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 There has been plenty of snow over the weekend and even some in the early hours of Monday morning in our featured French Alp resorts. The resorts of Chamonix (100cm/405cm) and Argentiere (100cm/405cm) recorded 60cm of fresh snow which has left the slopes looking in fantastic shape, and which is further complimented by the sunny weather on show on Monday 19th February.

La Plagne (230cm/400cm) recorded 20cm of fresh snow to further improve the already fantastic conditions, which definitely makes it one of the best resorts to ski in at this moment. All of our featured French resorts in the Alps are forecast for sunny weather to start the week. In the French Pyrenees resorts it is a different story as the snow only started during Sunday night, continuing into Monday. Cauterets (120cm/240cm) and Bareges/La Mongie (120cm/150cm) both recorded 40cm and 30cm respectively. The French Pyrenee resorts have forecast the highest amount of fresh snowfall for the week ahead. Cauterets, Barages/La Mongie, and Font Romeu (140cm) have forecast big snowfall until Thursday 22nd February, with 83cm, 52cm and 23cm predicted respectively.

Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in France. Fresh snow is forecast at 112resorts. Powder is reported at 9 resorts and 68 are reporting good piste conditions.

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Recent Eyeball Snow Reports for France

A–B

C–K L–L M–R S–Z Best powder (9)Best piste conditions (68)

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
1
3
snow showers
snow showers
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
snow showers
Mid station 1476 m
350m 350m 750m 1150m 450m

(1550m — 2451m)

26
88
32
snow showers
light snow
light snow
heavy snow
light snow
Mid station 2000 m
800m 750m 900m 1050m 950m

(1000m — 1900m)

Aillons-Margeriaz webcam
clear
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 1450 m
350m 350m 700m 1200m 650m

(1500m — 2201m)

6
4
partly cloudy
light snow
snow showers
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1850 m
550m 650m 1000m 1100m 650m

(1100m — 3350m)

snow report today

Alpe d'Huez webcam
324
200

Excellent
Best up high
15 cm
6 days ago
1
6
7
partly cloudy
light snow
light snow
light snow
light snow
Mid station 2225 m
500m 550m 1000m 1150m 700m

(1367m — 2200m)

2
2
clear
light snow
snow showers
light snow
snow showers
Mid station 1784 m
450m 550m 950m 1250m 800m

(1251m — 1808m)

snow report today

80
60
Packed 5 days ago
3
10
clear
snow showers
snow showers
light snow
snow showers
Mid station 1530 m
800m 950m 1200m 1250m 1050m

(1400m — 1700m)

snow report yesterday

120
100
Packed 3 days ago
clear
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 1550 m
350m 300m 700m 1150m 600m

(1050m — 2300m)

3
clear
snow showers
snow showers
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1675 m
550m 550m 1050m 1250m 650m

(1252m — 3275m)

snow report today

Argentiere webcam
405
100

Excellent

Fresh
10 cm
today
2
8
snow showers
light snow
light snow
light snow
light snow
Mid station 2264 m
550m 700m 1100m 1300m 650m

(1250m — 2100m)

snow report today

140
45
Packed yesterday
8
21
clear
clear
clear
snow showers
clear
Mid station 1675 m
850m 450m 550m 850m 1250m

(1681m — 2111m)

7
30
8
snow showers
light snow
light snow
heavy snow
snow showers
Mid station 1896 m
800m 900m 1000m 1050m 1100m

(1600m — 3330m)

Auris En Oisans webcam
2
9
7
partly cloudy
light snow
light snow
light snow
light snow
Mid station 2465 m
500m 600m 1000m 1150m 700m

(1600m — 2450m)

snow report today

Auron webcam
130
40

Good
Crust
4 days ago
10
32
17
light snow
light snow
light snow
moderate snow
light snow
Mid station 2025 m
750m 750m 850m 900m 1150m

(1500m — 2750m)

Aussois webcam
4
30
2
partly cloudy
light snow
light snow
heavy snow
light snow
Mid station 2125 m
650m 800m 1000m 1000m 850m

(1050m — 1710m)

1
1
2
clear
cloudy
cloudy
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1380 m
400m 350m 500m 1100m 600m

(1000m — 2460m)

snow report today

Avoriaz webcam
365
261

Excellent
Best up high
15 cm
3 days ago
1
3
snow showers
light snow
snow showers
snow showers
light snow
Mid station 1730 m
400m 400m 850m 1200m 500m

(1400m — 2399m)

19
34
snow showers
snow showers
partly cloudy
snow showers
clear
Mid station 1900 m
700m 350m 600m 1000m 1150m

(850m — 1237m)

clear
snow showers
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 1044 m
350m 200m 300m 500m 100m

(1000m — 1301m)

2
light snow
light snow
clear
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 1150 m
400m 350m 600m 950m 500m

(1101m — 1801m)

1
snow showers
snow showers
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
snow showers
Mid station 1451 m
300m 250m 600m 1050m 450m

(1000m — 2001m)

snow report today

110
10
Packed 3 days ago
1
snow showers
snow showers
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
snow showers
Mid station 1500 m
300m 300m 650m 1150m 500m

(1740m — 2200m)

14
59
4
partly cloudy
light snow
light snow
heavy snow
light snow
Mid station 1970 m
750m 800m 950m 1050m 950m

(1350m — 1849m)

2
1
snow showers
snow showers
partly cloudy
cloudy
clear
Mid station 1600 m
300m 300m 450m 1000m 600m

(1430m — 1725m)

6
16
6
snow showers
light snow
snow showers
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1578 m
900m 950m 1050m 1050m 1300m

(1700m — 2001m)

12
43
snow showers
snow showers
partly cloudy
snow showers
partly cloudy
Mid station 1850 m
800m 450m 700m 1000m 1250m

(1801m — 3001m)

snow report today

385
260

Excellent
Best up high
5 cm
3 days ago
17
74
5
partly cloudy
light snow
light snow
heavy snow
light snow
Mid station 2401 m
750m 800m 950m 1050m 950m

(900m — 1351m)

4
clear
light snow
light snow
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1126 m
600m 750m 1050m 1150m 800m

(1200m — 1600m)

3
19
2
partly cloudy
light snow
light snow
moderate snow
light snow
Mid station 1400 m
700m 800m 1000m 1000m 850m

(1200m — 2501m)

2
18
5
partly cloudy
light snow
snow showers
moderate snow
snow showers
Mid station 1850 m
750m 900m 1050m 1050m 1000m

(600m — 2950m)

Brides Les Bains webcam
5
clear
snow showers
snow showers
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1775 m
600m 700m 1050m 1150m 650m

(600m — 1220m)

clear
snow showers
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 910 m
350m 200m 300m 450m 0m