The 2019 Val Thorens season is over and what a season it was! From insane snowfall to brilliant bluebird days, Val Thorens stole our heart this year (again). It’s also left us wondering what the 2019/2020 season is going to be like. Here’s a roundup on all Val Thorens weather and snow conditions to give you an idea of what to expect.
Val Thorens Weather Forecast
We’ve found On the Snow’s weather reports to be one of the easiest reports to read and understand. It includes an indicator of the number of lifts open, as well as first-hand weather reports, which are mostly beautiful photos of blue skies and gorgeous white runs. You can also get info on nearby resorts too. Check it out for the latest snow forecast in Val Thorens.
For a more detailed breakdown, check out Intersport’s visual guide to le meteo in Val Thorens.
What is the Best Temperature in Val Thorens for Skiing?
Ideally around -6° to -1° Celsius (about 20° to 30° Fahrenheit) is best. It needs to be cold enough to prevent slushy conditions, yet warm enough so you don’t freeze your gonads off at the top of the mountain. During the season, Val Thorens temperatures sit quite nicely in the desired range.
Val Thorens Snow History
This past season (2018/2019) produced one of the largest snowstorms that the Alps had seen for years. A good 30cm to 100cm of snow was dumped during a single weekend in December. Val Thorens has always held a good record for solid snowfall, and next season should be no different. Expect good conditions from November through May.
The Val Thorens official website offers a great week-by-week video recap of the conditions. Check it out to get a feel for the different months of the season. You can also visit the Val Thorens official site to check out Val Thorens live webcams. These cameras are positioned in the resort centre and around the slopes.
For a brilliant visual historical recap of Val Thorens snowfall, visit IgluSki’s snow history of Val Thorens.
Val Thorens Snow Conditions
When asking about the snow, most people ask about one thing and one thing only: am I going to get good snow conditions in Val Thorens when I head out there? To answer the question properly, you really have to work out which weather conditions are the right conditions for you. This is because there are several different types of conditions that allow for good skiing and snowboarding. You also must factor in on your skill level and confidence on the snow.
There are also several types of snow which exist depending on the snow-to-liquid ratio. Different snow types benefit different skill levels. For example, beginners will prefer drier snow that’s neither slush nor ice. This is because they won’t need to ‘carve’ through the ice and are less likely to slip up on any slush. Plus, skiers and snowboarders are naturally slightly slowed down a little on drier snow.
Here are a few of the most common snow conditions, explained.
Bluebird conditions mean gloriously sunny skies with much clearer visibility than usual. Without a flat white overcast sky, it’s easier to see the terrain and generally makes for a more beautiful day.
Bluebird conditions are also commonly known to appear following a night, or a few days, of heavy snowfall. This means that on top of good sun and stunning views, the state of the slopes are fantastic too. You can rely on Val Thorens weather to deliver these days regularly during the season.
The Time for Pow is Now
You may have heard a lot of people rave over the ‘pow’. They are talking about delicious fresh powder. This is the stuff dreams are made of and arguably the most desirable of all types of snow.
Powder snow is super fluffy and makes a great natural landing pad should you fall. If you’ve ever seen videos of professional skiers and snowboarders carving through the backcountry of Austria or Canada, making beautiful waves of snow shoot out from under their skis or board, that, my friends, is what we’re talking about.
Cruddy, Crusty, and Slushy Snow
Aside from powder, most likely you’ll experience ‘crud’ and ‘crust’ when out enjoying a day on the slopes. Crud occurs after the slope takes a serious beating from hundreds of skiers and snowboarders. This then causes a lumpy uneven surface, which isn’t the most pleasant to ski on.
Crust occurs when wet snow, which has larger snowflakes, goes through something called a melt-freeze cycle. Basically, the snow melts on the top surface, which freezes and forms a crust. By midday, beginners may be struggling with this terrain, while seasoned skiers will simply carve straight through it.
Beginners should be most wary of slushy and icy conditions. Ice makes things really slippery, and slush just sits on top disguising the danger. Without a soft bed of snow to land in, falling is going to hurt like hell. If you’ve had a rough day, might we suggest a few drinks to take the edge off?
Is Val Thorens Snow-Sure?
