Aiguille Rouge, by Pete Caswell. Click on the painting to visit his site

Sunday, 22 January 2017


A 3 day or more Les Arcs lift pass now includes a day over in La Plagne.

So, if you're staying for a few days, it's worth taking the trip over to visit our neighbours on the other side of the valley.

Some thoughts, based on our trips this season:

  1. At some point, there will be big changes to the Montchavin/Les Coches lifts.  For the moment, though, it's quite fiddly and time-consuming getting over to the La Plagne bowl.  If you're coming from 1600/1800, get yourself up to the top of the Arpette or Derby lift first - so you can get a nice long ski in before you arrive at the Vanoise Express.
  2. Despite the new Colosses lift at Plagne Bellecote, the queues on and off piste remain a nightmare, and the whole sector is really no place to linger.  Better to take the Inversens chair to the top of the Roche de Mio and avoid this part of the resort altogether.
  3. The blue run from the Roche de Mio underneath the Carella lift is quite something - beautiful scenery and a flattering, rolling piste.  I find the runs on the Champagny side much more rewarding than those above Plagne Centre.
  4. Go home just after lunch and avoid the end of day crowds on the pistes.  Perhaps including lunch at the cosy Pierres Blanches restaurant.  Make sure you take the super-relaxing blue via the Plan Bois area above Les Coches, which also includes a number of enticing piste-side restaurants
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Les Pierres Blanches - above Montchavin/Les Coches
Photo via www.la-plagne.com

Thursday, 29 December 2016


It's now the 3rd disappointing start to the ski season in a row. This week sees:

Cyclists can get their bikes out of the garage and
have a go at the Col de la Colombiere. Le Dauphiné says the
locals have seen nothing like it since the 1960s

Against this backdrop, things are looking quite good in Les Arcs.  Val d'Isere & Tignes are also skiing well, as are the Haute Maurienne resorts.

The November snowfalls were basically big enough to enable the pisteurs to protect the pistes above 2000m, while snowmaking has meant that you can still ski down to all the resorts.  

The upshot is that:
  • Conditions in Arc 2000 are pretty good, while some of the slopes on the Peisey/1800/1600 side (such as Reches and Renard) are in decent shape.  No skiing below Bois de l'Ours, which is near-unprecedented
  • You can ski over at La Plagne, where again the pistes in the main bowl above Plagne Centre/Bellecote are mostly open and skiing well.  All Les Arcs ski passes for 3 days or more now include a day in La Plagne so this excursion is well worth considering...
  • ...provided you can confidently ski red runs.  The slopes in La Plagne are busier and more crowded, with skiers of varying abilities jostling for position.  And the run down to the Vanoise Express is icy and downright dangerous at the end of the day

Snow is on the horizon for next week, but it's not clear yet whether it will provide much by way of respite.

Arc 1800/1600 snowpark is up and running, 26 Dec

Arc 1800 front de neige, 24 Dec

Mont Blanc from Aiguille Rouge, 24 Dec

Panic on the slopes of La Plagne, 27 Dec