Christmas Ski Holidays The Perfect Stocking Filler

Many businesses finish on the Friday, allowing skiers to head for the slopes on the Saturday, arriving mid-afternoon Christmas Eve. With Monday and Tuesday being public holidays, even employees of companies that are open between Christmas and New Year will only need to take three days holidays from their entitlement for a weeks Christmas skiing! Sounds good, but the prudent accountants may be raising two sensible questions at this point. The first will probably be regarding the cost of Christmas ski holidays, the second regarding snow reliability.The first point is an easy one, in some cases cost can be prohibitive, but in recent years the increased competition as a result of the number of new chalet operators on the market has meant a step change in availability. Couple this with the fact that Christmas skiing has strangely fallen out of favour with New Year taking over as the must ski holiday, and you won’t be surprised to hear that prices have fallen as a consequence. It was the week most ski chalets thought they would always sell, but when many didn’t, the effect was dramatic. Yes it is still a week in demand, but operators cannot afford to be left with a ‘must sell’ week. A small premium for ski Christmas still applies in comparison to say January, but at best prices are on a par with late February. Unlike the New Year week, if you shop around you may even find some very good Christmas ski deals too (just make sure they are and not over priced ski chalets that didn’t sell).As for snow reliability for the christmas ski holidays first things first, snow is hard to forecast, it is lottery in fact, but in the last decade only one year has the Christmas skiing been poor, a year where you could ski, but with thin cover and icy slopes in places (something that continued throughout that season). Analysts amongst you might ask about snow depths at this point, and yes these are the best indicator of how the snow cover in any resort at any point is, but early on at least, they are not necessarily a good indicator of how the skiing and conditions actually are. Early on the ski season the sun sits a lot lower in the sky, the snow is skied less, and lower temperatures keep the snow condition in its peak condition longer. 100cm in February when the sun is high on south facing slopes can soon melt and freeze again to become thin and icy, losing up to 10cm of snow a day too. Contrast this to December when 75cm might lose just 15cm even during a sunny week! As long as the rocks are covered, a good base and good snow conditions can last days this time of year (the snow stays cold and doesn’t melt and re-freeze to make icy patches).Our advice is therefore to make use of the natural break and enjoy the Christmas ski holidays in the alps. It won’t cost half as much as you might think, and the snow is likely to make for a very happy ski Christmas!