“Thousands Of Holidays Ruined” read current headlines in the press regarding the lack of snow in the alps. However, is this really the case? We don’t think so, and speaking to several local business owners – as well as holidaymakers – they seem to agree.
In the last couple of days there have been several reports of terrible snow conditions in the alps ruining holidays. When we read them – and then saw the outcry from the people currently living and working out here PLUS those who have recently been on holiday here, we had to respond.
Is there anything to the UK press reports?
Looking at the information being reported, a lot of their content seems to be wildly out of date. It seems they’re looking at temperatures and posting photos from early December.
Anyone who has spent any time in the mountains knows you can’t use month old reports to form today’s opinion.
The reports look to be highly sensationalised and misleading to those trying to find information from the UK. The sad thing is that I don’t think the people who report misleading information like this realise what a detrimental affect it has on people working and living out here – many of them British. It is especially frustrating as this seems to be the week that more snow is arriving.
So what’s the report from the locals?
The local authorities – such as Société d’Aménagement de La Plagne (SAP) who run the ski area – have really learnt from the low snow levels of 2015 and 2016 and have done an absolutely fantastic job of managing the pistes to get the best out of the resort. From having the snow canons on whenever possible, to grooming and keeping as many of the runs open as they can.
Temperatures, whilst not as low as in previous seasons, have still been cold and often sub-zero, meaning minimal melting and re-freezing on the slopes, again maintaining the snow quality as much as possible. In fact, the temperature is set to drop past -10 Celsius in La Plagne this week!
- Yes, don’t head off piste just yet. Coverage is not deep enough and you’d be putting yourself – and the pisteurs who would have to rescue you! – in danger.
- Yes, southern facing and lower resorts are suffering more. But chair lifts are running up and out of these areas to the higher and northern facing regions.
What about the guests in resort?
What we’ve also seen out on the hill is that the skiers and boarders out there are having a great time. In fact, the negative press in the UK has been so demoralising that when people have arrived out in resort, they’ve been very pleasantly surprised.
They’ve experienced resorts where all the locals and workers have come together to make the most out of the conditions we have. All the business out here – chalets / restaurants / bars / pisteurs have worked tirelessly over the holiday period to get their business up and running and to make sure that their guests still have fantastic holiday experiences.
The slopes have also been pleasingly quiet and those not-so-die-hard-skiers have stayed away. Meaning less lift queues and more time out on the hill. Excellent!
If you’re thinking of booking a holiday out here but are worried about the snow conditions, look at the social media and up-to-date posts of people actually based in the area you want to visit. Don’t trust some person in a newspaper office somewhere in the UK! Check out the recent pictures on the Edge Facebook page and Instagram feed – plenty of powder and perfect pistes!
And the future…?
The snow is on the way! Looking at www.snow-forecast.com the news for La Plagne is currently for over ½ metre and possibly 80cm+ for Les Arcs in the next few days!
However, we don’t want to paint an unrealistic picture. The fact is that in the last couple of years, the early season snow conditions have been getting worse. Winters have been getting warmer and snow levels dropping. This is concerning not only for all those with any interest in winter tourism, but with interest in the environment as a whole.