15th June 2021 by Simon Richardson
There has never been a better time to switch to Easter ski trips. As the world tries to get back on its feet following the COVID-19 pandemic all the benefits of Easter skiing remain but if you are starting to think about a 2021 ski trip now you have longer to organise it and spread payments and longer for restrictions to lift meaning your trip has more chance of going ahead.
I’m sat at home, it’s early June and it’s raining outside (for those of you who are new to True North, I’m fortunate to call Austria home), it’s also snowing, and although I can’t see the physical flakes coming down due to the low clouds, I can see on the Kitzsteinhorn’s panoramic TV channel that it is. Another phone call to a partner in Obertauern reveals, a good 1000m lower in altitude it’s beating down, “It’s June?!”. The ski season has come to an end for most, however in this peculiar year many of the glacier resorts in Europe are remaining or opening for the first time to allow the skiing to continue for those with access through to the end of June and some into July. That really does challenge the definition of “spring skiing”.
Spring skiing is a love of mine. After living in Austria for 25 years it’s still what I look forward to every winter, so let me try and explain why.
As a local your winter starts in November, it’s filled with anticipation, when will the first real snow arrive - Which area is going to open first? It’s cold, but needs to be colder, the snow cannons start to make their huge mounds and the “Schneelager” begins, the snow falls, the lifts open and if I’m honest I feel kind of guilty going up the mountain for the first time in early December – The season has started! From there we have the honeymoon period, the festivities of Christmas and New Year are just brilliant, there’s a buzz in the resorts. Then we’re into January, more snow fall, very cold, but a good mix of crystal clear skies, great skiing. February gives the first glimpse of spring coming and with that the changeable an unpredictable weather patterns, cold, sun, snow, dull. Over the years my planning strategy was always to predict a snowy day for the February half-term arrival day, and I would say 65% of those arrival days was a blizzard, the resorts fill up as it’s the first month of school holidays across Europe after Christmas and New Year, lots of different languages, lots of traffic on and off the piste, but good ski conditions, and as my wife says “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”. After February all resorts go through a change. It’s like there’s space to stretch your arms out wide and take a deep breath, the resorts are more relaxing, there is a feeling that there is more time to appreciate everything. The temperatures rise, the snow changes, It still snows and cannons are still armed and set to “top up” mode, but the snow is more forgiving. Some critics would use the words slushy, and yes at the end of the day we do have the mounds of slush that have been created throughout the day, ready to be flattened and restructured for the next day.
We ski more as a family in spring than any other time of the winter. Dani is a true local, born and bred in Saalbach and my son Sam is the same (just he has access to two passports). The kindness of the weather, the surprise snowfalls (sadly not always overnight like we request) being able to be outside for longer, the space on the pistes and lifts and outside dining really makes you feel lucky and appreciative, plus you get amazing panda eyes and can remove a few layers at lunch.
These are just some of the reasons I love spring skiing!
Come and give it a go... #skiwithus
True North is a big advocate of spring skiing. We use great resorts which we know have excellent snow records. The flexibility is magnified when travelling by coach as it allows you to explore further into the area passes you have (see our ski safari). We could talk all day about the benefits, but here’s the short version...
Great weather and warmer temperatures ideal for students
More space and less queues - Skiing is easier when there are less people up the hill
Wonderful resort atmosphere
Flexibility & more choice
In 2021 you have more time to organise your trip and collect payments
More time for restrictions to lift.
Why True North?
- S.A.M. Our revolutionary trip platform
- 1:10 ski instructor to student ratio
- British Standard 8848:2014 compliant
- Detailed trip Risk Assessments provided at confirmation
- Single point of contact
- 100% financial protection - Your money held in "Trust"
True North is a member of the Travel Trust Associations Q9293
ATOL protected 12017