Up to 60cm of fresh snow has fallen across the French Alps, prompting 17 resorts to send out powder alarms.

France didn't receive the heavy early snowfalls of Austria and Switzerland, so this fresh dump has been widely welcomed by resorts. Most of the fresh snow has fallen on the southern French Alps although several stations in the northern Alps are also reporting heavy snowfalls.

Last night, Serre Chevalier saw 20-50cm of fresh powder, bringing the total cover to 80cm at 2800 metres and to 20cm at 1200 metres. Serre Chevalier is set to open Dec. 12.

Les 2 Alpes is reporting 60cm of snowfall on the glacier at 3000 metres and 25cm of fresh snow at the base of the pistes. Les 2 Alpes tourism office told On The Snow: "Compared to last year, the snow has arrived somewhat later, but Les 2 Alpes is lucky to offer glacier skiing. Even if the conditions are not ideal at the bottom of the resort, ski capacites are guaranteed on the glacier. This is year round. This year's reservations look promising, despite the financial crisis and despite the late snowfall."

Even further north, Le Grand Bornand has received 20cm of powder, which is the first snow cover of the season for the base of the resort (1300 metres).

Snow is forecast to continue falling throughout Tuesday, with partly cloudy skies arriving on Wednesday. The snow should pick up again on Thursday, just in time for the opening weekends of Chamrousse, Courchevel, Les Menuires, Le Grand Bornand, Saint Lary, and several other resorts.

Les 2 Alpes, Val d'Isère, Tignes, and La Mongie opened last Saturday.

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