Alpe d’Huez weather and snow conditions

Alpe d’Huez weather and snow conditions


One of the French Alps’ southernmost ski resorts, Alpe d’Huez is sunny and usually snow-sure in season due to its height and location above the Oisans Valley and below Le Pic Blanc, the tallest mountain in the Grandes Rousses Massif. A total of 300 days of sun a year is usual, with around seven hours’ daily at peak season and up to 11 hours in April. Annual snowfall totals around 548cms, with the upper slopes averaging between 150 and 365 cms over recent years.

February and March are top months for snowfall, and the 800 snow cannons easily maintain the surface on the warmer south-facing slopes.

At present, summer skiing on Sarenne Glacier is not offered due to melting, but winter skiing is still offered. Mists and cloud often drift over the slopes and down into the valley, as the unique alpine micro-climate causes high-pressure area temperature inversions, resulting in chilly fogs and thick cloud below wonderfully warm and sunny slopes. Alpine villages are almost always located part-way up the mountain slopes to take advantage of this winter phenomenon. In spring, the warm Fohn winds cause the snow surface to rapidly deteriorate and also encourages avalanches.