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April first trip

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi, my wife and I are both non-skiers and looking to plan our first ski trip. We have Arinsal in mind as I've read on the forums that it is ideal for beginners with good ski schools and also budget friendly.

We are looking to go the first week in April, will the snow still be good enough to ski on? Or am I better off waiting till December to go ? Are there any resort's that will be good for beginners in the first week of April with the above in mind

Thanks in advance.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Welcome to snowHeads snowHead

I don't have direct experience of Arinsal but in general, April is late in the season. Many resorts are closed before we even get to April and many more will just be finishing off. OTOH, some of the higher resorts go on into the first week of May so early April is a no-brainer in them.
The thing is, December is in many ways, more risky than April. If the snows come late or it keeps raining and washing the snow away, sometimes even the high altitude places struggle before Christmas.

In your position, I'd be looking at Jan or March rather than Dec or April as conditions are more predictable and you have more option to go for smaller resorts which, have shorter seasons but importantly, cheaper lift passes. If planning for April, go high. We use Val Thorens for snowHeads' End of Season Bash in the 2nd half of April. At 2300m it's the highest in Europe and so still snow-sure at that time. First week of April, you don't necessarily need to go that high but I'd still be picking carefully.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Welcome @jddiamont, you've made a great choice its a wonderful activity.

I've not got experience of Skiing in April, this year will be our first at that time of year, but I would second Admin's suggestion of March/Jan although I would pick March as my choice. We've had some amazingly snow filled holidays in second week of March that were cheap (comparatively) and filled with snow and blue sky's. Was still luck of the draw but being that little warmer made for a wonderful experience.

We picked Arc 1950 for our April choice but it was either going to be Arc1950, VT or Tignes which are all reasonably snow sure at that time.
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Welcome to SnowHeads!
I'd second the comments above, but of course you may not be able to travel at the ideal time of January or March, outside of peak school holidays but still snowy.


As my other half is a teacher, I've settled on Easter for our family ski trips, taking wife and children to the huge ski area that is the Trois Vallees.

I've had many excellent weeks in Val Thorens, and it is definitely my favourite for Easter. Courchevel, at the other end of the area, has also been good. Not as high as Val Thorens, for sure, but still some good snow.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Early April is at the end of the ski season. Snow is likely to be fine in the morning but slushy in the afternoon. I enjoy skiing at this time of year as it is usually sunny and warm, although it can still snow and be cold. I agree with others, April is less risky than December for snow, generally speaking.
I've not skied in Andorra but I'd chose your resort carefully. Good quality ski instruction is most important. Resorts to consider for late season include les deux alpes, zillertal/mayrhofen, solden, val thoren, tignes, les arcs, serre chevalier, passo tonale. But there are plenty more. Look for high resorts, possibly with a glacier but also north facing slopes. You dont need a big resort with expensive lift pass so you could always wait for a late deal? If you book 2-4 weeks before you want to travel, you'll have a good idea of what the snow is doing. I've been lucky and skied fresh snow in flaine, montgenevre and mayrhofen in April. Ive also been skiing in 25degrees wearing a tshirt and factor 50 suncream in sauze doulx.
Welcome to the world of skiing!
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Official last day of the 2017/18 season in Arinsal is 8 April. Thinking back to the previous season I think I went skiing up to a week before closing and the cover was good enough all over. The beginner's area will definitely be well covered.

If you want to delay you booking as late as possible, you can always ping me and I should be able to tell you the snow conditions closer to the time.

On another note, it is much warmer around then and after midday some parts become more slushly - great for snowboarders, but not necessarily so for skiers.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I wouldn't pick April for your FIRST ski holiday. You might be lucky and get fresh snow and lots of sunshine, but you're more likely to get ice and slush, and you might be disinclined to ski again.

First week of March is probably the best week. You stand the best chance of getting good snow and good weather, and you'll want to return year after year!

Whenever you go its a gamble, but better to stack the odds in your favour Very Happy
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I wouldn't risk Andorra in April, unless you can leave it til the last minute to see how conditons are... Used to ski every Easter in the Pyrenees, and it gets very icy / slushy, often with bare patches / grass / rocks showing.

Would defo try to head high in April - eg Val Thorens / Courchevel, Tignes / Val d'Isere, La Plagne / Les Arcs etc.

Good luck and hope you enjoy your first trip!
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@jddiamont, welcome to snowHead

Usually ski at Easter as best time for us due to school holidays etc, has only been one year in last 15 when snow was a serious issue (well lack of it!). However that has been heading to reasonably snow sure and higher resorts in 3V or Les Arcs. Plenty of good runs for beginners in these areas and all the ski schools will have a range of runs suitable to take you on.

Personally think Easter and some sunshine is better time to learn than in freezing conditions early in year! However if you have flexibility you may be better off going late Jan or in March - Feb is busy due to half-term.

If you haven't already, I would recommend a course of lessons at a snowzone in UK if you can. Just getting used to putting on boots and skis etc will be a great help
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Boris wrote:

If you haven't already, I would recommend a course of lessons at a snowzone in UK if you can. Just getting used to putting on boots and skis etc will be a great help


Would recommend that too. SnoZone is well set for those basic lessons. Much easier to learn side-stepping up the slope and pizza stops inside the fridge than on a real hill in the wind or sun. If you can afford the time and money for the full-day beginner course at SnoZone then do so. IIRC cost includes outerwear if you have not bought your own yet.
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