More Ski Resorts Open With Good Conditions as Xmas Approaches
11th December 2022
Last modified on December 17th, 2022
There’s been more snow with the temperature fluctuating wildly. PlanetSKI is out in the Alps where conditions are generally good as Xmas approaches. UPDATED
Saturday 17th December
The sun has finally come out in Les Arcs – and across the Alps.
Heading up the old 2-man lift from Villaroger at the extreme end of Les Arcs it was hard to believe what was greeting us.
Snow dripping off the trees and blue sky.
The Les Arcs area that had been shrouded in snow and cloud earlier in the week was transformed.
We blasted round the near-empty pistes.
And PlanetSKI editor, James Cove, delivered the required snow report for PlanetSKI’s social media pages and the web site.
And here is that view that James talks about.
As we skied towards Arc 1950 it looked altogether different.
All too soon the day ended, and I headed off to Les Menuires in the nearby Les3Vallees.
Do check back as PlanetSKI hits Les3Vallees in the run up to Xmas.
Adventures and new experiences await…
Friday 16th December
It was snowing this morning in Villaroger – the village sits at 1,200m and is part of the Les Arcs/Paradiski ski area.
PlanetSKI is currently staying in the village for a couple of days before we head over to the mighty Les3Vallees with Les Menuires as the first stop.
The snow was not much in Villaroger, but the key thing is the low temperature – it has been going up a down like a yo-yo this week.
Earlier this week the temperature was -16 at Arc 1950 and it has been as high as +3 with rain falling.
Later in the day we headed to La Rosiere across the valley with a view to hit its slopes and ski in the linked Italian resort of La Thuile.
Lunch in Italy was on the agenda, but things didn’t quite go to plan.
La Rosiere sits on a south facing plateau and is normally, er, rather sunny.
In places one could barely see from one marker post to the other.
As you will know each piste is marked with posts on either side.
What you may not know is that in France the ones on the right of the slope have a coloured section at the top, so you need to stay to the left of ones like these in bad visibility.
That way you stay on the piste.
Also I never set off unless I can see the next post.
We edged our way over towards Italy but found the connecting run wasn’t open.
There was an almost total lack of visibility.
We headed back to La Rosiere and all of a sudden this.
Something bright appeared in the sky.
It had been worth persevering, though sadly the link to La Thuile never opened.
No matter we just enjoyed the slopes of La Rosiere and all that it offered.
The resort is popular with the British, especially families, and the Brits make up the largest overseas market.
For more on the resort see here – La Rosiere.
As the clouds lifted the views became better and better.
We look forward to skiing La Rosiere later in the season – hopefully in slightly better weather.
We weren’t the only ones to have bad visibility.
It was the same in many parts of the Alps and across to the Dolomites in the east of Italy.
The Alpine Ski World Cup men’s super-G race in Val Gardena was cancelled because of poor visibility.
It is the sixth men’s race to fall victim to the weather this season.
Just eight have gone ahead.
Thursday 15th December
There is more snow falling in places in the Alps.
PlanetSKI’s editor, James Cove, is currently in Les Arcs in the French Alps and posted this video snow report on Thursday 15th December.
We have also just heard from a PlanetSKI reporter in Les2Alps who says it has been snowing across the day on Thursday with a further 20cm of fresh snow.
Some areas in Les2Alpes are set to be closed as avalanche safety work is needed to be carried out after all the fresh snow.
Meanwhile over in Morzine in Les Portes du Soleil the piste bashers have been out doing their stuff as more snow falls.
There are currently around 150 ski areas open across Europe.
James arrived in Arc 1950 on Tuesday when it was snowing.
“There is low cloud and mist so we’ll have to see what is open, but it is always good to arrive in a resort and find snow dripping off the trees and more coming down,” said James first thing in the morning.
“The snow is due to continuing falling this morning and will ease off at lunchtime, though it doesn’t look like we’ll see the sun today.”
“The temperatures have also warmed up from the very cold conditions of the past days.”
