We can’t think of a better way to beat the January blues than with a ski trip to Val d’Isere. Val is a world class resort with access to the Espace Killy’s 300km of terrain and virtually guaranteed snow right the way through the season. It’s a safe bet whatever the time of year, but there are some things make Jan an especially good time to ski...
This is one of the quietest months of the season, meaning hardly any queues for the Olympique Gondola and lovely empty pistes. January has some of the cheapest ski holiday packages too, so you can ski a top resort like Val without the peak pricetag. It’s also one of the best months in terms of snow quantity and lastly, Val has world-famous après ski, so you can usually count on some great events in January.
January Snow History
Average snow depth
Average snow depth
January ski rating
In an average January, you can expect snow coverage of 141cm at the top of the piste and 85cm at the bottom. 60% of the runs are above 2,500 metres and the resort is blessed with fresh falls from the North West and, uniquely, a couple from the East every season. This means that if you’re looking for fresh powder, you can almost definitely expect to find it in January.
It’s pretty nippy in Val at this time of year – the average temperature in January is 0.6 degrees with average highs of 4.9 and lows of -3.8 degrees. One thing you should bear in mind is that these are average temperatures at resort level – many of the high altitude runs are likely to be colder, so hit the January sales before you jet off to buy plenty of layers. If it’s particularly windy, you might want to stick to runs below the tree line, such as those at Fornet (try Mangard or Cognon) or La Daille (Verte is a great confidence building cruiser for beginners). Slopes that have a southerly orientation such as Grande pre will also tend to be a bit warmer as they get more sunshine.
If you love classical music, see if ‘Classicaval’ is happening this January. The event usually takes place in the Baroque Saint de Menthon Church and features some internationally acclaimed musicians - Cyprien Katsaris and Sarag Nemtanu played here in 2013. In the past, the resort has had torchlit descents and also hosted the BMW Snow Polo Masters at the base of the Bellavarde piste. Be sure to check whether the FIS World Cup is taking place here this year as the atmosphere is lively and carnival-like when the World Cup party is in town.
If you somehow get bored of Espace Killy’s 300km of skiing terrain or there are non-skiers in your group, there’s a great variety of winter activities to enjoy including air boarding, guided walks around the town, ice skating, helicopter excursions, ice driving (driving modified cars around an ice circuit), ice climbing, husky sleighing and much, much more.