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April skiing

 Poster: A snowHead
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Yesterday afternoon was epic. Skiing transformed corn in the April sunshine. Is there anything better? Why don't more people ski at Easter?
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@BobinCH, sssshhhhhhhh!

We are just about to head out for another cloudless day, epic snow and no-one about but us!
Over here in Austria though I always get the impression they have had enough by April and already have their "beach" heads on, its only a short drive down to the coast of Italy/Croatia and the motorway yesterday was rammed.
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@BobinCH, Couldn't agree more, but its not "POW" which seems to be an obsession thanks to marketing which has transformed a term for a very specific type of snow into one that describes all new snow and leads to much bragging, but demonstrates a lack of off piste knowledge.

By the way, you missed a beer on the terrace in the sun to finish your perfect day! Very Happy Very Happy
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Just got back yesterday from a fabulous week in Champoluc. Blizzard the night we arrived, snow the first day, so we were skiing untracked powder on piste. Blue sky days for the rest of the week, bar a 2 hour top up mid week. Lovely. Even the slush was good slush most of the time.

Biggest disappointment...? At least 2 or 3 times there was somebody else on my piste Wink

Absolutely delightful

As this was our first trip for 2 years, and that last one was Alta Badia also at Easter, also with a similar week, this could easily become a regular thing
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chocksaway wrote:
@BobinCH, Couldn't agree more, but its not "POW" which seems to be an obsession thanks to marketing which has transformed a term for a very specific type of snow into one that describes all new snow and leads to much bragging, but demonstrates a lack of off piste knowledge.


Word
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Fully agree with the sentiment about April skiing. Slopes are empty and the sunshine and snow are great
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I am looking forward to Easter. Chamonix. Champoluc. What not to like?
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This is great to read, we had booked March next year but our kids school have (are looking too) changed their holidays so our only time will be Easter next year. By the sounds of things we needn't be too fed up and there is good snow to be had snowHead
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Yep. I am with this. We always have a family holiday when the three adult kids and their partners come out. The last few years it has been Xmas/New Year. That is great but the snow hasn't been superb and the short days are not so good. Next year with Easter being early they are all coming out then. April skiing is just lovely.
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At the apartment in Les Collons till Tuesday. Great morning skiing on piste and the Piste de L'Ours is open all the way down to 1400m. The local lift companies are doing a grand job of managing the snow they have despite the temperatures. Best snow in the area is over by Les Chottes, between the pistes is still skiable too.

Went over to Plan d Fou a couple of days ago but wimped out of the itinerary as the entry point was above my skill level and the elbow that takes you down a little but had poor cover. Still impressed it was open in to April.

Slush in the afternoon so off the mountain and cold beers on the balcony by 2pm
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rubbish today....

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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
We love late March/early April skiing - basically the school Easter holidays. GCSE year this year for Jnr meant a half term trip instead of Easter. It was a good trip, but I'd rather be skiing this week rather than be at home!
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BobinCH, is that a wound dressing on your left elbow?
From a fall?
I tried skiing in a short sleeved top many years ago one Easter.
But learnt that Spring Snow can cut you up something rotten if you fall over.
So always been full sleeve from then on - like your sensible smaller companion snowHead
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Quote:

Why don't more people ski at Easter?

Because we don't want them to. May I point out that yesterday was a good week before Easter.
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BobinCH wrote:
Is there anything better? Why don't more people ski at Easter?

Yes, true powder is still BETTER.

And Easter skiing? It can be horribly hot if you're unlucky. I'm in Colorado right now, and it's in the high 50's. It's too warm for the snow to re-freeze even at night. Instead of corn snow, it's slush even at 9 o'clock!

That said, April is usually nice with the right temperature for making delightful corn snow. But just like it can be brown on the piste in December, one plays the lottery with weather with slightly worse odds at both end of the season.
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Jonpim wrote:
BobinCH, is that a wound dressing on your left elbow?
From a fall?
I tried skiing in a short sleeved top many years ago one Easter.
But learnt that Spring Snow can cut you up something rotten if you fall over.
So always been full sleeve from then on - like your sensible smaller companion snowHead


Haha yes. Took myself out on the skier cross course! Just a scratch. Sunburn is worse this morning... Love skiing in a t-shirt - freedom!
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abc wrote:
But just like it can be brown on the piste in December, one plays the lottery with weather with slightly worse odds at both end of the season.


December yes. Not up high at Easter. Look at the average snow depths in. Renier across the season. And this is at 2200m. At 3000m it is even more pronounced.

http://www.slf.ch/fragment/chart.html?station=4RU0&type=beob&lang=fr
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Personally, since having children and needing to go in school holidays we have spent a lot of time going during Easter school Holidays due to cost. There are nice aspects to it, but ultimately I find it too hot and really miss being able to go early January. For last year we managed to get an affordable week in Geb half term and found it insanely busy and far too warm again. Everybod in resort telling us it was completely unseasonable:-(

We are flying out to Val D'Isere on Sunday, I am watching the snow receding on the web cams and reports... We had couldn't do half term this season due to the girls schools having different weeks, and having done new year before and finding that also insanely busy.

We are trying somewhere different for us next season ad having half term in Sweden. I am really hoping for very cold.

Don't get me wrong we still enjoy the holiday's in April but I wouldn't cast it as the BEST time to go, just the only time we have been able to go on a number of occasions due to school holidays and budgets and it is definitely better than not going.
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NickyJ,

Give us a clue, then.... Where's "Geb"? Puzzled
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Geb = Feb
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NickyJ,

Thanks.

