French ski resorts celebrate snowfall: opening dates and rules

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

Today (November 3) at more than 1,500 meters, the wet weather is expected to change to snowfall of 10 to 20 cm, increasing to 25 to 30 cm in Béarn and Bigorre.

That could be accompanied by more snowfall at heights of 1,200 meters by Friday, although forecaster Météo Pyrénées said amounts would be low.

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

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

Pic: Auron Berchia Ski Resort Webcam/Screenshot

This was welcomed as good news by winter sports enthusiasts after an exceptionally dry October with little mountain snowfall in France.

The light snowfalls of the past few weeks have not lasted and depths of 30-50cm have only been recorded at altitudes of around 3,000m.

But the change in weather conditions this week is expected to continue with snow forecast reaching 1.5 meters at 3,000 meters altitude, and up to 1 meter at 2,000-2,500 meters altitude in the French Alps. here at the end of the week.

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

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

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

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

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

At ski resorts that are already open or will be opening soon, current rules state that skiers must keep away from each other when waiting in queues, but must not wear masks when at the outside.

There is currently no limit related to the health crisis on the number of skiers who can use the resorts at the same time.

Which ski resorts will open in November and December?

Here are the opening dates for 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

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- from 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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