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 Snow Depths in France have crept up for the first time in several months, on upper slopes at least, following snowfalls at the end of last week. Whilst seven days ago the deepest base in the country was at 2.9 metres, now a number of resorts say they have more than three metres lying on upper slopes. La Rosiere (138/340cm) is posting 3.4 metres and Les Arcs (173/335cm) across the valley is just behind on 335cm.

Lower slope depths are getting a little more problematic at the traditional valley resorts, Morzine (35/315cm) is still reporting 35cm but Chamonix's (0/310cm) 5cm of a week ago is now zero after rain and warm temperatures there so here too it is definitely Spring skiing with lower slopes getting sticky after lunch with warm daytime temperatures in the valleys but often freezing overnight. At the higher, purpose-built French resorts this is less of an issue, Avoriaz (195/315cm) for example still has very deep snow at resort level too.

Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in France. Fresh snow is forecast at 240 resorts. Powder is reported at 0 resorts and 91 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 piste conditions (91)

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 today

Abondance webcam
130
65
Spring 8 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1476 m
1550m 2100m 2900m 3000m 2600m

(1550m — 2451m)

snow report today

1 cm
yesterday
4
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2000 m
1550m 1650m 2450m 2900m 2500m

(1000m — 1900m)

snow report today

Aillons-Margeriaz webcam
135
120
Spring 6 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1450 m
1600m 2300m 2900m 3050m 2650m

(1500m — 2201m)

snow report today

95
80

Fresh
7 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1850 m
1700m 1900m 2450m 2950m 2500m

(1100m — 3350m)

snow report today

Alpe d'Huez webcam
180
139

Fresh
5 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
snow showers
Mid station 2225 m
1800m 2000m 2600m 2950m 2550m

(1367m — 2200m)

snow report today

145
70
Hard 2 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1784 m
1750m 2150m 2750m 2950m 2600m

(1251m — 1808m)

snow report today

35
35
Spring 7 cm
5 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1530 m
1900m 2100m 2700m 2950m 2550m

(1400m — 1700m)

snow report today

9
9
5 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1550 m
1600m 2350m 2900m 3050m 2650m

(1050m — 2300m)

snow report today

225
90

Fresh
7 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1675 m
1750m 2000m 2650m 3000m 2550m

(1252m — 3275m)

snow report today

160
18

Fresh
14 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2264 m
1650m 2000m 2550m 3000m 2500m

(1250m — 2100m)

snow report today

1 cm
yesterday
clear
clear
clear
rain showers
light rain
Mid station 1675 m
1650m 1900m 2350m 2600m 2500m

(1681m — 2111m)

snow report today

2 cm
5 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1896 m
1650m 1750m 2500m 2900m 2500m

(1500m — 2000m)

snow report today

80
60

Fresh
5 cm
yesterday
clear
clear
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 1750 m
1550m 1800m 2300m 2600m 2550m

(1400m — 1800m)

snow report today

6
6
2 cm
yesterday
1
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1600 m
1750m 2150m 2700m 2850m 2600m

(1600m — 3330m)

snow report today

159
25
Hard 5 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
snow showers
Mid station 2465 m
1750m 1950m 2550m 2950m 2500m

(1600m — 2450m)

snow report today

Auron webcam
85
65

Fresh
1 cm
yesterday
3
clear
clear
clear
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 2025 m
1650m 1800m 2400m 2850m 2500m

(1500m — 2750m)

snow report today

Aussois webcam
90
50

Fresh
4 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2125 m
1650m 1800m 2500m 2950m 2500m

(1050m — 1710m)

snow report today

85
40
Spring 3 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1380 m
1550m 2250m 2800m 3000m 2650m

(1000m — 2460m)

snow report today

Avoriaz webcam
315
195

Fresh
12 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1730 m
1600m 2050m 2850m 3000m 2600m

(1400m — 2399m)

snow report today

80
60

Fresh
5 cm
yesterday
clear
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 1900 m
1550m 1800m 2300m 2600m 2550m

(850m — 1237m)

snow report today

130
50

Fresh
3 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
partly cloudy
clear
rain showers
Mid station 1044 m
1550m 2750m 3300m 3200m 2700m

(1000m — 1301m)

snow report today

22
22
5 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1150 m
1650m 2600m 3000m 3050m 2700m

(1101m — 1801m)

snow report today

50
40

Fresh
5 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1451 m
1450m 2300m 2900m 3000m 2650m

(1000m — 2001m)

snow report today

115
25

Fresh
6 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1500 m
1500m 2400m 2950m 3050m 2650m

(1740m — 2200m)

snow report today

55
53
Spring 3 cm
2 days ago
partly cloudy
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1970 m
1650m 1750m 2550m 2900m 2500m

(1350m — 1849m)

snow report today

60
60
Hard 8 cm
yesterday
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1600 m
1450m 2100m 2750m 2850m 2650m

(1430m — 1725m)

snow report today

41 cm
46 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1578 m
1750m 2000m 2600m 2800m 2500m

(1700m — 2001m)

snow report yesterday

2 cm
yesterday
clear
clear
partly cloudy
clear
light rain
Mid station 1850 m
1600m 1800m 2300m 2600m 2500m

(1801m — 3001m)

snow report today

290
100

Fresh
4 cm
2 days ago
1
partly cloudy
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2401 m
1600m 1750m 2550m 2850m 2500m

(900m — 1351m)

snow report 2 days ago

2 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1126 m
1750m 1950m 2500m 2950m 2500m

(1200m — 1600m)

snow report today

10
10
1 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1400 m
1650m 1800m 2500m 2950m 2500m

(1030m — 2525m)

snow report today

Brévent-Flégère webcam
205
30
Spring snow 10 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1778 m
1650m 1950m 2550m 3000m 2500m

(1200m — 2501m)

snow report today

10
10
1 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1850 m
1650m 1800m 2500m 2900m 2500m

(600m — 2950m)

snow report today

Brides Les Bains webcam
5 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1775 m
1800m 2000m 2550m 2950m 2550m

(600m — 1220m)

snow report today

1 cm
2 days ago
clear
clear
partly cloudy
clear
rain showers
Mid station 910 m
1550m 2750m 3300m 3200m 2700m