It wasn’t the best of journeys to the Alps on Monday as snow hit the UK – a 7-hour wait at Gatwick, but at least his plane wasn’t cancelled.
See here for his travel:
He is staying with VIP SKI at the award winning Bear Lodge Hotel – more of that later as James asks the question “What exactly makes an award-winning hotel?”
It started cloudy with limited visibility and, as forecast, the snow eased off during the morning.
Enabling some skiing over to Arc 1850, Arc 1600 and beyond.
Here is a video snow report filmed in Arc 1950 Village at lunchtime:
One of our reporters, Max Cove, arrived in Les2Alpes at the weekend where it has also been snowing.
It has also warmed up there after some cold temperatures at the weekend.
“It is bitterly cold with a temperature of -7c at the mid-station on Sunday, and it is -13c at the top of the resort,” said Max on Sunday.
“However the sun is out, there is plenty of soft snow and overall the conditions are great for the time of year.”
By Tuesday the weather had closed in with fresh snow and warmer temperatures.
It’s always good to see snow piled up on the parked vehicles.
As the sun set on Sunday the town of Les2Alpes looked magical.
However, shortly after this photo was taken PlanetSKI spotted a fire breaking out and alerted the emergency services.
See the full details here:
Another one of our reporters, Tord Nilson, is in nearby Alpe d’Huez.
“Alpe d’Huez was incredible today. Over a metre of snow up top and super cold (-9) during the day, keeping the piste crisp and it’s incredible to get some great carving in,” said Tord on Sunday.
“It’s going to be -18 tonight so it’s staying cold.”
One of our regular readers has posted on Twitter from Switzerland.
Heavy snow in Valais – the Rhône valley under a majestic white blanket pic.twitter.com/IHdU7Vs3KM
— Valais Dude (@ValaisDude) December 11, 2022
Overall the snow pack across the Alps is looking good for the beginning of the season.
There were some concerns a few weeks ago, but those have mostly gone.
More snow is needed at the lower altitudes but higher up conditions are good for the time of year.
“This week will see some quieter but cold weather conditions for most of the Alps, with the possibility of more snow arriving from the west mid-week,” said the alpine weather expert, Fraser Wilkin from weathertoski.co.uk.
“The weather models remain volatile but currently indicate that the western Alps will be most favoured.
“Snow conditions in the Alps are generally good for early December and improving all the time.
“Snow depths are still quite modest lower down, though they are currently being or will soon be topped up.
“All in all, it is promising start to the season as we approach the all-important Christmas and New Year period.”
Later this week PlanetSKI’s editor, James Cove, will be in Les3Vallees in France – staying first in Les Menuires and then Val Thorens.
Here is the current scene in Les Menuires.
Last week PlanetSKI was in the Tirol and though there is precious little off piste to talk about, the pistes were in good condition with a base building up.
There are more than 150 ski resorts now offering skiing and snowboarding across Europe.
Here are some of the well-known ones with some slopes open:
Austria – St Anton, Soelden, Obergurgl, Ischgl, Ski Welt, Mayrehofen, Lech, Kitzbuhel, Stubai, Hintertux, Zillertall, Pitztal and Montafon.
France – Val d’Isere, Morzine, Avoriaz, Chamonix, Courchevel, Les Menuires, Meribel, Val Thorens, Tignes, Serre Chevalier, Les Arcs, La Plagne and Flaine.
Italy – Cervinia, Val Gardena, Livigno, Sestriere, Sauz d’Oulx, Pila, La Thuile, Alagna, Madonna, Champoluc and Courmayeur.
Switzerland – Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Laax, Verbier, Gstaad, Davos, Arosa, Crans-Montana and Andermatt.
Val Nord and Grand Valira in Andorra. St Lary, Cauterets and Ax3Domaines in the French Pyrenees. Baqueira Beret in the Spanish Pyrenees.
Ruka and Levi in Finland. Are and Salen in Sweden. Geilo, Hemsedal, Trysil, Narvik Beitostolen, Hafjell and Norefjell in Norway.
We will be updating this article so do check back for the latest conditions and reports from the slopes.