French ski resorts celebrate snowfall: opening dates and regulations

The first snowfall arrived in southwestern France last night (November 2) after an area of ​​low pressure brought cool temperatures and precipitation to Haute-Garonne.

Today (November 3) at altitudes above 1,500 meters, the rainy weather should turn into snowfall of 10 to 20 cm, dropping to 25 to 30 cm in Béarn and Bigorre.

This could be accompanied by more snowfall at elevations of 1,200 meters by Friday, although the weather forecaster Météo Pyrénées said the amounts would be low.

Snow is also expected in the Alps this week with depths of 40 to 50 cm at 1,800 meters.

The webcam of Auron Berchia ski resort, 2,219 meters above sea level, showed a white blanket covering the ground this morning.

Photo: Auron Berchia ski resort webcam / Screenshot

This was hailed as good news by winter sports enthusiasts after an unusually dry October with little snowfall in the mountains in France.

Light snowfall in recent weeks has not lasted and depths of 30 to 50 cm have only been recorded at altitudes of around 3,000 meters.

But the change in weather conditions this week is expected to stick with the snow forecast to reach depths of 1.5 meters at 3000 meters above sea level, and up to 1 meter at 2000-2500 meters above sea level. in the Alps by the end of the week.

Snowfall is expected to continue until November, which means good conditions for skiers as ski resorts reopen in the coming weeks.

After two years of closure of ski lifts to the general public due to the health crisis, the French ski season 2021-22 is eagerly awaited by winter sports enthusiasts.

Ski resort operators are still waiting to see whether or not skiers will need to present health cards to use the ski lifts this winter.

A government decision is expected in early November, Tourism Minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne told France Bleu.

Current rules specify that health cards must be presented to access certain areas in ski resorts, such as bars and restaurants.

In ski resorts that are already open or will open soon, current rules specify that skiers must move away from each other while waiting in queues, but do not have to wear a mask outside.

There is currently no limit linked to the health crisis for the number of skiers who can use the stations at the same time.

Which ski resorts will open in November and December?

Here are the opening dates of some popular ski resorts in France:

November 6

Bessans (Nordic walking), Montgenèvre

November 20

Val Thorens, Chamonix

November 27

Les Angles, Auron, Cauterets, Chabanon, Tignes, Les Deux-Alpes, Grand Tourmalet, Puy Saint Vincent, Val d’Isère

December 3

Font Romeu, Gourette

December 4

L’Alpe d’Huez, La Bresse, Chamrousse, Courchevel, Font Romeu, Isola 2000, Luz Ardiden, Les Menuires, Méribel, Montclar, Orelle, Peyragudes, Piau Engaly, Saint-Lary Soulan, Serre Chevalier, Vaujany

December 10

Avoriaz, Ax-les-Thermes

December 11

Aussois, Les Arcs, Brides-les-Bains, La Féclaz, Le Grand Bornand, Peisey-Vallandry, Orcières Merlette 1850, Les Orres, La Plagne, Risoul, Le Revard, La Rosière, Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise, Saint-Martin- de-Belleville, Super Besse, La Tania, Val d’Allos, Valberg, Vars

December 18

Aillons-Margeriaz, Bessans (downhill skiing), Albiez-Montrond, Arêches-Beaufort, Bonneval-sur-Arc, Les Bottières, Champagny, Le Corbier, Crest-Voland Cohennoz, Le Désert d’Entremont, Flumet / Saint-Nicolas-la -Chapelle, La Giettaz, Le Granier, Hauteluce-Les Contamines, Les Karellis, Le Lioran, Megève, Montchavin, Montalbert, Montclar, La Norma, Notre-Dame-de-Bellecombe, Pralognan-la-Vanoise, Saint-Colomban-des -Villards, Saint-François-Longchamp, Saint-Jean-d’Arves, Saint-Sorlin-d’Arves, Les Saisies, La Toussuire, Val Cenis, Valfréjus, Valloire, Valmeinier, Valmorel

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