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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

Aillon Station vue des pistes, France

Aillons-Margeriaz

1:33 pm 31 Jan 2010

View all photos of France (2357)

France: latest snow conditions round-up


FRANCE Thursday 26th March was a mostly cloudy day across the French Alps, with the best chance of brightness for the southern resorts. Elsewhere some light snow fell overnight, with the most being on the upper slopes as the milder air led to a wintry mix falling lower down.For the best sunny skies on Thursday, the southern Alps and resorts such as Isola 2000 (125/175cm) and Foux d'Allos (46/157cm) provided the best bet. Some new snow was recorded here earlier this week, leading to some good ski conditions across the mountain. Expect some slushier conditions lower down and the odd bare patch as the recent warm weather has reduced the snow depth somewhat.Thick clouds were covering the Portes du Soleil on Thursday, with resorts such as Avoriaz (120/270cm), Chatel (65/165cm) and Morzine (25/110cm) remaining socked in. Some light dustings of snow were recorded at these resorts, but the tricky visibility led to some difficult skiing conditions.Resorts with the very highest slopes were fortunate to see sunshine, but only above around 2,800m. For example, the Pic Blanc above Alpe d'Huez (78/170cm) was bathed in sunshine, as was the Roche de Mio above La Plagne (15/155cm). Sunnier skies are forecast for Friday, but don't expect brilliant blue skies as the clouds are not far away. These are set to return on Saturday and are set to bring 15-40cm of snow on Sunday with a freezing level of around 1,800m.

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Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in France. Fresh snow is forecast at 113 resorts. Powder is reported at 13 resorts and 59 are reporting good piste conditions.

Recent Eyeball Reports For France

  1. eyeball reporter Anonymous Report:
    There is heavy snow falling in Flaine.
  2. eyeball reporter Anonymous Report:
    Snowing heavily in Flaine.
  3. eyeball reporter Anonymous Report:
    Snowing in Saint François Longchamp.

A–B

C–K L–L M–R S–Z Best powder (13) Best piste conditions (59)

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)
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue

(950m — 2001m)

Abondance webcam
7
27
snow showers
rain showers
moderate rain
moderate rain
partially cloudy
Mid station 1476 m
1400m 1800m 1850m 1950m 2200m

(1550m — 2451m)

snow report 8 days ago

210
50

Excellent

Varied
100 cm
11 days ago
clear
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 2000 m
1600m 1850m 2400m 2650m 3100m

(1000m — 1900m)

snow report yesterday

90
60
Spring yesterday
1
23
snow showers
rain showers
moderate rain
light rain
partially cloudy
Mid station 1450 m
1450m 1800m 1900m 2100m 2550m

(1500m — 2201m)

6
17
snow showers
clear
light snow
light rain
partially cloudy
Mid station 1850 m
1450m 1750m 1950m 2050m 2500m

(1100m — 3350m)

snow report yesterday

Alpe d'Huez webcam
170
78

Good
Limited
1 cm
2 days ago
7
18
snow showers
clear
light snow
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
Mid station 2225 m
1500m 1750m 2000m 2150m 2650m

(1367m — 2200m)

snow report yesterday

70
45
Humid 2 days ago
2
7
partially cloudy
clear
snow showers
partially cloudy
clear
Mid station 1784 m
1450m 1900m 2050m 2250m 2800m

(1251m — 1808m)

snow report 3 days ago

60
40
Spring 5 days ago
clear
clear
partially cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 1530 m
1950m 2350m 2400m 2800m 3250m

(1400m — 1700m)

snow report 2 days ago

50
30
Spring 23 days ago
9
18
snow showers
rain showers
light snow
light rain
partially cloudy
Mid station 1550 m
1450m 1800m 1900m 2100m 2450m

(1050m — 2300m)

snow report yesterday

140
40
Hard 23 days ago
10
29
1
light snow
clear
light snow
light rain
partially cloudy
Mid station 1675 m
1450m 1800m 1900m 1950m 2400m

(1252m — 3275m)

snow report yesterday

Argentiere webcam
170

Excellent

Powder
10 cm
yesterday
24
62
1
snow showers
snow showers
moderate snow
moderate snow
light snow
Mid station 2264 m
1450m 1700m 1950m 1950m 2350m

(1250m — 2100m)

rain showers
clear
partially cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 1675 m
2000m 2700m 2750m 3350m 3600m

(1681m — 2111m)

clear
clear
partially cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 1896 m
1650m 1950m 2450m 2600m 2950m

