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 was some heavy snowfall over the weekend to provide great snow conditions in the French Alps, with Meribel (125cm/330cm) and La Plagne (230cm/380cm) reording 37cm and 40cm respectively. Notable overnight snowfalls were recorded in Samoens (126cm/302cm) and St Gervais (122cm/280cm) with totals ay 42cm and 55cm respectively.

However, the largest snowfall recorded was in La Rossiere (298cm/400cm) with 60cm of fresh allowing for fantastic skiing conditions. With all the heavy snow, this has led to resorts closures. Val D'Isere (270cm/350cm), Tignes (270cm/350cm), Bonneval Sur Arc (260cm/360cm) and Vallorcine (30cm/183cm) have all closed for the day due to extreme weather, and there is also restricted lift operation in the Chamonix ski area. More snowfall/rain is forecast for today, with Chamonix (30cm/220cm) forecasting as much as 70cm.

Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in France. Fresh snow is forecast at 186resorts. Powder is reported at 42 resorts and 71 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 (42)Best piste conditions (71)

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)
Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

(950m — 2001m)

Abondance webcam
41
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
light rain
heavy snow
light snow
Mid station 1476 m
1800m 2400m 2100m 1200m 900m

(1550m — 2451m)

1
52
1
clear
partly cloudy
light snow
heavy snow
light snow
Mid station 2000 m
2150m 2050m 1700m 1400m 1150m

(1000m — 1900m)

Aillons-Margeriaz webcam
32
clear
clear
cloudy
moderate snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 1450 m
1950m 2600m 2300m 1200m 950m

(1500m — 2201m)

53
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
cloudy
moderate snow
snow showers
Mid station 1850 m
1950m 2200m 1850m 1250m 1000m

(1100m — 3350m)

snow report yesterday

Alpe d'Huez webcam
240
210
Powder
Powder
70 cm
4 days ago
Overcast skies // 22 Jan
64
clear
partly cloudy
light snow
heavy snow
snow showers
Mid station 2225 m
2050m 2350m 1900m 1250m 950m

(1367m — 2200m)

44
clear
clear
cloudy
moderate snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 1784 m
2200m 2500m 2150m 1300m 900m

(1251m — 1808m)

snow report yesterday

80
40
Packed 3 days ago
22
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
clear
Mid station 1530 m
2600m 2350m 1900m 1300m 1150m

(1400m — 1700m)

snow report yesterday

120
100
Packed yesterday
27
clear
clear
light rain
light snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 1550 m
1950m 2550m 2250m 1200m 950m

(1050m — 2300m)

24
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
cloudy
moderate snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 1675 m
1850m 2250m 2000m 1150m 1000m

(1252m — 3275m)

snow report yesterday

Argentiere webcam
220
30

Fresh

Fresh
4 cm
yesterday
1
49
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
cloudy
heavy snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 2264 m
1800m 2150m 1850m 1150m 1100m

(1250m — 2100m)

snow report today

70
15
Wet 10 days ago
12
28
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
moderate snow
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1675 m
3050m 2950m 1950m 1050m 1100m

(1681m — 2111m)

20
clear
clear
snow showers
light snow
snow showers
Mid station 1896 m
2150m 2300m 1850m 1400m 1200m

(1600m — 3330m)

Auris En Oisans webcam
64
clear
clear
light snow
moderate snow
snow showers
Mid station 2465 m
2050m 2300m 1800m 1300m 950m

(1600m — 2450m)

Auron webcam
1
24
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 2025 m
2700m 2400m 2000m 1650m 1200m

(1500m — 2750m)

Aussois webcam
30
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
cloudy
moderate snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 2125 m
2000m 2450m 1900m 1150m 1050m

(1050m — 1710m)

46
clear
clear
cloudy
moderate snow
light snow
Mid station 1380 m
2100m 2650m 2300m 1150m 900m

(1000m — 2460m)

snow report yesterday

Avoriaz webcam
360
240

Fresh

Fresh
40 cm
3 days ago
49
clear
partly cloudy
light snow
heavy snow
light snow
Mid station 1730 m
1750m 2300m 2000m 1200m 950m

(1400m — 2399m)

Ax 3 Domaines webcam
2
25
clear
partly cloudy
snow showers
snow showers
clear
Mid station 1900 m
2750m 3150m 2250m 1050m 750m

(850m — 1237m)

2
10
clear
partly cloudy
moderate rain
light snow
clear
Mid station 1044 m
1700m 2400m 1850m 950m 850m

(1000m — 1301m)

30
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
light rain
moderate snow
light snow
Mid station 1150 m
1850m 2500m 2050m 1050m 850m

(1101m — 1801m)

31
clear
partly cloudy
light rain
moderate snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 1451 m
1950m 2550m 2250m 1250m 950m

(1000m — 2001m)

snow report today

100
5
Powder
Powder
3 days ago
31
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
light rain
moderate snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 1500 m
1950m 2500m 2150m 1200m 1000m

(1740m — 2200m)

35
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
light snow
moderate snow
snow showers
Mid station 1970 m
2200m 2350m 1800m 1200m 1100m

(1350m — 1849m)

snow report 22 days ago

100
100

Good
×
No snow
10 cm
22 days ago
13
23
1
rain showers
partly cloudy
moderate snow
light snow
clear
Mid station 1600 m
2100m 2800m 1900m 1050m 800m

(1430m — 1725m)

15
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 1578 m
2800m 2500m 2050m 1650m 1450m

(1700m — 2001m)

1
11
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
snow showers
cloudy
snow showers
Mid station 1850 m
2850m 3200m 2450m 1250m 800m

(1801m — 3001m)

snow report yesterday

360
260
Powder
Powder
10 cm
3 days ago
1
50
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
light snow
moderate snow
snow showers
Mid station 2401 m
2200m 2300m 1800m 1200m 1100m

(900m — 1351m)

15
clear
clear
cloudy
light snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 1126 m
1950m 2350m 1950m 1100m 1050m

(1200m — 1600m)

18
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
cloudy
light snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 1400 m
2050m 2450m 1850m 1200m 1050m

(1200m — 2501m)

18
clear
clear
snow showers
light snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 1850 m
2100m 2350m 1800m 1300m 1150m

(600m — 2950m)

Brides Les Bains webcam
24
clear
clear
cloudy
moderate snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 1775 m
1950m 2350m 2000m 1150m 1050m

(600m — 1220m)

10
1
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
moderate rain
light snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 910 m
1650m 2400m 1850m 950m 850m