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A number of France’s biggest and most popular ski resorts have been delayed in opening for the season as the Alps seem to be suffering from a severe lack of the usual early season snow.
Both Meribel and Courchevel, which are both parts of the Trois Vallees skiing region – renowned for its white slopes and favourite runs by avid skiiers – were due to open this weekend but will now remain closed for a further week, opening on the 13th December. Les Menuires, a third ski resort in the same area, has also pushed back its opening weekend for the season.
A spokesperson representing the popular Courchevel resort stated: “S3V (the ski area’s lift company) teams are doing their best to ensure artificial snowmaking will be added to the expected snowfall for this weekend’s opening.”
Other popular skiing resorts in the Alps also include Val d’Isere and Tignes – both of which are ‘gasping for snow’ according to the Telegraph. Both resorts are bare from snow at resort level, but both also have pistes now open and access to the Grand Motte glacier – a tourist favourite.
The ‘snow situation’ is a lot better in Italy – so if you were looking to get away for a last minute skiing break, resorts such as Monetrosa are currently boasting as much as 200cm of packed snow and the Cervinia resort enjoys as much as a healthy 215cm.
Most experts agree that the Alps are slowly edging towards full-blown winter weather with temperatures gradually getting colder, and with fresh snow expected by the end of the week at least.
A spokesperson for the tourism promotion company in France, Atout France, stated that, “The delayed openings should not impact upon the UK market too heavily, with most tour operators starting their seasons next weekend. With more snow in the forecast, there’s plenty of time for the resorts to morph from green to white in time for the UK ski holiday season proper to get underway.”
Crystal Ski have said that whilst they have no customers flying out to France this weekend, guests are heading out to St Anton in Austria, which is also said to have a severe lack of snow. Instead, customers are being offered a switch to the resort of Obergurgl, which has 80cm snow cover on some of its higher pistes.
Insurancewith offer Winter Sports travel insurance cover, which also covers piste closure due to lack of snow.