Morzine Snow Conditions

During the winter, each day can be different. It's a good idea to check the Morzine snow report before you go up the mountain so that you know what to expect or when you plan to visit Morzine. With the level of detail and the fact that forecasts are updated almost by the minute, snow reports are becoming increasingly popular by both locals and tourists.

Check our Instagram account for daily pictures or our Morzine webcams.


Morzine snow report used to appear on a board at the bottom of the lifts. It was also part of the news broadcast on the local radio. Today, live images and information are easily accessible through the internet and apps. It is now much easier to check the Morzine snow report to prepare for the day ahead.

The Morzine snow report will provide you with detailed information about the current conditions on the slopes. This is important for safety reasons (Avalanche conditions, for example) as well as allowing you to take the correct kit with you for the day ahead, whether to take powder skis or piste skis with you.

During winter the Morzine snow report is another part of the forecast for visitors to consult. It provides details regarding the potential avalanche risk and how safe the off piste skiing is. It also has information about what lifts and pistes are open. Like the weather forecast this information is updated daily so will be accurate.

Snow report in Morzine and the Portes du Soleil

Having high altitude doesn't guarantee snow that is completely reliable. Snow reliability is more geographical than altitude-related. For Portes du Soleil, this has a lot to do with the fact that it is located near Mont Blanc with hardly any strong winds, so snow accumulates naturally.

Located in the heart of the Portes du Soleil, Avoriaz averages 7.5m of snowfall each year. The resort is the snowiest in France, which can be attributed partly to its high elevation, but also to its almost complete exposure to snow storms moving in.

At 1000m, Morzine is a relatively low-altitude resort. It's good to have a treeline since it helps block wind, making it easier to keep the snow than other ski resorts with heavy winds, no treeline, and rock bases. In particularly snowy or windy conditions, it's best to stay on Morzine-Les Gets side and save Avoriaz and Switzerland for those calmer bluebird days.

Types of snow

There are a variety of different types of snow on the mountain, depending on how it's formed and what it's like to ski on. You might not be aware of this if you're new to the mountain. There is a world of difference between skiing and snowboarding depending on the weather. While some types of snow are easier to ski on than others, others require greater concentration just to stay on your feet.

An important part of a snow report is information concerning the kind and amount of snow that will be found on the mountain that day. The type of snow can vary from day to day, depending on the temperature and previous weather conditions. If there hasn't been any snow recently, the quality of the snow will be affected. Similarly, if it has snowed heavily, then conditions will be excellent, although those wishing to go off-piste will need the proper equipment. When conditions are warm, slush can form, but if it has been warm before, ice may form first thing in the morning before the temperatures rise. Any of these conditions can be prepared for by checking the snow report.

The different types of snow can simply be described as the difference between different shapes of snowflakes, how they fall and how they settle on the ground. Checking the snow report will give some idea of what kind of snow is currently to be found in different parts of the mountain.

After the snow has fallen

Once snow has fallen on the ground it can be described as powdery whilst it is still light and fluffy, granular when it begins the thaw/freeze cycle and crud or ice after a longer period of melting and refreezing. Whilst snow is still powder it can be blown by the wind and can cause snow slabs to form, which can cause avalanches on steep slopes.

Types of snow and snowfall

There are different shapes of snowflakes, including dendrites, the star shaped flakes that most people associate with snow, graupel which refers to freezing fog that condenses around a snowflake and creates a ball of ice that falls as hail and sleet, which is snow mixed with rain.

Artificial snow

Artificial snow is formed by snow canons. These are deployed on some of the ski slopes and used to ensure a good covering of snow throughout the winter.


Champagne powder is dry fluffy snow that is perfect for skiing. The term was first used in the Rocky Mountains and the Steamboat Ski Resort holds the copyright for the term. Similarly powder refers to any fresh uncompacted snow.Chopped powder is powder that has been skied through a few times and is no longer smooth or fresh. If the snow partially melts it can form a crust over powder.


The snow on piste is packed down by piste bashers. It can turn to ice or, if the weather is warm enough, slush. This often occurs in the warmer days of spring. Slush is a lot slower to ski on and it is a good idea to use the appropriate wax on skis to ensure the best possible performance. Ice, on the other hand, is hard and fast and it is important to have sharp edges on ski to ensure grip and control.

