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 All across our featured French resorts, there is a common trend: fantastic sunny weather so suntan lotion is a must. With all the sun it does certainly mean spring conditions, with the lower slopes deteriorating in the afternoon, so the best advice is to stick to the upper slopes, where in most resorts there is still good on-piste skiingRemarkably for this time of year, all the lifts in La Plagne (205cm/395cm), and in neighbouring resorts were open, as with there being so much snow this season the conditions were still great.

There is a downside, with temperatures potentially getting to as warm as +20C. The rest of the week and heading into the weekend, should see similar sunny weather, with maybe the odd cloud appearing.

Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in France. Fresh snow is forecast at 0resorts. Powder is reported at 0 resorts and 46 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 (46)

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)
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu

(950m — 2001m)

4
thunderstorm
thunderstorm
clear
thunderstorm
heavy rain
Mid station 1476 m
3300m 3200m 3350m 3300m 2500m

(1550m — 2451m)

9
clear
thunderstorm
clear
thunderstorm
heavy rain
Mid station 2000 m
3350m 3450m 3450m 3500m 3150m

(1000m — 1900m)

2
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
clear
light rain
Mid station 1450 m
3250m 3200m 3350m 3300m 2550m

(1500m — 2201m)

1
10
thunderstorm
rain showers
clear
rain showers
moderate rain
Mid station 1850 m
3250m 3250m 3350m 3400m 2750m

(1100m — 3350m)

snow report 2 days ago

Alpe d'Huez webcam
380
190

Good
Spring snow
10 cm
12 days ago
4
20
thunderstorm
thunderstorm
clear
rain showers
light snow
Mid station 2225 m
3300m 3300m 3400m 3400m 2750m

(1367m — 2200m)

3
rain showers
rain showers
clear
rain showers
light rain
Mid station 1784 m
3250m 3250m 3400m 3350m 2700m

(1251m — 1808m)

clear
rain showers
clear
rain showers
light rain
Mid station 1530 m
3300m 3350m 3400m 3450m 3100m

(1400m — 1700m)

snow report 2 days ago

100
40
Packed 23 days ago
4
thunderstorm
thunderstorm
clear
thunderstorm
light rain
Mid station 1550 m
3250m 3150m 3350m 3300m 2500m

(1050m — 2300m)

1
2
thunderstorm
thunderstorm
clear
rain showers
light rain
Mid station 1675 m
3250m 3150m 3300m 3300m 2600m

(1252m — 3275m)

snow report 2 days ago

Argentiere webcam
350
80

Excellent
Spring snow
2 cm
12 days ago
11
27
thunderstorm
thunderstorm
clear
thunderstorm
light snow
Mid station 2264 m
3300m 3150m 3350m 3350m 2650m

(1250m — 2100m)

20
thunderstorm
thunderstorm
thunderstorm
rain showers
light rain
Mid station 1675 m
3450m 3450m 3500m 3400m 2750m

(1681m — 2111m)

clear
partly cloudy
clear
rain showers
light rain
Mid station 1896 m
3250m 3350m 3400m 3450m 3100m

(1600m — 3330m)

5
23
thunderstorm
thunderstorm
clear
rain showers
light snow
Mid station 2465 m
3300m 3300m 3400m 3400m 2750m

(1600m — 2450m)

Auron webcam
2
rain showers
partly cloudy
clear
thunderstorm
moderate rain
Mid station 2025 m
3300m 3450m 3450m 3500m 3300m

(1500m — 2750m)

Aussois webcam
8
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
rain showers
moderate rain
Mid station 2125 m
3300m 3350m 3450m 3500m 2800m

(1050m — 1710m)

1
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
clear
light rain
Mid station 1380 m
3250m 3300m 3400m 3350m 2600m

(1000m — 2460m)

snow report 2 days ago

Avoriaz webcam
430
250

Excellent

Varied
35 cm
17 days ago
5
12
thunderstorm
thunderstorm
clear
thunderstorm
heavy rain
Mid station 1730 m
3300m 3200m 3350m 3350m 2500m

(1400m — 2399m)

9
partly cloudy
thunderstorm
thunderstorm
thunderstorm
light rain
Mid station 1900 m
3500m 3500m 3550m 3450m 2600m

(850m — 1237m)

partly cloudy
thunderstorm
clear
rain showers
cloudy
Mid station 1044 m
3250m 3100m 3400m 3150m 2300m

(1000m — 1301m)

4
partly cloudy
moderate rain
clear
thunderstorm
light rain
Mid station 1150 m
3250m 3150m 3400m 3300m 2400m

(1101m — 1801m)

2
thunderstorm
thunderstorm
clear
thunderstorm
moderate rain
Mid station 1451 m
3300m 3150m 3350m 3300m 2450m

(1000m — 2001m)

4
thunderstorm
thunderstorm
clear
thunderstorm
moderate rain
Mid station 1500 m
3300m 3150m 3350m 3300m 2450m

(1740m — 2200m)

11
partly cloudy
rain showers
clear
rain showers
heavy rain
Mid station 1970 m
3350m 3400m 3400m 3500m 2950m

(1350m — 1849m)

10
partly cloudy
thunderstorm
clear
thunderstorm
light rain
Mid station 1600 m
3300m 3200m 3350m 3350m 2400m

(1430m — 1725m)

partly cloudy
clear
clear
thunderstorm
rain showers
Mid station 1578 m
3250m 3450m 3450m 3500m 3250m

(1700m — 2001m)

14
thunderstorm
thunderstorm
thunderstorm
thunderstorm
light rain
Mid station 1850 m
3500m 3500m 3550m 3500m 2900m

(1801m — 3001m)

snow report 2 days ago

465
210

Excellent

Varied
30 cm
11 days ago
7
34
partly cloudy
rain showers
clear
rain showers
heavy rain
Mid station 2401 m
3350m 3350m 3400m 3500m 2900m

(900m — 1351m)

clear
partly cloudy
clear
clear
light rain
Mid station 1126 m
3250m 3200m 3350m 3350m 2700m

(1200m — 1600m)

partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
rain showers
moderate rain
Mid station 1400 m
3300m 3350m 3400m 3450m 2850m

(1200m — 2501m)

clear
rain showers
clear
rain showers
moderate rain
Mid station 1850 m
3250m 3350m 3400m 3450m 3000m

(600m — 2950m)

Brides Les Bains webcam
4
clear
partly cloudy
clear
clear
light rain
Mid station 1775 m
3250m 3200m 3350m 3350m 2700m

(600m — 1220m)

partly cloudy
moderate rain
clear
rain showers
light rain
Mid station 910 m
3250m 3100m 3400m 3150m 2300m