Col de l'Entreporte, 2400m. High above Peisey Vallandry

Saturday, 3 October 2015


With the temperatures now starting to drop, a quick round-up of some of the pre-season news from the Tarentaise.

Les Arcs makes the Best Resorts for Experts list in the Telegraph.

Scary TV show The Returned is back on French screens and is back on More 4 on 16th October.  Although much of it is shot in Annecy, series 1 gave the Tignes dam a starring role:

There's more of this at the Les Revenants Facebook page

The Les Arcs Film Festival is gearing up for its annual event, which runs from 12th December.  The special focus this year is on Norwegian films.  This coincides with the start of the season, which includes new lifts in Les Arcs and La Plagne, as well as completion of the Mille 8 development above Arc 1800.

Further up the valley, conditions at the Grande Motte over the summer were terrible.  But if you can't wait until December, the Tignes glacier is now open for business.

If you want to follow the valley from afar, the @La_Rosiere1850 twitter feed is arguably the best.

Friday, 25 September 2015

GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS: The French Ski Market

The good news is that France has regained its crown as the world's Number 1 ski destination.

The less good news is that this is the result of a 5% fall in skier numbers in the US. French numbers are down by "only" 2.7%, and so it returns to the top spot.

Terrible snow on the other side of the Atlantic is a key factor in the American numbers: this Planet Ski account contains more detail.

In total, France registers 53.9m skier days, with the US on 53.6m.  Austria is catching up, with just under 52m (up 2%).

This annual review, from the French ski resort association, says resorts didn't do too badly all things considering.  In particular, the early season snow was terrible, and the resorts remained plagued by late school holidays.

The southern Alps fared worst, with an 8% year-on-year fall, while the season saw a sharp recovery in the Vosges (after a disastrous 2013/14) and a good season in the Jura. Smaller stations were aided by the good mid-winter snow cover.  In the ski heartland of the northern Alps, which account for between 65-75% of skier days, visitor numbers are broadly in line with the previous four seasons.

All in all, not a disaster, but not too great either.  One reason why the big resorts are still coming up with new marketing schemes like the mega Tarentaise pass.

Early season in Les Arcs

(For more details on the 2013/14 season, click here.)