The main ski season in the northern hemisphere is drawing to a close but there is no need to despair!
Heavy snowfall in many parts of the skiing world through the winter has left bases as deep as 17 feet (5.5 metres) in the US and Canada and 7 metres (21 feet) in the Alps, where there was also lots of fresh snow above 2,000 metres in the last week of April so in many areas conditions are good for late spring skiing and boarding.
The further good news is that more than 50 ski areas in over a dozen countries are still open for the start of May and although that number will drop as the month goes on, other areas will open as the summer ski season kicks in.
For everyone in the southern hemisphere, the arrival of May means that the wait is almost over. There have already been the first snowfalls in many mountain regions in Australia, New Zealand, Southern Africa and South America and ski areas are likely to start opening for winter 2019 early in June, if not potentially earlier if we get a good snowfall in mid-late May.
So here’s a quick A-Z by country guide to what’s open where:
Ischgl and Kitzbuhel are open at the very start of May to say they got here whilst the Pitztal and Solden glaciers are open to Sunday the 5th.
The Kaunertal and Molltal Glaciers close on the 12th but the Hintertux, Kitzsteinhorn and Stubai glaciers should be open all month.
At least four Canadian resorts are open into May with Lake Louise and Marmot Basin (above in late April) due to close after skiing on Sunday May 5th.
Banff Sunshine Village’s annual Slush Cup celebration and closing day are on the 20th.
Whistler is aiming to stay open to the last Monday of the month – the 27th.
Yllas stays open to May 1st and Levi and Ruka to the 5th.
Chamonix, Tignes and Val Thorens are aiming to stay open to May 5th, no French resorts will then be open until summer skiing begins at Val d’Isere then Les 2 Alpes and Tignes in June..
Oberstdorf and Zugspitze are also open at the very start of May to say they got here but there’s nowhere in Germany open from May 2nd onwards.
Cortina d’Ampezzo and Livigno are open on the first day of May with Cervinia and Val Senales making it to the 5th and the Presena Glacier above Passo Tonale another fortnight to the 19th. The Monterosa region is also open for freestylers in the first week of May.
Italy’s Passo Stelvio summer-ski area is expected to open for the season on May 25th.
A number of Japanese ski areas including Niseko are open to the first weekend of the month (May 5th). After that the Gassan area, currently posting the world’s deepest snow, expects to be open to July.
Shymbulak Mountain Resort is open to May 12th.
A number of Norwegian areas will be open to the start of May with Hemsedal one of those open to the 5th.
The Folgefonn glacier which opened in April shouklkd remain open all month and the Galdhøpiggen Sommerskisenter is due to open on the 9th and the Stryn summer ski area on the 29th
Zakopane is aiming to stay open to May 5th.
Kanin and Vogel are aiming to stay open to May 5th.
San Isidro is open to May 1st, Masella and Sierra Nevada are aiming for the 5th having extended their planned seasons after late snowfall in April.
A number of Swedish areas will be open to the start of May, including the region’s biggest, Are, which closes on the 1st. Then Europe’s spring ski capital Riksgransen in the Swedish Arctic Circle aims to be open into June and to offer skiing and boarding under the midnight sun in May.
In Switzerland the skiing at Glacier 3000 between Les Diablerets and Gstaad as well as skiing on the Diavolezza glacier near St Moritz should continue until May 5th.
Murren is also open but for Telemarkers only that first weekend of May to end its season whilst Andermatt has its Gemsstock ski area open the first three weekends of the month.
Engelberg is aiming to make it to the last weekend of May, which shouldn’t be a problem with the snow 7 metres deep on its Titlis glacier, Europe’s deepest. Mt Bachelor is also aiming for that Monday.
Arapahoe Basin, Mammoth Mountain, Squaw Valley and Timberline in Oregon are likely to be open all month with Killington in Vermont also aiming to if conditions remain good enough. Breckenridge has announced it will stay open for most of the month, to the final Monday, a holiday in the US, on the 27th.
Donner Ski Ranch says it will open at 11am at weekends for as long as conditions allow. Arizona Snowbowl also open in to May as conditions allow.
Of the other resorts still open in May, Alpental, Jay Peak, Loveland, Mt Hood Meadows, Sugarbush and Sugarloaf are all aiming to stay open to the 5th,. Winter Park and Snowbird to the 12th and Alpine Meadows to the 19th.
Mount Bachelor which will stay open everyday until May 26th and Heavenly at weekends (Friday to Sunday) the 27th.
The Beartooth Basin summer ski area should open for its 2019 season around the last weekend of the month.
ALL OF THE ABOVE BELIEVED CORRECT AT TIME OF COMPILATION; PLEASE CHECK CURRENT STATUS AT ANY AREA MENTIONED BEFORE TRAVELLING; IF YOU SEE ANY OMMISSIONS, ERRORS OR HEAR OF ANY CHANGES PLEASE LET US KNOW.