PlanetSKI is in Morzine as Heavy Snow Finally Falls

Morzine was one of those resorts that had a torrid time of it when rain washed away much snow over the New Year holiday period. Now it is chucking it down. We look at the fresh snow and the impact of the earlier lack of snow.

I arrived in Morzine, just as the snowstorm hit, taking to the slopes of the Avoriaz sector of the Portes du Soleil on Monday.

You can read my account of day one here lower down this article.

It’s been just as good, if not better, on day two.

Tuesday 17th January

Well, what a difference a few days make.

Today I skied on a mountain that, little more than a week ago, was more suited to biking than snowsports.

The Granges piste I took down from the top of the Belvedere chairlift was open for the first time since the end of December (that time we’d all rather forget when the rain poured down and the temperatures rose, leaving only the beginner slopes open).

In fact, just like all the runs I took today, Granges had a start-of-the-season feeling.

Skiers and snowboarders were making the most of the conditions as we were welcomed back to make their turns.

Piste Granges, Morzine. Image © PlanetSKI

The pistes were groomed, the marker poles were back in place, and the snow underfoot was very, very good.

You can watch my video snow report with more details in our updated article:

The slopes of Morzine, one of the resorts in the mighty Portes du Soleil ski area, is – forgive the cliche – a picture perfect winter wonderland once again.

There’d probably been a good 20cm of snow even down in the town at 1,000m by first thing this morning, judging by the view from the PlanetSKI residence.

Morzine. Image © PlanetSKI

There was definitely more than 20cm up on the mountain.

The trees were weighed down with snow.


And, just like yesterday, it kept on snowing…. and snowing.

Snowing in Morzine. Image © PlanetSKI

The return to winter has come as a relief to everyone here, especially after all the media coverage focusing on the bare and closed slopes from the end of December.

There were fears that many holidaymakers would switch to higher altitude resorts.

“Obviously it was very concerning for us and we completely understand that everybody wants to come out in the optimal conditions for their ski holiday,” Sara Burdon of the Morzine Tourist Office told PlanetSKI.

“What was different this year was almost everywhere in the Alps was suffering from lack of snow and we were still in the lucky position where people staying in Morzine could ski on the Avoriaz ski slopes which had 60% open.”

Nevertheless, Sara has a big smile on her face, now that the snow is chucking it down, with more forecast over the next 24 hours or so, along with cold temperatures to keep it in good nick.

Sara Burdon, Morzine Tourist Office. Image © PlanetSKI

Some runs are still shut – it’s a big job for the resort teams to get the snow prepared, but they’re working fast and it won’t be long now.

“It’s been really amazing to get this huge dump of snow over the last couple of days, meaning that over this week everything is going to gradually re-open to be 100 per cent open by the weekend,” Sara says.

“All it takes really here is a day of decent snowfall and things can go from not very good to incredible skiing conditions.

“We’ve been out skiing yesterday and again this morning and you can see what the snow is like.  It’s absolutely fantastic snow on the pistes whereas a few days ago the piste we’re on now wasn’t open and had just a few patches of snow on it.

“We also quite lucky in the Morzine-Les Gets ski area as it’s not very rocky so we don’t need a huge coverage of snow for it to be in perfect condition to ski on.”

If the weather carries on like this, it won’t be long before all 600km of ski slopes in the Portes du Soleil are open.

And guess what?

Just as we got off the slopes at the end of the afternoon, something unexpected appeared.

A little bit of blue sky.

Morzine. Image © PlanetSKI

If you’re heading this way soon, you are in for a real treat.

Morzine. Image © PlanetSKI

Monday 16th January

They may not have had much – or, in fact,  any – snow in Morzine town little more than a week ago, but the latest snowstorm has certainly delivered, giving a boost to ski tourism in the French resort.

This is how it looked around 4pm on Monday in the town centre.

Morzine, France. Image © PlanetSKI

This morning it started with just some light snow in the town centre at around 8.30am.

Morzine, France, 8.30am. Image © PlanetSKI

Then it just carried on.

And on.

There was just one problem.

Our plan to explore the vast Portes du Soleil ski area was scuppered by very strong winds that shut many of the lifts.

The Super Morzine gondola was shut and so too was the link to Chatel.

With limited runs available, the likelihood was that we could be ending up calling it a day almost before it had begun.

Especially when, having made it up the Prodains Express, we were greeted by horizontal snow and long, long queues at the only two chairlifts open.


Queuing, Avoriaz, Portes du Soleil. Image © PlanetSKI

Those who persevere are often rewarded.

And that proved to be the case.

Once we were out of the strong winds and low visibility, we enjoyed several more than pleasant runs, the best of which were through the trees to Les Lindarets.

Jane in the trees down to Les Lindarets, Portes du Soleil, France. Image © PlanetSKI

As the day wore on the snow got heavier and heavier.

Heavy snow in Portes du Soleil, France. Image © PlanetSKI

On Tuesday, Jane is hoping to be reporting from the slopes of Morzine and Les Gets.

The link between the two is due to open for the first time since the rain washed away all the snow on the pistes over the New Year week.

Fingers crossed the winds drop and the link opens.

We will also be looking back at the impact the conditions over Xmas and New Year has had.

With all the hype and hyperbole.

Watch this space.

Portes du Soleil, France. Image © PlanetSKI

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