France retains ski crown in 2012-13

(imaginos desdinova/

(imaginos desdinova/


, Last Updated: 3:24 PM ET

A bumper winter for snow in the Alps and Pyrenees helped France retain its crown as the world's top skiing destination, figures published Thursday showed.

Piste-bashers racked up a total of 57.9 million days skiing over the 2012-13 season, a rise of 4.9% on the previous season, according to industry body DSF (Domaines Skiables de France).

The season was marked by excellent meteorological conditions and "exceptional snowfall in all the ranges," it said.

The United States trailed in second place with 56.9 million days spent on the slopes, a rise of 11.7%.

The United States was the traditional holder of the top position until being dethroned by France last year.