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 Although the Eastern Alps have been getting the headlines due to the on-going huge snowfalls, it's a much improved picture in the French Alps after two much more manageable snowfalls over the past week. One storm on Wednesday/Thursday last week, the other last weekend into Monday. These brought between 30 and 60cm of fresh snow over the past 7 days to many of the country's leading ski areas, refreshing cover on slopes that had seen no natural snowfall since before Christmas (although it had been cold enough for snowmaking most of that time).

As a result, the major French resorts continue to enjoy good on-piste snow conditions and now the return of fresh off-piste snow for freeriding but haven't had the closures and access problems faced by ski regions further East. La Rosiere (90/150cm) has the deepest base in the county with Tignes (105/205cm) and Val d'Isere (105/205cm) not far behind.

Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in France. Fresh snow is forecast at 239 resorts. Powder is reported at 3 resorts and 121 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 (3)Best piste conditions (121)

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)
Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

(950m — 2001m)

snow report today

Abondance webcam
70
70

Fresh
2 cm
today
16
12
64
clear
moderate snow
snow showers
partly cloudy
light snow
Mid station 1476 m
450m 250m 200m 450m 1150m

(1550m — 2451m)

snow report today

5 cm
2 days ago
31
32
clear
moderate snow
clear
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 2000 m
850m 400m 750m 800m 1550m

(1000m — 1900m)

snow report today

Aillons-Margeriaz webcam
70
20

Fresh
12 cm
3 days ago
9
12
62
clear
light snow
light snow
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1450 m
500m 250m 250m 400m 1050m

(1500m — 2201m)

snow report today

70
12 cm
3 days ago
20
13
69
clear
moderate snow
snow showers
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1850 m
650m 300m 250m 500m 1250m

(1100m — 3350m)

snow report today

Alpe d'Huez webcam
125
87

Fresh
11 cm
3 days ago
18
13
69
clear
moderate snow
snow showers
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 2225 m
650m 300m 250m 450m 1250m

(1367m — 2200m)

snow report today

30
30

Fresh
4 cm
4 days ago
12
11
48
clear
moderate snow
snow showers
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1784 m
700m 350m 250m 450m 1300m

(1251m — 1808m)

snow report today

60
60

Fresh
2 cm
4 days ago
5
2
36
clear
light snow
clear
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1530 m
850m 450m 750m 850m 1600m

(1400m — 1700m)

snow report today

10
10
2 cm
today
10
12
66
clear
light snow
snow showers
clear
cloudy
Mid station 1550 m
450m 300m 250m 450m 1100m

(1050m — 2300m)

snow report today

135
65

Fresh
6 cm
3 days ago
12
13
73
clear
moderate snow
snow showers
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1675 m
500m 250m 300m 500m 1100m

(1252m — 3275m)

snow report today

104
40

Fresh
6 cm
today
18
18
100
clear
moderate snow
light snow
clear
light snow
Mid station 2264 m
500m 250m 250m 500m 1250m

(1250m — 2100m)

snow report yesterday

opens in 4 days 6 cm
yesterday
99
18
99
heavy snow
heavy snow
snow showers
snow showers
partly cloudy
Mid station 1675 m
900m 950m 250m 1100m 1850m

(1681m — 2111m)

snow report today

1 cm
7 days ago
15
35
clear
light snow
clear
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1896 m
850m 400m 650m 800m 1600m

(1500m — 2000m)

snow report today

30
30

Fresh
yesterday
63
4
65
light snow
heavy snow
snow showers
light snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 1750 m
850m 550m 250m 700m 1800m

(1400m — 1800m)

snow report today

4
4
on 28 Dec
5
1
11
clear
light snow
clear
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1600 m
1150m 800m 1150m 1650m 1850m

(1600m — 3330m)

snow report today

86
30

Fresh
1 cm
yesterday
16
12
65
clear
moderate snow
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 2465 m
650m 300m 300m 500m 1300m

