italy saw some good snowfalls in the latter half of March, with the mountains across the north seeing a good late-season top-up. As a result most of the vast Domoliti Superski with its 1,200km of slopes, and most of the country's other leading ski regions, start the month 95-100% open.

Like the rest of the northern hemisphere, about 90% of them will be ending their seasons in the first half of April.

If you want to carry on later it'll have to be at one of the stalwarts carrying on to the final weekends of the month, or into May. Among them are Cervinia, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Livigno, Macugnaga, Passo Tonale (Presena Glacier), Sella Nevea on the Slovenian border and Sulden in the Ortler Alps.

Several Swiss centres were posting both big snowfalls and some of the world's deepest snow depths as we approached the start of April.

Glacier 3000 near Gstaad, which is open right through April, was closed for much of the last week of March as a massive storm raged.

Saas-Fee meanwhile posted over 150cm (5 feet) of fresh snowfall on its glacier and was for a time posting the world's deepest snowpack up there, nearing 5 metres.

So, as with the rest of Europe, most Swiss centres close over the next few weekends, with snow depths healthy and snow still falling up high, and some remaining open to late April or beyond.

The late-openers include Murren, Saas Fee and Verbier (to April 21st), Grindelwald and Glacier 3000 to the end of the month with Adelboden, Engelberg and the Diuavolezza glacier near St Moritz open into May, along with year-round Zermatt of course.

The Pyrenees were having a really bad season until heavy snowfall arrived in late February and continued through the first half of March. The past fortnight has seen the best conditions of the season, at least at the big, higher resorts (many smaller lower ones have closed already).

Most will focus on keeping everything open through the Easter week and the first seven days of April, even though temperatures are back up to double figures. Most still-open areas will be closing on either the weekend of the 6th/7th or 13th/14th with perhaps just one or two soldiering on into the latter half of the month.

Scandinavian ski destinations tend to come into their own in April as their northerly latitude means temperatures stay lower and the snow stays in better shape longer, usually, than down in the Alps or Pyrenees.

The daylight hours also tend to extend later than further south as the north rapidly approaches 24-hour daylight (a point reached about a third of the way into May up at Riksgransen). The good news is that 2024 is very much up to par with temperatures low, snow falling and all the major areas fully open and planning to stay open at least to the end of the month and in some cases into May.

Finland's Ylläs, Pyhä, Levi and Ruka are open through to May, as are Norway's Hemsedal and Sweden's Åre, Hemavan, Tärnaby and Kåbdalis, as well as, of course, Riksgransen.

Eastern Europe
We're into the final weeks of the season for most ski areas that are still open in Eastern Europe; around 90% are already closed in fact, but most of the bigger centres are still going, at least their higher slopes.

The Spring thaw, as elsewhere in Europe, has impacted the snow cover at lower elevations and bigger resorts like Bulgaria's Bansko and Slovakia's Jasna have about two-thirds of their terrain still open for the Easter holidays but are likely to see open runs drop away dramatically after the 6th/7th weekend.

Jasna plans to keep some runs open into May, as does Slovenia's Kanin.

Scottish centres have seen some cold periods with snowfall in the final week of March, but it looks like there won't be much open into April.

Three centres, Glenshee, Cairngorm and The Lecht currently have slopes open for Easter Holiday beginner lessons on all-weather snowmaking machine-maintained snow but not a whole lot more than that.

Glencoe and Cairngorm have had the most terrain open using natural snow cover otherwise and there's the hope that a good early April snowfall and cold temperatures will allow them to stay open longer into the month, if there's enough demand to justify keeping the lifts running.

North America
Canada has had a mixed winter 23-24 with generally below-average snow depth/open terrain and above-average temperatures.

Coastal resorts on both the East and West Coasts have suffered the most but bases have been down across the country.

Against that, the final week of March (and a period in mid-March before it) saw substantial snowfalls delivering a real late-season boost to conditions which should continue into April.

Many Canadian ski areas will end their seasons anyway on the first or second weekends of the month, but some, including the three Banff ski areas, Jasper's Marmot Basin and of course Whistler Blackcomb will be staying open into May.

It has not been an epic season really, for much of the US, although the latter half has been much better than the first, with plenty of snowfall in March, and most of the country's resorts start April with their slopes fully open.

The majority will close on the upcoming first or second weekends of April (i.e. the 7th or the 14th).

A few dozen will stay open to the end of April though and the biggest, Utah's Park City, has extended its season towards the end of the month.

Mammoth and The Palisades in California will be open into May and so, most likely, will be Colorado's Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Loveland and Winter Park.

It will be interesting to see what Killington in Vermont does as it normally aims to stay open to late May but this winter has battled through on very thin cover.
The Admin Man

Edited 1 time. Last update at 01-Apr-2024