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French Alps left green and grassy as snow shies away

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French Alps left green and grassy as snow shies away
A file image of a grassy ski slope in the French Alps. Photo: AFP
13:13 CET+01:00
Snow hasn't fallen in some parts of the French Alps for days, and would-be skiers have been forced to take to summer activities on the grassy slopes.
Some of the ski slopes in the French Alps are decidedly green, even thought it's decidedly time to go skiing (at least according to the calendar).  
Where usually the white gold would be stretching as far as the eye can see, this year holiday makers have been arriving to sunny blue skies and grassy mountains. Although to be fair last year's December skiers faced the same snow shortages.
But no matter - many have left their skis behind and found other things to do. 
A video report from the scene published by LCI in the Savoie department of eastern France showed that many in the area had taken to everything but skiing. 
"We have to adapt, when there's no snow then we have to find some kind of activity to pass away the holiday time," one man said while cycling on snow-less roads through the mountains. 
Elsewhere, hikers could be seen walking along the grassy hills, some wearing shorts, while their children took luge rides above the snow-less ground below. 
"It could be worse, we know the snow will come as it does every year," another man said. 
Many resorts have switched to summer activities, with mountainboarding on wheels in the resort of Les Sept Laux and with several other ski stations offering zip lines, hiking, and tobogganing. 
"We couldn't cancel our reservation, so we came for the fresh air anyway," a woman called Eponine at Super-Besse resort told France Bleu
"But we can do other things, and we will be back in February."
While some of the holiday makers may be calm, ski resort managers are pulling their hair out, including Jean-François Genevray of Les Sept Laux in Isère.
"(Skiing) is just not going to be possible for the first week of holidays, but maybe we will get some snow in time for Christmas," he told Le Monde newspaper
Les 7 Laux
He added that it wasn't even worth turning on snow cannons until temperatures dip below zero. 
Luckily, not all the slopes in the Alps are green. Some webcams in the area have shown what appear to be excellent skiing conditions. 
A tourism spokesperson in the nearby Val d'Isère was quick to point out that slopes were primed and ready.  
"Don't tell your readers that there is no snow right now, there's plenty here right now. It was snowing this morning," a woman from the tourism office told The Local. 
"I've heard that it's not snowing elsewhere, but that's not the case in Val d'Isère. Have a look at the webcams and see for yourself."
A quick look at the Val d'Isere webcams does suggest that a lack of snow is not a problem although at 1,850 metres in altitude it is one of the higher ski resorts in the French Alps.
Good advice indeed. Here are some current webcams from the French Alps, as of early Monday afternoon. And they won't fill skiers with too much confidence.
(Les 7 Laux ski resort)
(La Clusaz ski resort)
(Les Deux Alps ski resort)
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