On a lift at Taos a couple of months ago I was asked how long I have been skiing. I had to think about it for a while - the answer is 40 years. Learned in Vermont, lived in California after college, moved to Colorado in 1985. I have skied everywhere in Colorado and just about all the major resorts in the western US - but have never skied the Alps. Bucket list time.
I had hoped to do a midwinter trip this past January or early February, it didn't happen. However, I have the opportunity to do a solo 2 week trip this April (the 10th through the 23rd).
After spending some time looking at flights, snow reports and closing dates, I'm thinking fly to Geneva, rent a car, and ski western Switzerland and eastern France. Possibilities in CH: Jungfrau, Saas Fee, Zermatt, Verbier; in FR: Chamonix, 3 Vallees, Paradiski, L'Espace Killy. Any other suggestions are welcome!
I used to be an aggressive all mountain skiier, however age and a hip replacement has changed that. These days it is all about all cruising, the more vertical the better. Just got a brand new pair of Bonafides - what a fine ride. I don't foresee any off-piste on this trip - I would only go with a guide, too expensive by myself.
Can I assume that the weather will be similar to springtime in the Rockies? Freeze at night, thaw during the day? Most days very sunny, and if clouded over find something else to do besides ski? New snow possible but not probable, big dumps unlikely?
Big question - how much terrain will be open this time of year? Is it completely dependent on conditions? Or do resorts routinely close lifts and terrain as the season draws to a close? (This is very common in the Rockies). I don't expect the huge verticals in April but I would be bummed if I had to ride multiple lifts just to ski a couple thousand vertical up on a glacier - and then ride back down.
Oh yeah - this trip is not all about skiing. I enjoy nature photography and hope to take lots of pictures. I'm thinking a couple of non ski days for scenic rides - Jungfraujoch and Aiguille du Midi are on the short list. Is mid-April late enough for spring flowers in the valleys?