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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

 Le Bout du Lac Restaurant Montriond, France

Morzine

7:16 pm 10 Feb 2010

View all photos of France (2289)

France: latest snow conditions round-up


FRANCE The conditions warmed up across the French resorts over the weekend, but this did not stop Alpe d'Huez (10/100cm), La Clusaz (0/100cm) and Val Thorens (50/90cm) opening lifts for visitors on Saturday 22nd November. This was only a temporary weekend opening for Alpe d'Huez and La Clusaz, while at Val Thorens the lifts are now open daily for their season Tignes (15/70cm) was already open and again this week you can enjoy great skiing up on the Grande Motte glacier. The linked resort of Val d'Isere (15/50cm), which together with Tignes forms the Espace Killy ski area, will open for the winter season this coming Saturday 29th November Serre Chevalier (0/156cm) plans to open for weekend skiing on 29th November too, as a season pre-opener. They are saying this is the first time they've opened for a pre-opener in November Chatel (0/10cm) plans to open for weekend skiing in the Pre-la-Joux area from 29th November. The resort will only be open at weekends until they open daily from 13th December. Les Deux Alpes (0/90cm), Bareges/La Mongie (0/20cm) and Cauterets (15/25cm) all plan to open on Saturday too, although the Pyrenean resorts have not received as much fresh snow as the Alpine destinations. Font Romeu, a Pyrenean resort, has unfortunately postponed its opening from this coming Saturday due to the lack of snow cover.

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Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in France. Fresh snow is forecast at 58 resorts. Powder is reported at 0 resorts and 4 are reporting good piste conditions.

Recent Eyeball Reports For France

  1. eyeball reporter John Williams
    RT @simplyvaldisere: View today up to le Fornet #valdisere. This area def opening this weekend.
  2. eyeball reporter JP
    View today up to le Fornet #valdisere. This area def opening this weekend. @alexjwilliams
  3. eyeball reporter Hotel L'Aubergade
    Will we have fluffy pow this #winter? Read on 4 our predictions! #Morzine #winteriscoming #snow

A–B

C–K L–L M–R S–Z Best piste conditions (4)

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)
Thu Fri Sat Sun Mon

(950m — 2001m)

Abondance webcam
clear
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
rain showers
partially cloudy
Mid station 1476 m
2500m 2600m 3000m 2500m 2150m

(1550m — 2451m)

15
4
1
light snow
light snow
light snow
light snow
cloudy
Mid station 2000 m
2000m 1900m 2100m 2250m 2300m

(1000m — 1900m)

snow report today

on 25 Mar
clear
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
light rain
partially cloudy
Mid station 1450 m
2500m 2600m 2950m 2450m 2050m

(1500m — 2201m)

partially cloudy
light rain
partially cloudy
light rain
cloudy
Mid station 1850 m
2350m 2350m 2600m 2450m 2200m

(1100m — 3350m)

snow report today

Alpe d'Huez webcam
90
×
Closed

Varied
5 cm
8 days ago
2
3
partially cloudy
light rain
partially cloudy
light snow
cloudy
Mid station 2225 m
2350m 2400m 2900m 2450m 2150m

(1367m — 2200m)

snow report today

opens in 24 days on 24 Mar
2
1
partially cloudy
light rain
partially cloudy
light rain
light snow
Mid station 1784 m
2400m 2450m 3000m 2400m 2100m

(1251m — 1808m)

opens in 24 days
partially cloudy
rain showers
partially cloudy
rain showers
partially cloudy
Mid station 1530 m
2300m 2350m 2750m 2500m 2400m

(1400m — 1700m)

opens in 24 days
1
clear
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
light rain
cloudy
Mid station 1550 m
2500m 2600m 3000m 2450m 2050m

(1050m — 2300m)

snow report today

opens in 24 days on 24 Mar
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
light rain
light rain
Mid station 1675 m
2400m 2350m 2800m 2450m 2200m

(1252m — 3275m)

snow report today

Argentiere webcam
opens in 10 days
1
2
1
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
light snow
cloudy
Mid station 2264 m
2300m 2350m 2800m 2500m 2200m

