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Fr Ski France

Welcome to the Ski France page, providing a regular round-up of the skiing conditions and current snow reports for the main ski resorts in the French Alps and the Pyrenees. Over recent years some of the most consistently good piste conditions have been reported at Tignes, Val d'Isere, Flaine, La Rosiere, La Plagne, Alpe d'Huez, Val Thorens and La Grave showing a mix of glacial resorts and those most exposed to the prevailing storm paths. However, in any given week or season the best slope conditions may be found at any of the other high French resorts or at lower elevation ski stations in poor weather.

For off-piste powder, resorts such as La Rosiere, Les Menuires, Morzine, Samoens, Les Saisies, Le Grand Bornand, Montchavin/Les Coches and Val d'Isere have proven among the most consistent either for their regular snowfalls, northerly aspect or for not getting tracked out quickly. Warm moist weather fronts drifting in from the Atlantic can produce significant snowfalls in the French Alps Chamonix, Argentiere, Flaine and Samoens have impressive records) but can also raise the freezing level so your choice of resort can be crucial if you are chasing powder. Check out the reports below for the latest news and the forecasts we provide for different elevations in the resort.

France is one of the world’s top skiing destinations. The best known of the country’s 400 or so ski areas are in the Northern and Southern Alps but there are also several dozen ski areas in the French Pyrenees and in other sectors like the Auvergne and Jura.

French ski resorts have really come in to their own in the past 40 years – later than the other three main Alpine skiing nations.

The post-war plan skiing in France was to help stop the migration of agricultural communities to the cities has been reversed by the country’s efforts to develop ski resorts. They have grown to include the world’s biggest fully lift-linked ski region (The 3 Valleys – which always had a 600km total no matter how many new runs are added); its biggest lift served vertical (at Chamonix) and indeed six of the world’s 10 biggest ski regions. Europe’s highest resort, Val Thorens, is also here.

But it’s not just size but also convenience that led many French resorts to success and ever more people to love to ski France – the original concrete resorts built in the 1960s were not always pretty but they were designed to be functional and give slopeside access to the skiing and all other facilities in a few short steps at a time when most resorts in Europe required a laborious trek to catch a ski bus and then ages on lifts getting up to the slopes.

This decision to build resorts at altitude has paid extra dividends in these years of climate change fears as, with many ski areas beginning and ending 1000 vertical metres higher than many traditional resorts, they are more likely to get natural snowfall when lower elevation resorts get rain, and for it to be cold enough to run snow making machines when lower resorts have air too warm.

Those who are not so keen on this high altitude, purpose-built ski experience however criticise the resorts as soul-less places, artificial communities (they are almost completely empty in spring and autumn) with their captive market charged high prices for a sometimes inferior service. The slopes are also criticised as bleak, being high above the treeline.

Aimed squarely at the family market, French resorts also offer the most comprehensive childcare for babies as young as a few months old at most resorts, and ski kindergarten from three, although they do make children pay for lift passes a few years younger than elsewhere in the Alps and the full adult price from early teens or younger. The family orientation also means that lively après ski is something of a rarity in France.

Although French lift passes for these big ski regions are – except when the Swiss franc is on a high – among the most expensive to ski at in Europe, the French argue that they are still the best value because your extra Euros buy access to far more kilometres of piste and the use of many more fast lifts than at smaller resorts. In any case there is usually a cheaper pass for part of the giant ski area which in any case is equal in size or larger than a ‘regular’ ski area elsewhere.

It is wrong to think however that all French resorts are purpose-built. Chamonix, Morzine, Val d'Isere, Montgenevre (Via Lattea) and many other famous resorts have long histories as mountain and ski tourism communities, some originally spa towns. Megeve was developed in the 1920s as a rival to St Moritz by Baroness Rothschild and it still retains much of the ‘old money’ and more Michelin starred chefs than any other French resort, while Courchevel has become the country’s most glitz resort where the most expensive chalet costs £200,000 a week to rent.

Summer glacier skiing has declined dramatically in France since 2000. There used to be 7 or 8 resorts offering summer skiing but now only three (Tignes, Val d'Isere and Les Deux Alpes) are open briefly in July and August and there’s no skiing at all in France from mid-May to late June or in September. From October to late November Tignes is the only ski area open.

