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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France: latest snow conditions round-up


FRANCE Only ten of our featured resorts in Austria remain open for snowsports on Thursday 28th April, with this weekend set to see further closures. Good late season skiing still available across many resorts, particularly across the high glacial resorts where some good snowfall over the course of the week ensuring that pistes across the upper mountain remain in good condition. The cloud affecting many resorts on Thursday is set to hand around over much of the weekend, with fluctuating temperatures seeing the possibility of some light snow and rain fall during this period.

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Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in France. Fresh snow is forecast at 33resorts. Powder is reported at 1 resorts and 10 are reporting good piste conditions.

Recent Eyeball Snow Reports for France

A–B

C–K L–L M–R S–Z Best powder (1)Best piste conditions (10)

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)
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri

(950m — 2001m)

Abondance webcam
5
light rain
rain showers
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1476 m
1950m 1950m 2400m 3150m 3000m

(1550m — 2451m)

2
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
clear
partially cloudy
rain showers
Mid station 2000 m
2000m 2500m 2450m 2450m 2600m

(1000m — 1900m)

1
rain showers
rain showers
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1450 m
2000m 2200m 2700m 3100m 3000m

(1500m — 2201m)

2
light rain
rain showers
clear
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
Mid station 1850 m
1850m 2150m 2600m 2950m 2900m

(1100m — 3350m)

snow report 3 days ago

Alpe d'Huez webcam
2
cloudy
snow showers
clear
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
Mid station 2225 m
1850m 2250m 2700m 3000m 2950m

(1367m — 2200m)

partially cloudy
rain showers
clear
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
Mid station 1784 m
2000m 2400m 3000m 3100m 2950m

(1251m — 1808m)

partially cloudy
clear
clear
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
Mid station 1530 m
2250m 2850m 3150m 2950m 2900m

(1400m — 1700m)

1
rain showers
rain showers
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1550 m
2050m 2150m 2650m 3100m 3000m

(1050m — 2300m)

1
rain showers
light rain
clear
clear
partially cloudy
Mid station 1675 m
1900m 2100m 2600m 3050m 2900m

(1252m — 3275m)

snow report 3 days ago

Argentiere webcam
250
Packed powder
Best up high
30 cm
5 days ago
7
4
light snow
light snow
partially cloudy
clear
partially cloudy
Mid station 2264 m
1900m 2000m 2350m 3000m 2850m

(1250m — 2100m)

2
clear
clear
clear
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 1675 m
2300m 3300m 3600m 3300m 2900m

(1681m — 2111m)

1
partially cloudy
clear
clear
clear
rain showers
Mid station 1896 m
2000m 2600m 2500m 2700m 2700m

(1600m — 3330m)

1
13
cloudy
snow showers
clear
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
Mid station 2465 m
1850m 2300m 2700m 3000m 2950m

(1600m — 2450m)

5
partially cloudy
clear
clear
clear
partially cloudy
Mid station 2025 m
2250m 2850m 2850m 2650m 2750m

(1500m — 2750m)

Aussois webcam
2
1
light rain
partially cloudy
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2125 m
1850m 2050m 2300m 2650m 2650m

(1050m — 1710m)

2
light rain
rain showers
clear
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
Mid station 1380 m
2050m 2350m 3000m 3150m 2950m

(1000m — 2460m)

snow report 3 days ago

7
light rain
light rain
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1730 m
1900m 1950m 2350m 3100m 2950m

(1400m — 2399m)

7
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1900 m
1950m 3050m 3550m 3400m 3200m

(850m — 1237m)

clear
rain showers
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1044 m
2250m 1950m 1950m 3200m 2950m

(1250m — 2877m)

snow report 3 days ago

Bareges & La Mongie webcam
47
clear
partially cloudy
clear
partially cloudy
rain showers
Mid station 2064 m
2200m 3250m 3550m 3350m 2950m

(1000m — 1301m)

rain showers
light rain
clear
clear
rain showers
Mid station 1150 m
2150m 2050m 2500m 3150m 2950m

(1101m — 1801m)

2
light rain
rain showers
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1451 m
2050m 2050m 2500m 3100m 3000m

(1000m — 2001m)

4
rain showers
rain showers
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1500 m
2000m 1950m 2450m 3150m 3000m

(1740m — 2200m)

2
1
light rain
partially cloudy
clear
clear
partially cloudy
Mid station 1970 m
1950m 2300m 2300m 2500m 2600m

(1350m — 1849m)

partially cloudy
light snow
clear
clear
partially cloudy
Mid station 1600 m
1950m 2200m 3150m 3500m 3150m

(1430m — 1725m)

clear
clear
clear
clear
partially cloudy
Mid station 1578 m
2350m 2900m 3000m 2800m 2850m

(1700m — 2001m)

clear
clear
clear
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
Mid station 1850 m
2000m 3200m 3500m 3300m 3050m

(1801m — 3001m)

snow report 3 days ago

250
40

Good
Best up high
10 cm
5 days ago
Overcast skies // 29 Apr
3
1
55
light snow
partially cloudy
clear
partially cloudy
partially cloudy
Mid station 2401 m
2000m 2250m 2350m 2500m 2600m

(900m — 1351m)

rain showers
rain showers
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1126 m
1900m 2150m 2550m 2950m 2850m

(1200m — 1600m)

1
light rain
partially cloudy
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1400 m
1850m 2100m 2300m 2650m 2650m

(1200m — 2501m)

partially cloudy
partially cloudy
clear
clear
partially cloudy
Mid station 1850 m
1950m 2500m 2450m 2800m 2700m

(600m — 2950m)

Brides Les Bains webcam
rain showers
rain showers
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1775 m
1900m 2150m 2650m 3000m 2900m

(600m — 1220m)

clear
rain showers
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 910 m
2250m 1950m 1950m 3250m 2950m