For most skiers, the slow but steady arrival of the warmer spring weather means the inevitable reality of shelving ski dreams for another year and finding other ways to kill time until the season comes around again. For the more dedicated snow-hounds out there however, the spring months bring nothing less than glorious weather, shorter lift lines, fewer crowds and lower prices – all of which add up to ski nirvana, just as long as you know where to go.
However, those looking to dip their proverbial toe in the latter category for the first time must be aware of the fact that springtime skiing brings a series of hazards most will probably not have come across during the winter months – the following examples are by far the most worthy of attention:
1. Conditions – During spring, the snow on the slopes and around the resorts is prone to melting in the day and then freezing again overnight, which can in turn lead to some seriously unpredictable conditions in terms of ice, water and so on. Never take conditions for granted from one hour to the next.
2. Sunburn – It might still be nippy to a certain extent, but the sun is stronger and the snow still reflects a ton of harmful rays to hugely increase the likelihood of sunburn. In spring, put on the sunscreen you think you need and then add another layer just in case!
3. Falls – That being said, if the weather does take a turn for the warmer and you find yourself tempted to shed a few layers, don’t forget that snow and ice can have a cheese-grater effect on your skin if you fall at speed – especially where melting snow has re-frozen into rough spikes. Keep skin
covered up as much as possible.
4. Layers – The temperature on the slopes during the spring can change massively and in a matter of hours, making it important to know how to
dress on order to be able to adapt. The best advice is to always layer up and thus be able to adjust, rather than donning just a single thick-layer or
5. Thinner Snow – Be aware of the fact that as the snow thins, various hazards like roots, stumps, holes and so on will once again rear their
heads – never take a run for granted even if you’ve tackled it dozens of times in the winter.
6. Avalanches – Extreme perhaps, but spring can be peak avalanche season as the snow begins to melt, shift and give way under enormous weight.
Always look into any avalanche warnings and never stray anywhere you’re not supposed to.
7. Eyewear – As the strength of the sun increases, so too do the dangers to your eyes. As such, be sure to choose eyewear that’s guaranteed to filter
out damaging UV rays and wear them at all times.
8. Common Sense – Just because the slopes may be nearly empty, this doesn’t mean that spring is the best season to push yourself to the next
level in terms of high-speed or extreme skiing – the conditions may not be up to handling it.
Some useful top tips from Alps2Alps the airport transfer provider for all your ski transfer needs.