Being prepared

It is a good idea to be aware of what kind of snow to expect when going skiing so that you are prepared for whatever conditions you might encounter during the day. In spring time morning ice can turn to slush by the early afternoon. 

Avalanche report

Another service provided by the snow report is the avalanche report. Having an avalanche forecast is crucial for understanding the potential dangers you may face when venturing into the backcountry in the winter. You should use it when planning your day out, whether you plan to ski, snowboard, snowshoe, or go hiking in the snow, since it could save your life or the life of someone else in your group.

One thing to pay particular attention to on the snow report is the avalanche risk level for the day. If there has been high snowfall the avalanche risk can be high. High winds can also add to the risks by blowing snow into snow slabs that can be very unstable.

Who produces the report and when?

The avalanche report for Morzine is produced by Météo France. Morzine is included in the Chablais area of the report. The report is produced daily throughout winter from November onwards.

Avalanche report at the main lifts

There will also be an indication at the main lifts regarding the risk level for the day. The level of risk for the day is put into five different classes. There is no level 0 as the mountain is never considered 100% safe.

1 - Low risk. The snow has generally bonded well and is stable. There is still some risk but it is mostly safe everywhere.

2 - Moderate risk. The snow is not so well bonded on the steeper slopes, although it is still generally well bonded in most places. Avalanches are possible on steeper slopes although they are still quite unlikely.

3 - Considerable risk. The snow is weakly bonded on many of the steeper slopes. It is possible for even a single skier to trigger an avalanche.

4 - High risk. The snow is weakly bonded in a lot of places. It is likely that an avalanche will be triggered on steeper slopes. It is also likely that medium to large avalanches will occur.

5 - Very high risk. The snow is weakly bonded and highly unstable. Natural avalanches occur even on slopes of only moderate steepness.

What precautions can be taken

For levels 4 and 5 off piste skiing is very much discouraged. Even when the risk is low it is important to take precautions. Never go off piste alone, be aware of your surroundings (in particular cliffs and cornices that can collapse) and know exactly where you are going - if you do  not then make sure you are with someone who does know where they are going. Take an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel with you, making sure that the batteries in the transceiver have plenty of life in them. It is also a good idea to practice using your avalanche equipment regularly so that, if the worst happens, you know what to do. It is also a good idea to make sure that you have the phone number for the piste security so that you can phone them in an emergency.

By reading the avalanche report you will find information regarding the current avalanche risk. This can range from 1 to 5. Since the mountain is never considered completely safe, there is no rating of 0. Through the use of coloured flags, this system makes it convenient to fully understand avalanche information on a specific day and what the risks are. A number of factors can affect avalanche risk. Among them are recent snowstorms that can load the slopes and take time to settle, recent winds that can blow snow into danger zones and destabilise the snow pack, as well as recent temperatures.

Benefits of the Morzine snow report

One thing that anyone visiting a snow prone area should know is how quickly storms can come. Reading a snow report can help you when a storm is coming. Whether it's snow or ice, a couple of inches or a blizzard, you'll see when the next storm is coming. In the opposite scenario, if it has been snowing the past few days, and you see that tomorrow will be a gorgeous day, you know to get on the first lifts and enjoy it fully. Most importantly, the avalanche report and understanding the different types of snow will help you have a safe and enjoyable time on the mountain.

Lift and Piste Openings

Some lifts and pistes may not be open depending on the conditions and the time of year. Particularly early and late in the season, this is true. Poor snow cover can, however, affect what is open at any time of the year. When there is not enough snow, pistes can be closed for safety reasons or simply because skiing is not possible. A sudden, very large snowfall can also cause closures. Wind is another factor that affects what is open. If the wind is too strong, the higher, more exposed lifts can close for safety reasons.

Weather and Morzine snow report

Combining the weather report and the snow report together gives the most accurate picture of what to expect both on the mountain and in the village. When combined with the weather forecast, the Morzine snow report provides great insight into conditions up on the mountain. While the forecast provides information about the weather, the snow report gives information about what is happening on the ground. By combining the two, you accurately predict what the weather will be like up the mountain and prepare accordingly, such as wearing extra layers to stay warm, choosing what skis/snowboard to bring with you that day and even where to ski.

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