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 Thursday 19th of January was a superb day for slope skiing as the fresh snow off-piste starts to become stale. The weather was almost perfect right the way across the country with light clouds and most and clear blue skies providing stunning vistas of both mountain ranges. Flaine (70/200cm) and the rest of the Grand Massif have much improved conditions with slopes providing some really enjoyable skiing. The links between resorts are now finally open, much to the relief of holidaymakers. We have to mention some resorts in the Pyrenees, as these have had monumental dumps recently. Bareges/La Mongie (100/180cm) has 80cm of fresh snow at the top of the mountain, though this is fast getting tracked out. Cauterets (85/250cm) is also in amazing nick right the way down to the valley floor. Loads of fresh powder still to be found there. If you want powder you best head to the Pyrenees, but if you want excellent slope skiing and excellent weather, all of France is providing these in abundance right now.

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Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in France. Fresh snow is forecast at 54resorts. Powder is reported at 1 resorts and 69 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 (69)

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)
Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed

(950m — 2001m)

Abondance webcam
1
2
clear
partly cloudy
cloudy
snow showers
clear
Mid station 1476 m
1050m 1150m 1150m 800m 1050m

(1550m — 2451m)

snow report 10 days ago

160
10

Good

Varied
1 cm
11 days ago
14
clear
moderate snow
light snow
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2000 m
900m 800m 1150m 1500m 1350m

(1000m — 1900m)

Aillons-Margeriaz webcam
clear
cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 1450 m
950m 1800m 1250m 300m 900m

(1500m — 2201m)

1
clear
light snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 1850 m
1100m 1050m 1400m 1500m 1550m

(1100m — 3350m)

snow report yesterday

Alpe d'Huez webcam
160
70

Excellent

Varied
35 cm
7 days ago
1
clear
light snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2225 m
1200m 1200m 1400m 1100m 1450m

(1367m — 2200m)

clear
light snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 1784 m
1700m 1700m 1450m 1000m 1650m

(1251m — 1808m)

snow report today

40
30
Artificial 7 days ago
clear
light snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 1530 m
1400m 1250m 1600m 1700m 1700m

(1400m — 1700m)

snow report today

50
30
Packed 7 days ago
1
clear
cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 1550 m
900m 1750m 1250m 350m 900m

(1050m — 2300m)

1
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 1675 m
1150m 1150m 1450m 1300m 1600m

(1252m — 3275m)

snow report yesterday

Argentiere webcam
150
50

Excellent

Varied
49 cm
6 days ago
5
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
snow showers
clear
Mid station 2264 m
1100m 1100m 1450m 1550m 1600m

(1250m — 2100m)

snow report today

130
80

Fresh

Fresh
4 days ago
6
3
partly cloudy
light snow
snow showers
clear
clear
Mid station 1675 m
1400m 1300m 1150m 850m 900m

(1681m — 2111m)

3
clear
light snow
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 1896 m
950m 850m 1300m 1650m 1600m

(1600m — 3330m)

1
1
clear
light snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2465 m
1250m 1250m 1500m 1250m 1550m

(1600m — 2450m)

10
clear
moderate snow
light snow
clear
clear
Mid station 2025 m
900m 850m 1250m 1450m 1350m

(1500m — 2750m)

Aussois webcam
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2125 m
900m 900m 1300m 1750m 1550m

(1050m — 1710m)

clear
cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 1380 m
1800m 1850m 850m 0m 950m

(1000m — 2460m)

snow report today

90
80
Packed
Fresh
80 cm
20 days ago
4
clear
cloudy
cloudy
light snow
clear
Mid station 1730 m
1100m 1100m 1200m 950m 1150m

(1400m — 2399m)

27
light snow
light snow
light snow
clear
clear
Mid station 1900 m
1450m 1150m 1050m 800m 950m

(850m — 1237m)

1
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1044 m
900m 1800m 800m 0m 800m

(1250m — 2877m)

snow report yesterday

Bareges & La Mongie webcam
180
100

Excellent
Tracked
30 cm
5 days ago
10
2
partly cloudy
light snow
light snow
clear
clear
Mid station 2064 m
1400m 1300m 1150m 900m 1000m

(1000m — 1301m)

clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 1150 m
1400m 1700m 1050m 200m 900m

(1101m — 1801m)

clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 1451 m
1200m 1500m 1150m 550m 1000m

(1000m — 2001m)

snow report today

40
20

Fresh

Fresh
6 days ago
1
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
snow showers
clear
Mid station 1500 m
1250m 1450m 1300m 800m 1100m

(1740m — 2200m)

clear
snow showers
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 1970 m
1000m 950m 1350m 1700m 1500m

(1350m — 1849m)

1
clear
light snow
partly cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 1600 m
1550m 1600m 800m 250m 850m

(1430m — 1725m)

3
clear
light snow
snow showers
clear
clear
Mid station 1578 m
1300m 1200m 1500m 1750m 1600m

(1700m — 2001m)

49
light snow
moderate snow
moderate snow
clear
clear
Mid station 1850 m
1400m 1150m 1200m 850m 1000m

(1801m — 3001m)

snow report yesterday

220
60

Excellent
Tracked
5 cm
7 days ago
clear
snow showers
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2401 m
1000m 950m 1350m 1700m 1500m

(900m — 1351m)

clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 1126 m
1050m 1000m 1400m 1650m 1650m

(1200m — 1600m)

clear
snow showers
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 1400 m
900m 900m 1300m 1750m 1550m

(1200m — 2501m)

1
clear
light snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 1850 m
950m 900m 1350m 1700m 1650m

(600m — 2950m)

Brides Les Bains webcam
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 1775 m
1050m 1000m 1400m 1550m 1650m

(600m — 1220m)

clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 910 m
900m 1800m 800m 0m 800m