France's highest ski resort Val Thorens delays opening over lack of snow

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France's highest ski resort Val Thorens delays opening over lack of snow
Skiers use a ski lift on a sunny day in the mountains in eastern France on February 3, 2022. (Photo by LOIC VENANCE / AFP)

Val Thorens - the French ski resort that sits at an altitude of 2,300 m - has delayed its reopening for 2022 due to inadequate snow.


Skiers in France who were looking to enjoy early winter sports will be disappointed to hear that the French Alps' ski resort, Val Thornes, which was set to open Saturday, November 19th, has delayed its reopening by one week.

On Sunday, the resort - which is Europe's tallest and boasts over 600 kilometres of runs - announced on Twitter that its new opening date would be Saturday, November 26th.

According to the statement published by Val Thorens, the delay is because "snow cover at altitude is satisfactory, but does not allow a ski in, ski out."

Nevertheless, the resort told eager skiers and snowboarders added that "All the teams are already on the ground to prepare the ski area with a forecast of opening for the weekend of November 26-27 for the High Test."

In most years, Val Thorens is among the first ski resorts to open in France, due to its high altitude which normally allows for an earlier start to the ski season. 

Last year - during the winter of 2021-2022 - the Alps marked a decrease in snowfall, particularly the southern Alps, which recorded their lowest level of snow cover in over 60 years.


While the Northern Alps were less impacted, climate experts also noted a deficit in snow coverage.

Temperatures have remained high during the 2022 fall, after the month of October was registered as the "warmest on record in Europe", according to the European climate monitoring service Copernicus.

The agency went on to note that average temperatures were "nearly 2C above the 1991-2020 reference period". The announcement followed another statement which listed September 2022 as the hottest on record, with temperatures 1.34C above normal.

As of Monday, no other ski resorts in France had announced plans to push back opening dates. With its new start time, Val Thorens will join other resorts in the French alps, such as Chamonix, Tignes, and Val d'Isère which are all also set to open during the final weekend of November. 


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