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 Sunny weather continued to dominate the skies for the remainder of open resorts on Monday 24th April. In the Tarentaise region, Val Thorens (90/140cm), Tignes (33/145cm) and Val d'Isere (35/145cm) still have a good amount of lifts spinning, and the skiing is surprisingly good for the time of year. Futher south, Les Deux Alpes (0/200cm) continues of offer some nicely groomed pistes on the glacier, but nearby its sister resort, Alpe d'Huez has now closed. From Tuesday 25th onwards, the forecast is predicting fairly heavy snow for many resorts. Chamonix (0/180cm) could receive up to 70cm by the end of the week.

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Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in France. Fresh snow is forecast at 180resorts. Powder is reported at 6 resorts and 9 are reporting good piste conditions.

Recent Eyeball Snow Reports for France

A–B

C–K L–L M–R S–Z Best powder (6)Best piste conditions (9)

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)
Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

(950m — 2001m)

Abondance webcam
73
18
1
light snow
light snow
moderate snow
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 1476 m
1700m 1350m 1100m 1550m 2350m

(1550m — 2451m)

21
22
1
heavy rain
light snow
light snow
rain showers
light snow
Mid station 2000 m
2200m 1850m 1500m 1750m 2150m

(1000m — 1900m)

45
16
light snow
light snow
light snow
clear
clear
Mid station 1450 m
1600m 1200m 1050m 1850m 2500m

(1500m — 2201m)

69
23
3
moderate snow
light snow
light snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 1850 m
2050m 1500m 1050m 1550m 2150m

(1100m — 3350m)

snow report today

70
36
2
light snow
light snow
light snow
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 2225 m
2000m 1400m 1050m 1550m 2250m

(1367m — 2200m)

35
23
light snow
light snow
light snow
clear
clear
Mid station 1784 m
1900m 1300m 1000m 1750m 2450m

(1251m — 1808m)

7
5
moderate rain
light rain
light snow
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1530 m
2150m 1650m 1300m 1750m 2300m

(1400m — 1700m)

42
16
light snow
light snow
light snow
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1550 m
1600m 1250m 1100m 1800m 2500m

(1050m — 2300m)

44
13
4
light rain
light snow
light snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 1675 m
1850m 1350m 1050m 1600m 2400m

(1252m — 3275m)

snow report today

Argentiere webcam
180

Fresh

Powder
20 cm
today
93
20
16
light snow
moderate snow
heavy snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 2264 m
2000m 1450m 1150m 1650m 2150m

(1250m — 2100m)

8
19
light snow
snow showers
clear
light rain
rain showers
Mid station 1675 m
1300m 1150m 1500m 2300m 2300m

(1681m — 2111m)

5
5
moderate rain
light rain
snow showers
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1896 m
2150m 1800m 1400m 1750m 2250m

(1600m — 3330m)

Auris En Oisans webcam
70
39
2
moderate snow
light snow
light snow
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 2465 m
2050m 1450m 1050m 1550m 2250m

(1600m — 2450m)

Auron webcam
14
8
heavy rain
light snow
snow showers
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 2025 m
2350m 1950m 1500m 2150m 2200m

(1500m — 2750m)

Aussois webcam
37
11
8
moderate snow
light snow
light snow
clear
snow showers
Mid station 2125 m
2200m 1650m 1150m 1650m 2100m

(1050m — 1710m)

35
21
light snow
light snow
snow showers
clear
clear
Mid station 1380 m
1600m 1150m 1050m 1850m 2450m

(1000m — 2460m)

snow report today

89
21
4
light snow
moderate snow
moderate snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 1730 m
1800m 1350m 1100m 1500m 2200m

(1400m — 2399m)

Ax-les-Thermes webcam
27
16
2
light snow
light snow
clear
partly cloudy
rain showers
Mid station 1900 m
1500m 1100m 1300m 2300m 2700m

(850m — 1237m)

21
light snow
light snow
light snow
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 1044 m
1050m 1150m 1150m 1600m 2400m

(1000m — 1301m)

38
6
5
light snow
light snow
light snow
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1150 m
1350m 1100m 1050m 1750m 2500m

(1101m — 1801m)

49
14
1
light snow
light snow
snow showers
clear
clear
Mid station 1451 m
1650m 1300m 1100m 1750m 2650m

(1000m — 2001m)

51
15
1
light snow
light snow
snow showers
clear
clear
Mid station 1500 m
1650m 1300m 1100m 1700m 2500m

(1740m — 2200m)

26
12
9
heavy rain
light snow
light snow
clear
light snow
Mid station 1970 m
2200m 1700m 1300m 1650m 2050m

(1350m — 1849m)

17
13
4
moderate snow
snow showers
light snow
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1600 m
950m 900m 1150m 1850m 2600m

(1430m — 1725m)

moderate rain
light rain
rain showers
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 1578 m
2400m 2050m 1550m 2150m 2300m

(1700m — 2001m)

44
10
1
light snow
light snow
snow showers
partly cloudy
rain showers
Mid station 1850 m
1800m 950m 1250m 2350m 2600m

(1801m — 3001m)

snow report today

260
40
Powder
Powder
20 cm
today
51
21
15
moderate snow
moderate snow
light snow
clear
light snow
Mid station 2401 m
2200m 1750m 1300m 1650m 2050m

(900m — 1351m)

13
moderate rain
light rain
light snow
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1126 m
2050m 1500m 1100m 1600m 2150m

(1200m — 1600m)

9
1
1
heavy rain
moderate rain
light snow
clear
rain showers
Mid station 1400 m
2200m 1650m 1200m 1650m 2100m

(1200m — 2501m)

7
4
moderate rain
light rain
snow showers
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1850 m
2150m 1750m 1300m 1700m 2150m

(600m — 2950m)

Brides Les Bains webcam
32
13
4
moderate rain
light snow
light snow
clear
clear
Mid station 1775 m
2000m 1450m 1050m 1550m 2150m

(600m — 1220m)

15
light snow
light rain
light rain
rain showers
clear
Mid station 910 m
1050m 1150m 1150m 1600m 2400m