After warm temperatures for a few days last week and then a week when little new snow fell it’s a snowy early Christmas present for everyone heading to France to ski over the next few weeks with many resorts in the Alps receiving up to a foot (30cm) of new snow today. The biggest fall of 60cm (two feet) in the past 24 hours, at La Toussuire in the Les Sybelles ski region, has been reported to the snow-reporting agency www.skiinfo.co.uk.

In terms of accumulated base depths Chamonix is now up at 1.5m (five feet) with La Rosiere boarding the most in the country at 1.85m (just over six feet).

It’s all coming at the perfect time for skiers and boarders as suppliers are being forced to dramatically cut costs for Christmas and New Year holidays as the combination of the Saturday change-over day clashing with Christmas and new Years day and economic gloom have led to poor bookings. Instead the first week of January is proving to be the busy one as Brits take advantage of school holidays stretching further in to the start of January then normal and prices typically 50% lower than over the preceding New Year week (although that was before the discounting began!). In a final bit of good news, the pounds has gained a little against the Euro bringing costs in resort down for visiting Brits, a little at least!

The new snow may not be quite so welcome in Val d'Isère where the second weekend of the 55th edition of the "Critérium de la Première Neige" is currently taking place with the Women’s World cup races. The 30cm (foot) of fresh snow there today may not be good news in the battle to keep the race courses slick and icy. The Super-G was cancelled on Friday due to “too much snow.”

Les 2 Alpes will probably have mixed feelings about all the snow. They’re hoping to run the first of their ‘Full Moon Ski Nights’ next Thursday, December 23rd when the moonlight will flood the slopes – so long as it’s not still snowing.

Les 2 Alpes opens up its glacier slopes at night for guests who have signed up for a package that also includes an excellent dinner on the mountain. Participation costs 40 Euros and is open to the first 150 people to sign up.

If you’re not in resort next week there are four more “Full Moon Ski” sessions planned this winter on Thursday, 20th January 2011, Friday, 18th February 2011, Friday, 18th March 2011 and Wednesday, 20th April 2011.

Elsewhere in France this weekend sees La Clusaz welcome competitors from 30 nations and an estimated 10,000 spectators as they stage the cross-country skiing World Cup for the fifth time. As well as the big race there’ll be cross-country skiing fun session for beginners in the ski kindertarten, equipment rental on the snow stadium next to the ski trails and an autograph zone reserved especially for children. On Sunday the trails will be open to children so that they can follow in the tracks of the stars of the sport. In Alpe D Huez it’s noisier horizontal sliding on snow with rally car fans set to be thrilled by the annual Andros Cup ice driving contest.

Posted by Patrick Thorne on Friday 17 Dec 2010

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