Best snow of the season, days before April – how to schedule a corporate ski trip?

As March draws to a close and the number of corporate ski trips dwindle, it’s worth remembering that April 2023 snow conditions promise to be a whole lot better than January in many parts of the Alps, as a weather system delivers prolonged snowfall.

It’s a brave corporate ski event planner who opts for December or April arrivals. December can be a gamble as resorts wait for the temperatures and clouds to play ball, whilst April is often considered a sure bet to be too warm for skiing. In times of a changing climate, choosing the perfect location and time to ski (usually at least 6-months before arrival), is fraught with uncertainty. So as a late March snow system rumbles across the Alps, delivering some of the best snow conditions of the season, we look at the riddles which unenviably confront a ski event planner.


We are bombarded with images and clips of huge snowpacks from around the northern hemisphere - otherworldly dumps just days or weeks prior to a corporate ski trip in the Alps. Webcams from the forthcoming ski resort can tell a whole different picture and pre-trip anxiety can set it. The closure of some French and Swiss resorts in winter 2023 is still fresh in many minds, but these occurrences are the exception rather than the rule. The reality is that wind is more likely to close a ski area than a lack of snow. And whilst champagne powder is the ultimate experience for skiers and snowboarders, corporate ski trips are also about ski safaris, distant lunches, and slope side après ski. It doesn’t need to be knee deep to be Instagram-able, although admittedly it certainly helps.

Height is many things, not everything

Jagged Horizons took a group to Morzine-Avoriaz in January 2023, and the Morzine ski area was completely closed. Fortunately, Morzine resort is also linked to the Avoriaz ski area, with the resort of Avoriaz 800m higher than Morzine. This mattered, with Avoriaz offering some of the best in the Alps at the time – neighbouring ski areas – one closed, one pretty good. On a local level, height is usually an important factor, on a wider level it can be pretty impotent. The Aiguille du Midi above Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is 3842m high and yet it suffered one of the longest, zero precipitation periods in history in January / February 2023 – here the height was an absolute irrelevance as nothing was falling from the sky.

Saved by the cannon

Snow making is unquestionably a sticking plaster, but it is effective one. Almost all ski areas now have extensive snow making facilities and whilst the lower slopes can look like stranded strips by late season, they do however permit skiing back to resort level in most resorts, until the end of their season – that home run is something of a badge of honour, preserved at all costs.

Keep the faith

Mountain weather is subject to rapid change and (whilst the reverse is also true) a poor weather outlook need not necessarily develop into poor weather conditions. We’ve had events over consecutive weeks in late March in the same resort – the first was T-shirts on the Folie Douce terrace, 4 days later it was knee deep on the 1st April.

Trust the calendar

A December corporate ski trip can replace the annual Christmas party whilst an April trip can be the winter that keeps giving. Both periods offer better value and more availability. As a rule of thumb, if the ski area runs its season early or late, then this suggests that conditions have been good enough in the past for skiing to take place. First or last weeks can be more a gamble but if a resort runs its ski operation until May, you can be confident that mid-April could be really good.

Ski event planning can be the poisoned chalice of an organisation - a thankless task handed over by colleagues, but make some informed choices, get a good agency to work with and expect that the event will invariably be written into company folklore.

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