How to Ski Spring Snow Like a Pro: 7 Simple StepsWeLove2Ski

How to Spring Ski | Welove2skiLight bumps: one of the many joys of spring snow. Photo: New Generation / Facebook

Adam Whale of the UK’s New Generation ski school says: “Spring is my favorite time in the mountains. “There’s some great skiing going on, and the longer days and warmer weather keep the atmosphere relaxed and fun. I’ve been teaching for five years at Courchevel, and my favorite run at this time of year is the Combe de Pylone black track, which is in the shade most of the day and generally holds up well to snow. ”
Of course, with temperatures like this year, spring snow typically goes through a daily cycle of melting and freezing overnight; and to get the best condition, you need your intelligence. Here, Adam lays out a clever strategy for maximizing your end-of-season fun.

1. Lying in bed for another half hour


The usual advice is that you need to take the lift first to get the best snow in a ski resort. But that’s not always the case in spring. If the sky clears overnight, that usually means the snow has frozen – and it will be rock-solid for the first 30-45 minutes of the day. If you’re planning to ski the trails, rest or have a leisurely breakfast, and head up just after first sunrise.

2. Determine which slopes face east, south, west and north

The time it takes for snow to soften is greatly influenced by the aspect of the slope, i.e. which direction it faces. So before you catch your first lift, figure out which part of the mountain is facing east, south, west, and north. Then, start skiing on the east-facing slopes, as they catch the first sun. You’ll want to get there about 30 minutes after sunrise, when the top layer of snow has softened but the base is still firm. This is the perfect time to gather around the carvers and enjoy the velvety soft snow.
How to Spring Ski | Welove2skiGet a little mud? It’s time to move on to another piste. Photo: New Generation / Facebook

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3. Continue before the condition becomes too mushy

It won’t take long for the sun to warm the lower snow levels, and the eastern slopes will soon become boggy. Don’t hang around and wait for that to happen, instead, after a few runs, switch to south-facing slopes, and eventually west.

4. End at lunch time, facing west

At lunchtime you’ll be skiing at its best, and the icy trails will now be slushy rocks. These can be a lot of fun: and if you have some strength left in your legs, I would recommend doing them. Make sure you keep your feet close together to form an effective ski platform and try to keep your head at the same height all the way down, flexing your legs as you lift over each bump. rough and stretched on the way down . Then it’s lunch time. It could be a pistes roadside picnic. Or it could be on the sundeck of a mountain restaurant. If it’s Monday, make sure you’re facing West so you’re in the sun (and warmth) as the afternoon wears on. Many of these tables get sorted out quickly so plan ahead and reserve your spot.
How to Spring Ski | Welove2skiThe terrace at Le Bouche à Oreille, in the 3 Valleys. Photo: Le Bouche à Oreille / Facebook

5. Ski in the dark or at 3000m after lunch

To ski after lunch, keep your head up or aim for the slopes that face North and are hidden in the dark. If you can, head above 3000 metres, where snow is less likely to be affected by the freeze-thaw cycle and conditions can remain winter.

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6. Look for corn snow if you’re off the piste

If trail skiing is your passion, you’ll be glad to know that spring snow can be much more enjoyable than mid-winter deep-shoeing. But like piste skiing, the trick is to ski the right slope at the right time. What you are looking for is snow corn. On warm spring days, the snow falls thick and wet like snow on the slides, and if it freezes overnight, it forms a solid, load-bearing shell. By the next morning, when it warms up again, the surface softens and becomes hard and smooth, with a solid base underneath. This is corn or snowfall. Ski at the right time and it’s a fun experience. Timing is everything. Ski too soon and the snow will be as hard as rock: too late, the snow will be thick, impenetrable. As a general rule, I’d say you want to be on your chosen slope an hour after first direct sunlight hits. But really, it all depends on the temperature and its rate of rise. You also need to be on the lookout for avalanches. The freeze-thaw process can be good for layer stability, but there is always a risk of wet skiing as the day warms, especially in the period immediately after pouring. You should finish by late morning. As always with off-piste, make sure you’re wearing all the right safety gear (transceiver, transducer, shovel, ABS pack), exercise caution, and unless you’re a skater snow adept with extensive experience in spring conditions, ski with a qualified instructor from your resort or a mountain guide.

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7. Take a ski tour

Spring is the best time to take part in ski tours. Warmer weather makes the experience a lot more enjoyable than in mid-winter, and longer days give you more time to get to your destination. Furthermore, the freeze-thaw process often leaves the slopes in safer conditions, and this is why many popular routes, such as the Haute Route, are best done in October. April or May. However, if temperatures are set to soar, it’s best to depart early to minimize the risk of avalanches. And remember to prepare yourself if you are about to return to your home country. An avalanche transceiver, a shovel, and a probe are must-haves – as are sunshades, food, and plenty of liquids. Not convinced if touring if worth the effort? Check out this short video some of our guys shot at the Val d’Isere earlier this season….

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Posts “How to Ski Spring Snow Like a Pro: 7 Simple StepsWeLove2Ski” posted by on 2018-03-09 18:28:57. Thank you for reading the article at

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