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 Several more ski areas have opened in France this week both in the Alps and Pyrenees. Newly opened options include the glacier resorts of Alpe d'Huez (24/75cm) and Les 2 Alpes (30/30cm) with the latter also posting the most fresh snowfall since the weekend in the country: 15cm.

What snowfall there has been fell high up, however with rain falling at lower elevations, but it is still just early December, and the trend is looking like more snow falling to lower levels into next week. Other newly opened French areas for this season include Montgenevre (45/100cm) - the first in the country to post a metre snow depth up top this season, and also the largest lower slope depth to date, as well as Isola 2000 (40/60cm) in the southern Alps and the Font Romeu Pyrenees 2000 (30/30cm) in the French Pyrenees.

Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in France. Fresh snow is forecast at 75resorts. Powder is reported at 7 resorts and 7 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 (7)Best piste conditions (7)

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)

snow report yesterday

Abondance webcam
2 cm
yesterday
23
20
clear
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
heavy rain
Mid station 1476 m
800m 650m 900m 700m 1950m

(1550m — 2451m)

snow report 2 days ago

68 cm
2 days ago
7
4
12
partly cloudy
light snow
snow showers
clear
light snow
Mid station 2000 m
1050m 600m 900m 850m 2050m

(1000m — 1900m)

snow report yesterday

Aillons-Margeriaz webcam
55 cm
yesterday
3
13
clear
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
heavy rain
Mid station 1450 m
1050m 1150m 900m 1000m 2150m

(1500m — 2201m)

snow report 2 days ago

14 cm
2 days ago
1
24
28
partly cloudy
snow showers
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
moderate snow
Mid station 1850 m
1150m 900m 900m 900m 2250m

(1100m — 3350m)

snow report today

Alpe d'Huez webcam
68
40

Fresh

Fresh
70 cm
2 days ago
2
23
30
partly cloudy
snow showers
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
moderate snow
Mid station 2225 m
1200m 1050m 900m 1000m 2200m

(1367m — 2200m)

snow report 2 days ago

opens in 10 days 20 cm
2 days ago
9
10
partly cloudy
clear
clear
clear
light snow
Mid station 1784 m
1350m 1250m 950m 1250m 2250m

(1251m — 1808m)

snow report 2 days ago

opens in 10 days 1 cm
2 days ago
1
9
6
partly cloudy
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
light snow
Mid station 1530 m
1400m 1100m 1200m 1250m 2150m

(1400m — 1700m)

snow report yesterday

opens in 3 days 2 cm
yesterday
21
17
clear
cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
moderate snow
Mid station 1550 m
950m 1000m 850m 1050m 2150m

(1050m — 2300m)

snow report yesterday

31 cm
yesterday
16
16
clear
clear
clear
partly cloudy
light snow
Mid station 1675 m
950m 850m 950m 850m 2100m

(1252m — 3275m)

snow report yesterday

opens in 3 days 11 cm
yesterday
41
35
clear
snow showers
snow showers
partly cloudy
light snow
Mid station 2264 m
800m 600m 1000m 750m 2000m

(1250m — 2100m)

snow report 12 days ago

opens in 10 days 38 cm
12 days ago
12
6
8
partly cloudy
light snow
light snow
heavy rain
light rain
Mid station 1675 m
2100m 1900m 1700m 2350m 2300m

(1681m — 2111m)

snow report 2 days ago

6 cm
2 days ago
2
4
7
partly cloudy
snow showers
snow showers
clear
snow showers
Mid station 1896 m
1250m 850m 1050m 1000m 2350m

(1600m — 3330m)

snow report 2 days ago

Auris En Oisans webcam
56 cm
2 days ago
3
25
35
partly cloudy
snow showers
snow showers
partly cloudy
moderate snow
Mid station 2465 m
1200m 1050m 950m 1000m 2200m

(1600m — 2450m)

snow report today

Auron webcam
60
25
Packed 1 cm
3 days ago
1
9
29
cloudy
light snow
clear
clear
snow showers
Mid station 2025 m
1350m 900m 1050m 1200m 2150m