Yes! Valtho is snow-sure because the snowfall in Val Thorens happens between November and May. Also, 99% of Val Thorens is above 2000m. This creates ideal conditions making Val Thorens a favourite snow-sure resort. Read about the science behind it here.
Is There Snow in Val Thorens in April?
Yes! Even if there isn’t fresh snowfall in April, there’s usually some left over from the season. Additionally, Val Thorens keeps its lifts running until the beginning of May, so you can ski well into spring. In fact, you’ll probably notice a rise in the number of end-of-season ski deals and packages, as resorts want to make the most of the spring snow.
So, why should you ski in springtime? Well, actually, spring conditions are considered some of the best in the season. Sure, the first snow dumpings can be exciting but when you hit the slopes in April, you’re getting the best of many factors. The slopes are quieter, as people either don’t know about Valtho being open so late, or they’re saving their paid leave for their summer hols. On top of that, you’ll also notice that you get to ski on a solid snow base that has been built up over the previous five to seven months. Thanks to all those snow storms, you’ve got a great base pack, and the snow doesn’t just melt away when the sun starts to shine. Plus, it’s definitely going to be hotter, giving you more delightful opportunities for bluebird skiing.
When Are the Best Months to Ski in Val Thorens?
You can literally ski anytime from November through to May in Val Thorens and should enjoy great conditions. Val Thorens’ March weather is pretty lush, because the snow is often laid thick and the spring sun is just around the corner.
Can I Ski in Snow?
Yes, you can ski when it’s snowing, although there comes a point where blizzards with terrible visibility literally prevent you from doing so. Skiing with light snowfall can be really enjoyable – you get the continuous fresh layer of soft powder that reduces the cruddyness and helps you float on down. Remember your waterproofs – nothing ruins the mood like being soggy for half of the day and then catching a chill for the rest of the week.
If this question makes you snort with laughter, remember that quite a few beginners who emerge on to the piste for the first time in heavy snowfall will be wondering about this. Some may be marginally petrified at the thought of skiing in snow. We were all Jerrys once (personally, I think I’ll remain a Jerry forever).
Val Thorens Avalanche Risks
As with any mountain activities, there are always risks of avalanches. This occurs when snow (or rock or mud) becomes dislodged and cascades down the mountainside. Avalanches can be caused by skiers or animals and can be mini and not that bad, or massive and very dangerous.
Unfortunately around 150 people do lose their lives in avalanches every year.
If you are skiing on-piste, take heed of all signs regarding avalanche warnings and closed areas. Resorts work hard to keep people safe, so don’t be that wally that slices through the warning fence like a champion crossing the finish line at the Winter Olympics and careens off down avalanche valley.
If you are skiing off-piste, you should be fully equipped to deal with an avalanche and have checked the conditions prior to heading out. Henry’s Avalanche Talk offers excellent information regarding avalanches and we thoroughly recommend all skiers and snowboarders read more about this subject. If you’re more of a visual learner, YouTube offers a host of jaw-dropping heart-stopping videos of avalanches including professional snowboarder Travis Rice’s terrifying experience.
What Time Do Lifts Open in Val Thorens?
Lifts usually open mid-November and close in the first week of May. Lifts tend to open as piste conditions improve and lifts can also be temporarily closed mid-season if the Val Thorens weather is playing up. Learn more about Valtho pistes and lift passes here.
Val Thorens Summer Activities
Whilst you can’t ski or snowboard in summer, there are a host of other activities that you can try. Val Thorens official site offers everything from bowling through to mountain biking, plus archery, canyoning, donkey trekking, rock climbing, farm visits, and hot-air ballooning. Check out the list of options here: what to do in summer in Val Thorens.
June, July, and August see highs of 18° Celsius and you get some solid sunshine. Perfect for hiking, cycling, and tons of other mountain-side adventures.
Prepare for the 2019/2020 Val Thorens Season
So, there you have it. A round up on all things concerning Val Thorens weather and snow. Val Thorens is one of our favourite destinations, and one that our customers really love too. If you want to learn more about trips to Valtho for next season, you can contact us via our WeSki website.
WeSki is a global travel platform that allows you to easily create, share, and book your ski trip with your friends and family. Bookings for the 2019/2020 season are now open.