(1250m — 2100m)

opens in 24 days
7
clear
light rain
moderate rain
light rain
clear
Mid station 1675 m
2300m 2300m 2500m 2400m 1400m

(1681m — 2111m)

9
light snow
light snow
light snow
light rain
cloudy
Mid station 1896 m
2150m 2050m 2200m 2350m 2350m

(1600m — 3330m)

4
6
partially cloudy
light snow
partially cloudy
light snow
partially cloudy
Mid station 2465 m
2350m 2350m 2850m 2450m 2150m

(1600m — 2450m)

Auron webcam
opens in 10 days
17
9
2
light snow
light snow
light snow
light rain
light snow
Mid station 2025 m
2250m 2200m 2300m 2350m 2300m

(1500m — 2750m)

snow report today

Aussois webcam
50

Good
9 days ago
4
4
cloudy
light snow
partially cloudy
light snow
light snow
Mid station 2125 m
2100m 2050m 2300m 2400m 2300m

(1050m — 1710m)

snow report today

150
20
Spring 35 days ago
2
1
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
light rain
light snow
Mid station 1380 m
2500m 2550m 2950m 2400m 1800m

(1000m — 2460m)

snow report today

opens in 16 days
clear
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
light rain
partially cloudy
Mid station 1730 m
2500m 2600m 3000m 2500m 2150m

(1400m — 2399m)

opens in 3 days
4
partially cloudy
light rain
moderate rain
moderate rain
clear
Mid station 1900 m
2450m 2350m 2500m 2400m 1300m

(850m — 1237m)

opens in 17 days
1
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
Mid station 1044 m
2400m 2600m 3050m 2650m 1800m

(1250m — 2877m)

snow report today

Bareges & La Mongie webcam
5
×
Closed
Limited
25 cm
9 days ago
1
6
partially cloudy
rain showers
light rain
light snow
clear
Mid station 2064 m
2350m 2350m 2500m 2350m 1500m

(1000m — 1301m)

1
1
partially cloudy
cloudy
partially cloudy
light rain
light rain
Mid station 1150 m
2450m 2650m 3050m 2500m 1350m

(1101m — 1801m)

opens in 24 days
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
light rain
partially cloudy
Mid station 1451 m
2500m 2550m 2900m 2450m 2100m

(1000m — 2001m)

opens in 17 days
clear
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
rain showers
partially cloudy
Mid station 1500 m
2500m 2650m 3000m 2500m 2100m

(1740m — 2200m)

snow report today

on 27 Mar
6
light snow
light snow
light rain
light rain
light rain
Mid station 1970 m
1900m 1900m 2200m 2350m 2350m

(1350m — 1849m)

snow report 7 days ago

opens in 2 days 8 days ago
4
clear
partially cloudy
cloudy
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
Mid station 1600 m
2300m 2650m 2750m 2600m 1050m

(1430m — 1725m)

2
light rain
light rain
light rain
partially cloudy
light rain
Mid station 1578 m
2250m 2250m 2350m 2400m 2350m

(1700m — 2001m)

5
partially cloudy
light rain
heavy rain
heavy rain
partially cloudy
Mid station 1850 m
2200m 2150m 2400m 2500m 1400m

(1801m — 3001m)

snow report today

opens in 24 days
6
7
light snow
light snow
cloudy
light snow
light snow
Mid station 2401 m
1900m 1900m 2250m 2350m 2350m

(900m — 1351m)

partially cloudy
light rain
partially cloudy
light rain
light rain
Mid station 1126 m
2200m 2150m 2500m 2450m 2250m

(1200m — 1600m)

cloudy
light rain
partially cloudy
light rain
light rain
Mid station 1400 m
2050m 2050m 2300m 2400m 2300m

(1200m — 2501m)

5
cloudy
light snow
light rain
light rain
cloudy
Mid station 1850 m
2150m 2050m 2250m 2400m 2300m

(600m — 2950m)

Brides Les Bains webcam
partially cloudy
rain showers
partially cloudy
light rain
light rain
Mid station 1775 m
2300m 2250m 2600m 2450m 2250m

(600m — 1220m)

1
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
cloudy
Mid station 910 m
2400m 2600m 3050m 2700m 1750m
A-B   C-K   L-L   M-R   S-Z

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