Nearly half of French ski resorts closed due to thaw

Nearly half of French ski resorts closed due to thaw
Credit: Vue sur les pyrénées/ Twitter

Unseasonably mild temperatures, coupled with recent rainfall in the French mountains, has greatly disrupted the work of ski resorts, leading to the closure of around half the slopes in France, the French Ski Areas (DSF) reports.

“We started the Christmas holidays with a good situation following a wave of cold and snow, but from the end of last week, the mild weather and the rains led to the closure of half the slopes,” Laurent Reynaud, general delegate of the DSF, told the AFP news agency.

In the Southern Alps, three-quarters of the slopes remain open. The Northern Alps are the least affected, with a strong snowfall in the Savoie region. In other ski regions, the situation is more concerning. In the Pyrenees, just a quarter of the slopes are open. In the Vosges and Jura, less than a quarter are now open.

In recent days, many resorts have been forced to shut their doors during peak skiing season. This includes La Pierre-Saint-Martin (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), Saint-Pierre de Chartreuse/Le Planolet (Isère), Semnoz (Haute-Savoie), Le Tanet (Vosges) and Croix de Bauzon (Massif Central).

Most resorts in the Southern Alps region are “operating to full capacity”, especially in Maurienne, Tarentaise, and Oisans. Despite this, Jean-Luc Boch, president of the National Association of Mayors of Mountain Resorts (ANMSM), says that there is “anxiety about maintaining reservations” and a lack of raw materials to keep resorts open.

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“The shut-down two years ago due to the Covid pandemic has already left its mark. Conditions must become favourable again for the 400,000 or so people who depend on mountain activities,” the Boch said.

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