European Ski Resorts A-Z


Val d'Isère, France

Resort height:





  (1550-3455 Espace Killy)



  (300km Espace Killy)


General snow cover




Snow quality (upper)




Snow quality (lower)




Resort level snow




Powder potential



L'Espace Killy (Val d'Isère and Tignes) is often regarded as having the most reliable snow in the Alps, primarily due to the extent of its high altitude skiing (60% of its 300km of slopes are above 2500m).


Although it's on the northern side of the Alps, its proximity to the Italian border means that snow can also arrive from the south-east, a privilege not extended to other nearby mega-resorts such as Courchevel or La Plagne. Throw in a couple of glaciers and nowhere else in Europe can offer such a variety of snow-sure slopes for such a long season.


That said, nowhere is perfect.  Many of the runs into Val d'Isère are quite steep, and with a lot of traffic, they do tend to get very chopped up (or slushy in spring).  

Where to ski in bad weather:

The best place to head in Val d'Isère in a storm is the woods above La Daille. There are also a few trees above Le Fornet and on the lower slopes of Solaise but, generally speaking, the area is far from ideal in really bad weather. 

Where to head in poor snow conditions:

The Pisaillas and Grande Motte glaciers nearly always have excellent snow conditions.


Glaciers aside, our best advice is to stay above the mid-stations if snow conditions are less than ideal. Not only is the skiing high, but the gradient is also generally shallower at altitude, which is a key factor in maintaining high quality snow.

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