Six Late-Season Ski Resorts

Obergurgl is one of Austria’s best bets for late-season skiing

© Shutterstock


Obergurgl is one of Austria’s best bets for late-season skiing

© Shutterstock

Tignes & Val d’Isère, France

Last year, Tignes and Val d’Isère didn’t shut up shop until early May – which means you still have plenty of time to enjoy the resorts’ high-altitude runs and glacier skiing. Because more than half of the Espace Killy ski area’s 300km of pistes are above 2,500m, reliable natural snowfall hangs around long after many other European resorts have turned green. Tignes is the higher of the two, and from a lot of accommodation you can ski from your door. Meanwhile, Val d’Isère comes with some top-notch food options.

Niseko, Japan

With the news that Japan is soon easing its entry restrictions, keen skiers are fixing their eyes on the hills of Niseko. And the good news is that in most years the famed Hokkaido resort is open for slopeside fun all the way until early May. Even in March there’s still usually plenty of quality powder (affectionately nicknamed ‘japow’), as well as opportunities for snowshoeing, snowmobiling and cat skiing. Follow up a day carving under flurries with a steaming Japanese onsen and a bowlful of soothing ramen.

Obergurgl, Austria

With north-facing slopes topping 3,000m, Obergurgl is one of Austria’s best bets for late-season skiing. It’s also one of its finer picks for beginner and intermediate skiers, thanks to its variety of slopes and good ski schools. Combine downhill fun with snowy walks, tobogganing and visits to the motorcycle museum. Or spend time wandering around the lovely village, which at 2,000m is one of the higher traditional-style ski centres in this corner of Europe.

La Plagne, France

Base yourself in one of La Plagne’s high-altitude villages – say Plagne Montalbert, La Plagne Champagny-en-Vanoise or La Plagne Montchavin-Les Coches – and you can enjoy cutting through snow all the way into April. Nights are cold enough to keep snow on the slopes, but warm sunny days mean you can enjoy a glass of wine alfresco, too. Looking for another way to fill your days? La Plagne also has France’s only bobsled track, happily designed for tourists rather than pros, and an ice tower for climbing.

Ischgl, Austria

Unlike many late-season ski resorts, Ischgl doesn’t have a glacier. But that doesn’t stop this high-altitude resort from having ski-worthy snow well into spring. Given most of the slopes are north-facing and above 2,000m, there are plenty of runs to tackle – plus loads of off-piste action. A brilliant ski lift system gets you where you want to be efficiently, while good restaurants and a thriving après scene will keep you busy in the evenings. No wonder so many intermediate-level skiers flock here as late as April.

Mt Bachelor, US

North America has a host of great ski resorts, but if you’re looking for reliable late-season conditions, Mt Bachelor in Oregon is a winner. Typically open until the end of May, the resort – which is known for its exceptional dry powder and conical shape – draws ski geeks from around the US. It’s as good for snowboarders as it is for skiers, with its broad, varied terrain and plentiful snow. Nearby city Bend has craft breweries and cool shopping, too.