French Ski Season stops before it starts due to COVID-19

The French Ski Season was set to start this month, but the massive ‘2nd Wave’ of COVID-19 across France has bought the nation to a lockdown halt again.

In the scheme of things, life and death are more important obviously than skiing, but it’s bad news for the industry that already lost the last and lucrative spring season earlier this year.

There is nowhere quite like Val D’Isere, hopefully they get open this season © Val D’Isere

President Macron said new daily coronavirus cases must be brought down to “3,000 or 5,000”, from current levels, which have reached up to almost 27,000, according to France24.com

The new measure affect Paris and its region, Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Rouen, Saint-Étienne and Toulouse – so including the main Alps ski areas.

Val D’Isere has this to say about the closure – or indefinite postponement of opening:

Following the speech from the President of the Republic that ordered a confinement in the face of the deteriorating health situation in France, we regret to announce the postponement of the opening of the resort initially scheduled for November 28th.

The resort had enacted a detailed COVID-19 health and safety plan ready to operate across all facets of operations from the ski slopes to aprés, which remain in place pending an improvement in the overall French situation.

Hopefully they can get open sooner rather than later, Val D’Isere is one of the handful of places we are happy to call the ‘World’s Best Ski Resort’.

Unlmited freeride opportunities © Val D’Isere

Down the road at the Trois Vallees Val Thorens posted

Tonight the French government announced a national lockdown until 1st December. This lockdown does not allow us to open Val Thorens and its ski area as we had foreseen on November 21.

Looked at from an Australian perspective, where we have interstate travel still blocked between states with zero to a handful of cases daily, the French numbers are staggeringly large.

Hopefully their new measures will be effective. Given the deteriorating situation across much of Europe more resort closures can be expected. Spain became the first European nation to pass one million total cases this week, Italy is suffering full scale riots against COIVD restrictions and record cases, the UK is back to high levels of infection, the Presidents of Bulgaria and Poland have tested positive and on and on. Not much good news anywhere there.

All the infection graphs pretty much mirror the direction of the second wave peak in Victoria, but with zero prospect of the amazing turnaround achieved there. Exponential is exponential.

So Europe is totally of the ski agenda. America is likewise suffering record COVID-19 numbers in many states, so stay tuned for more bad news on the ski front there.

If and when some bubble flights open up the safest places to ski this northern winter will be Japan, South Korea and China.

Valle Blanche © Dave Windsor