Spring: Flowers and Face Shots

When March rolls into the Alps, you can smell it, especially in Switzerland, where the valleys start to turn green and the musky scent of 1,000-year-old pastures mingles with fresh manure as farmers start the endless cycle of renewal in fields dotted with picturesque chalets.

Up high, above the muddy banks streaked with the sprouts of lush vegetation, and the first blooms of spring, the ski season lingers on. It’s this combination that makes Switzerland one of the best spring skiing destinations: you can enjoy powder on hidden peaks but finish your day in flip-flops.

The skiing can be superlative. First tracks in the sun above warm valleys that seem like an illusion, the green fog of spring growth creeping across the landscape below while the snow glistens on rocky spires above. Don’t believe us, here’s an extended photo essay that showcases the joys of Switzerland in spring.                  —Tom Winter

One of the best things about skiing in Europe are the decks. And they don’t get any nicer than a spring day in Gressony, where Will Spilo and Forrest Coots enjoy spring sunshine while sampling the local vintage.

The View: One of the best things about skiing in Europe are the decks. And they don’t get any nicer than a spring day in Gressony, where Will Spilo and Forrest Coots enjoy spring sunshine while sampling the local vintage. By Tom Winter

 

Discentis is off the radar for most hardcore skiers from the states, who tend to gravitate towards bigger resorts like Zermatt or Verbier. It shouldn’t be. The vertical relief is huge, meaning that late season storms leave copious amounts of untracked powder high on the slopes of this hidden gem for those in the know.

Secret Stash: Discentis is off the radar for most hardcore skiers from the states, who tend to gravitate towards bigger resorts like Zermatt or Verbier. It shouldn’t be. The vertical relief is huge, meaning that late season storms leave copious amounts of untracked powder high on the slopes of this hidden gem for those in the know. By Tom Winter

 

Some things money just can’t buy, like the guts and ability to shred the steep lines directly under the lift. Travis Redd showing off for the fur-clad crowd at St. Moritz.

The Other View: Some things money just can’t buy, like the guts and ability to shred the steep lines directly under the lift. Travis Redd shows off for the fur-clad crowd at St. Moritz. By Tom Winter

 

While the valleys in Switzerland start to green up at the end of March, plants remain dormant up higher. Alex Applegate getting a jump on spring while the local residents take their time.

Late Bloomer: While the valleys in Switzerland start to green up at the end of March, plants remain dormant up higher. Alex Applegate gets a jump on spring. By Tom Winter

 

Alex Applegate makes the most of a late spring storm in Lenzerheide. This resort is best known for hosting World Cup ski races, and you won’t see too many freeriders taking advantage of the wild off-piste terrain here. It’s easily accessed thanks to a tram that drops adventurous skiers off on a high ridge, with couliors, open bowls and plenty of untracked snow.

Open Lines: Alex Applegate makes the most of a late spring storm in Lenzerheide. This resort is best known for hosting World Cup ski races, and you won’t see too many freeriders taking advantage of the wild off-piste terrain here. It’s easily accessed thanks to a tram that drops adventurous skiers off on a high ridge, with couliors, open bowls and plenty of untracked snow. By Tom Winter

 

You really can’t go wrong in St. Mortiz, a world class destination for the rich and famous. Don’t be put off by the furs and Ferraris at the luxury hotels in the valley, as there are affordable places to stay. Even better, everyone lives like a king on the slopes, where classic mountain huts offer the chance to sample the good life.

Dirtbags Allowed: You really can’t go wrong in St. Mortiz, a world class destination for the rich and famous. Don’t be put off by the furs and Ferraris at the luxury hotels in the valley, as there are affordable places to stay. Even better, everyone lives like a king on the slopes, where classic mountain huts offer the chance to sample the good life. By Tom Winter

 

 

Don’t think you will make it across the pond for pow and wine this winter? Check out Daniel Caruso’s feature on mountain biking Davos and the new “North Shore” trails in Switzerland HERE.

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