This is particularly the case of Val Thorens (Savoie), which planned to launch its winter season on Saturday and postponed the opening for a week, a consequence of “the particularly mild weather in the fall”.
“Currently the snow cover at altitude is satisfactory but does not allow a ski-in ski-out return to the resort,” she explained in a press release this week.
Same decision in Val d’Isère and the neighboring resort of Tignes (Savoie), which also postponed their opening for a week, from November 26 to December 3, for the same reasons. Tignes will content itself with opening a track on its glacier on Saturday.
The too mild temperatures have so far prevented the operation of the snow cannons.
“There was very little snow (but) it’s coming, that’s it. The cold too, so don’t worry,” Olivier Simonin, general manager of Val d’Isère Téléphériques, told AFP on Friday.
“It is a decision of common sense, of wisdom, to offer impeccable product quality to our customers”, he underlined.
Eventually, the resort plans to “adjust” its start date of the season to adapt to the changing climate, he added, noting that “we’ve been talking about it for 2-3 years” .
In the French Pyrenees, the lack of snow will also delay the start of the ski season, indicates for his part Michel Poudade, president of “Neiges catalanes”, a group of ski resorts in the Pyrénées-Orientales.
“We will roughly be a week late in the stations which had announced an opening at the end of November. And for those which planned to open at the beginning of December, we will see,” he said.
The weather does not worry the elected official, also mayor of the Angles station: “They announce cold weather for next week and snow this weekend, so everything can change very quickly”. And the stations have in reserve “enough water to make artificial snow”, he estimates.
On the Andorran side, the Grandvalira, Ordino Arcalís and Pal Arinsal ski resorts should open from December 2 if the weather conditions allow it, although it is not excluded that the slopes could open earlier.