(1500m — 2750m)

snow report today

Aussois webcam
70
40
opens in 10 days 87 cm
yesterday
19
22
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
light snow
Mid station 2125 m
1100m 600m 900m 850m 2300m

(1050m — 1710m)

snow report yesterday

opens in 10 days 57 cm
yesterday
1
1
2
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
clear
heavy rain
Mid station 1380 m
1200m 1350m 800m 1100m 2250m

(1000m — 2460m)

snow report yesterday

Avoriaz webcam
opens in 2 days 31 cm
yesterday
35
35
clear
partly cloudy
clear
cloudy
moderate snow
Mid station 1730 m
800m 650m 950m 650m 1900m

(1400m — 2399m)

snow report 12 days ago

opens in 3 days 16 cm
12 days ago
16
13
light snow
light snow
snow showers
light rain
light rain
Mid station 1900 m
2050m 1950m 1500m 2150m 2450m

(850m — 1237m)

snow report 2 days ago

opens in 3 days 5 cm
2 days ago
7
3
clear
clear
clear
partly cloudy
moderate rain
Mid station 1044 m
600m 300m 300m 350m 1800m

(1000m — 1301m)

snow report yesterday

55 cm
yesterday
11
6
clear
clear
clear
cloudy
heavy rain
Mid station 1150 m
750m 700m 700m 850m 1900m

(1101m — 1801m)

snow report yesterday

opens in 10 days 105 cm
yesterday
11
18
clear
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
heavy rain
Mid station 1451 m
800m 750m 900m 950m 2150m

(1000m — 2001m)

snow report yesterday

opens in 10 days 2 cm
yesterday
16
17
clear
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
heavy rain
Mid station 1500 m
800m 750m 900m 850m 2050m

(1740m — 2200m)

snow report 2 days ago

26 cm
2 days ago
1
15
22
clear
snow showers
snow showers
partly cloudy
light snow
Mid station 1970 m
1000m 500m 900m 900m 2150m

(1350m — 1849m)

snow report 2 days ago

opens in 3 days 24 cm
2 days ago
2
6
3
light snow
cloudy
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1600 m
1400m 1350m 850m 1450m 2200m

(1430m — 1725m)

snow report 11 days ago

2 cm
11 days ago
1
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
clear
rain showers
Mid station 1578 m
1400m 1050m 1200m 1450m 2250m

(1700m — 2001m)

snow report 12 days ago

140 cm
12 days ago
10
9
1
snow showers
light snow
partly cloudy
light rain
light rain
Mid station 1850 m
2100m 2000m 1550m 2200m 2500m

(1801m — 3001m)

snow report yesterday

opens in 10 days 95 cm
yesterday
1
20
31
clear
snow showers
snow showers
partly cloudy
light snow
Mid station 2401 m
950m 450m 900m 900m 2100m

(900m — 1351m)

snow report 2 days ago

1 cm
2 days ago
1
5
clear
clear
clear
partly cloudy
moderate rain
Mid station 1126 m
1050m 800m 1000m 900m 2200m

(1200m — 1600m)

snow report yesterday

30 cm
yesterday
2
5
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
moderate rain
Mid station 1400 m
1100m 600m 900m 800m 2300m

(1030m — 2525m)

snow report yesterday

Brévent-Flégère webcam
opens in 3 days 10 cm
yesterday
26
27
clear
snow showers
snow showers
partly cloudy
light snow
Mid station 1778 m
850m 600m 1000m 750m 2000m

(1200m — 2501m)

snow report 2 days ago

64 cm
2 days ago
1
10
9
partly cloudy
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
light snow
Mid station 1850 m
1250m 850m 1000m 900m 2350m

(600m — 2950m)

snow report 2 days ago

3 cm
2 days ago
12
23
clear
clear
clear
partly cloudy
moderate rain
Mid station 1775 m
1100m 900m 1000m 950m 2200m

(600m — 1220m)

snow report 2 days ago

83 cm
2 days ago
3
2
clear
clear
clear
partly cloudy
moderate rain
Mid station 910 m
600m 300m 300m 350m 1800m