In April and May spring is in the air, but winter sports in the mountains are far from over. For keen skiers the late season is the best time of year to tick one of the classic ski tours. Touring in April and May provides some of the most reliable conditions and has many benefits:
• An abundance of daylight means longer days on the mountain and less pressure to reach your destination before nightfall. This means grander ski-mountaineering objectives are more realistic. More daylight gives you more skiing than your legs can handle.
• Above 2000m, good ski conditions are very dependable. A whole winter seasons snow lies on the ground.
• ‘Spring snow’ sometimes dubbed ‘hero snow’ abounds. This refers to a sun softened surface layer over a deep, firm base. Spring snow is not only a joy to ski but also very easy to ski, even on steep ground.
• Glaciated crevasses are well plugged with snow, making for a more extensive and safer high mountain environment.
• The days are warm and the nights are cold and due to the freeze thaw cycles of night and day, faces are generally more stable. Although it is worth noting that the strong sun can have the opposite effect on south and west faces in the afternoons.
IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV
The IFMGA / UIAGM / IVBV symbol is the logo of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association.
Nick, Olly and Matt are all fully-qualified UIAGM Mountain Guides and members of the British Mountain Guides Association.
The International Ski Instructors Association is the world body for professional ski instructors.
The ISIA was formed in 1971 and there are currently 39 member nations representing the very best in ski instruction around the world.