For many of us, spring is the best time of the year to go skiing – longer days, warmer weather and predictable snow conditions make it a great time for the connoisseur.
April might not be everybody’s first choice for a ski holiday but there are plenty of reasons why it is a great option and, with the ski area staying open until April 27th this year, there's still plenty of time to fit in an extra ski trip before the lifts close.
In April, the French tend to spend their holiday time at the beach, rather than in the mountains, so you can expect shorter queues and empty pistes. The Easter holidays might be busier (although they are quiet as school holidays go) but after the kids are back in school you can look forward to deserted mountains for the last week of the winter season. It can feel like having your own private ski resort at this time of year and, unlike some other resorts, almost all the lifts stay open right up until closing day.
The snow is still good
All that snow that fell in January, February and March will stick around through April, meaning that there will be plenty to ski on. The lower slopes might be getting patchy by the end of the season but with pistes all the way up to 3600 metres, you can guarantee good skiing in Les Deux Alpes. There are usually a few good snowstorms in April but when it is sunny you get predictable conditions – icy first thing, good skiing conditions as the snow softens, then slush later on. If you time things right, you can miss the icy first hour with a late start or by heading straight up to the glacier. Then ski from mid-morning through lunchtime when the snow is at its best and the slopes are quietest. If things start to get too slushy later in the afternoon it is time to find a bar with a sunny terrace and work on that tan.
You can ski in a T-shirt
When the sun comes out in April the skiing weather gets seriously warm. Warm enough that you can ski comfortably in a T-shirt (or less) and work on a tan that goes below your neckline. If you are used to shivering in January whilst wearing seven or eight layers, warm, sunny T-shirt skiing is quite a liberating experience.
The days are longer
There is more daylight in spring and the slopes stay open a little longer. This means you won’t be skiing your last run in the gathering dusk and the après-ski has more of a summer vibe.
Ski deals & special offers
If you're coming to Les 2 Alpes in a group of three or four people, you can save money on Tribu – Group – ski passes for six or seven days. Families can also save money on their ski passes – discounted rates are available for families with two or more children from 5 to 18 years old on six or seven-day ski passes.
You can get some great deals on ski hire too, especially when you book online, as many companies offer discounts, some with as much as 50% off. Many of the ski hire shops also offer any cancellations or changes made to the bookings free of charge.
Accommodation deals & special offers
If you are skiing with children, Easter skiing is much cheaper than February half-term or Christmas and New Year thanks to prices on lots of accommodation coming down. We can’t guarantee that the snow will be better (though it often is) but we can guarantee that there will be less queuing for lifts and fewer people on the slopes.
Great après-ski & nightlife
Be it the Pano Bar or the Umbrella Bar, après ski on the terrace is always livelier when the sun is out. Dancing on the tables is easier when you aren’t shivering and partying as the sun sets on a spring evening is a great vibe. Don’t forget that the end of season parties will be happening all over the resort over the last three weeks of the season. Almost every bar has some event to mark the end of the season, and all the main venues will be trying to outdo each other with the biggest and best party.
Ski & mountain bike on the same trip
The mountain bike run to Venosc is scheduled to open on April 13th, so you can ski in the morning then swap your skis for a bike and continue down the red bike track to the bottom of the Venosc gondola. There will also be mountain bike events taking place on the final two weekends of the season. Faster than You, in association with Commencal on April 20th-21st is a weekend of timed runs and varied contests with pro-mountain-bikers Antoni Villoni and Pierre-Edouard Ferry in attendance. There will be prizes for the fastest, slowest and most runs of each day. On the final weekend of the winter season, Snow 2 Bike is a race on snow and mountain bike for teams of two. Each pair starts on skis or snowboard at 3400m on the glacier. After a descent to Les Deux Alpes, competitors switch to bikes for the trail to Venosc where they cross the finishing line together.
Events & entertainment
Les 2 Alpes has plenty of entertainment off the slopes between now and the of the season to keep you, your friends or your family entertained.
The biggest event on the April calendar this year is the France Bleu Live Festival, organised by the French national radio network France Bleu. Three nights of live music with Gims, Jenifer and Pascal Obispo are planned for the Amphibia centre on April 17th, 18th and 19th. While the names might not be familiar to readers outside France, they are all major stars here with numerous hits in the French music charts. The events are free of charge, by invitation only, and will be broadcast on France Bleu. Free tickets are available to anybody reserving accommodation and ski-pass packages on the Festival page, while a number will be kept aside to be won in competitions on the radio station.
Also in the same month is the Micro Kids snowboard competition which gets underway on April 20th-21st. Little ones from the age of 5 to 11 years can take part in slalom and in some fun events on the mountain and in the snowpark.
As well as the events above, you can take part in First Tracks every Wednesday until the end of the season, learn Freeride and avalanche safety skills every Tuesday (free with the Tourist office) and enjoy sightseeing on the glacier which is accessible to pedestrians.