|Col de la Chal, 14 April 2019|
By way of a very quick round-up, here are the good and the not-so-good things to report back on.
1. The new "Secret" piste, launched in conjunction with the new Comborciere lift, opens up a new dimension. At the top of the now-reasonably-fast lift (it's second hand) there's also a fab new picnic area and a choice of pistes: Secret (dark red), Comborciere (black) and the un-groomed Malgovert (red with black sections, certainly when its icy). All in all, it's become a bit of a destination.
2. The new pedestrian footbridge (aka la passerelle panoramique) at the top of the Aiguille Rouge is a good new innovation, and the resort is now so much better for non-skiers, with a proper pietons lift pass, swimming pool at Arc 1800 etc etc.
3. On social media, the Pisteurs Arcs Facebook and Twitter (@PisteursArcs) give a great inside track of the dynamics of the resort, as does the ever-energetic R'Les Arcs radio station. On Twitter, @SkiVillaroger is often skiing in the other Tarentaise resorts like Sainte-Foy and is a good guide to the local conditions.
1. Feels a bit harsh calling out the Aiguille Rouge cable car, given it gives access to such epic views and one of Europe's finest runs - not to mention the new opportunities for non-skiers to explore the site. But it now has pretty awful queues most of the time, including out of high season. It almost feels like some kind of timed ticket system like you get at the doctors or deli queue might be necessary.
|35 minute queue beyond this point|
2. The Paradiski Priority Lane: All the main lifts now have a priority lane reserved for those who have bought the Paradiski 6 day ski pass (retail price 305 Euros). This gives off a not-very-nice vibe and is contrary to the whole idea of Les Arcs and similar resorts which was to bring skiing to a wider audience. Anyway, it's not such an issue as hardly anyone buys the full Paradiski pass in any case. But low marks to Compagnie des Alpes nonetheless.
3. The Club Med at Arc 1600, which opened in December, is a monument to unthinking development. There is no reference to the traditions of Les Arcs' architecture, and no respect for its amazing setting. It just sits there in its Soviet-syle glory, manspreading across the lower reaches of what was Les Arcs' most beautiful away-from-it-all blue piste. Poor show to the local authorities who allowed this through.
|Last year Alpe d'Huuz. This year, Les Arcs. Coming soon: La Rosiere|
Club Med has big plans to attract skiers from new markets
like Brazil and China and - to its credit - is committed to
the summer season as well as the winter period