For Brits, France has been the most popular destination for the past two decades taking nearly 40% of the UK market each winter. Fast motorways from the English Channel to the Alps make French resorts the easiest to reach from southern England and it’s also possible to reach many French ski areas direct by Eurostar from London St Pancras railway station.
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Lac L'Airon,November 2012, France

Les Carroz

3:29 pm 16 Nov 2012

Le Garibeuil, France

Valberg

7:13 pm 22 Feb 2009

Perfect pistes. , France

Les Saisies

1:27 pm 30 Dec 2013

top of the world, France

Sainte Foy

3:19 pm 23 Feb 2011

View all photos of France (2258)

France: latest snow conditions round-up


FRANCE The fine sunny weather which blessed the French resorts on Monday 14th April has lasted all week. This has reduced base depths in some locations and the snow does soften quite quickly, with the freezing level hovering around the 2,500m mark or just above it. Clouds could move in as we move into the Easter weekend, but the good news is that the freezing level is expected to drop to around 2,000m on Saturday 19th April which could result in fresh snowfall.As you might expect for this time of year it is best to stick to the highest slopes if you prefer the conditions to be less sun affected, especially the sheltered and higher north facing slopes.The Pyrenean resorts of Cauterets (260/360cm) and Bareges/La Mongie (65/270cm) offer some superb skiing at the moment due to the deep snow bases on the upper slopes.Further north in the Alps there is also excellent skiing available. The classics for late season, such as Tignes (40/190cm), Val d'Isere (40/128cm) and Val Thorens (85/190cm), offer fantastic spring skiing due to their high elevations. The upper slopes at La Plagne (5/200cm) are also in very good shape. In the Southern Alps, Isola 2000 (95/270cm) has an impressive base depth on the higher slopes at the moment of over two and a half metres, providing lovely riding conditions.

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Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in France. Fresh snow is forecast at 87 resorts. Powder is reported at 2 resorts and 20 are reporting good piste conditions.

Recent Eyeball Snow Reports for France

  1. Logo small Tignes Spirit
    The scene outside the shop at 4pm today... 13inches of fresh in #Tignes #lavachet!!
  2. Logo small Tignes Spirit
    The not-so-grassy bank outside the shop at 4pm today... 13inches of fresh in #Tignes le #lavachet!!
  3. Ski4fun logo website(80x64) Ski4FunTransfers
    Light snow in Montalbert

A–B

C–K L–L M–R S–Z Best powder (2) Best piste conditions (20)

Ski resorts in France from A to B


Bottom Mid Top
Resort Webcam Top
snow depth
top and bottom
Good piste
on-piste
Powder
off-piste
Fresh snow depth
last snow
Fresh snow depth
next 9 days
0–3 | 3–6 | 6–9
snow (cm)
Weather Next 5 days weather forecast.
Freezing level (m)
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu

(950m — 2001m)

Abondance webcam
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
moderate rain
Mid station 1476 m
2000m 2100m 2450m 2550m 2350m

(1550m — 2451m)

3
2
10
light rain
light rain
light rain
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 2000 m
1850m 2100m 2300m 2550m 2650m

(1000m — 1900m)

snow report yesterday

26 days ago
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 1450 m
2050m 2150m 2400m 2550m 2350m

(1500m — 2201m)

1
2
7
rain showers
light rain
light rain
rain showers
light rain
Mid station 1850 m
1900m 2150m 2350m 2550m 2450m

(1100m — 3350m)

snow report yesterday

Alpe d'Huez webcam
170
33

Good

Varied
1 cm
2 days ago
6
5
10
light snow
light snow
light rain
rain showers
light rain
Mid station 2225 m
1850m 2150m 2300m 2550m 2450m

(1367m — 2200m)

snow report yesterday

Alpe du Grand-Serre webcam
27 days ago
1
1
7
light rain
light rain
light rain
rain showers
light rain
Mid station 1784 m
1900m 2150m 2300m 2550m 2450m

(1251m — 1808m)

rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 1530 m
2000m 2200m 2350m 2600m 2550m

(1400m — 1700m)

3
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
light rain
Mid station 1550 m
2000m 2100m 2400m 2550m 2350m

(1050m — 2300m)

snow report yesterday

27 days ago
1
3
rain showers
rain showers
light rain
rain showers
moderate rain
Mid station 1675 m
1950m 2150m 2400m 2550m 2450m

(1252m — 3275m)

snow report yesterday

Argentiere webcam
200

Good

Fresh
2 days ago
7
37
10
snow showers
light snow
moderate rain
rain showers
light snow
Mid station 2264 m
1900m 2100m 2450m 2550m 2450m

(1250m — 2100m)

