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 Both of the French glacier ski areas, Les Deux Alpes (155cm) and Tignes (50cm), are showing strong signs of wear following an exceptionally warm summer. There is a lot of glacier ice showing through the pistes and with no fresh snow in over a month the pistes appear brown and worn. Despite this, most lifts were running at Les Deux Alpes and the top section of the Grande Motte at Tignes was open. Wet weather is forecast for the end of the week before warm sunshine returns on Monday, with the freezing level set to rocket once more towards 5,000m, so how much longer the slopes can remain open remains in doubt. Tignes is set to close on August 9th and Les Deux Alpes on August 29th – hopefully both will make it through to these dates.

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Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in France. Fresh snow is forecast at 0resorts. Powder is reported at 0 resorts and 2 are reporting good piste conditions.

A–B

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

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
clear
clear
rain showers
rain showers
clear
Mid station 1476 m
4150m 4500m 4400m 4450m 4650m

(1550m — 2451m)

partially cloudy
clear
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 2000 m
4050m 4450m 4450m 4450m 4650m

(1000m — 1900m)

snow report today

On Date
clear
clear
partially cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 1450 m
4150m 4500m 4400m 4550m 4650m

(1500m — 2201m)

clear
clear
rain showers
clear
clear
Mid station 1850 m
4100m 4550m 4450m 4550m 4700m

(1100m — 3350m)

Alpe d'Huez webcam
clear
clear
rain showers
clear
clear
Mid station 2225 m
4150m 4550m 4450m 4550m 4700m

(1367m — 2200m)

snow report today


Good
On Date
clear
clear
rain showers
clear
clear
Mid station 1784 m
4200m 4600m 4450m 4600m 4700m

(1251m — 1808m)

clear
clear
rain showers
clear
clear
Mid station 1530 m
4200m 4600m 4500m 4600m 4750m

(1400m — 1700m)

clear
clear
partially cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 1550 m
4150m 4500m 4400m 4500m 4650m

(1050m — 2300m)

snow report today

On Date
clear
clear
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 1675 m
4100m 4500m 4450m 4500m 4600m

(1252m — 3275m)

Argentiere webcam
clear
clear
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 2264 m
4100m 4450m 4450m 4500m 4600m

(1250m — 2100m)

clear
clear
rain showers
clear
rain showers
Mid station 1675 m
4500m 4650m 4400m 4700m 4900m

(1681m — 2111m)

clear
clear
partially cloudy
clear
rain showers
Mid station 1896 m
4100m 4500m 4450m 4500m 4650m

(1600m — 3330m)

clear
clear
rain showers
clear
clear
Mid station 2465 m
4150m 4550m 4450m 4550m 4700m

(1600m — 2450m)

rain showers
clear
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 2025 m
4150m 4550m 4500m 4500m 4650m

(1500m — 2750m)

snow report today

Aussois webcam
opens in 139 days On Date
rain showers
clear
rain showers
clear
rain showers
Mid station 2125 m
4150m 4450m 4450m 4500m 4650m

(1050m — 1710m)

snow report today

opens in 138 days On Date
clear
clear
rain showers
clear
clear
Mid station 1380 m
4200m 4600m 4450m 4550m 4700m

(1000m — 2460m)

clear
clear
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 1730 m
4150m 4500m 4400m 4450m 4650m

(1400m — 2399m)

snow report today

On Date
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1900 m
4500m 4700m 4550m 4700m 4950m

(850m — 1237m)

clear
clear
light rain
clear
clear
Mid station 1044 m
4050m 4400m 4200m 4350m 4550m

(1250m — 2877m)

Bareges & La Mongie webcam
clear
clear
rain showers
clear
rain showers
Mid station 2064 m
4500m 4650m 4450m 4700m 4900m

(1000m — 1301m)

clear
clear
rain showers
clear
clear
Mid station 1150 m
4100m 4450m 4300m 4450m 4650m

(1101m — 1801m)

clear
clear
rain showers
rain showers
clear
Mid station 1451 m
4150m 4500m 4400m 4500m 4700m

(1000m — 2001m)

clear
clear
rain showers
rain showers
clear
Mid station 1500 m
4150m 4500m 4350m 4450m 4650m

(1740m — 2200m)

snow report today


Good
On Date
rain showers
clear
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 1970 m
4050m 4450m 4400m 4400m 4600m

(1350m — 1849m)

clear
clear
light rain
clear
clear
Mid station 1600 m
4350m 4500m 4150m 4450m 4650m

(1430m — 1725m)

rain showers
clear
rain showers
partially cloudy
rain showers
Mid station 1578 m
4200m 4600m 4500m 4500m 4650m

(1700m — 2001m)

clear
clear
rain showers
clear
clear
Mid station 1850 m
4450m 4750m 4600m 4750m 4950m

(1801m — 3001m)

rain showers
clear
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 2401 m
4050m 4400m 4400m 4400m 4600m

(900m — 1351m)

clear
clear
rain showers
clear
rain showers
Mid station 1126 m
4100m 4500m 4450m 4500m 4600m

(1200m — 1600m)

rain showers
clear
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 1400 m
4150m 4450m 4450m 4500m 4650m

(1200m — 2501m)

clear
clear
rain showers
clear
rain showers
Mid station 1850 m
4100m 4450m 4450m 4500m 4650m

(600m — 2950m)

Brides Les Bains webcam
clear
clear
rain showers
clear
rain showers
Mid station 1775 m
4100m 4500m 4450m 4500m 4600m

(600m — 1220m)

clear
clear
light rain
clear
clear
Mid station 910 m
4050m 4400m 4200m 4350m 4500m