It's impossible to say that any ski resort is 100% 'snow-sure' nowadays. Let's just say, if there's no snow in these resorts, you won't find it any anywhere else...

How much skiing you fit in during your ski holiday rather depends on how good the conditions are.

Because climate change has affected the length of the ski season and the amount of snowfall, it’s impossible to say that any ski resort is 100% ‘snow-sure’. But, rest assured there are some resorts which are safer bets than others if you’re looking for a holiday early (November) or late (April) in the season.

For now, let’s just say that if there’s no snow in these resorts, you won’t find it any anywhere else!

Altitude, aspect and location are key factors that determine snow quality. Snowfall itself is the most variable and least predictable factor. For example, the French resort of Megève (1113m) has a much higher snowfall than Zermatt (1620m) say, but because of its modest altitude and westerly winds, it also receives a lot of rain.

Ski resorts in the heart of the Alps generally tend to maintain snow quality better and for longer, compared to those on the outskirts. Resorts with the greatest snowfall are both high and close to the northern or western periphery of the Alps.

In no particular order, find a summary of resorts below with good snow (almost) guaranteed.

 

Tignes

Altitude: 2100m
Lifts: 75 in Tignes/ Val d’Isere
Top lift: 3456m
Ski area: 300km of piste

Typical season: Late November – May

Tignes’ altitude means that its snow is almost always of good quality. Highlights include the Grande Motte glacier, where the cover tends to stay soft and conditions remain winter-like through to Spring.

Some glaciers you will even find open well into the summer season, from mid-June to mid-July for eight weeks. They open again from late September through to the main season. The resort also extends its main season for one week longer than Val d’Isère in May.

 

Val d’Isère

Altitude: 1850m
Lifts: 75 in area
Top lift: 3456m
Ski area: 300km of piste

Typical season: Late November – May

If Tignes doesn’t take your fancy, there’s a good chance that neighbouring Val d’Isère will be experiencing some good snow too. The majority of the slopes in Val d’Isère are north-facing, which means the snow is less likely to melt and will retain its quality.

Temperatures remain very cold – almost always sub-zero – day and night throughout the season, which again means that snow cover stays, even without fresh snow dumps. The Pissaillas glacier is even open during the summer for morning skis from mid-June to July.

And, even if the snow gods don’t bless the resort, Le Snow Factory, the largest artificial snowmaking machine in Europe, steps in to help.

 

Zermatt

Altitude: 1620m
Lifts: 59
Top Lift: 3883m
Ski area: 350km of piste

Typical season:  Late November – late April

Zermatt’s ski area, combined with linked Italian resort Cervinia, is one of the most reliable options for people looking for late-season skiing. The Klein Matterhorn mountains have some of the highest peaks in the Alps above 3000m, and optimum conditions for good snow cover. It’s rare to have a season without snowfall every day.

Be sure to visit the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise via the highest cable car in Europe for unmissable views. First-time visitors to Zermatt can be overwhelmed by the vast ski area, so be sure to do some planning before you arrive.

 

Val Thorens

Altitude: 2300m
Lifts: 180
Top Lift: 3230m
Ski area: 600km of piste

Typical season: Late November – May

Val Thorens is another great ski resort for early or late season skiing. Its high-altitude ski lifts (seven are above the 3000m mark) and cold temperature mean that the resort is less affected by mid-season thaws. The summit of the Three Valleys, Pointe du Bouchet (3230m), regularly experiences six or so metres of snowfall per season.

The Val Thorens tourism office is so confident in this fact that in recent years they have issued several ‘Snow Guarantees’ for the resort. And again, even if those guarantees fall short, a wealth of snow cannon coverage helps to uphold the snow-standard.

 

Sass Fee

Altitude: 1800m – 3500m
Lifts: 23
Top Lift: 3573m
Ski area: 100km of piste

Typical season: Late November – June

Zermatt’s lesser-known neighbour, Saas Fee is another resort that offers great summer skiing and snowboarding conditions on the glacier, making it popular training ground for Swiss and international ski teams post-season.

Most slopes sit above the 2500m mark and are mostly north-facing. These two elements combined mean its snow is not only reliable, but also of a generally good standard. Intermediate and advanced skiers may find the resort not as challenging, with off-piste areas limited by glaciers and terrain, but competent ski tourers will be sure to enjoy themselves.

 

Lech

Altitude: 1450m-1720m
Lifts: 88 in area
Top lift: 2450m
Ski area: 305km

Typical season: NovemberApril

Averaging roughly seven metres of the beautiful white stuff per season, Lech is a safe bet for top-quality snow conditions. Its microclimate means that you can anticipate the first snowflakes of the season in September.

Carefully groomed and famed for being piste-proud, the 60% snow canon coverage in Lech helps this quaint resort manage if conditions are less than desirable. Expect to enjoy fine skiing coupled with beautiful scenery well into the spring months.

Still not sure when or where to book your next ski holiday? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to make recommendations based on your requirements.