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Season comes to an end in Alpe d'Huez

Resort received a surprising bit of late snow

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| Rob Wood, Alpe d'Huez Reporter | Published

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Season comes to an end in Alpe d'Huez

Followers of our dump alert service will be aware that we had some very late season snow here in resort at the end of last week. Around 10cm fell in resort with nearer 20cm up on the hill and this provided a great little top-up to see the season out.

As was normal for the last week of the season, some of the satellite areas of the ski area had closed, leaving Alpe d’Huez as the main focal point of the action. High winds caused the closure of most of the higher slopes and pistes last Wednesday although, thankfully, the winds did drop off by Friday allowing a final blast on the last few days of the season before the lifts finally closed on Saturday evening.

As you would expect at such a late stage of the season, things definitely had that spring feel to them as afternoon resort highs are now getting well into double figures. Easter weekend had been fairly busy as many visitors from the Grenoble area took advantage of the long holiday weekend but the final week of the season was fairly quiet.

The reduction in visitor numbers was reflected in the number of pistes and lifts open. Last week, we still had 28 pistes open and these were being served by 18 lifts with lift queues virtually non-existent. Of the open pistes, 10 were green, 9 blue, 5 red and 4 black so there still was something for everyone at this late stage.

As is always the case late in April, the higher pistes from the Pic Blanc back down towards resort were in the best condition of all. The top section of the legendary Sarenne black run remained in good condition and, even if the lower section down in the gorge became very narrow, you could still ski its entire 16km length.

The late season dump improved things nicely for the last couple of days of the season and the best lines were still to be found towards the Pyramides, from the top of the Pic Blanc. However, to find the very best of the late season powder a bit of ski touring was required. As is always the case when venturing off-piste – be careful! 

The days continue to lengthen here in France now and, with sunrise at 06:33 and sunset at 20:32, we have almost 14 hours of daylight in resort now. The locals will continue with ski touring for a few more weeks as long as the conditions allow it, before hanging their skis up for the season and getting their bikes out.

Bargains are still aplenty in resort at the moment as virtually every shop in town is offering end of season discounts of over 50%, so it really is a buyers market.

 

This draws to a close the fabulous 2018/19 season in Alpe d’Huez, which saw some great conditions and also the first and already legendary Tomorrowland festival.  

Next winter season will get underway on Saturday, November 30th 2019, another early start to things in Alpe d’Huez. My reports and videos will be back then – in the meantime, have a great summer and see you in late November. A bientot, ciao!

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