Last weeks of the ski season. Nature on a different page.

There are winters when the lower slopes of ski areas are sponsored by local ski service shops – grass, rocks, gravel jut out of the narrow strips of snow that were once pistes. This year, those same shops will be running debt-financed operations through the summer. Conditions (Lech-Zürs yesterday for example) are currently description-defying.

The snow pack across much of the Alps is truly remarkable, even in mid-April and Easter conditions are beyond anything in recent memory. And forget the idea that the massive snow accumulations of January are sustaining ski areas, the cold wintry weather over last weekend brought deep, deep powder for the second week in succession. Lech-Zürs yesterday was as good as you will ever find it. Fresh banks of powder and immaculate, groomed slopes were on offer for the lucky folks (I include myself there) who took a punt on the weather. St Anton, a few kilometres over the Valluga as the crow flies was shrouded in cloud for much of the day. Yet Lech-Zürs shimmered under skies that lacked even a wisp of cloud.

Sunny skies are predicted over the weekend and some of the best spring skiing conditions in memory are on offer. As well as the incredible snow conditions, there are numerous events taking place to bring the winter to a close. The White Rush mass-start ski race will be taking place this weekend in St Anton am Arlberg. One of the great public ski races in the Alps, skiers charge in waves from the start line beneath the Valluga, toward narrowing corners and ascents. Carnage awaits, for many behind the leaders, whilst the crowds in resort welcome with a giant party. Less athletic (supposing après ski isn’t considered a sport) is the season finale in Ischgl, with Lenny Kravitz headlining the season closing concert at the Idalp mountain station.

Heading into May, the glacier skiing is set to entertain skiers and snowboarders into the early summer, and at the Hintertux Glacier, through the summer. After 3 mixed starts to the winter, we have now enjoyed 2 consecutive winters of mind-blowing snow accumulations. Hopefully we are on course to draw level, starting December 2019.

Ski piste in Zürs, Austria.
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