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 122resorts. Powder is reported at 6 resorts and 6 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 (6)Best piste conditions (6)

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
17
34
clear
cloudy
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
light rain
Mid station 1476 m
800m 750m 950m 1000m 2100m

(1550m — 2451m)

snow report 2 days ago

68 cm
2 days ago
6
2
35
partly cloudy
snow showers
snow showers
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 2000 m
1100m 700m 1050m 950m 2150m

(1000m — 1900m)

snow report yesterday

Aillons-Margeriaz webcam
55 cm
yesterday
1
4
37
clear
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
rain showers
Mid station 1450 m
1100m 1250m 900m 1250m 2300m

(1500m — 2201m)

snow report 2 days ago

13 cm
2 days ago
2
22
43
partly cloudy
snow showers
snow showers
clear
light rain
Mid station 1850 m
1200m 1100m 1000m 950m 2250m

(1100m — 3350m)

snow report today

Alpe d'Huez webcam
68
40

Fresh

Fresh
70 cm
2 days ago
2
18
52
partly cloudy
snow showers
snow showers
partly cloudy
light snow
Mid station 2225 m
1200m 1250m 950m 1100m 2300m

(1367m — 2200m)

snow report 2 days ago

opens in 10 days 20 cm
2 days ago
5
30
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
rain showers
Mid station 1784 m
1350m 1350m 1050m 1350m 2350m

(1251m — 1808m)

snow report 2 days ago

opens in 10 days 1 cm
2 days ago
1
1
9
partly cloudy
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
rain showers
Mid station 1530 m
1400m 1250m 1300m 1400m 2250m

(1400m — 1700m)

snow report yesterday

opens in 3 days 2 cm
yesterday
1
16
36
clear
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
light rain
Mid station 1550 m
1000m 1100m 900m 1200m 2250m

(1050m — 2300m)

snow report yesterday

85 cm
yesterday
1
7
24
clear
partly cloudy
snow showers
partly cloudy
rain showers
Mid station 1675 m
1000m 1000m 1050m 1000m 2200m

(1252m — 3275m)

snow report yesterday

opens in 3 days 17 cm
yesterday
7
28
44
clear
light snow
light snow
partly cloudy
light snow
Mid station 2264 m
900m 750m 1150m 950m 2200m

(1250m — 2100m)

snow report 12 days ago

opens in 10 days 14 cm
12 days ago
18
6
22
partly cloudy
light snow
light snow
light rain
moderate rain
Mid station 1675 m
2150m 1850m 1550m 2200m 2550m

(1681m — 2111m)

snow report 2 days ago

16 cm
2 days ago
1
1
18
partly cloudy
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1896 m
1250m 950m 1200m 1100m 2400m

(1600m — 3330m)

snow report 2 days ago

Auris En Oisans webcam
57 cm
2 days ago
4
19
56
partly cloudy
snow showers
snow showers
partly cloudy
light snow
Mid station 2465 m
1250m 1200m 1000m 1100m 2300m

(1600m — 2450m)

snow report 2 days ago

Auron webcam
60
25
Packed 1 cm
3 days ago
3
1
34
cloudy
light snow
clear
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 2025 m
1350m 1050m 1250m 1400m 2400m

(1500m — 2750m)

snow report 2 days ago

Aussois webcam
70
40
opens in 10 days 87 cm
yesterday
15
23
clear
partly cloudy
light snow
clear
light rain
Mid station 2125 m
1200m 800m 1050m 950m 2350m

(1050m — 1710m)

snow report yesterday

opens in 10 days 31 cm
yesterday
1
1
32
partly cloudy
snow showers
clear
partly cloudy
rain showers
Mid station 1380 m
1250m 1400m 900m 1200m 2400m

(1000m — 2460m)

snow report yesterday

Avoriaz webcam
opens in 2 days 159 cm
yesterday
1
21
43
clear
light snow
snow showers
partly cloudy
light rain
Mid station 1730 m
850m 750m 1000m 950m 2100m

(1400m — 2399m)

snow report 12 days ago

opens in 3 days 3 cm
12 days ago
17
9
16
light snow
light snow
light snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 1900 m
2100m 1850m 1550m 2100m 2750m

(850m — 1237m)

snow report 2 days ago

opens in 3 days 47 cm
2 days ago
12
clear
clear
clear
partly cloudy
heavy rain
Mid station 1044 m
550m 300m 350m 450m 2050m

(1000m — 1301m)

snow report yesterday

6 cm
yesterday
4
23
clear
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
heavy rain
Mid station 1150 m
800m 800m 750m 1150m 2100m

(1101m — 1801m)

snow report yesterday

opens in 10 days 18 cm
yesterday
8
28
clear
cloudy
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
light rain
Mid station 1451 m
900m 850m 950m 1250m 2200m

(1000m — 2001m)

snow report yesterday

opens in 10 days 9 cm
yesterday
14
29
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
light rain
Mid station 1500 m
850m 800m 950m 1200m 2100m

(1740m — 2200m)

snow report 2 days ago

64 cm
2 days ago
2
10
24
clear
light snow
light snow
clear
light rain
Mid station 1970 m
1050m 600m 1100m 1050m 2300m

(1350m — 1849m)

snow report 2 days ago

opens in 3 days 1 cm
2 days ago
3
5
11
light snow
light snow
clear
light rain
heavy rain
Mid station 1600 m
1600m 1350m 950m 1600m 2300m

(1430m — 1725m)

snow report 11 days ago

45 cm
11 days ago
partly cloudy
snow showers
clear
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1578 m
1400m 1150m 1350m 1650m 2500m

(1700m — 2001m)

snow report 12 days ago

76 cm
12 days ago
9
4
7
snow showers
light snow
snow showers
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 1850 m
2200m 1900m 1700m 2150m 2900m

(1801m — 3001m)

snow report yesterday

opens in 10 days 44 cm
yesterday
2
15
35
clear
light snow
light snow
clear
light snow
Mid station 2401 m
1050m 600m 1100m 1050m 2250m

(900m — 1351m)

snow report 2 days ago

30 cm
2 days ago
8
clear
clear
partly cloudy
clear
rain showers
Mid station 1126 m
1150m 1000m 1100m 1050m 2250m

(1200m — 1600m)

snow report yesterday

108 cm
yesterday
1
15
clear
partly cloudy
light snow
clear
light rain
Mid station 1400 m
1200m 800m 1050m 950m 2350m

(1030m — 2525m)

snow report yesterday

Brévent-Flégère webcam
opens in 3 days 74 cm
yesterday
4
17
34
clear
light snow
light snow
partly cloudy
light rain
Mid station 1778 m
900m 750m 1150m 950m 2150m

(1200m — 2501m)

snow report 2 days ago

3 cm
2 days ago
1
6
19
partly cloudy
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
rain showers
Mid station 1850 m
1250m 950m 1150m 1050m 2400m

(600m — 2950m)

snow report 2 days ago

195 cm
2 days ago
9
22
clear
clear
partly cloudy
clear
rain showers
Mid station 1775 m
1150m 1050m 1100m 1100m 2250m

(600m — 1220m)

snow report 2 days ago

2 cm
2 days ago
11
clear
clear
clear
partly cloudy
heavy rain
Mid station 910 m
550m 300m 350m 500m 2050m