Top 10 snow sure resorts
When looking for an early or late season ski break we all want to have great snow reliability. We've put together a list of our top 10 snow sure resorts to help you have the best chance possible of finding that fabled low season snow.
Whilst many people simply head for the highest resorts (as height normally means more snow), these resorts may not always be your best bet. They can get crowded and what snow does fall can get tracked out straight away with the heavy ski traffic the resorts draw.
What you want to look for is height and snow record as well as latitude (the further north you go the less altitude you need). Even looking at the direction the majority of the slopes face can have a massive impact upon how well resorts will hold their snow. The extent of snow making facilities is another major factor and the geographical location plays a role too. Generally, the deeper into the Alps you are, the longer pistes will hold their snow.
France is traditionally favoured due to its height, however, we have plenty of alternatives with snow sure slopes. Whether you love Austria's après, Italy's food or fancy a trip further afield we have some short break ski options for you.
10. KAPRUN, Austria
Pistes up to 3,030m
Together with neighbouring Zell am See there's a 138 km ski area and 50 km of this is on the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier rising over 3,000m metres. Thus offering skiing from November until July. It doesn't get much more snow sure than that. The resort of Kaprun itself is a laid back old town just above Lake Zell with some fantastic spa options such as the Tauern Spa.
Stay at the 4* Sportkristall for a fantastic family run hotel with a warm welcome complete with outdoor hot tub and car museum.
Pistes up to 3,250m
Whilst not the most snow-sure in its own resort slopes, the proximity to the Hintertux Glacier (12 miles away) make it a better option than staying in the tiny hamlet at the foot of the glacier. You can easily make the trip each day by car or bus (included in the lift pass) and still enjoy the buzzing nightlife and fantastic restaurants of Mayrhofen.
Stay at the 4* Hotel Elisabeth for an indulgent spa break a few minutes from the town centre.
Pistes up to 3,080m
For a non-glacial resort, Obergurgl is probably our most snow sure. Every slope is above 1,750m and most face north or north-west, meaning they hold their snow for longer. 100% of piste is covered by snow machines meaning even without natural snow cover there will be enviable conditions.
Stay at the 5* Hotel Hochfirst, one of the oldest hotels in the region, it's elegant, stylish and preserves its historical charm. And you can pretty much ski from the back door.
Pistes up to 2,285m
Our most popular North American ski resort (7th overall) has an enviable snow record. Being close to the coast the precipitation rolls over the mountains creating around 13m of snowfall each season. The largest ski area in Canada has plenty of terrain to explore and ties in well with a city trip to stunning Vancouver Island.
Stay at the centrally located 4* Crystal Lodge Hotel for the perfect blend of convenience, comfort and value.
Pistes up to 3,820m
Linked across the Matterhorn, Zermatt is the highest ski area in Europe and linked with Cervinia's glacier gives a snow cover guarantee between November and early May. Cervinia provides a slightly cheaper break to staying in swanky Zermatt.
Stay at the 4* Sertorelli Sport Hotel for an eco-friendly stay in a hotel with its very own spring. A peaceful location steps away from the town centre.
Pistes up to 2,811m
2016/2017 saw the completion of the Flexenbahn cableway linking St Anton to Lech and Zurs creating a formidable ski area. Lech is traditionally the more snow sure of the two resorts, so head for the upmarket village for the best conditions.
Stay at the Chalet Amalien Haus for a social experience in the heart of St Anton.
4. VERBIER, Switzerland
Pistes up to 3,330m
With 412km of piste to explore between Verbier and the neighbouring valleys you'll need more than a couple of days to see it all. The lower slopes sometimes suffer in early and late season but with a balmy top height of 3.330m, there's plenty of snow to go around. The resort attracts powder hounds the world over, so you know the snow is going to be good.
Pistes up to 2,864m
Tucked away in the easterly Alps, the resorts here don't need the lofty heights of France for their snow cover. Extensive snow cannons certainly help and maybe, just maybe, the grand 'Top of the Mountain' opening and closing festivals help bring in the snow.
Stay at the 5*s Trofana Royal for the resorts premiere address. It's where Robbie Williams stayed when he played the closing concert in 2014.
Pistes up to 3,230m
Perhaps the less surprising of the snow sure resorts is the big French names. Val Thorens is a perennial favourite and with a resort height of 2,300m, it's not hard to see why. Great snow records do bring the crowds but there's plenty of pistes to disperse them.
Stay at the 4* Fahrenheit Seven for ski in, ski out convenience over a Thursday to Sunday weekend break.
1. VAL D'ISERE and TIGNES, France
Pistes up to 3,455m
The top of the most snow sure list with a giant 300km of pistes between them. These two resorts offer drastically different village options, with the same fantastic skiing. Glacial and state of the art artificial snow creation give arguably the best chance of low season snow in the world.
Stay at the 4* Hotel Le Taos for a ski in, ski out with an eclectic Native American-Indian interior style.
Wild card - We can't help but to throw one more in because we like it so much.
Pistes up to 1,110m
By far the lowest slopes on the list, Trysil makes it as a wild card for its northerly latitude. We went on the 18th April this year and had some of the best conditions we'd experienced all season. For a family friendly option, it's hard to beat but we'd recommend it to all. Just watch out for the price of beer in the bars - it can get a little steep.
Stay at the 4* Radisson Blu Mountain Resort & Residences. They're ski in, ski out with fantastic facilities and for a fraction of the price you'd expect.