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Alpe d'Huez in January 2020 - What weather to expect & what to do

As we welcome a new decade, there’s plenty of things to do in resort this month

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| Rob Wood, Alpe d'Huez Reporter | Published
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The festivities of Christmas and New Year are behind us as we enter a new decade in Alpe d’Huez. After plenty of recent snowfall, January looks set to be a cracker.

Here’s our guide to just a few of the best events taking place in resort this month.

What weather to expect in Alpe d'Huez in January?

The darkest and shortest of days have now passed, albeit very recently but, nevertheless, the days will slowly start to get longer and that’s always a lovely feeling. Historically, January is a very snowy month, as you would expect for what is pretty much deep winter. The recent trend of an ever-shifting Jetstream bringing plenty of snow but also lots of high winds looks, thankfully, to have passed and it appears that a more settled start to the new decade is on the way. The first few days, up around January 4th, look like being unbroken sunshine, albeit fairly fresh, and a little more cloud may be prevalent between the 5th and 8th. After that, the sunshine looks likely to return right through to the middle of the month. Afternoon resort highs look likely to get up to around 3ºC but, with much lighter winds than of late, the “chill” factor shouldn’t feel too bad. There doesn’t seem to be much snow in the forecast for the first half of the month.

Weather in Alpe d'Huez

What are the snow conditions like in January in Alpe d'Huez?

It’s well documented that we had a snowy start to the season with plenty of snow falling through November and right up until Christmas week. This means that we have cracking snow depths at the moment, with around 130cm on the lower slopes around resort and a whopping 250cm up on the very highest of slopes at 3300 metres. As is always the case, January is a much quieter month, sandwiched in between the uber-busy Christmas period and the half-term holiday month of February. The first full week in January is historically the cheapest month of the whole season and, of late, has become popular with British university ski clubs. With short lift queues and plenty of open pistes, January really can be a great month here in Alpe d’Huez. This month will see in the region of 90 pistes open, being served by around 70 lifts.

Alpe d'Huez Snow Report & Forecast

What's on in Alpe d'Huez in January 2020?

Alpe d’Huez Cup – 4th & 5th January 2020
Around 900 ski stars of the future will battle it out on the Signal piste, at the top end of town, over two days. The best of 9 to 16-year-old talent will be fighting for the title across the weekend, so why not check out the future stars of alpine skiing?

Alpe d’Huez Ski du Fond Marathon – 5th January 2020
A 30km endurance event organised by the local Nordic ski club that starts at the bottom of the Nordic ski trails, at the DMC lift station. The route sees skiers ascend up to the DMC mid-station before an undulating route across to Lac Besson, followed by a couple of loops of the hippodrome area before the final descent back to 1850 metres. Last years’ field for the event included several Olympic, World and European medallists along with French cycling superstar Rudy Mollard, who used the race as part of his pre-season training. It’s a freestyle event (skating) and is a wonderful race but not for the faint-hearted.

23rd International Comedy Film Festival – 14th-19th January 2020
A genuine bit of red-carpet glamour arrives in resort for a week when blacked-out window limos are the favoured way of getting around town. Although mainly in French, there is an increasing number of international and English-language films in this event that is based around the leisure centre. All the films are free to watch, although the queues can be pretty long for the most famous ones and some of the smaller films are shown at the Signal Cinema down in the old town. The festival is covered on both French TV and radio and the week sees outdoor broadcasts from the slopes in the daytime and from leisure centre in the evenings. This festival draws the stars of French film and TV and is well worth checking out if you are in resort.

Augmented Skiing World Championships Open – 25th & 26th January 2020
Founded and organised by local ski legend Ophelie David, the event sees the very best of the world's skiers who use an exoskeletal device to assist their skiing, such as a ski-mojo. A giant slalom and ski trail tournament make up the competitive elements of the championships while, away from the slopes, there will no doubt be a fair bit of socialising and enjoying all the resort has to offer – with the honour of becoming World Champion at the forefront of all the competitor’s thoughts.

Events Calendar for Alpe d'Huez

Family fun this January in Alpe d'Huez

The resort's fabulous leisure centre always plays host to plenty of activities away from the slopes including a climbing wall, bouldering, gym, tennis, squash, crazy golf and indoor swimming to name but a few. While the ice rink in the middle of town hosts curling classes as well as open skating sessions and ice hockey matches. If a bit of culture is your thing, then why not check out the weekly classical music concerts, every Thursday evening at the church?

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Our Alpe d'Huez reporter, Rob, spends his winters in the mountains and his summers on Broadsands Beach (South Devon, UK) where he runs a watersports company. If you want to go kayaking, canoeing or stand-up paddleboarding check out his website.

More inspiration...

This is just a small selection of all that's happening in Alpe d'Huez at the start of 2019. Take a look at our Events Calendar for a full rundown.

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Events Calendar for Alpe d'Huez