Even if you could, you have to admit it would take a while. Whilst other towns in France are typically French, with their shuttered apartments and boulangeries on every corner, ski resort towns are very similar in appearances. They are all the same high-altitude hybrid of gingerbread log cabins and concrete bunkers, with snow-packed streets lined with ski hires, cafés selling hot chocolate and postcards, and the seemingly ubiquitous pizza place. Except at the high-end ski resorts, you probably won’t find a wonderful example of French cuisine. Everything that makes a town French is gone, as remote in culture to the rest of France as they are on a map.
In defence of the anonymity of ski resorts, they aren’t meant to be cultural capitals but basecamps, somewhere to go after a long day on the slopes. In their own way they have their own charm, as small havens nestled in the mountains, lit up like eternal Christmas markets. Seen like this, they do not fail at being French or Italian or even American, but rather succeed at being what they are; they have their own culture. A ski holiday is, in its own way, a cultural holiday, simply of a different kind.