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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abc wrote:
BobinCH wrote:
Is there anything better? Why don't more people ski at Easter?

Yes, true powder is still BETTER.


true powder is better but also pretty rare in Europe - some places have had as little as 2-3 major storms this winter. Corn is at least reliable and for anyone with a little basic memory and sense of direction, assuming a moderate refreeze over night also very easy to farm.

True question is which is worse - warm nights which prevent refreeze or a cold overcast day after a starless night which never softens the coral reef?
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@Dave of the Marmottes, as a (mostly) snowboarder, I'm gonna vote slush. Wax it up, slash away and embrace the inner surfer. I love late season skiing, sure powder or at least fresh snow is great but late season I don't expect it so make the most of whatever is there in the sun
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I think I've found my nirvana. April skiing in Canada! It's our second powder day of the trip. Norquay has even reopened some runs it had shut for the season! Please fly warm in the valley but very definitely winter still on the hill. Snow conditions are awesome.
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April skiing can also have it's downsides - if you're unlucky with the forecast then rain can be very grim and often the freezing level will be circa 2,500.

I'm also not too sure about saying it's best for your one week holiday as apart from if you happen to score grim conditions then unless you're doing first lifts and skiing "Manchester" most holiday makers skiing day is pretty well over by 14:00 - and again for sure some diehards will ski the velcro slush bumps but most do not!

That said, when you're fortunate to be out all the season then you can pick and choose Cool

I'm up at 06:30 will be meeting friends at 07:30 and skinning up by 08:15 and hope to summit by 11:00 to ski untracked true corn on a West facing slope and then be back home early afternoon.

Yesterday I cycled over to Sestriere from here and coming back hardly saw anyone on the pistes there, Montgenevre (Claviere is closed) and here, yes they are empty but also by then most had called it a day!
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Best snow was at 14:00 😜

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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Fo' sho', Feb, Mar and Apr are the best months for a slide.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
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Exhibit A Cool


http://youtube.com/v/SBMqWbQbya8
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Just back from a few days in Champoluc. It was (almost) everything that is great about spring skiing - wall to wall sunshine, still enough pistes open to enjoy, cool crisp starts to the day, a sweet spot about midday when the snow changes to that perfect smooth spring fake-powder. Mid afternoon apres in the sun @25deg with a cool beer. The only thing lacking was a heavy overnight dump, but there haven't been too many of them this year at any stage of the season.

Literally no-one about for several (very long) runs.

For those that have school age children who have religiously done xmas/new year or feb, I would heartily recommend Easter.

I would also say, for those who haven't tried it, that the constantly changing snow conditions depending on altitude, time of day and aspect provide constant interest and enjoyment. All sorts of different techniques and sensations, even on a single run as it drops down the mountain.

Plus it's cheaper. What's not to like ??
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Loved our time in serre chevalier.
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chocksaway wrote:
@BobinCH, Couldn't agree more, but its not "POW" which seems to be an obsession thanks to marketing which has transformed a term for a very specific type of snow into one that describes all new snow

So true... Just a month ago I was talking with some friend about conditions up in mountains, and as I was planning to go there next day, I wanted to know how snow was. And answer... quite ok, wet powder with some crust on few spots. And I was like WTF??!!! Wet powder? What the hell is wet powder?? And on top of that it has also some crust. Looks like nowadays everything what falls from the sky is pow... sometimes it's dry, sometimes it's wet but as long as it's white, it's obviously powder nowadays. rolling eyes
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Good point primoz.
For me, if you can make snowballs and snowmen, its just snow.
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Quote:

What the hell is wet powder??


Wet powder is not uncommon at the end of the season, when you get snowfall and warm temps. Fun for about two runs imho
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Wet powder is very uncommon as there's no such thing as wet powder Wink Powder is only one kind, and until marketing hype started (as @chocksaway wrote), powder was fresh dry snow. Nowadays, powder is obviously every white, including wet heavy snow... err sorry powder Very Happy
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There are many, many types of powder, typically dictated by it's moisture content- low or high/dry or wet. Different all over the world. There's wide inconsistencies from/in NA to Europe to Japan and so on
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My missus was saying that before she met me she only went off piste when there was fresh snow aka powder.

Probably as a result of starting skiing with someone who was ever so slightly obsessed with going off piste no matter what I take a similar tack. There are occasions when I just go "I'm not skiing that" and head back to the piste but you/I can have fun in various states of the snow. It's also interesting how it can vary even within a small area.

Also the piste varies also and sometimes "off the side" is far nicer to ski than the piste itself.
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primoz wrote:
Powder is only one kind, and until marketing hype started (as @chocksaway wrote), powder was fresh dry snow. Nowadays, powder is obviously every white, including wet heavy snow... err sorry powder Very Happy


+1 You often see "we found some pow". What you found was snow, albeit quite nice.
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Amazing variety of conditions this April - about 10 days ago I was ski touring for really great spring snow in the French Alps (early up, early finish) and having afternoon beers in shorts and T-shirt. This week i'm skiing waist deep powder in Switzerland in full winter gear! Real powder, no snowballs being made here.

March and April are probably my favourite months for skiing in the Alps, but you do have to be flexible. I love skiing powder above all else and if I could only have one week skiing per year, booked in advance, i'd have to go for January or February. Powder would still be unlikely but a little more likely than March-April.
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Well looks like I got my wish, much colder this week than I have ever known in April before, it is snowing lightly right now, here's hoping it gets heavier over night.
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Powder today...

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