(1600m — 3330m)

snow report 4 days ago

80
38
Spring 5 days ago
6
13
snow showers
clear
light snow
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
Mid station 2465 m
1500m 1750m 2000m 2150m 2700m

(1600m — 2450m)

snow report 2 days ago

Auron webcam
80
40

Good
2 days ago
clear
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
clear
Mid station 2025 m
1850m 2150m 2900m 3350m 3650m

(1500m — 2750m)

snow report yesterday

Aussois webcam
110
40

Good
6 days ago
4
5
snow showers
clear
light snow
snow showers
partially cloudy
Mid station 2125 m
1400m 1700m 2000m 2100m 2350m

(1050m — 1710m)

snow report yesterday

50
30
Hard 33 days ago
1
snow showers
rain showers
light rain
rain showers
clear
Mid station 1380 m
1400m 1800m 2000m 2200m 2800m

(1000m — 2460m)

snow report yesterday

270
120
Packed
Limited
5 cm
5 days ago
16
44
1
snow showers
rain showers
moderate snow
light snow
rain showers
Mid station 1730 m
1400m 1750m 1850m 1900m 2200m

(1400m — 2399m)

snow report yesterday

260
160

Good
2 days ago
2
clear
clear
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
clear
Mid station 1900 m
1800m 2450m 2550m 3100m 3500m

(850m — 1237m)

snow report 7 days ago

60
50
Spring 25 days ago
1
1
3
partially cloudy
rain showers
heavy rain
light rain
moderate rain
Mid station 1044 m
1200m 1650m 1850m 2150m 2350m

(1250m — 2877m)

snow report yesterday

Bareges & La Mongie webcam
340
160

Fresh

Varied
5 cm
yesterday
2
snow showers
clear
partially cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 2064 m
2000m 2650m 2750m 3300m 3550m

(1000m — 1301m)

2
light snow
light rain
heavy rain
moderate rain
light rain
Mid station 1150 m
1350m 1750m 1850m 2150m 2400m

(1101m — 1801m)

snow report 2 days ago

80
35
Spring 24 days ago
1
partially cloudy
rain showers
moderate rain
light rain
clear
Mid station 1451 m
1500m 1850m 1950m 2200m 2350m

(1000m — 2001m)

snow report yesterday

65
15
old 23 days ago
5
13
snow showers
rain showers
moderate rain
light rain
partially cloudy
Mid station 1500 m
1400m 1800m 1900m 2100m 2250m

(1740m — 2200m)

snow report yesterday

54
44

Good
2 days ago
1
2
snow showers
clear
snow showers
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
Mid station 1970 m
1600m 1850m 2200m 2300m 2500m

(1350m — 1849m)

snow report yesterday

70
80

Good
13 days ago
1
1
partially cloudy
light rain
light rain
light rain
snow showers
Mid station 1600 m
1550m 2000m 2300m 2900m 3150m

(1430m — 1725m)

snow report 6 days ago

30
30
Spring 12 days ago
clear
clear
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
clear
Mid station 1578 m
2400m 2650m 2950m 3450m 3700m

(1700m — 2001m)

clear
clear
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
clear
Mid station 1850 m
2000m 2600m 2700m 3250m 3700m

(1801m — 3001m)

snow report yesterday

200
80
Powder
Powder
10 cm
yesterday
3
5
snow showers
clear
snow showers
snow showers
snow showers
Mid station 2401 m
1600m 1800m 2200m 2300m 2500m

(900m — 1351m)

rain showers
clear
light rain
light rain
partially cloudy
Mid station 1126 m
1500m 1800m 1950m 2000m 2350m

(1200m — 1600m)

2
snow showers
clear
light rain
rain showers
partially cloudy
Mid station 1400 m
1450m 1700m 2000m 2150m 2400m

(1200m — 2501m)

clear
clear
partially cloudy
clear
partially cloudy
Mid station 1850 m
1600m 1950m 2300m 2500m 2800m

(600m — 2950m)

snow report 23 days ago

Brides Les Bains webcam
95
30

Good
on 24 Mar
3
14
snow showers
clear
light snow
light rain
partially cloudy
Mid station 1775 m
1500m 1800m 1950m 2000m 2350m

(600m — 1220m)

1
2
partially cloudy
rain showers
heavy rain
light rain
moderate rain
Mid station 910 m
1200m 1650m 1850m 2150m 2350m
A-B   C-K   L-L   M-R   S-Z

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