April skiing: Bluebird days, long mornings skiing, warm temps & sunshine for lasting terrace lunches, a tan and the knowledge that you've got the best of the season... Need more convincing to go spring skiing?
April skiing seems to have been slightly abandoned in recent years.
With spring looking so good in the UK it's difficult to drag our minds back to the slopes.
But out in the mountains the conditions are just as appealing and after a good season with decent snowfall and solid snow depth this time of year can offer some of the best skiing experiences.
Take advantage of the good snow up to lunch time before it inevitably turns heavier and slushly - C'mon, it's to be expected: If we're going to enjoy the sunshine we accept sketchy afternoon conditions...
This season has seen lower-than-average snowfall and unusually warm temperatures for April but pick the right place and it's the perfect way to round off the ski season, especially with the numerous events hosted by various resorts across Europe.
Spring in Reberty, Les Menuires:
PlanetSKI with Powder N Shine director, Francesca Pangli
Morning groom, morning stretch, spring sun
April 1st, Les Menuires
Resorts are celebrating the end of the winter and during April host many events in the sun.
Les Menuires was the host of European Gay Ski Week this season which took place at the end of March. The resort was then visited by 2,000 young Poles living both in and out of Poland for the Polish National Ski Week. The celebrations had a fantastic atmosphere, strong sun, full on fancy dress, dancing and beer.
Many travel to Tignes for their final turns of the winter with its high altitude, extensive pistes and snow-sure coverage. Slush cup events, a generally good atmosphere and lots of visitors and seasonaires bring in the close of the winter season here.
The season in Sölden, Austria with its glaciers runs into May and has many spring visitors in its busy town centre that also has very easy access from Innsbruck.
And of course ski touring is at its peak at this time of year.
"Spring is a great time to take children skiing. The days are longer and warmer and you will generally get a reasonable amount of sun, although decent top ups of snow are far from unknown in March and April," the managing director of specialist tour operator Ski Famille, Chris Thompson, says.
"Slopes will generally be pretty quiet during the spring period. There are no major continental holidays in late March so lift queues are minimal and ski school classes less crowded. It's also easier to secure your favourite table on a sunny terrace for lunch!"
"A lot of resorts organise events in March and April to tempt in skiers and create a bit of atmosphere. This can mean music on the pistes, children's events or even food festivals."
PlanetSKI travelled to all resorts of Les3Vallées at the start of April to check out the conditions, skiing, events and atmosphere. And with some of the highest resort altitudes in Europe it is a safe bet for Easter skiing.
Val Thorens is always a popular choice as it is part of the world's largest ski area Les3Vallées, with skiing at over 3,000m in altitude.
Busy slopes in VT, April 3rd
Courchevel with its north-facing local slopes and easy-down pistes stays good for late season skiing.
As well as the Courchevel 1850 reputation for luxury and bustling ski town appeal, the lower villages have a lot more besides, such as the indoor/outdoor waterpark and spa, Aquamotion, in Moriond 1650.
The smaller towns of St Martin de Belleville and spa town Bride les Bains in the third valley are charming, especially if you plan to ski some and relax well in an authentic working ski village.
Le Corbeleys, a fantastic Saint Martin de Belleville slopeside restaurant
Les Menuires April 1st
Spring sunrise, Les3Vallées
The more mellow 3 Valleys resort of Les Menuires and small village Reberty just above are also situated high up and perfect for families with enough going on in the centre La Croisette, such as the Speed Mountain luge or Aquafun wellness centre.
With the whole of Les3Vallées to play with, Reberty 2000 with its alpine village atmosphere and wooden chalets is a good option early, mid and late season.
PlanetSKI stayed with Powder N Shine in Chalet Le Chamois to enjoy some spring skiing at the start of the month.
The chalet company's director and founder, Francesca Pangli, has been living in the area for years and now has four catered chalets in Reberty for winter holidays.
PlanetSKI talked to Francesca to find out a little more about the company:
To see more about the well-situated Le Chamois with a seriously good terrace and views of the Val Thorens side of the mountain, visit the site here.
Powder N Shine hosts Layla and Heather with the director, Francesca Pangli
Chalet Chamois balcony view
Visit Powder N Shine's website for its other chalets on offer as well as more information on renting during the summer months and advice on the area as a summer destination.
The area of Les Menuires is keen on promoting itself as a summer destination. Mountain biking, hiking, Via Ferratas, water sports, paintballing and quad biking are among the outdoor activities on offer.
Les3Vallées ski resorts are open until April 23rd this year, with Val Thorens staying open until May 1st.
Perks of spring skiing
"Late season skiing can mean great value. A lot of areas offer cheaper lift passes as the season nears an end. You'll also find that ski shops are clearing out their stock before the summer, meaning some great bargains on ski kit," Ski Famille's Chris adds on the topic.
It is a different kind of ski trip to those powder chasing in the middle of winter, though France's La Grave and Chamonix still attract many off piste skiers in spring.
The perks of spring skiing can be pretty special and if you like the sun, prioritise lunching well and are happy to take off the skis by early afternoon to enjoy the other benefits of the mountains it's not too late for this year!