3
5
5
moderate rain
light rain
moderate rain
rain showers
moderate rain
Mid station 1675 m
2100m 2300m 2200m 2200m 1850m

(1681m — 2111m)

2
1
10
light rain
light rain
light rain
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 1896 m
1900m 2150m 2350m 2550m 2600m

(1600m — 3330m)

snow report 13 days ago

200
20

Good
27 days ago
13
9
12
light snow
light snow
light snow
rain showers
light snow
Mid station 2465 m
1850m 2150m 2300m 2550m 2500m

(1600m — 2450m)

snow report 2 days ago

Auron webcam
120
40
Spring 26 days ago
5
2
10
light snow
light rain
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 2025 m
1950m 2150m 2400m 2650m 2700m

(1500m — 2750m)

snow report yesterday

Aussois webcam
70
20
Spring 29 days ago
5
10
9
light snow
light rain
moderate rain
rain showers
moderate rain
Mid station 2125 m
1900m 2100m 2350m 2550m 2550m

(1050m — 1710m)

snow report yesterday

150
20
Spring 27 days ago
light rain
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
light rain
Mid station 1380 m
2050m 2100m 2400m 2550m 2350m

(1000m — 2460m)

snow report yesterday

160
75
Wet
Heavy
2 days ago
4
3
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
moderate rain
Mid station 1730 m
2000m 2100m 2450m 2550m 2400m

(1400m — 2399m)

snow report yesterday

16 days ago
10
6
light rain
light rain
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 1900 m
2300m 2350m 2400m 2400m 2100m

(850m — 1237m)

1
clear
light rain
rain showers
rain showers
light rain
Mid station 1044 m
2150m 2000m 2300m 2600m 2350m

(1250m — 2877m)

snow report 3 days ago

Bareges & La Mongie webcam
270
65
Spring snow
Spring snow
40 cm
17 days ago
Another glorious day // 17 Apr
20
20
9
light snow
light snow
light snow
rain showers
light snow
Mid station 2064 m
2150m 2300m 2250m 2250m 1850m

(1000m — 1301m)

rain showers
light rain
rain showers
rain showers
light rain
Mid station 1150 m
1950m 2050m 2400m 2550m 2300m

(1101m — 1801m)

1
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
light rain
Mid station 1451 m
2000m 2150m 2400m 2550m 2400m

(1000m — 2001m)

2
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
light rain
Mid station 1500 m
2000m 2100m 2400m 2550m 2350m

(1740m — 2200m)

snow report yesterday

3
3
Spring 24 days ago
3
2
9
light rain
moderate rain
moderate rain
moderate rain
moderate rain
Mid station 1970 m
1900m 2050m 2300m 2550m 2600m

(1350m — 1849m)

snow report yesterday

25 days ago
2
5
1
light snow
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 1600 m
1850m 1900m 2400m 2450m 2000m

(1430m — 1725m)

snow report 21 days ago

260
210
Spring 29 days ago
light rain
light rain
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 1578 m
2000m 2200m 2350m 2650m 2700m

(1700m — 2001m)

14
6
moderate rain
moderate rain
heavy rain
light rain
rain showers
Mid station 1850 m
2350m 2350m 2450m 2450m 2250m

(1801m — 3001m)

snow report 3 days ago

140
68
Spring snow
Spring snow
5 cm
27 days ago
Another glorious day // 17 Apr
23
37
11
light snow
light snow
light snow
light rain
moderate rain
Mid station 2401 m
1900m 2050m 2350m 2500m 2600m

(900m — 1351m)

light rain
light rain
light rain
rain showers
moderate rain
Mid station 1126 m
1900m 2150m 2400m 2550m 2500m

(1200m — 1600m)

light rain
light rain
moderate rain
rain showers
moderate rain
Mid station 1400 m
1900m 2100m 2350m 2550m 2550m

(1200m — 2501m)

1
1
10
light rain
light rain
light rain
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 1850 m
1850m 2150m 2350m 2550m 2550m

(600m — 2950m)

snow report 16 days ago

Brides Les Bains webcam
60
120

Good

Varied
27 days ago
2
7
rain showers
light rain
light rain
rain showers
moderate rain
Mid station 1775 m
1900m 2150m 2400m 2550m 2450m

(600m — 1220m)

clear
light rain
rain showers
rain showers
light rain
Mid station 910 m
2150m 2000m 2300m 2600m 2350m
A-B   C-K   L-L   M-R   S-Z

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