When is the best time to ski?

Posted 3rd December 2014

When is the best time to ski?

Many people spend a lot of time planning their annual ski holiday to find their best laid plans are affected by unforeseen circumstances such as three hour traffic jams on their way to resort, or less than expected snow conditions.

So when is the best time of year to go on a ski holiday?  When is the best time to get perfect powder, and when is the best time to avoid the crowds?   When it comes to weather, of course it’s almost impossible to predict conditions a long way in advance, but there are general patterns of weather throughout a season.  And for everything else, here’s some ideas about how to choose the right week for you.

Early Season – Mid December

The snow generally arrives in the Alps at the end of November or early December. Some resorts will open the first couple of weekends in December and open full time from around the 15th December.

If the snow has arrived early, then mid December to Christmas can be a fantastic time for a last minute ski break because you’ll find you have the pistes pretty much to yourselves!  But be warned – snow is definitely not guaranteed, and the off piste is not advised due to the limited snow base.

Christmas week

This is one of our favourite times to ski because it’s magical to be in the mountains during the Christmas season. Expect the resort to be buzzing with events and festivities, and slopes to be moderately busy but much quieter than New Year or Feb half term – making Christmas one of the best school holiday weeks of the season.  Snow amounts can vary, as it’s early season but in general you’re likely to get good skiing conditions.

New Year week

This is probably the busiest week of the season in terms of holidaymakers in resort, because people from all over Europe head to the slopes after Christmas.   It’s a great time to ski as snow conditions are usually guaranteed and you can celebrate the New Year in style. This is the most popular week of the season so make sure to book your holiday early (1 year in advance) to avoid disappointment.

January and early February

This is probably the best time to ski without children as there are no school holidays and you should expect regular snowfalls. As such, the slopes are quiet and conditions should be great with plenty of powder days. On the flip-side it can be very cold in January, so if you prefer a bit of warmth or lunching outside then you might prefer skiing in March.

Half Term

The UK half term is usually around the 15th February; it is about half way through the winter season and snow conditions are usually fantastic with a good snow base having developed by now. Half term is a great time to ski with children but watch out for the European school holidays, which are staggered over three weeks. If the UK holiday clashes with Paris half term it can be very busy on the slopes. Like New Year, this week is very popular and needs to be booked about a year in advance.

March

Arguably one of the best times of year to ski as the half term holidays usually finish in early March. There is a great snow base, and weather conditions can vary wildly from fresh snow to spring sunshine. We think this is the best time to ski with small children if you are not committed to school holidays, as the snow is great and the weather usually friendly.

Easter and April

This is the most under-rated time of the season. Most ski resorts are open until the 21st of April but they could stay open longer if they wanted. People worry there won’t be much snow but fear not, its been snowing regularly for 3 ½ months and there is usually plenty of snow. What you can expect is some sun and spring snow conditions: hard pack first thing in the morning, which gradually softens through the day.

We hope you find this guide useful and if you would like any further information about the best time to ski for you specific group please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Clare Richards  February 2019

         
Big thank you to Paddy and our hosts Becks and Joe for a fantastic week. The service was outstanding and so lovely to have hosts who made you feel like the chalet was your home. We have stayed in many catered chalets and have always been very happy (we do our research!) but this was the best service to date. Joe and Becks went out of their way to ensure the menu met all our needs and were great fun to be around. Eli, our driver, was brilliant - always happy and made us laugh. He even helped put the kids boots on every morning! The location is really good - easy walk into town and several options for ski lifts in the morning. We would recommend skiing in Switzerland during peak times as you can still experience pretty empty slopes! Great value for money

polly appleton  January 2019

         
Absolutely fantastic week. The chalet was gorgeous, spacious and lovely bedrooms. Paddy was a great host. The skis were delivered to the chalet which saved so much hassle as were the ski passes. Paddy booked our restaurants before we arrived. Cannot recommend more highly!! We will come back.

Rupert Weiss  March 2019

         
A very high end chalet. Staff very friendly and couldn’t do too much for us. Top notch food. Very highly recommended.

leigh farrell  March 2019

         
Les Clarines is a beautiful contemporary Chalet with amazing views of Châtel village and the surrounding mountains. Paddy gave us a wonderful welcome and we really enjoyed our stay. The hot tub was a bonus! We will definitely be back :)

julia vindis  February 2019

       
Great week in a wonderful house, lots of room for all the family. fantastic service, Skis, lift passes, and food , arranged by Paddy, were delivered to the house completely stress free. Thank you Paddy for all your help to make it a memorable week.

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