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 were some pretty big snowfalls in France through November and into the start of December with some areas reporting another 60cm of snow over the weekend; however, only a fraction of the country's ‘big name' resorts are open. More, including La Clusaz, are scheduled to open this coming weekend and others plan to commence their season the weekend after.

Val d'Isère (64/159cm) was one of the areas to start their 19-20 season at the weekend with conditions looking great. The resort had a further 60cm (2ft) of snowfall in the past week. Courchevel (68/95cm) is reporting the most fresh snow in the last week with 104cm (42 inches) in the last seven days. Montgenevre (130/220cm) is not far behind with 95cm (more than 3ft) and Avoriaz (80/155cm), which opened two weeks earlier than planned for the first of two unscheduled ‘preview weekends' due to all the early snow, has had another 90cm of fresh this week.

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 11 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 (11)

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)

snow report 6 days ago

Abondance webcam
8 cm
6 days ago
22
26
rain showers
moderate snow
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1476 m
2300m 1450m 1050m 1650m 900m

(1550m — 2451m)

snow report 6 days ago

25 cm
6 days ago
1
24
clear
snow showers
clear
snow showers
clear
Mid station 2000 m
2750m 1350m 1200m 1900m 700m

(1000m — 1900m)

snow report 6 days ago

Aillons-Margeriaz webcam
25 cm
6 days ago
22
22
partly cloudy
moderate snow
clear
moderate snow
cloudy
Mid station 1450 m
2550m 1500m 1450m 1800m 900m

(1500m — 2201m)

snow report 6 days ago

48 cm
6 days ago
33
42
partly cloudy
heavy snow
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1850 m
2550m 1550m 1350m 1850m 800m

(1100m — 3350m)

snow report yesterday

Alpe d'Huez webcam
110
52

Fresh

Fresh
57 cm
6 days ago
37
50
17
partly cloudy
heavy snow
clear
moderate snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 2225 m
2600m 1600m 1250m 1800m 850m

(1367m — 2200m)

snow report 6 days ago

opens in 13 days 52 cm
6 days ago
31
31
partly cloudy
heavy snow
clear
moderate snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 1784 m
2650m 1600m 1350m 1800m 850m

(1251m — 1808m)

snow report 7 days ago

opens in 13 days 19 cm
7 days ago
3
23
clear
snow showers
clear
light snow
clear
Mid station 1530 m
2650m 1550m 1450m 1850m 750m

(1400m — 1700m)

snow report 7 days ago

opens in 13 days 18 cm
7 days ago
21
26
rain showers
moderate snow
clear
moderate snow
light snow
Mid station 1550 m
2500m 1450m 1450m 1750m 850m

(1050m — 2300m)

snow report 6 days ago

20 cm
6 days ago
38
55
partly cloudy
heavy snow
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1675 m
2400m 1450m 850m 1650m 750m

(1252m — 3275m)

snow report 2 days ago

Argentiere webcam
80
Artificial 19 cm
6 days ago
38
60
36
partly cloudy
heavy snow
clear
moderate snow
light snow
Mid station 2264 m
2600m 1550m 1300m 1750m 850m

(1250m — 2100m)

snow report 2 days ago

50
30
Packed powder or groomed snow 3 cm
10 days ago
4
13
moderate rain
snow showers
partly cloudy
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1675 m
2800m 1850m 2150m 1950m 1500m

(1681m — 2111m)

snow report 6 days ago

27 cm
6 days ago
3
43
13
clear
snow showers
clear
snow showers
partly cloudy
Mid station 1896 m
2500m 1150m 750m 1700m 700m

(1500m — 2000m)

snow report 3 days ago

6 cm
3 days ago
12
8
partly cloudy
light snow
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1750 m
2850m 1900m 1950m 1900m 1400m

(1400m — 1800m)

snow report 7 days ago

1 cm
7 days ago
2
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 1600 m
3000m 2200m 2000m 2300m 1350m

(1600m — 3330m)

snow report 6 days ago

61 cm
6 days ago
35
54
17
partly cloudy
heavy snow
clear
moderate snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 2465 m
2600m 1600m 1200m 1850m 800m

(1600m — 2450m)

snow report yesterday

180
70
Packed powder or groomed snow 32 cm
6 days ago
16
clear
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2025 m
2850m 1550m 1250m 2000m 800m

