Spring Skiing: Winters Over But the Snow Goes on

By: Andrew Regan

When we think of skiing, we tend of think of winter, and of course this is the time of year when most people will head out to the ski resorts to schuss down the mountains. However, unbeknown to many outside of the ski fraternity, spring is one of the best times to hit the ski resorts.

And here's why: in spring you'll normally get sunnier, warmer weather; OK - so if you're wanting to ski in knee deep powder snow, then perhaps you should stick to winter, but if you're looking for a chance to top up the tan and ski in soft snow, then spring is a good time to come.

The second big advantage of spring skiing is the lack of competition on the slopes. Towards the end of the winter, the crowds begin to thin out, so by the time spring rolls around, you're likely to have most of the slopes to yourself.

Another bonus is the hours of daylight; in January and February, the darkness closes in much earlier, and many resorts shut their lifts by 3:30pm. Come spring, the days are lengthening and that means more hours on the slopes. And finally, spring skiing is a cheaper trip than in mid-winter. Spring is low season for ski resorts, which means prices for ski passes and accommodation are lower that during the main winter period.

If you're heading to the mountains in spring, remember it might be best to take a selection of clothing that will serve you well whatever the weather. Though you can generally expect warmer weather in spring, it's not unknown for storms to roll in and spring powder snow can - and does - occasionally turn up. Due to the slightly unpredictable nature of spring weather, men's and women's outerwear should ideally have ventilation zips to allow you to cool off when the sun is out, yet be able to shut out the cold should the mercury drop. It's also advisable to pack some thermals, sunglasses and a good pair of gloves; and don't forget high factor sun cream unless you want to get a serious case of "goggle eye".

So, just because the winter is over, doesn't mean the skiing has to stop. With warmer weather, longer daylight hours, less people and lower prices, spring is an ideal time to head to the ski hill.

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