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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 (2274)

France: latest snow conditions round-up


FRANCE Les Deux Alpes (235cm) and Tignes (180cm) were both wet and rainy on Thursday 24th July. Good skiing can still be enjoyed though as recent snow falls have strengthened up the pistes in both resorts. The off piste is varied but the well groomed pistes are providing excellent skiing conditions.The clouds are expected to remain over the weekend but there is a good chance of snow fall on Friday and Saturday afternoon and in each evening. The forecast then indicates sunshine for Sunday 27th July.Val D'isere has snow closed for the summer season.

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Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in France. Fresh snow is forecast at 1 resorts. Powder is reported at 0 resorts and 0 are reporting good piste conditions.

Recent Eyeball Reports For France

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Ski resorts in France from A to B


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next 9 days
0–3 | 3–6 | 6–9
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Weather Next 5 days weather forecast.
Freezing level (m)
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu

(950m — 2001m)

Abondance webcam
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Mid station 1476 m
3400m 3300m 2750m 3300m 3850m

(1550m — 2451m)

rain showers
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Mid station 2000 m
3650m 3550m 3050m 3200m 4050m

(1000m — 1900m)

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Mid station 1450 m
3500m 3200m 2700m 3250m 4000m

(1500m — 2201m)

rain showers
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Mid station 1850 m
3550m 3300m 2800m 3200m 4000m

(1100m — 3350m)

Alpe d'Huez webcam
opens in 132 days
rain showers
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light rain
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Mid station 2225 m
3600m 3300m 2750m 3200m 4050m

(1367m — 2200m)

rain showers
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Mid station 1784 m
3650m 3250m 2650m 3200m 4050m

(1251m — 1808m)

rain showers
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Mid station 1530 m
3750m 3350m 2850m 3200m 4050m

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Mid station 1550 m
3450m 3250m 2700m 3300m 3900m

(1050m — 2300m)

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Mid station 1675 m
3450m 3300m 2750m 3150m 3950m

(1252m — 3275m)

Argentiere webcam
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moderate rain
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Mid station 2264 m
3400m 3350m 2750m 3200m 3850m

(1250m — 2100m)

clear
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Mid station 1675 m
4200m 3500m 3250m 3900m 4200m

(1681m — 2111m)

rain showers
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Mid station 1896 m
3650m 3500m 3000m 3200m 4050m

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Mid station 2465 m
3600m 3300m 2750m 3200m 4050m

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Auron webcam
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Mid station 2025 m
3700m 3650m 3050m 3200m 4050m

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Aussois webcam
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light rain
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Mid station 2125 m
3550m 3400m 2900m 3150m 3950m

(1050m — 1710m)

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Mid station 1380 m
3650m 3150m 2600m 3250m 4050m

(1000m — 2460m)

rain showers
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light rain
moderate rain
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Mid station 1730 m
3400m 3300m 2750m 3250m 3850m

(1400m — 2399m)

clear
heavy rain
clear
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partially cloudy
Mid station 1900 m
4000m 3500m 3050m 3650m 4200m

(850m — 1237m)

rain showers
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Mid station 1044 m
3500m 3300m 3250m 3650m 3700m

(1250m — 2877m)

Bareges & La Mongie webcam
clear
rain showers
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2064 m
4200m 3500m 3150m 3800m 4250m

(1000m — 1301m)

rain showers
heavy rain
light rain
heavy rain
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Mid station 1150 m
3400m 3200m 2750m 3450m 3850m

(1101m — 1801m)

rain showers
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light rain
light rain
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Mid station 1451 m
3450m 3250m 2700m 3250m 3950m

(1000m — 2001m)

rain showers
rain showers
light rain
moderate rain
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Mid station 1500 m
3400m 3300m 2750m 3300m 3850m

(1740m — 2200m)

snow report 2 days ago

on 27 Mar
rain showers
moderate rain
moderate rain
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 1970 m
3550m 3450m 2950m 3150m 3950m

(1350m — 1849m)

opens in 125 days
rain showers
light rain
light rain
clear
clear
Mid station 1600 m
3750m 2550m 2500m 3700m 4000m

(1430m — 1725m)

rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
partially cloudy
rain showers
Mid station 1578 m
3700m 3700m 3000m 3200m 4050m

(1700m — 2001m)

clear
heavy rain
clear
rain showers
partially cloudy
Mid station 1850 m
3950m 3600m 3150m 3600m 4150m

(1801m — 3001m)

rain showers
moderate rain
moderate rain
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 2401 m
3550m 3400m 2950m 3150m 3950m

(900m — 1351m)

rain showers
rain showers
light rain
light rain
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Mid station 1126 m
3500m 3300m 2850m 3150m 3950m

(1200m — 1600m)

rain showers
rain showers
light rain
light rain
rain showers
Mid station 1400 m
3550m 3400m 2950m 3150m 4000m

(1200m — 2501m)

rain showers
rain showers
light rain
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rain showers
Mid station 1850 m
3650m 3400m 2950m 3200m 4000m

(600m — 2950m)

Brides Les Bains webcam
rain showers
rain showers
light rain
light rain
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Mid station 1775 m
3500m 3300m 2800m 3150m 3950m

(600m — 1220m)

rain showers
light rain
light rain
heavy rain
rain showers
Mid station 910 m
3500m 3300m 3300m 3650m 3700m
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