The 2022/23 winter ski season got off to a slow start compared to the extraordinary 2021/22 season. There was a 24% decline in first time winter visitors and a 9% drop in overall sales. The main reason for the modest start is the warm temperatures after Christmas, which forced many ski lifts to close at lower altitudes. Additionally there was a short holiday season due to the public holidays falling on the weekends. Compared to the five-year average, the decrease in first-time visitors is 11%, but sales volume held up.
Many winter sports enthusiasts who did make it to the mountains, often having booked their Christmas in the Alps many months earlier, were unable to ski and snowboard at all. Lower resorts in some areas closed or were unable to keep open resort runs and beginner areas.
Freak weather conditions do happen, in this case from warm air being swept up from the South. However it is hard not to think global warming is playing a part. Meteorologists at Météo France reckon that snow cover in mid-level mountain areas could be reduced by up to 40% by 2050 as a result of global warming.