Lac des Moutons, close to the Grand Col ski piste

Saturday, 13 May 2017


The 2nd round of the French presidential elections saw Savoie vote for Macron over Le Pen by a 65% to 35% margin.  A result which almost exactly followed the national picture.

Locally, the valley tends to vote for the candidates of the right, but not of the far right.

Val d'Isere is the most notable example of this pattern - with 52% voting for Fillon in the 1st round - not far off the 58% recorded by Sarkozy in 2012. Yet just 12% supported Le Pen, and she trailed in 4th place - just behind Melenchon (12%) and Macron (11%).  Come the second round, the village voted strongly for Macron, by 72% to 28%.

Tignes followed a similar pathway, albeit without quite such thumping first-round victory for Fillon.

Bourg-St-Maurice is more of a mixed bag politically, with Fillon emerging out in front after the first round, but only just.  Again, Marine Le Pen came in fourth:

Bourg-Saint-Maurice 1st round results

Click here to explore all the results
The most politically interesting village in the valley is Landry, which put Melenchon first, with all the main candidates putting in a decent showing.

Séez is notable for having Le Pen narrowly ahead in round 1, albeit defeated by 62-38 in the run-off.  The FN candidate did relatively well in Villaroger too.

Meanwhile, neighbouring Montvalezan (below La Rosiere) saw one of the heaviest victories for Macron last Sunday, by 76% to 24%.

Next up: the parliamentary elections in June...

Sunday, 30 April 2017

A HIVE OF ACTIVITY: The Valleé de l'Arc

Few visitors to Les Arcs these days spend much time in the Vallée de l'Arc below Arc 2000.  Skiers venturing below the Bois de l'Ours are faced with a long ride back on on the Pré St Esprit lift or or the similarly slow Comborciere over to the 1600/1800 side.  Most piste-bashers therefore avoid the area, which is a shame.  The Comborciere ride may be slow, but the high mountain scenery is stunning.

Click here to see the presentation

All of this is about to change, courtesy of a €20m investment by lift company ADS.  The background:

  • It's a strategic site - linking Arc 2000 with both 1600 and Villaroger
  • It's a beautiful site - direct views of Mont Blanc
  • The two lifts are old (PSE dates from 1980, Comborciere from 1985) and slow (14 and 13 minutes respectively)
  • The current blue slope is tricky for beginners
  • There's no artificial snow

All of this is about to change:

  • The Pré St Esprit lift will be replaced in time for December 2017 (planning permission is out at the moment).  The new lift will be twice as fast and have twice the current capacity.  The planners are sensibly moving the top station to be higher than at present - linking directly with Plagnettes.  This will relieve the strain on the key Arcabulle lift.
  • There will be new investment in snowmaking, and a new building for clients with toilets and other facilities
  • The blue piste is going to be expanded by 40% - made wider and the slope modified to make it a piste "accessible to all".
  • The Comborciere lift will be replaced the following year (i.e. in time for December 2018).  Journey time will be reduced to 5m30, and the base station will be adjacent to the Pré St Esprit.  There willl be a new project to create a new red piste.  (Presumably this means a downgrading of the black Comborciere piste, but the presentation doesn't go into details).

The piste provides bad whether links to Villaroger, as well as
an alternative route over to Arc 1600.
It also provides access to the Belliou La Fumée restaurant