For guaranteed cover at the beginning and end of the season you could opt for glacial resorts such as Saas Fee or Zermatt, where skiing continues throughout much of the year – but a few others are also open until late April or May.
Here – in no particular order – are seven resorts with a ski season that finishes at the end of April or later.
The Zermatt ski area is linked to that of Cervinia, just across the Italian border, and together they provide impressive intermediate to expert pistes and some challenging off-piste. The easiest runs – 21km of them – are up on the Theodul glacier and on a clear day the views are gorgeous. Photo: © K.Muller/Sunstar.
Engelberg is a resort primarily for intermediate to advanced level skiers, with plenty of terrain to keep everyone busy. Reliable snow and long red pistes make the Titlis Glacier a fun place to ski for more confident intermediates too – in fact, the runs from the top lift have a real sense of high-alpine adventure
The traditional village of Adelboden is set on the piste and built in classic chalet style. The 200km of skiing goes up to 2362m and pistes are mainly intermediate, with plenty of wide blue runs. The resort’s location is a convenient one: just an hour’s drive from Bern and two hours’ from Basel.
This is high-Alpine skiing and it’s not a place for beginners. Verbier’s top lift climbs to 3330m and there are off-piste routes to be skied in almost every direction. Few resorts have single descents that are more rewarding, and certainly none can match Verbier for the sheer number and variety, and the fact that so many of them can be reached without long hikes.
The large, rather urban resort of Crans Montana sits on a plateau 90 minutes’ drive from Geneva, with views across the Rhone Valley. In the 19th century it was a centre for TB clinics, and the emphasis on health remains today. The top lift is on the Pleine-Morte Glacier at 3000m, and most of the skiing is fairly easy.
St Moritz has four main skiing sectors with a total 350km of piste. The most snow-sure area is at Diavolezza and Lagalb, which are two mountains on either side of the valley (linked by lift) rising to a snowsure 3000m. The 10km descent – with a guide – from Diavolezza down the glacier to Morteratsch, is the most spectacular run in the area. Photo: © D.Martin/TVB Engadin-St Moritz.
Saas Fee is located on a high, sunny plateau and has oodles of history and character. There is guaranteed snow on its glacier, with 20km of pistes. You might also spot national and international sports teams training in the summer.