(1500m — 2750m)

snow report 6 days ago

Aussois webcam
opens in 6 days 27 cm
6 days ago
18
65
35
partly cloudy
moderate snow
clear
light snow
snow showers
Mid station 2125 m
2550m 1500m 1400m 1950m 700m

(1050m — 1710m)

snow report 6 days ago

opens in 13 days 31 cm
6 days ago
13
14
partly cloudy
light snow
clear
moderate snow
cloudy
Mid station 1380 m
2750m 1550m 1550m 1800m 950m

(1000m — 2460m)

snow report yesterday

Avoriaz webcam
50
10
Packed powder or groomed snow 16 cm
6 days ago
33
35
partly cloudy
moderate snow
clear
moderate snow
light snow
Mid station 1730 m
2350m 1450m 950m 1600m 850m

(1400m — 2399m)

snow report 2 days ago

65
30
Packed powder or groomed snow 5 cm
3 days ago
13
9
partly cloudy
moderate snow
clear
light snow
snow showers
Mid station 1900 m
2850m 1900m 2000m 1900m 1400m

(850m — 1237m)

snow report 7 days ago

opens in 6 days 1 cm
7 days ago
12
12
light rain
light snow
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1044 m
2100m 1000m 1350m 1600m 650m

(1000m — 1301m)

snow report 7 days ago

9 cm
7 days ago
17
22
rain showers
moderate snow
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1150 m
2350m 1250m 1450m 1650m 850m

(1101m — 1801m)

snow report 6 days ago

opens in 13 days 10 cm
6 days ago
18
21
rain showers
moderate snow
clear
moderate snow
light snow
Mid station 1451 m
2400m 1450m 1400m 1700m 1000m

(1000m — 2001m)

snow report 6 days ago

opens in 13 days 8 cm
6 days ago
19
26
rain showers
moderate snow
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1500 m
2300m 1450m 1350m 1700m 950m

(1740m — 2200m)

snow report 6 days ago

16 cm
6 days ago
9
54
9
partly cloudy
light snow
clear
snow showers
partly cloudy
Mid station 1970 m
2650m 1500m 1400m 1950m 700m

(1350m — 1849m)

snow report 7 days ago

opens in 6 days 4 cm
7 days ago
6
15
light rain
light snow
partly cloudy
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1600 m
2650m 1150m 1600m 1800m 1200m

(1430m — 1725m)

snow report 7 days ago

7 cm
7 days ago
3
clear
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 1578 m
3000m 1900m 1550m 2050m 1000m

(1700m — 2001m)

snow report 3 days ago

15 cm
3 days ago
6
2
clear
light snow
partly cloudy
light snow
cloudy
Mid station 1850 m
2850m 1950m 2000m 1950m 1500m

(1801m — 3001m)

snow report 6 days ago

opens in 13 days 19 cm
6 days ago
13
67
36
partly cloudy
light snow
clear
light snow
snow showers
Mid station 2401 m
2650m 1550m 1400m 2000m 750m

(900m — 1351m)

snow report 6 days ago

3 cm
6 days ago
15
16
partly cloudy
light snow
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1126 m
2400m 1500m 1200m 1750m 750m

(1200m — 1600m)

snow report 6 days ago

19 cm
6 days ago
9
18
partly cloudy
light snow
clear
light snow
snow showers
Mid station 1400 m
2550m 1500m 1350m 1900m 700m

(1030m — 2525m)

snow report yesterday

Brévent-Flégère webcam
80
Artificial 17 cm
6 days ago
31
45
partly cloudy
moderate snow
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1778 m
2600m 1500m 1250m 1750m 850m

(1200m — 2501m)

snow report 6 days ago

33 cm
6 days ago
4
48
clear
snow showers
clear
snow showers
clear
Mid station 1850 m
2550m 1400m 900m 1800m 650m

(600m — 2950m)

snow report 6 days ago

29 cm
6 days ago
31
58
partly cloudy
moderate snow
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1775 m
2400m 1500m 1000m 1650m 750m

(600m — 1220m)

snow report 20 days ago

17 cm
20 days ago
12
11
light rain
light snow
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 910 m
2100m 1000m 1350m 1600m 700m