(1600m — 2450m)

snow report today

Auron webcam
60
35

Fresh
6 cm
yesterday
6
25
clear
light snow
clear
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 2025 m
900m 450m 850m 1250m 1750m

(1500m — 2750m)

snow report today

Aussois webcam
75
35

Fresh
6 cm
3 days ago
16
4
49
clear
light snow
snow showers
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 2125 m
750m 300m 400m 650m 1400m

(1050m — 1710m)

snow report today

60
35

Fresh
7 cm
3 days ago
17
17
49
partly cloudy
light snow
light snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 1380 m
600m 250m 150m 300m 1150m

(1000m — 2460m)

snow report today

Avoriaz webcam
175
100

Fresh
2 cm
today
19
15
82
clear
moderate snow
light snow
partly cloudy
light snow
Mid station 1730 m
450m 250m 200m 450m 1150m

(1400m — 2399m)

snow report today

60
30
Hard 7 cm
today
64
4
68
light snow
heavy snow
snow showers
light snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 1900 m
850m 550m 250m 700m 1800m

(850m — 1237m)

snow report today

50
40

Fresh
4 cm
today
5
17
51
clear
light snow
light snow
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1044 m
350m 250m 150m 500m 1100m

(1000m — 1301m)

snow report today

18
18
13 cm
today
20
20
59
partly cloudy
moderate snow
snow showers
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1150 m
400m 300m 150m 600m 1250m

(1101m — 1801m)

snow report today

50
25

Fresh
10 cm
3 days ago
10
8
46
clear
light snow
snow showers
partly cloudy
cloudy
Mid station 1451 m
450m 250m 200m 550m 1250m

(1000m — 2001m)

snow report today

35
30

Fresh
10 cm
3 days ago
9
10
46
clear
light snow
snow showers
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 1500 m
450m 300m 200m 550m 1200m

(1740m — 2200m)

snow report today

43
33

Fresh
3 cm
today
22
2
39
clear
moderate snow
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1970 m
800m 300m 550m 800m 1550m

(1350m — 1849m)

snow report today

45
45

Fresh
20 cm
today
39
11
62
moderate snow
moderate snow
light snow
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1600 m
400m 450m 100m 750m 1300m

(1430m — 1725m)

snow report today

2 cm
yesterday
4
12
clear
light snow
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1578 m
1000m 550m 900m 1400m 1900m

(1700m — 2001m)

snow report today

3 cm
today
53
1
44
light snow
heavy snow
clear
snow showers
partly cloudy
Mid station 1850 m
1000m 550m 300m 850m 2000m

(1801m — 3001m)

snow report today

230
60

Fresh
4 cm
today
22
3
43
clear
moderate snow
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 2401 m
800m 300m 500m 800m 1550m

(900m — 1351m)

snow report 4 days ago

2 cm
4 days ago
9
4
35
clear
light snow
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1126 m
650m 300m 350m 550m 1300m

(1200m — 1600m)

snow report today

10
10
2 cm
4 days ago
13
2
35
clear
light snow
snow showers
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1400 m
800m 300m 450m 650m 1400m

(1030m — 2525m)

snow report today

Brévent-Flégère webcam
195
40
Packed powder or groomed snow 4 cm
today
19
16
93
clear
moderate snow
light snow
clear
light snow
Mid station 1778 m
500m 250m 250m 550m 1250m

(1200m — 2501m)

snow report today

10
10
1 cm
4 days ago
12
2
42
clear
light snow
clear
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1850 m
850m 350m 600m 750m 1550m

(600m — 2950m)

snow report today

30
50

Fresh
4 cm
4 days ago
11
8
50
clear
moderate snow
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1775 m
650m 300m 300m 500m 1250m

(600m — 1220m)

snow report today

5
5
5 cm
today
5
19
53
partly cloudy
light snow
light snow
light snow
light snow
Mid station 910 m
350m 250m 150m 500m 1100m