Anyone who has ever been skiing knows why it is one of the most fascinating winter sports.
Being an outdoor sport, it is subject to the elements and the conditions encountered on the slopes change both with the season and throughout the day. So, depending on what you want to experience on skis, there are better and worse suitable times when you should storm the slopes.
In this article, we will discuss the best times of the year and the best times of the day to ski.
When Are The Best Times To Ski?
Best Time To Ski In Winter
Winter mornings are the perfect time to ski. Fewer people are on the slopes earlier in the day, as many still have to make their way to the resort. Furthermore, the slopes are usually groomed in the evening or over the night, so the slopes are in the best condition earlier in the morning: free of bumps and with a corduroy look. This nighttime grooming makes the slopes safer for skiing the next day. A bonus for getting up early to ski is that there won’t be a lineup for the chair lift!
If it snows overnight, there are plenty of spots to experience the thrill of powder skiing. Remember: fresh powder snow is the happiness par excellence.
All that being said, winter mornings are usually the coldest time of the day, so you must ensure that you are prepared by wearing the right gear to keep you extra warm and comfortable.
Best Time To Ski In Spring
Spring is a wonderful time of the year to ski. The days are warmer and longer, making for pleasant conditions. But what is the best time of day to ski?
In spring, the snow often starts to soften and melt in the afternoon but then freezes again as the temperatures drop overnight. Consequently, the slopes tend to be hard and icy early in the morning, making skiing difficult and unpleasant. The best time to ski on the slopes in spring is from mid-morning to midday when the sun is stronger and melts the top few inches of snow. The slopes are soft but firm enough to try different turns and techniques.
Later in the day, as it warms up, the snow gets too wet, creating corn snow that gets deep and heavy. Furthermore, many bumps are created by the crowds of skiers, and this makes it difficult to ski.
Best Month Of The Year To Ski
Choosing the best month of the year to ski will depend on what you want to achieve.
Aim for the end of January, February, and early March if you want to powder ski in the light, fluffy snow. There is usually plenty of snow during these months, and the slopes are less crowded as most children will be busy at school. So, January is often considered the best month to ski if you’re looking for the best snow and the least busy slopes.
If you want to enjoy the sun, spend time on the slopes, and indulge in some drinks at the resort bars, then choose a time from mid-March until the beginning of April. The weather is warmer in this time of the year, and there are more hours of sunshine than in the preceding months. Many skiers head for the mountain resorts to have some fun, so you will be in good company.
Best Time To Ski With Children
Spring is definitely the best time to ski if you have children. Technically, March and April are not the high seasons anymore, so accommodation and ski tickets tend to be much cheaper. You can take advantage of the many special deals on offer at this time of year.
Children can have a lot more fun at this time of year as the weather is warmer. The snow is slushier at the change of season, which makes for slower skiing. These conditions may suit children and beginner skiers as they can master new skills while skiing at a slower pace.
Again, the runs will be less crowded, making for safer conditions for children. The best time of day for children to ski is from morning to about 2 o’clock pm when they are fresh and more enthusiastic, rather than later in the day when they still want to be out in the snow, but not necessarily skiing. Furthermore, as explained before, you usually have the best snow conditions in spring.
Best Time For Ski Touring
Some people love ski touring. For them, the whole experience includes the hike up the mountain with the skis while enjoying the beauty around them. Deep powder snow is not as important to them. If you are one of these people, then going in spring is best for you. Here are some helpful tips:
- Hiking through the harder snow in the mornings is much easier than walking through the deep powder. More importantly, the risk of avalanches is reduced at this time of day.
- You should reach the peak of the mountain in time for a tasty snack break with a beautiful view, benefiting from the warmer temperatures experienced in the spring rather than the middle of winter.
- It is important to ski back down to the bottom by midday at the latest. This is because as the sun heats the snow in the afternoons, the snow gets wet and the risk of an avalanche increases substantially. Riding down in slush is just as much fun as in powder but requires less technique. To enjoy the ride down the most, you want to ensure that there is some slush snow on top of the hard snow cover (about 2 to 3 inches of melted snow), but the snow cover must not yet be completely wet.
Expert or beginner, your preference for when you want to ski may be unique, but there are definite times that will make your skiing experience more enjoyable. January and February are the best months for pleasant powder snow, while March and April would suit the more social skier and families who enjoy the slushier conditions and longer days. Knowing when skiing conditions will be at their best and the slopes less crowded can contribute to a happier and more memorable ski vacation.