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Sunday April 22, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Most resorts have closed after an epic season. On May 1st PlanetSKI was in Chamonix to see the end of winter & 15cm of fresh snow fell.




Chamonix ends the winter season with a powder day.

There was a demand to extend the season, and we can understand why with perfect coverage and thick snow up on the hills in Argentiere.

Alas, close it did today with the classic spring celebration, pond skimming, as well as music and a great atmosphere.

To read more of how Chamonix Mont Blanc resort was today, check out our editor's blog:


This is what it looked like first thing in the morning in Tignes as we threw open the curtains before breakfast:

Tignes, FranceTignes, France
















Tignes, FranceTignes, France
















And as we waited for the lifts to open it simply got better and better.

Time to get some different skis:

It seems that in all his excitement to get the first lift James made a small factual error - the width of skis is measured in mm not cms.  95cm underfoot, now that would give some floatation.Wink

And then James made the top - on the first lift

And then this:

Do check back later and we'll let you know what conditions are like in a special report looking at 48-hours in Tignes at the end of the season.

Monday was certainly better than Sunday...


A surprise of a day on the mountain in Tignes and Val d'Isere for the end of April on Sunday.

Snow, wind and white out...

Reminiscent of a February ski day, rather than the penultimate day of the season for Val d'Isere.

With 10cm expected overnight on Sunday and blue sky today, Monday, it might just be a spectacular finish.

Tignes has longer to go and closes at the weekend, so more sun please.

Pretty please.

Up on the slopes the buried signs tell the story of the snowfall this winter in Tignes and Va'd'Isere.

Tignes, FranceTignes, France
















Tignes, FranceTignes, France

















Down in town in Tignes there is more evidence of the huge amounts of snow that have fallen this winter.

Tignes, FranceTignes, France















Do check back later on Monday for an update of the conditions as this is what it looked like first thing in the morning in Tignes before breakfast:

Tignes, FranceTignes, France
















Tignes, FranceTignes, France
















Looks like it's going to be a good one...

Skiing isn't over yet for us here at PlanetSKI.

We've been in Val Thorens in Les3Vallees last week, the resort is the highest in Europe at 2,300m and closes this weekend on May 6th.

We are now in Tignes and then it's Chamonix later in the week.

And this is what it looked like in Val Thorens at the end of last week.

Hard to believe it's the end of April.

Val Thorens, FranceVal Thorens, France















Check out our video report from PlanetSKI editor, James Cove.

And here are a few tips from James for skiing (and snowboarding) at this time of year:

Some sign posts in the resort are still barely visible.

Val Thorens, FranceVal Thorens, France
















Val Thorens, FranceVal Thorens, France
















However the huge quantities of snow that remain mean there is "considerable" danger of avalanche.

The risk is put at 3 on a scale of 5.

Val Thorens, FranceVal Thorens, France














The resort of Val Thorens closes on May 6th but the links to its Les3Vallees neighbours closed earlier.

Courchevel and Meribel are shut even though many of their pistes remain covered in snow.
Val Thorens, FranceVal Thorens, France














There are some bare spots around in VT, but very few.

Val Thorens, FranceVal Thorens, France















Not surprising considering how warm it is.

Things are hotting upThings are hotting up














PlanetSKI's Katie Lake AnnecyKatie Bamber by Lake Annecy
















There was evidence of the huge snow melt taking place with water cascading across the road in places.

The road to Val ThorensThe road to Val Thorens
















But there remains plenty of snow on the slopes.

It's a late season favourite of ours and we've just seen that one of our great friends, Krystelle, from Iglu Ski is in the resort too.

She has just posted the image below.

Val Thorens, FranceVal Thorens, France
















Next stop Tignes.

Looking good compared to this time last year:

Tignes comparisonTignes comparison












Our chief reporter, Jane Peel, has been over in Flaine for a spot of spring ski touring.

See here for the first instalment of her 3-part blog:

How to apply skinsFreshtracks in Flaine
















And here as she, er, progressed.

















And our editor, James Cove, has just been on a city and ski break in Innsbruck, the capital of the Tirol.

See here for the final part of his 4-part blog:

Innsbruck, Tirol, AustriaInnsbruck, Tirol, Austria















James is now on his way to Val Thorens and then it's Tignes and possibly Chamonix. Cool

PlanetSKI reader and reporter,  Squash Falconer, shared this photo of Tignes as she walked her dog along the lake behind Tignes dam.

She commented, "Not your average walkies! This is the lake behind the Tignes dam. When the water levels are low enough you can walk down & see the roads, bridges & buildings of old Tignes. “66 years ago the old village of Tignes was evacuated to make way for the flood waters”.

We wrote about Old Tignes in this article - LETS NOT FORGET OLD TIGNES.

Walking the dog behind Tignes dam photo: Squash FalconerWalking the dog behind Tignes dam photo: Squash Falconer
















April is one of our favourite times to be in the mountains with plentiful snow, long days, empty slopes and glorious sunshine.

And this is the best April in many, many years.

So, with April drawing to a close where else is it still possible to make some turns?


27th April:  Les Menuires, France.

28th April:  La Clusaz, La Plagne, Les 2 Alpes and Les Arcs in Frace.

29th April:  Verbier in Switzerland and Trysil in Norway.

1st May:  Chamonix and Val d'Isere in France.

Cortina d'Ampezzo and Livigno in Italy + Ischgl and Solden in Austria.

Hemsedal in Norway and Sierra Nevada in Spain will also bring things to an end.

6th May:  Cervinia in Italy and the Swiss resort of St Moritz turn off the lifts.

In Austria; Kitzbuhel and the Pitztaler Gletscher close while in Norway Tyin-Filefjell calls it a day.

Val Thorens and Tignes in France end their season.

7th May: Glencoe, Scotland

13th May:  Molltaler glacier in Austria

3rd June:  Stubai glacier in the Tirol in Austria.


You can ski all summer on a handfull of Europe's glaciers over the summer and with the huge snowfalls of the past winter it should be the best summer skiing for many years.

A few PlanetSKI favourites:

Zermatt and you can access the glacier from the Italian resort of Cervinia too.

The year-round Austrian glacier resort, Hintertux.

Kaprun's Kitzsteinhorn glacier keep its lifts turning until 22nd July.


4th May: Killington, Vermont

12th May: Mt Hood, Oregon

27th May : Mountain Bachelor, Oregon

28th May: Squaw Valley, California

28th May:  Mammoth Mountain, California

Mid-June 2018: Arapahoe Bssin, Colorado

Timberline, Oregon - open year round


6th May: Lake Louise

21st May: Whistler, British Columbia

21st May: Sunshine Village, Alberta

So there you have it, there are plenty of resorts still open and some great skiing to be had.

And if you want to squeeze in a few final turns in Val Thorens the UK operator Erna Low and partner of PlanetSKI is offering a great deal for this weekend:

Departs 28th April

High altitude Val Thorens stays open until 8th May giving a full week of skiing possible in one of the best season's snow for many years.

1 x studio for up to 4 persons in the Silveralp Residence in Val Thorens costs £587 including return Eurotunnel crossing.

Just £147 per person - see here for further details.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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